Updated on October 27, 2015
Abu Dhabi, UAE
After checking in at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Monday night I knew that we had two full days in Abu Dhabi to see as much as we could! However, we were also on our honeymoon and wanted to relax a bit. Hopefully everyone got the Aladdin reference in the title 😉
The trip so far is below:
Park Hyatt Honeymoon Trip Report:
So here is what we packed into our 2 days (3 nights) in Abu Dhabi!
Our first day we wanted to relax a bit and enjoy the beautiful sunshine so we decided to spend the morning and hours around lunch time laying out by the pool. As I talk about in my Hotel Review, there are tons of great areas to lay out around the many pools at the Park Hyatt and a beautiful beach with a large seating area.
It was of course really hot while we were there but out on Saadiyat Island where the Park Hyatt is there was at least a breeze which made it a little cooler than in the city.
After a great morning by the pool and lunch at The Beach House it was time to see some of the city. Our stop that evening? Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque!
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
This is an absolute MUST SEE on any trip to Abu Dhabi. To say that it is an impressive structure is an understatement.
From the Park Hyatt is was about a $15-20 cab ride each way for both of us to get to and from the Mosque, which I didn’t find that bad since it took about 25-30 min to get there. Our hotel was a bit out of the city so other hotel locations could be closer and cheaper. For example, the Ritz Carlton is right across the street from the Mosque.
When in public in Abu Dhabi men and women need to make sure their knees and shoulders are covered which isn’t hard with a shirt and some long pants or a skirt. However, at the Mosque the rules for men are the same but women must have there full arms and legs covered as well as their head. On their website they list: “ALL women will be asked to wear a traditional robe (abaya) and headscarf (shayla) before entering the mosque. Guests may wear their own, however, must be closed (not open abayas) and non-transparent.”
If men or women aren’t dressed appropriately they will provide rentals of traditional Muslim dress for free. You simply need to leave your ID – which you will get back when you return the proper attire. We rented one of these for Katie.
The Grand Mosque is truly stunning inside and out but after walking around outside in the 105 degree heat it was really nice to see the beautiful interior where your shoes must be removed and there is AIR CONDITIONING 😉
The inside was expansive with huge chandeliers, gold and ornate decorations as well as some really soft carpet on our shoeless feet. We walked around more after leaving the inside however, with the heat as bad as it was, Katie felt like she was going to burst into flames in the polyester garb she was wearing.
When it was time to leave there was a whole line of taxis ready to take us back to our hotel for the same $15-20. Now that I have seen it during the day, if I am ever back here I think I would come in the evening as I have seen some amazing pictures at night and it is likely a bit cooler.
Dune Bashing, Camel Riding and Sandboarding
After an awesome day at the Grand Mosque, the next day we had planned a trip out to the desert for some dune bashing, camel riding and sand boarding! We booked our trip through Abu Dhabi Desert Safari and did a morning trip. They offer morning and evening excursion but we wanted to do a morning trip because it was shorter and we had some plans for the afternoon/evening. The evening excursions offer dancing and dinner but we weren’t interested. However, there weren’t any other people doing morning trips so we had to book a private car, which ended up being great as we had the entire car to ourselves and we were able to pick how long we wanted to do each activity.
We had been picked up from our hotel around 8am and returned there around 1pm which was perfect since we had plans for tea at 3pm. Our guide was really great and accommodating. Although the private car was more expensive compared to the price of the evening tour, I thought it was well worth it to have the entire car and place to ourselves!
High Tea at Emirates Palace
After returning from our trip to the desert we rested for a bit and then took a cab down into the city to The Emirates Palace Hotel!
This is one of the most luxurious hotels in Abu Dhabi, describing itself as “Beyond 5 star luxury” and is in and of itself a tourist attraction. They offer High Tea here at Le Cafe each day from 2pm-6pm. You can choose between Traditional Afternoon Tea and Emirates Palace Afternoon Tea. They include slightly different pastries and are around the same price with the Emirates Tea costing $65 and Traditional $5 more. One nice thing is that all reservations can be done by email making it really easy.
We ordered the Emirates Tea which includes hot beverages for both of us and a TON of food. Mezzeh, sandwiches, scones and other pastries, finished off with 23 Karat Chocolate fondants! I ordered an Emirates Palace Cappuccino (with REAL GOLD flakes) and Katie ordered some tea. There is no need to order more than 1 of these Tea packages for 2 people and it was really nice of them to inform me of this when I emailed them.
There was so much food we couldn’t possibly finish it all and this ended up being our lunch AND dinner. The food was delicious and the service was impeccable. And SO MUCH GOLD!
After we were done I decided I had to try their Camelchino made with camel milk! I am really glad I tried it but I definitely prefer the Emirates Palace Cappuccino.
After tea we walked around a bit and saw that the hotel has a whole shopping area and an art exhibit. To go along with the luxury of this place there was a piano player in the lobby as well as a GOLD ATM Machine! Yes, an ATM that dispenses gold!
Then it was time to head back before heading to the Maldives!
We had a great two days in Abu Dhabi and really saw a lot! With that being said we did not see one of the famous huge malls or much of the downtown so one more day probably would have been best.
When headed to Abu Dhabi these above excursions are MUST DOs!
UP Next: Etihad Premium Lounge in Abu Dhabi Airport and off to the Maldives!