A journal, inspired by my love for my daughter, that embraces quality food, service and experiences which make life worth living. In the words of Tennyson's Ulysses, " I cannot rest from travel. I will drink life to the lees." Seeking that incredible dining or hotel experience and writing about it. Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Al Seef Resort & Spa by Andalus, Abu Dhabi
I love hotels. I enjoy booking online. Arriving at the hotel. Checking in. Everything about it. And when a new concept in hotels is introduced, OI sit up and take note immediately. After all, there is not much you can with the concept, is there. However, In the Abu Dhabi context, Andalus Hotels & resorts recently brought its suite hotel concept to the capital, and I was very excited to receive an invitation to try it out.
My room was a one bedroom suite. Yes, suites are by definition supposed to be spacious. Still, at 77SQM it is very generous. Add to this an ultra spacious terrace, and you have a really large living space. I love the colours; they are clean and fresh and certainly give me that resort feeling - shades of blue-greens and whites.
The room is functional, with a fully fitted kitchen being something rather special. Don't you hate it when you have all that space in a suite, but you end up calling housekeeping for chinaware and silver? Not here. Once I checked in, there was really no need to have my stay disturbed. Everything I needed was in the room!
Fully equipped kitchen
There are four pools from which to choose. Palm trees line the pools, really creating that resort aesthetic element. At night, it takes on a certain romance, and while the temperature was a bit low for me to swim, I came across a couple kids swimming in 16 Degrees - the joy and abandonment of childhood! And, in a city of superlatives, you will find Abu Dhabi's largest jacuzzi right here. Finally, while I had no chance to try it, the resort has its own spa, offering a floor for ladies and one for men.
One of my pleasures was walking through the hotel grounds.
The hotel's proximity to the Al Seef Village Mall means that if you are not in the mood to cook, you have a choice of restaurants not away. In fact, there are some restaurants on the hotel grounds, but I chose to explore the mall. Incidentally, you can access the mall from the hotel. From my room, it took me 5 minutes at a leisurely strolling pace. In addition to a Carrefour, the mall offers everything from casual American dining outlets like Wildfirez American Grill, Macdonalds of course, Papa Murphy's Pizza and even a Tim Hortons. However, for my dinner, I tried Royal Biryani, a high-end Indian restaurant in the mall. Highly recommended. Options a plenty!
On my visit, the last Thursday of the month, there was a street market. Stalls featuring some of the outlets housed in the mall were showcased. Clothing, books and jewellery were the popular items, although I found myself hanging out with a falcon! The street market offers Abu Dhabi residents and visitors alike something different. However, it is very much a work in progress and I would like to see buskers, more activities for kids and street food in the near future.
The resort allows for a great deal of privacy. In fact, once you check in, you need never pass by the front desk again until you check out. As for the rooms, all in villa style, are spacious and combine elements of the home with the resort concept. Thanks to a mall right there, your suite becomes even more homely because you can stock up the kitchen! Furthermore, the resort is genuinely family friendly. Swimming pools and lush greenery ensure that children have space to either swim or run and play on the lawn. So, for a break from city life within a city, Al Seef Resort & Spa by Andalus offers a very nice alternative.