Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana [Hotel Review]

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Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana is a 5-star hotel located in Abu Dhabi’s Corniche area. It’s adjacent to the Presidential Palace and has its own private beach, but what’s even more great about the location is that its all the way at the end of Corniche, past Emirates Palace, so your not in the midst of traffic. We were set to stay for a 2-night and 3-day stay at the lovely hotel.

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The design and decor of the hotel lobby is very beautiful and opulent. We saw the pool from the lobby area and it looked incredible. The lobby has a lot of seating space, and a cafe. Since it was the weekend, the hotel did seem quite busy, but the pool thankfully didn’t seem like it was overpacked.

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Check-in was quite smooth. They explained that they prepared a room for us that was partial city view and partial sea view.

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After all of the formalities, we were given the key to our room on the 7th floor. Our room was very spacious. The main area consisted of a large king-size bed (which was really comfy, by the way!), two arm chairs and coffee table, and a built-in desk.

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The bathroom was also very roomy, with a stand-alone shower, large bathtub and a sink with a spacious countertop. The bath products were all Rotana-brand and they provided soaps, bath gel, shampoo and conditioner.

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The closet, which is in the hallway, was also roomy enough for a weekend stay worth of clothes. In it is a safe to keep your belongings, an iron and ironing board, as well as a bathrobe, and a new pair of house slippers. In that same area there is a kettle with complimentary tea, Nescafe coffee packets, sugar and creamers. The mini fridge located below this was left empty, so you can easily store any leftover take away or anything else you may need during your stay.

We stayed in the Classic Room, but there are many other rooms to choose from, you can take a look at them here.

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Our view was a lot more city view than sea view, and it was a beautiful view that looked over past luscious green grounds of Emirates Palace, and we could even see the Marina Mall tower and ferris wheel.

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After getting acquainted with the room, putting our things away, and registering for internet access, we headed downstairs to take a stroll through the hotel.

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The pool is absolutely incredible, and we were informed that it is considered to be one of the largest pools in the city of Abu Dhabi. There are many different sections to it, and its separated by bridges. There’s even a shallow area just for kids. Surrounding the enormous pool is plenty of seating. On the other side of the pool, there is a strip of sandy beach. What’s really great about this beach is that it’s really quite private unlike most of the beaches in the city of Abu Dhabi.

We turned in early that night, and also woke up early for breakfast the next day.

Day 2

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Breakfast is served at Horizon Restaurant, which is the all day dining venue at the hotel. It’s conveniently located in the lobby area. Different types of breakfast foods are displayed buffet style, with mains including scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, as well as many other simple yet wholesome breakfast choices. There’s a live cooking station for omelettes, a section for pancakes and waffles, a cold appetizer area for things like cheese and Arabic style starters. There’s also a a large variety of fruits as well. Hot drinks like coffee and tea are made to order. I started my day off with a delicious caffe latte and waffles. The service is quick and friendly.

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After a light breakfast, we went upstairs to relax in the room since Khalifa is pretty keen on having his morning nap. My husband had to run a few errands and by the time he got back it was already time for brunch! Although brunch is served at the same place that breakfast is, Horizon Restaurant, the whole restaurant and menu transforms into a very lively affair. Read about our brunch experience at Horizon here: Friday Brunch at Horizon, Khalidiya Palace.

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Brunch was very filling and we decided to spend the rest of the day lazing around by the pool. The pool at Khalidiya Palace really is one of the best pools in the city! It’s a huge pool, so you don’t feel crowded in, the temperature is kept perfectly warm and its very family-friendly. And in case your kids aren’t big on swimming, there’s a supervised indoor play area for them to enjoy! We didn’t really get a chance to hang out at the beach, but it seemed like such a great place to lay down and tan as you listen to the light waves crashing near you.

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After literally hours of playing in the pool, we went upstairs to wash and freshen up. Little Khalifa was so exhausted from playing in the water all day that he fell asleep. I took advantage of this and made my self a luscious foam bath. The bathtub was so relaxing!

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Soon it was time for our dinner reservation at the Arabic Restaurant, Kamoon. This restaurant quickly became one of my favorite Arabic restaurants in Abu Dhabi, and I would highly recommend it if your craving Arabic food– plus it’s got a gorgeous outdoor seating area! Here is the full review for our experience at the restaurant: Dinner at Kamoon, Khalidiya Palace. The chef here is really a star, and you can take a look at his interview here.

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After dinner we headed up for a night of rest.

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Day 3

The next morning, we took our time waking up and went down to breakfast closer to the time that it was going to close. Surprisingly, the service was just as good as it was the first day, and they didn’t rush us at all, even though we were a bit late. The staff at the restaurant are super friendly, and knowing that little Khalifa loves french fries (because we ordered that for him the day before), they brought out a plate of fries for him, which I think is very thoughtful of them. I opted for something a bit heavier than yesterday’s breakfast– I had scrambled eggs and sausages, as well as fruits and of course, my mandatory pick-me-up, a caffe latte.

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After breakfast my husband was scheduled for a massage at the Wellness and Massage center located in the hotel, so Khalifa and I hung out in the lobby where there is free wifi, so that I could go through my never-ending list of emails, and Khalifa could be occupied as he watched his favorite YouTube kid’s show on my phone. Now, the rooms do have paid wifi available, but the lobby has fast and free wifi.

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After my husband was done with his massage, it was my turn and in all honesty, the masseuses here are so well-trained and incredible at their job that it really is one of the best massages I’ve gotten in a while, and possibly the best massage and spa I’ve been to in Abu Dhabi. Check out a list of their treatments here.  Read the full review here: Massage at Khalidiya Palace.

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After my massage, I went up to pack our stuff and we were soon on our way out. Check out was easy, and we were on our way home!

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Back at home the next day, I realized that I had left my phone charger at the hotel and when I called the lost and found at the hotel, they informed me that they would keep it for me until I could pick it. I really appreciated that because I have had experiences where I left things behind at other hotels and they never seemed to be able to find it.

I would recommend this hotel especially to families, since there are so many activities to keep you busy, parents and kids alike. The fact that its a dry hotel also really appeals to me, and makes it that much more family-friendly.

Speaking of family-friendly, there are many festive things going on at the hotel during the holidays including a Tree Lighting Ceremony, Gingerbread House, Christmas and New Year’s meals, take-away meals for your at-home holiday parties, and even promotions and gifts at the Wellness and Massage Center! You can check out the different activities here and join in on the fun!

The price for one night is around 780 Dhs (November 2015). 

Ratings (0-5): 

  • Location: 5
  • Hotel Ambience: 4.5
  • Staff (Friendliness and Helpfulness): 5 
  • Rooms: 4
  • Room/Bath Products Provided: 3
  • In-Room WiFi: 2 (Chargeable at 95 Dhs/Day and Not Fast) 
  • Amenities: 5
  • Housekeeping: 4
  • Value for money: 4

Overall Rating: 4

To book at Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, call +971 (0) 2 657 0000. 

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