Inside Abu Dhabi’s first Rocco Forte luxury hotel
The plush 281-room hotel is the European hotel chain's first property in the Middle East
The Rocco Forte hotel, due to open November 7, is the first hotel in the Middle East from the luxury European hotel brand Rocco Forte Hotels. Now open for bookings, the visually striking, glass, wave-shaped hotel is set to be a new urban landmark in the emirate. Designed by WS Atkins and Partners, the eleven-storey curved glass structure with green and blue glass panels is meant to reflect the colours of the Arabian Sea. It was developed by UAE’s Al Farida Investments Company in conjunction with Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), and as such has been conveniently located close to the downtown area, the exhibition centre and Yas Island. Olga Polizzi and KCA International, were responsible for the hotel's interior design. The lobby in particular is moden and unique, and recognisable due to its winding glass staircase. The aim during the design process was to blend European and Middle Eastern styles, to create a look that was sophisticated but attentive to detail. Designed with the business traveller in mind, the hotel has a dedicated executive floor and lounge, seven meeting rooms, and a ballroom which can accommodate 500 seated guests and a VIP majlis. Situated in the heart of Abu Dhabi, it also is within easy reach of key business destinations, including the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre and the airport. Bedrooms are generously proportioned, and each has a large curved glass window. Furniture and contemporary Arab artwork, including framed poetry by Maqamat Adonis, maintains the Arabic feel. All 249 guest rooms aim to give a luxurious feel, with a range of complimentary services and facilities, as well as interconnecting rooms available upon request. Bathrooms are tiled with marble and limestone. Each has the Arabic expression: ‘May it rain on our desert’ أمطر على صحرائنا etched above the bathtub. For the ultimate Rocco Forte experience, the hotel has created Presidential and Royal Suites, complete with butler service, coffee machines and even iPod docking stations. Topping the luxury scale, the suites also each have their own private bar and terrace included. For entertainment, guests will have the choice of four restaurants, two bars. A third bar will open in December. One of the venues is the stylish cocktail bar known as Blue Bar, located in the suspended sixth floor of an eleven-storey glass atrium, offering views of the city. Latin-American-inspired bar, Noche will be complete with South–American music and international DJ sets. Other restaurants and bars include The Oceana Grill, a speciality seafood restaurant; Rouge, serving contemporary Japanese and Chinese cuisine; Brown’s Tea Lounge, with an all day menu; and Oro Italian restaurant, designed by Martin Brudnizki. For relaxation, there is a luxurious 2,000sqm spa with separate male and female facilities, indoor swimming pool, traditional wet and dry Hammam, fully-equipped gymnasium, 15 treatment rooms and a yoga/pilates studio. The hotel also has a 25m outdoor swimming pool, Pool Bar and extensive pool terrace.