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.