Abu Dhabi

Le Royal Meridien
Sheikh Khalifa Street
+971 2 6742020

Beautiful views of the gulf and Corniche, comfortable beds, lots of restaurants and bars very pricey. Service is very good, but things like bringing a welcoming fruit plate to your room formerly common in 5 star hotels are extras now. Rotating restaurant at top, and a somewhat hidden nightclub on the 4th floor for dealings on the dark side. Sometimes can get real good deals on internet booking sites as low as $139/night, but generally expect to pay over US$200/night even during quiet season, and over US$500 when they have defense contractor exhibitions and such. Internet is US$24/day which is ridiculous. However, if you use the wireless network in the lobby, there is no charge. They hold $135/day against your credit card if you want to put meals or other amenities toward your room charges, so make sure you have a good credit line available if you are staying here more than a few days.

Atop the National Exhibition Centre

Trendy hotel with cool dark colors, attractive young hotel desk clerks, relatively small rooms beds are comfortable though, good restaurant and lobby bar, fantastic outdoor lounge on the roof, and half-empty disco next door. Great if there's a convention, but it's walkable to nothing else. Car or taxi is needed to get just about anywhere. Maybe when the nearby residential/commercial development is ready in a few years, it might be more desirable. 4 star with few amenities you bring your own bags to the room, but there is still a definite sense of style.

Emirates Palace
Corniche East
From about US$500

Built at an estimated cost of US$3 billion, this was by many accounts the world's most expensive hotel to build, with oodles of gold and marble plating every available surface. The scale of everything is gargantuan — you need directions just to find your way from the gate to the lobby. The hotel feels like it's straight out of Las Vegas, minus the slot machines. Day tripping visitors are welcome, and entertainment options include caviar and champagne at the Caviar Bar, a fine Cohiba and cognac at the Havana Club, or a Turkish coffee Dh 30 at Le Cafe.

Hilton Abu Dhabi
Corniche East
+971 2 6811900

One of the older hotels in Abu Dhabi, but kept in good shape and recently renovated. Huge Hiltonia beach/pool/spa complex across the street free for guests, small gym in hotel itself. "Plus" rooms face the sea but are otherwise identical to normal ones. Located a fair distance from the city center, which is both good no construction noise and bad virtually nothing within walking distance. However, there are shuttle services to the Marina Mall and the city center).

Hilton Baynunah
+971 2 6327777

Popular with business travellers, the Baynunah's main selling points are the central location and spacious rooms equipped with kitchens. Indoor pool, gym, small lounge open to all guests. Downsides are thin walls and a construction site next door which is unlikely to be completed before 2009.

Beach Rotana Hotel and Towers
Tourist Club Area
+971 2 6979000

Marble everywhere sums it up. It is luxurious and the luxury is well done from the lady who welcomes you to the hotel to the concierge. Of course, it is also expensive, very expensive if you don't arrive off peak and off peak is rare in Abu Dhabi. The Club rooms are worth it if you are having to pay full rates for the classic rooms in the main older hotel. They are not much bigger but the use of the Club lounge is valuable if you are going to be in the hotel a lot and the TV arrangements are more modern, the view wide. It now looks over the hectic construction on the new artificial islands across the creek. The rooms could use headphones to allow watching of TV at a louder but more personal level. The Club rooms jacuzzis in the bath are OK for the user but a noisy nuisance for the neighbours.

Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi
Zayed the 1st Street
+971 2 6520000
Behind Hamed Center
Novotel Centre Hotel Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Hamdan Street PO Box 47136
+971 2 6333555
Hamdan Street & Airport Road

Adequate rooms but inadequate and expensive breakfast in a tower block. Reception is cramped and lacks style. The lifts elevators are very slow. You pay for internet access. Only the cheerful staff and, if relevant to you, the central location redeem the place. The Chinese restaurant is said to be good, too.

Crowne Plaza
Hamdan St

Luxury hotel for a little less money than the Hilton or both of Les Meridiens. Best Asian and Italian restaurants in the city are on the ground level. Service can be a little slow, bed is comfortable. There is a rooftop bar upstairs which seems always empty. Maybe more a 4 1/2 star hotel, not a 5 star. You can sometimes get a "car" instead of taxi to take you places, for not much more than the taxi.

Sheraton Khalidiya Hotel
Zayed the First Street, Khalidiya Area
+971 2 6666220
Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi
Khalifa St
+971 2 6146000
InterContinental Abu Dhabi
Bainouna St

One of the long-time prestige hotels. Expensive, but occasional Internet deals on the hotel independent booking websites are worth it if you're willing to pay upfront online. Lobby is huge, and appears recently renovated. Rooms seem a little 80s with their decor way too many mirrors but beds are comfortable and the views are nice. Gym and fine but expensive restaurants. Abu Dhabi locals frequent the hotel piano lounge and the Brazilian restaurant. It is somewhat remote from the centre of town but the setting and amenities are worth it.

Le Meridien Abu Dhabi
Tourist Club Area
+971 2 6446666

Tell the taxi driver "Lee Meridien" and he won't confuse it with Royal Meridien. Best amenity is the Meridien Village, an outdoor garden filled with restaurants and pubs, and on Thursday nights during the cooler months, a hangout for literally thousands of expats. Slated to be replaced by a bridge to Suwwah Island financial district, so enjoy while you can. Don't know much about the rest of the hotel, assume it is compatible with Royal Meridien.

The Yas Hotel
+971 2 6560000
Yas Island

Set half on land and half on water, overlooking the marina, and positioned on the Yas Marina Circuit, which plays host the annual Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, this hotel is distinctive. The exterior's gridshell can be seen for miles around and mimics the throw of a local fishing net. Fourteen total restaurants and lounges.

One To One Hotels - The Village
Al Salam St
+971 2 4952000

A four-star hotel.

Hilton Corniche Residence
Corniche Road
+971 2 6276000

Other luxury hotels include:

Hotels in Abu Dhabi used to be half price compared to Dubai but no longer, with many hotels charging above US$150 per night. However, all are well-tended and host to first class restaurants, pools and other high-end hotel facilities.