Flaunting a design that's inspired by Venice, Italy's canals, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal opened earlier this month in Abu Dhabi, bringing even more glam to the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Guests at the 447-room hotel can expect lots of pampering in the form of a 21,500-square-foot spa, a staggering 10 restaurants; poolside bars, a private beach, and landscaped gardens.
All rooms boast views of the pool, Grand Canal, or gardens; feature marble baths alongside separate showers and double vanities; and Ritz-Carlton signature linens and featherbeds. On top of the 447 rooms are 85 one- and two-bedroom villas that tout even more luxury, like outdoor terraces tucked under African-teak timber pergolas. The resort's overall design, on 57 acres, was built to resemble 15th through 17th Century Renaissance architecture as seen in Italy.
Super Potato, an interior-design firm, designed three of the restaurants: Giornotte, all-day Mediterranean dining with an outdoor terrace; The Forge, serving steak and seafood; Mjiana, specializing in Lebanese cuisine; and Li Jiang, focused on Asian dishes. Al Fresco is an eatery near the pool and beach. There are also two pool bars; Alba, for afternoon tea in the lobby; Dolce, designed for espresso drinks and housemade ice creams; and Sorso, perfect for pre-dinner drinks and innovative small plates.
At the spa, which debuts in early 2014, 15 treatment rooms, a private beach, and outdoor plunge pools will ensure guests relax in style. There is also a 17,000-square-foot swimming pool and two jogging tracks on the grounds. The 24-hour fitness center—open now—has floor-to-ceiling windows, bringing natural light in. Group exercise classes are offered in addition to access to work-out equipment.
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new-hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photo credits: Courtesy of Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal