Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review

In the United Arab Emirates, you can almost always guarantee a mix of Arab tradition and international flair. At the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, neither of these is in short supply.

Five star hotel in Abu Dhabi

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi review | a Five star hotel in Abu Dhabi | lobby
Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Review

The hotel was the perfect choice for an Abu Dhabi holiday and family trip in the summer, combining Venetian-inspired design with local hospitality and views of the Grand Mosque.

It might seem like the price of this ultra-luxe hotel is out of reach, but stay during the scorching summer and you’ll find lower rates that are perfect for saving on a family break. Check out my post on plenty more reasons why visiting Abu Dhabi in summer is a great idea.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi review | a Five star hotel in Abu Dhabi | lobby

Where is the Ritz-Carlton located in Abu Dhabi?

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the the city with peace and quiet on the agenda, the Ritz Carlton has the perfect location. Situated on the Grand Canal in Abu Dhabi. It’s a 15-20 minute taxi ride from the Louvre, the Emirates Palace, Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World and Warner Bros. Abu Dhabi.

Let’s be honest people don’t generally walk anywhere unless on The Corniche. Travelling by taxi thankfully is inexpensive so hotel location in Abu Dhabi is irrelevant unless you want to be near a specific place.

Amenities at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi

This luxury resort might be inspired by Italian Renaissance design, but it definitely hasn’t lost the essence of its desert surroundings. Only minutes from the city centre of Abu Dhabi, it blends Venetian style with Middle Eastern elements for a sophisticated and opulent look.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi review | a Five star hotel in Abu Dhabi | lobby

The generous Arabic hospitality is extended further every afternoon with complimentary Arabic coffee and sweet treats served in the reception.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi review | a Five star hotel in Abu Dhabi | hospitality

Five star hotels in Abu Dhabi

There are no holds barred at the Ritz-Carlton, which is what you would expect for a 5-star resort. The hotel boasts a private beach alongside the Grand Canal decked with sun loungers for guests making it the perfect Abu Dhabi beach hotel.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi review | a Five star hotel in Abu Dhabi | Abu Dhabi spa

Abu Dhabi spa

The 21,500-sq ft spa is by ESPA and in a standalone building with around 15 treatment rooms.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review
Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review

It also includes a plunge pool, another private beach, hammam and sauna. The massages are bliss, Mr S and I couldn’t resist and indulge.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review

At the heart of the hotel is a huge swimming pool. There are plenty of sun loungers and private cabanas to hire if you want even more space to yourself. Parents will be happy to know it’s child-friendly with a separated shallow end and there is even a children’s play area with fountains to keep them cool.

Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi club lounge

If you’re lucky enough to stay at the Club Level, there’s an exclusive lounge for your use too.

Rooms at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Canal

Some hotel rooms make you never want to leave. At the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, you can enjoy beautiful views of the pool beach or gardens from your room.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review

We stayed in a deluxe guest room with two double beds and a small balcony overlooking the pool. There was plenty of space for the four of us and our suitcases in the 42 sq ft room.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review
Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review

The bathroom has a deceptively deep marble bath and separate shower, double vanities and robes, towels and slippers for all.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review

Stocked up with a whole range of Asprey products, which I made good use of. Who doesn’t love a good toiletries selection?!

You can lounge around watching the 42-inch TV, using the WiFi or wired internet connection, or just enjoy the honour bar. Plus, you get all of the usual services you would expect from a luxury hotel, from regular housekeeping to laundry services.

Best family hotels in Abu Dhabi

There are two types of luxury hotel when it comes to being child and family friendly: those that don’t allow children at all, and those that go all out to make them feel welcome.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review

Ritz kids

The Ritz-Carlton is one of the latter, offering some cute touches for kids. They get a Ritz Kids dedicated check-in area, mini canvas tote bags, welcome amenities (including rubber duckies!) and bath products. If you need some adult time, there are babysitting services available too.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review

The Ritz Kids programme is designed for children aged 4 to 12, with daily activities and menus promised for both half and full-day programs. We were slightly disappointed with the kids club services. Although the girls enjoyed some of the activities on offer the actual kids club was sparse on equipment and looked a tad tired and uninspiring. Perhaps it was due to it being off peak season, but not what you’d expect from a 5-star hotel.

Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi restaurants

The resort has an impressive eight options for dining – more than enough to try a different place every night of a week’s stay. For all-day-dining and breakfast there is Giornotte. It has the best omelette station, the chef always made mine with the right level of fresh chilli.

The international food and drink options range from Southeast Asian to Lebanese, Mediterranean and a steakhouse too. Afternoon tea is available in the lobby lounge, and there’s a high-end sports bar.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review

Mijana served up some great Lebanese food. We ordered a number of dishes including grilled halloumi with a fresh pomegranate salad, traditional batata harra, baba ganoush and tabouleh to name a few.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review

The Dolce Italian-style cafe is great for families too, with homemade ice cream and pastries to indulge in.

Venetian Village

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review

Within the grounds you will also find the Venetian Village, it’s a few minutes walk from the main building, where you’ll find a range of bars, cafes and restaurants. Not part of the hotel, it’s very convenient as it provides you with further food and drink options.

Views of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque is a five minute drive away from the Ritz Carlton. There are regular complimentary tours (with a shuttle service) so it’s very easy to visit from the hotel.

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review

Luckily, you can enjoy some spectacular views of the mosque from within the hotel grounds. Ask concierge at reception to request a buggy to drive you to the arches for these incredible views


We enjoyed our short stopover at the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi en route to the Maldives. A fantastic place to stay as a family, and it’s sure to be just as indulgent if you travel child-free too.

Where’s the best hotel you’ve stayed at for an incredible deal in off peak season? Let me know in the comments box below.


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Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi: A Review