My hubby and I decided to spend Christmas and New Years visiting family in Abu Dhabi. Having visited before it meant this time we got to just do the fun stuff, no need to do the obligatory touristy bits.
We started by staying in the magnificent Shangri-La hotel, in order to give my brother-in-law and sister-in-law precious time with our niece for Christmas morning.
Being predominantly an Islamic country, one thought that crossed my mind before our holiday was ‘I wonder if they will do much for Christmas in the UAE’. I thought perhaps there wouldn’t be as much decorations, festive tunes etc.
How wrong I was….
Decorations in the hotel were gorgeous.
They even had a gingerbread house.
The Shangri-La is connected to a souk (Arabian market) by a winding waterway which you travel through on an Abra, which is a traditional Arabic boat….like a mini Venice of the Middle East.
The hotel has two pools so the first day we headed to the one by the beach, however later that day we discovered the secret pool. OK so it wasn’t actually secret but as it was less known about it felt like it was and we pretended it was our private pool.
The staff are so lovely, they provide you with fresh towels and a constant supply of water (a must for me) always with a friendly smile.
There are most cuisines available throughout the UAE and the same applies at the Shangri-La. After relaxing by the pool we decided to go for a ‘light lunch’, problem is that we love food too much and were as always swayed by the thought of yummy food so perhaps over-ordered somewhat.
We had dinner one night at Ushna, Indian restaurant in the souk, which overlooks the grand mosque lit up at night.
Our other night there we ate at Hoi An in the hotel, we started outside which was pretty dead so as soon as a table freed up inside we moved in and the change in atmosphere was amazing, so warm and lively.
I didn’t realise my fish was going to be presented on a bed of rice, if I knew I probably wouldn’t have ordered the ‘side’ of noodles..
Santa even popped by!
We had a brilliant stay at the Shangri-La, lovely room, amazing views, great pool, yummy food and to top it off we received a Christmas stocking full of treats. Such a nice touch and couldn’t have been cheap when they have hundreds of rooms.
More on my stay in the UAE to follow.
Have you visited Shangri-La Abu Dhabi or any others?