Come inside my weekend away at the Shangri-La, Qaryat al Beri, Abu Dhabi.
Located on a one-kilometre stretch of private beach over looking looking the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, this five-star hotel is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Dubai. Or, if you’re coming from abroad, a great place to sink into holiday-mode and immerse yourself in some of the traditional culture the UAE has to offer.
Dress: French Connection
You’d never believe this hotel is 10-years old once you step through the giant, glass doors, held open for you by smiling staff. The lavish interiors, sparkling marble floors, Arab-esque trinkets speak to the upkeep of this beachfront hotel.
On arrival, your bags will be promptly whisked out of your hands by attentive doormen, who will then show you to the check-in desk, where you’ll be offered traditional Arabic coffee and dates, or a shot of refreshing mint lemonade. Check-in will, of course, run ever so smoothly, before you’re shown to your stunning room (ocean-view in our case!) and given the debrief about amenities, breakfast timings and so on.
The hotel comprises 214 rooms and suites with a balcony or terrace, all furnished, a welcome bowl of fruit, traditional Arabic sweets and, last but most certinaly not least, La Prairie skincare products for the ladies – woot woot!
Guests can choose from two pools to relax next to: the family pool on the ground floor of the hotel, which boasts a stunning infinity pool that overlooks the Grand Mosque, or a rooftop pool, which can be accessed through the health club and is for adults only. I would recommend the former for a picturesque afternoon complete with a glasses of prosecco, and the latter if you’re after a quieter escape with next to no people.
Dinner at Shang Palace
The hotel booked us into Shang Palace for a dinner, where we ate our body weight in traditional Chinese food, all washed down with a bottle of prosecco – what else? Although everything was delicious and got completely devoured, standout dishes for us were the Beijing duck pancakes, the beef in oyster sauce, vegetable noodles and the plate of asparagus.
When you’re sufficiently full, take a stroll through the hotel grounds and be sure to check out the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque by night, because it’s stunning.
Breakfast in The Horizon Lounge
If you’re a member of the Horizon Club, you’ll have access to this exclusive dining area for breakfast. It’s peaceful, pretty and has all the dishes you could ask for. We feasted on croissants on tea before ordering eggs benedict (a la carte) and washing it down with fresh oj.
There is another breakfast that takes place downstairs in the all-day-dining room, which can be accessed by all guests, but the Horizon Club offers a more VIP, bespoke feel to your stay.
The Abra Experience
One of my favourite things that Shangri-La, Qaryat al Beri has to offer is the (totally free of charge) abra ride, which takes you on the most charming tour through the hotel. The boat acts as a water taxi, dropping you at various places in the hotel, and also stops at The Souk, a shopping complex which housesrestaurants, cafes and various retailers, like shops selling sunglasses, kaftans, gold and souvenirs.
Dress: French Connection
Thank you Shangri-La Qaryat al Beri, Abu Dhabi for hosting this review