What Are Five of The Best Hotels in Abu Dhabi?

A thriving metropolis located on a small island just off the southern coast of the Persian Gulf, Abu Dhabi is one of the new centers of international business. One century ago, this great city was a mere fishing village whose residents relied upon the sea for their sustenance. Today, it relies upon its vast reserves of petroleum and the great riches that have come along with them.

The capital of the United Arab Emirates is now one of the richest cities in the world, and its great wealth is reflected in its wide variety of comfortable and lush hotels. It may, in fact, be difficult for the traveler unfamiliar with this city to find affordable lodging because of the city’s emphasis on luxury. As Abu Dhabi has opened up to western tourism, however, relatively inexpensive hotels with excellent service have begun to appear around the city. Here are just a few of the best hotels Abu Dhabi has to offer.

1) Cristal Salam Hotel

Travelers who are on a budget might be nervous about booking a room in the famously expensive city. However, there are relatively cheap options, and the best of these is the Cristal Salam Hotel. Located in the bustling eastern neighborhood of Madinat Zayed, a mere ten-minute drive from the center of the city, the Cristal Salam offers travelers top-rated service, excellent rooms, and a central location.

Rates for a room at the Cristal Salam Hotel start at around $60 per night. Few other hotels in Abu Dhabi feature similarly low rates, and none of those hotels offer the same kind of service as does the Cristal Salam. For these reasons, the Cristal Salam Hotel is very popular with tourists, so be sure to book early to ensure inexpensive lodging in the city.

2) Beach Rotana

Another hotel on the eastern end of Abu Dhabi, the Beach Rotana is a great choice for travelers who want the convenience of easy access to the beach without having to leave their hotel. The Beach Rotana offers both great service and direct access to the beach, which also includes beachside bars and pools. Popular restaurants at the Rotana include Indigo, a “modern Indian” restaurant; Trader Vic’s, a French Polynesian restaurant; and the internationally known Japanese steakhouse chain Benihana.

Rooms at the Rotana let out for about $100 per night and up, but special deals are frequently available. Even at the regular rate, however, a room at the Rotana is more than worth it – visitors have easy access to both the beach and Abu Dhabi Mall, a massive retail center in the eastern Madinat Zayed district of the city. Lovers of suntanning, swimming, and shopping can’t ask for anything more out of a hotel.

3) Hilton Abu Dhabi

For those tourists who want to stick with the tried and true, the Hilton Abu Dhabi might be the best choice available. The Hilton features excellent service, well-maintained and luxurious rooms, a beautiful view of the wealthy west end of the city, and great restaurants and bars. Travelers staying at the Hilton shouldn’t miss out on Hemingway’s, a restaurant and bar featuring a Middle Eastern take on Tex-Mex cuisine and live music. Attached to Hemingway’s is the Jazz Bar & Club, a popular meeting place for tourists and resident expatriates alike.

The Hilton is located on the southwestern end of Abu Dhabi Island, about fifteen minutes away from the city center by car. Rates for a room at the Hilton are fairly reasonable, beginning at around $120 per night.

4) Jumeirah at Etihad Towers

Etihad Towers is a massive office, residence, and hotel complex in the west of Abu Dhabi. Developed by royal family member Sheikh Suroor Bin Mohammad Al-Nahyan and built by Australian architectural firm DBI Design, these five giant towers loom over Abu Dhabi, dwarfed only by the 74-story Sky Tower located on the other end of the city. Etihad Towers offers more than simple height, however – it also contains the Jumeirah, a top-rated five star hotel. The Jumeirah occupies one of the five towers and features luxurious rooms, excellent dining, and the best views to be had anywhere in Abu Dhabi. Visitors staying in Abu Dhabi for business purposes can take advantage of one of the thirteen meeting rooms available in the Jumeirah’s conference center. The hotel’s restaurant fare, which includes Lebanese, Japanese, and everything in between, stands up to the best food this city has to offer.

Naturally, the Jumeirah’s luxury comes at a price. Rooms at the Jumeirah start at $200 per night. However, if you can afford the stay, the cost is well worth it, if only for the amazing view.

