Culture, cuisine and Turkish splendor converge at this multifaceted resort in Abu Dhabi.
By: Misbaah Mansuri
Posted on: August 25, 2023
LF Says: ★★★★
Immersed in the tranquil embrace of the sea, I find myself suspended with my head half immersed in the water, enveloped by a mesmerizing symphony of sights and sounds. Beneath the surface, the gentle crackling of fish feeding creates a delicate melody, enhancing the ethereal ambiance that surrounds me.
As I float there, entranced by the magical world below, my gaze is drawn ahead to a breathtaking tableau of blues. The shallows shimmer with a soft cerulean hue, gracefully transitioning into a beguiling shade of turquoise, which in turn deepens into a rich azure as the vast ocean stretches out towards the distant horizon. The perfect expanse of the celestial sky hovers above, painted in a serene celeste tint, its untouched canvas only interrupted by the radiant silver crescent moon, a wistful reminder of the night's lingering presence in the daylight hours.
Lost in this captivating scene, I find myself at Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi, where nature's artistry and the magnificent atmospheric backdrop conspire to leave me utterly transfixed, my senses engaged in a symphony of wonder and awe.
Amidst its grand Atlantis-style exterior, with its head-turning curves and majestic arch, a subtle ode to the UAE's pearl diving heritage unfolds within its interiors. The decor suffuses 21st-century sensibilities with enchanting aquatic and oceanic features, creating an atmosphere of refined elegance and cultural reverence.
As we approach the hotel's entrance, a magnificent sight unfolds before us. A grand fountain, aglow in a soothing blue hue, captivates our attention with its intricate carvings of leaping dolphins. The sheer scale of the drop-off area bustling with numerous vehicles awaiting valet service doesn't deter the swift and efficient attention of the valet, who gracefully takes charge of our car and our luggage is promptly whisked away,
Stepping into the understated yet sublime lobby, we are greeted by the breathtaking centerpiece, a colossal blue chandelier that casts a mesmerizing glow throughout the space. The beauty of the setting is enhanced further by an elegant marble staircase situated at the heart of the room, beckoning us to explore what lies beyond on the floors below. As we continue our journey, lilting notes from a talented female pianist resonate in the lounge, creating an atmosphere of refined charm and sophistication, leaving a lasting impression of elegance.
Post a swift check-in, we are ushered in our stunning suite that boasts unobstructed vistas of the Arabian Gulf. The room's color palette, an eclectic fusion of serene brown and pristine white, is tastefully accented with intricate mashrabiya patterns, a nod to the rich cultural heritage of the UAE. Amenities like the marshmallow-soft bed, 65-inch television, and Hermes bathroom amenities take the indulgence factor a notch ahead.
Brownie points to the well-placed light switches on both sides of the bedside. Labeled helpfully with three modes - master, sleep, and read - they enable better control of the room's core functions.
Sun, sea and splendor
We love the fact that an array of recreational facilities abound at the property. The resort has four swimming pools, each catering to different vibes. I couldn't get enough of their exclusive pool—a slick swim-up bar that I reveled in while indulging in some decadent drinks.
For parents seeking a moment of respite, the colorful Rixy Kids Club is a lifesaver as it keeps kids immersed in activities like playing the ball pit, workshops like balloon-twisting and bracelet-making—all under the watchful eye of the staff. Weekly sports activities on offer include CrossFit, Pilates, and Tabata.
At the beach, the attentive staff elevated our experience as they thoughtfully angled the umbrellas to shield us from the sun and brought the drink service right to our loungers, allowing us to savour sorbet sunsets while being lulled by the hypnotic waves.
The food factor
Among the six dining options that Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi has, our favorite culinary experience has to be our meal at People’s restaurant. The soft glow of dimmed lights, the soothing music in the background, and the Mediterranean-inspired decor set the perfect mood for an unforgettable dining experience.
As I settled into my seat, the menu presented an enticing array of dishes, each one promising an explosion of flavors. I opted for the chef's recommended seafood platter—adorned with an assortment of succulent prawns, perfectly grilled calamari, and delicate sea bass that glistened with freshness. And mussels that arrived delightfully tender and brimming with oceanic goodness.
The seafood was masterfully seasoned, allowing each ingredient to shine while complementing one another masterfully. To complete the experience, I paired my meal with a crisp and refreshing white wine, elevating the flavors even further.
Coordinates: Marina Mall Ring Rd, Al Kasir, Al Marina, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
And then, the grand finale— the baklava, a traditional treat infused with Middle Eastern charm, which was served warm and delicately sweet. The flaky layers melted in my mouth, leaving a symphony of flavors lingering on my taste buds, serves a spectacular ending to an incredible dining experience and a dreamy stay that ticked all the boxes with its opulent Turkish flair that is sure to delight.
LF Says: ★★★★