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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

Hotel insider: The Abu Dhabi Edition

The boutique luxury hotel in Al Bateen is upping the hospitality stakes in the capital

The welcome

From the security staff to the valet staff and the porter beaming at me at the entrance, the welcome is as warm as the interiors. I find myself preoccupied with looking around the slick minimalist lobby while check-in formalities are handled. I head to my room, and by the time I have been briefed about the amenities, my bag is with me.

The neighbourhood

This first Edition property in the Middle East sits on the waterfront at Al Bateen. Its position puts it within walking distance of a number of popular cafes and restaurants, and the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Centre. The Corniche, Emirates Palace and Marina Mall are within a 10-minute drive, while Abu Dhabi International Airport is 30 minutes by car.

The room

Of the 198 rooms and 57 residences, I’m staying in a standard deluxe queen room on the fourth floor, one from the top. It has a terrace that looks across the marina, and while pared back in design, has a super-­comfortable bed, a sitting area with daybed, a sizeable desk and bathroom with a lovely freestanding tub. I love the extra-fluffy towel and robe, but wonder why there is only one sink, considering the size. A tech panel by the bed controls the curtains and lighting, and there’s an espresso machine and Bang & Olufsen speaker system.

The service

Better than one would expect from a hotel that has only been open a short time. Restaurant staff are well-versed on the offerings, and able to provide suggestions and alternatives as required, while guest-relations staff offer me detailed information about the hotel. There are a few niggles, including lukewarm coffee at breakfast and the delivery of an incorrect dish at brunch, but nothing major.

The scene

Like all properties under the Edition brand, the Abu Dhabi property is unique. Designed by Lebanese architecture and engineering firm Khatib & Alami, it offers a sophisticated, glamorous vibe. The lobby, with soft peach tones and comfortable furnishings, makes you want to sit and ponder, while the kinetic art installation that hangs from the ceiling is mesmerising – it moves majestically for 10 minutes, five times a day.

The food

Celebrated British Michelin chef Tom Aikens is behind the three restaurants: Market at Edition, Alba Terrace and Oak Room. Oak Room steakhouse is unfortunately let down by my main, the Spanish rubia strip loin (Dh390), which is tougher than expected. That aside, the restaurant’s meat case and Wagyu-dipped triple-cooked truffle fries (Dh60) are worth a repeat visit. Market at Edition is an all-day dining establishment with a health-focused ethos that uses no butter or cream. Breakfast is served a la carte, and dishes such as the delicious poached eggs and crushed avocado on rye and bakery basket cost from Dh30. The Friday brunch at the Mediterranean-inspired Alba Terrace, meanwhile, is a casual yet sophisticated table-­service affair accompanied by funky tunes. For a more casual pre- or post-meal drink, try the Library Bar or The Lobby.

Loved

The views from my terrace and the atmosphere at brunch.

Hated

The steak at Oak Room. Perhaps I should have been wiser about how to have it cooked.

The verdict

Good food and quality surrounds within walking distance of other attractions.

The bottom line

Rooms at The Abu Dhabi Edition (www.editionhotels.com/abu-dhabi) cost from Dh1,437 a night, including breakfast, taxes and Wi-Fi.

Updated: January 29, 2019 05:26 PM

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