5) Emirates Palace

The undisputed champion in the fields of luxury and pure, unabashed decadence – this title is won handily by Emirates Palace, a hotel in the western Al-Ras Al-Akhdar district of Abu Dhabi. To simply call Emirates Palace a “hotel” is not doing it justice, however. This 85-hectare complex features stunning gardens and plazas. The hotel building itself truly is a palace – the interiors of its vast lobby and halls are decorated in gold, and the exterior gives off a Middle Eastern fairy tale feel, as though the entire structure had been pulled right out of the One Thousand and One Nights.

Some of the Palace’s astounding features include a beautifully-maintained 1.3 kilometer stretch of private beach, forty conference rooms for visitors in Abu Dhabi on business, and a wide variety of international cuisine. Etoiles Bar and Havana Bar are popular get-together spots for expatriates who don’t mind dropping 30 dirhams ($8) on a beer, and the lobby itself features a cafe service for both guests and non-guest visitors. One of the cafe’s most popular items is the 24-karat gold-topped cappuccino, which is a normal cappuccino sprinkled with real gold dust.

Emirates Palace is, hands down, the most expensive hotel in Abu Dhabi, with rooms starting at $400 per night and quickly rising to $2,000 for the deluxe suites. Fortunately for those travelers who want a taste of extreme luxury at the Palace but can’t afford a room, the hotel’s lobby and restaurants are open to the public. Indeed, Emirates Palace is one of the top tourist destinations in the city, and for good reason. Nowhere is the sheer wealth of Abu Dhabi more overtly displayed than at this incredibly luxurious hotel.

Hotel Restaurants – Where Good Food is Just the Beginning

There’s no denying that the perfect complement to a great hotel is a great restaurant – one in which mouth-watering food delights the palate, stunning city or ocean views please the eyes, and a pleasant atmosphere makes you feel right at home from the moment you set foot inside. Whether traveling for business or leisure, some travelers opt to venture beyond the property come breakfast, lunch or dinner time. But why leave the premises when good food and service are mere footsteps away? Below you’ll find a sampling of hot dining spots in select properties, chosen not only for their delectable fare but also for the comfortable ambiance, impressive decor and unobstructed views that have earned them high marks among travel mavens and restaurant critics alike.

New York – Top of the Tower Restaurant: Prepare to be swept away by a majestic New York skyline while at this rooftop restaurant inside the historic Beekman Tower Hotel – a perfect choice for fans of Art Deco architecture. Located on the 26th floor, the hotel’s menu features small plates such as Seared Sea Scallops and Crispy Calamari as well as big dishes including Oven Roasted Chicken paired with mashed potatoes. Open for breakfast and dinner daily, the restaurant’s inviting ambiance makes it a popular meeting spot among vacationing couples and business travelers alike. What’s more, excellent service provided by the restaurant staff tops off what many call the perfect New York City dining experience.

Orlando – The Plantation Room: What could top a Four Diamond hotel chock full of great amenities including a lakeside outdoor pool, Grand Bohemian Gallery and evening entertainment? One that has a Four Diamond restaurant, of course, like the boutique Celebration Hotel nestled in the heart of Celebration. Featuring hand-cut Stock Yars Angus Beef steaks and premium cuts of pork, all cooked under the watchful and expert eye of Executive Chef Zach Martin, The Plantation Room is nothing short of a meat lover’s paradise. Delectable steakhouse salads and Florida seafood entrees round out the contemporary menu, and guests can also take advantage of the restaurant’s eclectic wine list.

Las Vegas – Top of the World Restaurant: Ever thought about elevating your taste buds while you yourself are elevated 800 feet above the ground? That might seem a bit far-fetched, but not if you happen to stop by Stratosphere Casino, Hotel and Towers’ Top of the World Restaurant. Awarded “Best Gourmet Room” by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the restaurant revolves 360ยบ every 80 minutes, ensuring you take in picturesque views of Vegas, the Strip and the surrounding valley. From savory steaks and mouth-watering seafood to a wide assortment of delicious desserts including Banana Bread Pudding, this restaurant is a can’t-miss stop on the Strip. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for lunch.

