Luxury Hotels

Simply Sunday – new luxury need not be an ostentatious hotel

Guy Hutchinson and Marc de Beer in the hotel gardens

The gal is privileged to see luxury hotels all over the world, and, to be honest, many look superlative at first glance but then with time, sometimes only a few hours, the cracks show.  Elaborate four-post drapes mean you cannot get any light from fibre-optics that should allow you to read in bed – or perhaps there are no fibre-optics.

In today’s world a hotel should, like a partner-in-life, become increasingly, not decreasingly, agreeable.  I was more than pleasantly surprised by Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Abu Dhabi.  It is right on beautiful Saadiyat Beach, handy for golf, and the Louvre.  Its design gives sense of place: the lobby floor has seven glass-topped sections, allowing you to step over sand dunes from one of each of the UAE’s seven emirates, and bedrooms, as shown above, have turtle art, a reminder that this beach is famous for its turtles and turtle hatchery (and note, the fibre optics are easily accessible!).

I was shown round by Rotana COO, Guy Hutchinson, and Marc de Beer, GM of the 327-room modern-luxury hotel, which also has 13 beach-set villas with pools. And another element of modern luxury is smart-casual dining: the hotel’s Turtle Bay Grill has been such an immediate hit that the first weekend 50 guests from a neighbouring hotel walked over to eat here.  The word ‘ostentation’ did not get a look-in, anywhere.