Staycations. We all love them! The opportunity to pack your bags, not worry about the immigration queues or flight turbulence and reach your destination in a few hours. Hubby-bi and I have enjoyed quite a few all around the Emirates, however, this December we decided to do things differently. We wanted Azmu and her cousin to spend more time splashing at the pools together and jumping on the well-made hotel beds until they tired themselves to sleep. Booking a family room at the 5 star Marriott Hotel Downtown in Abu Dhabi, enough to house 5 adults and 2 toddlers, for two nights, was the best decision for many reasons.
We parked our car for valet service just before the check in time of 3pm, and despite it being busy due to the public holiday period, our luggage and car was quickly taken care of. Warm, friendly smiles greeted us at the reception desk and while hubby-bi was busy with checking us all in, the rest of us were having a wonderful time capturing the beautiful hotel on our Instastories. Located right in the heart of Abu Dhabi town, Marriot Downtown is a stone throw’s away from Al Wahda Mall and surrounded by buzzing traffic and various restaurants.
Fresh flowers were beautifully presented all around the marble tops of the reception and on the tables in the waiting area. A long sparkling chandelier was visible to everyone entering the hotel and was definitely catching everyone’s breath.
A selection of daily national and international newspapers and magazines lined the table at the waiting area. However, there was no time to relax, as hubby-bi returned back with the room key cards and we were making our way to the rooms on the 9th floor.
We were given key cards to two adjacent rooms, and were not really sure what to expect. Both rooms were of exactly the same size, however one room had 1 king sized bed, while the other room had 2 double beds. These rooms were connected to each other by two doors in the middle of the rooms. A bit like the magical wardrobe from ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’. We left these middle doors open and instantly, it felt like one large spacious suite for all of us.
The large mirror next to the doorway, the full length floor to ceiling windows overlooking the streets of Abu Dhabi and the lighting, all added to the spaciousness in the rooms. However, it was the bathroom that took me by surprise. To call it big, would be an understatement. The entire bathroom was covered in marble, including the basin top with white fluffy towels and citrus smelling toiletries. There was an open walk in en-suite with rain shower and a full sized bath tub that looked very inviting to soak my worries away. A separate frosted door, inside the bathroom itself, had the toilet facilities, again covered in marble everywhere.
The rooms came in with all the amenities one would expect from a 5 star hotel, the towels, crisp white bed sheets, fluffy extra pillows, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, safe, minibar, bathrobes, complimentary water, counter with tea and coffee necessities and Wifi connections for everyone owning a phone in our family. The television offered numerous channels, most of them in Arabic and English and couple of them for the kids too.
The rooms also had space for a large comfy arm chair, a foot rest and a stunning lamp shade. While the arm chair was facing the TV, I would have happily turned it around to face the windows and watch the busy afternoon traffic.
Before we could put the beds through the softness test, the kids had already climbed up and were happily jumping away, assuring us that they certainly were soft and we were going to sink in them.
We called the main reception from our room, requesting for a baby cot and extra toothbrushes, both were delivered without any hassle.
No staycation is complete without hitting the pools. In our swim gear, we hit the lifts and went straight upto the 24th floor. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the space was used to accommodate a large adult swimming pool, a good sized kids’ pool and numerous sunbeds and chairs dotted around the wooden deck. There’s also a sauna, a fitness centre and a pool bar on the same floor. The full length windows at various sections of the area, presented breath-taking views of the city. I could also faintly see the famous Sheikh Zayed Bridge across the horizon.
After spending more than an hour at the pool and having worked up an appetite, we decided it was time to grab some dinner at Al Wahda Mall. The changing rooms on the same floor felt very cold, yet was happy to see how clean and dry it was, with large mirrors and atleast three hairdryers.
For the latter part of the first day, we spent it at Al Wahda Mall, a three minute walk away, which had a large food court, a few stand-alone restaurants and various shops.
On the second day, we visited The Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque for afternoon prayers and then Mushrif Mall for lunch. We returned back to the hotel for a quick change of wardrobe and made our way to the newly opened Louvre Abu Dhabi museum on Saadiyat Island. On our way back we had dinner at Al Seef Village Mall and enjoyed the fireworks along the Abu Dhabi Corniche.
Breakfast at Kuzbara Restaurant
We were spoilt for choice for breakfast time at the Kuzbara restaurant. I was glad we were staying over for two nights, which meant I could try everything they had to offer and repeat my favourite dishes. With the open plan set up, the restaurant stretches along one length while seating is arranged on the opposite end, overlooking the streets of Abu Dhabi.
The drinks counter served healthy smoothies, the usual hot drinks and also flavoured detox water. The main hot meals catered for all international tastes, with the spicy chickpea curry and paratha for the Indian food lovers, to foul and hummous for the Arabic food lovers and the sausages and hash browns for the English food lovers. While we could have our morning eggs anyway we liked, hubby-bi ordered the cheese and ham omelette from the live cooking counter, while I opted for the baby spinach and tomato white omelette. There was also a zaatar omelette to choose, however, I had to leave room for everything else to try. I loved the chicken broth soup with the rice noodles and shredded chicken, and simply had to repeat it on our second breakfast day too. The kids enjoyed the cereals, fresh yoghurt, hardboiled eggs and assorted fruits. We happened to be seated close to the bakery section and the thoroughly enjoyed the smell of the fresh croissants and pastries baking in the oven. The staff were kind enough to fill a plate of these fresh goods and bring it right to our table, which were devoured in no time. I also enjoyed the fresh pancakes and waffles drizzled with maple syrup and chocolate sauce. A coffee and tea thermos was placed on our table for us to enjoy throughout our meal.
The city of Abu Dhabi has a lot to offer and after a tiring day from all the exploring, you will love coming back to Marriot hotel to unwind. The staff at the concierge, reception, restaurant and even from the house keeping were warm, friendly and attentive, despite being a busy public holiday weekend. The rooms were very well equipped with amenities for us and the little one too. Marriot Hotel Abu Dhabi most certainly offered luxury with world class treatment, in the heart of the city.
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. The entire staycation was paid by my husband and I. All views and opinions are of my own. The photographs seen here are also of my own and must be used with permission.
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