Boston – Meritage: The 5-star Boston Harbor Hotel’s location overlooking historic Boston Harbor at Rowes Wharf makes it a great place to relish expansive water views. But at Meritage The Restaurant, that’s not all travelers enjoy – let alone those with discriminating palates. Chef Daniel Bruce has perfected the art of seamlessly pairing the flavors infused in his cuisine with those found in hundreds of fine wines. Try delicious Caviar Topped Island Creek Oysters, or indulge in Pan Seared Diver Sea Scallops. Meritage was given the “Best in Service” distinction by Boston Globe Magazine (2007), named “Boston’s Best Romantic Restaurant” by The Improper Bostonian (2006), and rated #1 for Best Waterfront Dining by Citysearch (2005). Accolades racked up by this fine hotel go on and on.

Los Angeles – WEST Restaurant & Lounge: Housed inside Los Angeles’ Hotel Angeleno, set at the crossroads of Brentwood and Bel-Air, WEST offers a great spot to mingle with friends or convene with co-workers following a day spent shopping or in meetings. Open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday, and for dinner Monday through Sunday, the restaurant features a diverse range of lively music, from contemporary jazz to funk. The dining room has sophisticated lighting and comes furnished with lavish banquettes and marble tables. Pair your entree – prime dry age steaks and traditional pastas are guest favorites here – with a glass of Italian or California wine while soaking up panoramic views of Los Angeles through floor-to-ceiling windows. Should you need it, WEST features more than 2,800 square feet of private reception and meeting space.

Whether you’re looking to start your day off right with a buffet breakfast, fuel up at lunch time, or wine and dine with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day while staring into a perfect sunset, hotels are home to some of the finest restaurants out there. So next time you’re craving a good meal, don’t be so quick to look beyond the walls of your hotel; a gastronomic gem could be just a few floors down – or up!

5 Tips to Choose the Best Restaurants in San Antonio

When you are trying to choose a restaurant in San Antonio, there are many items to take into consideration.

1. Money. The first thing to consider is your budget. Many restaurants have their menus online. If you cannot find an online menu, call the restaurant and ask them to send you one or ask them what is the price of the median and highest priced entrees. Keeping your budget in mind, you will be able to find a very reasonably priced pizza place to a very exquisite (and expensive) steak and seafood restaurant.

Check out the Dough Pizzeria Napolentana. This local pizzeria will satisfy any pizza aficionado.

In the mood for steak and seafood? Stop by Kirby’s Steakhouse for an elegant dining experience.

2. Type of Food. Next, consider the type of food you’re in the mood for. Although some of the best restaurants in San Antonio offer Mexican or Tex-Mex, there are many different types of foods. You have a wide variety to choose from.

Mi Tierra Restaurant and Bakery is located on Produce Row and is sure to please even the most difficult to satisfy Mexican food lover.

3. Resources to Find the Best Restaurants in San Antonio. How do you find the best restaurants in San Antonio? You can go online, use social media, talk to family and friends, or visit the local Chamber of Commerce. After you determine how much money you are willing to spend and the type of food you want to eat, you can narrow your choices down by perusing the information you have researched.

Food critics can also be a great source of information. You can bet the food critics have visited the best restaurants in San Antonio and have written reviews either on their blogs or websites about their experiences. The food critic’s review can be invaluable. They not only critique the food and drinks, they also will give their opinion about the staff. You can learn whether or not the staff is knowledgeable about the menu, the way the food is prepared, if the staff is educated to suggest wine pairings with certain food items, etc.

4. Purpose. Why are you going out to eat? If you are trying to impress an important client or taking your spouse out for a special dinner, you might want to consider one of the more upscale restaurants. In this case, as a hotel concierge. They are familiar with the area and will help you choose one of the best restaurants in San Antonio.

5. Kid-Friendly? Call restaurants and ask them if they are kid-friendly. If you have small children, it’s a good idea to go out to eat early, usually before 6 o’clock since most restaurants are busy between six and eight. Many people dismiss the idea of eating at a nice restaurant because they have small children. However, you can dine at one of the best restaurants in San Antonio if you go during a time that will not disrupt the other diners.