Hotel Review - Eastern Mangroves by Anantara

There are a number of gorgeous hotels in Abu Dhabi, but there are not that many in the high end bracket that reflect their location. So many of the hotels could just as well be anywhere in the world. However, the Eastern Mangroves by Anantara, like a handful of other hotels in the city, could only have been built for the Middle East thanks to noticeable Arabian touches in its design. 

There is something peaceful about the hotel the moment I step in. The earthy tones. The glorious orchid arrangements. The mangroves visible through the ceiling to floor windows. The immediate warmth conveyed by a noticeably Asian staff. It is hard to pin it down, but it is there.

A very stern looking staff member serving Arabic coffee and dates cannot detract from the the warm welcome afforded by the other staff. Janice greets us with date drink and some very welcome cold towels. She, in many ways, sets the tone for what is to follow during our stay. 


The Room
Our room, a 57 SQM balcony room has a city view. The room is warm and inviting. The dominating dark and light browns  contribute so much to that feeling. It is a calming room, with none of the decor jarring the senses in any way. A spacious sofa in the room is a nice touch. The bathroom is equally stylish. 


On this visit we have the pleasure of trying the Wicked Brunch at Ingredients, the hotel's all-day dining restaurant. A key feature of the brunch is the sense of space. In fact, this is a motif throughout the hotel. It would be easy to fit more tables in the restaurant, but they have foregone that to give the guest a better experience. The brunch is an extension of the Asian brand with its Asian dishes an absolute stand out! You can read my full brunch review here:

The staff at Ingredients, I believe, are as vital to the success of the brunch as the dishes themselves, possibly more. I would rather not mention anyone in particular for fear of leaving out someone equally deserving, but suffice to say that the staff bring that quintessential Asian sense of hospitality to the afternoon. In recent times I have been critical of hotel staff hiring practices where it is not always about the best person for the job but more about convenience, but I cannot fault Anantara here. I also like the diversity among the Asian staff. 

We stopped by Ingredients for breakfast the next morning. I again opted to focus on the Asian dishes, trying, miso soup, fried rice and dish of the morning, the congee. All highly recommended. It was also here that staff again showed how integral they are to the success of Ingredients. Eventually the dishes become incidental as one becomes interested in the stories of the waiting staff. A genuine pleasure. They proved the adage that people and not food make for a memorable experience. A few weeks later I will have forgotten what I ate for breakfast, but the staff I encountered will not have been forgotten. 


While Eastern Mangroves by Anantara is obviously renowned for its spa, we chose to relax by the pool - it is very child friendly. The infinity pool, with palm trees on either side, is as magnificent as the pictures suggest. There was not even time for the gym. When you have a 9 year old, you will understand that the swimming pool always wins.

Eastern Mangroves by Anantara is more than just the bricks that make a hotel.  Anantara, which loosely translated means infinite or without end, evokes peace and tranquility underpinned by its Asian background sets it apart from many 5 star hotels in the city. From my arrival, to my room, to brunch, to the pool - the thread that connected everything was the staff. You cannot instill peace in staff, they either have a sense of it or they don't. Here it is in abundance and it spilled over onto me as  a guest. 

The Essentials.

Eastern Mangroves Hotel by Anantara,
Abu Dhabi 2 656 1000
Brandon Stoltenkamp

Disclaimer: I visited Eastern Mangroves by Anantara courtesy of the hotel.