With the scorching summer months finally upon us, last weekend was all about escaping the Dubai desert heat and retreating to the cool confines of Yas Viceroy on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. Not only is the hotel an entertainment centre in itself with a merriment of restaurants, lounges, spas and clubs, the iconic hotel is also just a stone’s throw from an array of attractions including Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Mall, making it the perfect choice for a cool staycation filled with adventure, fun, pampering and dining.
A mere 50 minute drive from Dubai, we made a speedy arrival to the hotel on Friday morning, giving us enough time to make the most of the facilities, room and spa before making our dinner plans for the evening. The first thing people notice about Yas Viceroy is the most difficult to describe: the grid of more than 5,000 glass panels that drapes around the building which during the day reflect the sky and at night, lights up with thousands of LED lights. Modelled after a fishing net (but also looking like a Venus Razor from above), the exteriors set a high standard for the cool, tech savvy interiors that follow.
After a swift check-in, we were escorted to our Marina Deluxe Room complete with wonderful views of the marina and F1 race track. The room featured huge floor-to-ceiling windows, and measured 581 square feet or 54 square meters and came with all the needs and desires of any tech-savvy traveller including free wifi, a TV full of ready-to-watch channels and lots of space to work, or lounge. It was also easily compartmentalised, with sliding doors making it easy to segment off different parts if the room. The bathroom had the same modern vibe. The rest of the room was what I would describe as ‘wipe down’ with fleeting soft furnishings, larger clear services and a carpet-less floor – perfect for the modern bleisure traveller.
From our room, we headed straight for the pool, ready for few hours of reading in the water. There are two pools at Yas Viceroy, one in the main hotel, and one across the bridge in the Marina wing of the hotel. The pool in the main part of the hotel (which is on the 9th floor next to Skylite) is the most shaded and great for families! However, as you can imagine, it’s not so great for a quiet few hours with a book. The adult pool (as I now call it) however is much more sophisticated. The pool is on the roof (8th floor) of the Marina wing with plenty of sun, a full stocked bar and most importantly, well away from screeching children. The fabulous ESPA is also in the Marina wing and has nine treatment rooms, separate private areas for male and female guests, a relaxation lounge overlooking the Yas Marina race track, plus the Viceroy Presidential Treatment Suite featuring its own hammam, steam room with a rain shower and colour therapy, and Kinesis fitness equipment.
However the best thing about this hotel is the vast amount of different cuisines on offer spanning the world from Chinese to Arabic and international. My favourite, Kazu, offers a true taste of Japan and is a place where you can discover tasty delights created by the hotel’s Teppanyaki and sushi chefs as well as indulge in a mouth-watering selection from the robatayaki grill. With a dedicated sushi and sashimi bar, a tempura station as well as sake experts to recommend the perfect accompaniment to your meal, Kazu is a Japanese restaurant unlike any other in Abu Dhabi (well in my personal opinion anyway!). As well as Japanese, there is also Origins (the all day dining), Amici (Italian), Angar (Indian), Atayeb (Arabic), Noodle Box (Chinese) and Latitude and Longitude, the bars that accompany the pools. The hotel also has another cracking bar, Skylite, Abu Dhabi’s most stylish urban roof deck, complete with a sensational light-filled canopy, resident DJ playing commercial house music and fantastic cocktails. There is also the possibility of partying after hours with Rush Nightclub which hosts weekly events with popular local DJs.
A great summer staycation for those looking to beat the heat during the sizzling summer months. For some brilliant summer deals, be sure to visit the Yas Viceroy website for further information.