What happens when you combine Abu Dhabi with a Shangri-La? Pure, luxurious bliss! We stayed at the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, during our recent trip to the United Arab Emirates and this article is going to detail my experience.
If you are considering reserving a stay at this beachfront resort, my review will tell you exactly what to expect and whether the Shangri-La is worth it. Spoiler alert: It really does! Read along to find out why Shangri-La Abu Dhabi quickly became one of my favorite hotels I’ve ever stayed in.
*Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link. Please note that we were invited to stay at Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.*
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Table of Contents
Arriving at Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi
The Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, is located in the Al Maqta’ district within the Qaryat Al Beri complex. It is set upon a one-kilometer (0.6 miles) stretch of private beach overlooking the strait that divides the mainland and Abu Dhabi Island.
This area is a 30-minute drive from Corniche Road so it benefits from peaceful surroundings. You can opt to rent a car to get around and benefit from complimentary parking at the hotel or use public transport. A bus connects Qaryat Al Beri with the Corniche and downtown.
On the plus side, the Grand Masjid and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque are only a 10-minute drive away, such as Wahat al Karama, one of my favorite photography spots in Abu Dhabi.
The Shangri-La Abu Dhabi is a 15-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport and you can hail a taxi at the arrivals terminal. Alternatively, you can arrange a limousine service with the hotel. This costs 275 AED ($75 US) each way.
If you are traveling to Abu Dhabi from Dubai, it takes 1-1.5 hours to drive from downtown.
Lobby & Check-in Process
A decadent lobby with a huge chandelier and an elaborate staircase awaits you. Staff will give you a warm welcome and offer Arabic coffee and dates on arrival. They were attentive throughout our stay and always willing to help when we needed support.
Although not mandatory, it’s useful to download the Shangri-La app which lets you check in while you’re in the taxi from the airport. Check-in at the Shangri-La Abu Dhabi is at 2 pm while check-out is at 12 pm.
Rooms & Suites
The Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, consists of 213 guest rooms. Furthermore, there are 161 family villas and apartments in the Shangri-La Residences portfolio.
As a 5-star luxury hotel, all units are lavished with quality furnishings and essential amenities to ensure that you have a comfortable and pleasant stay. They are kitted out with authentic Arabian architecture and private balconies or terraces that offer either a canal or garden view.
We stayed in a Club Horizon Deluxe Room for two nights. This large space contained a huge king-size bed, an entertainment zone with LCD TV and an iPod docking station, a writing desk, and a seating area.
Our private balcony looked out over the Khor Al Maqta canal and was a highlight of the room. The balcony also provided an incredible view over the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque which was a sight to behold both during the day and the night.
The Arabesque-style room was affixed to a generously sized marble bathroom with mosaic tiling, a walk-in rainfall shower, and a deep bathtub.
This room also came with the added perk of a dedicated Club Concierge and access to the Horizon Club Lounge.
Service & Facilities
The Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, features both a family pool and an adults-only pool.
The main pool is the main selling point of the hotel as it offers views of the Grand Mosque across the canal. It juts out far over the water and features an infinity edge.
As you can no doubt imagine, the possibilities for photography are endless! Try and catch a sunrise at the pool as well as a sunset – you won’t regret it.
There are cabanas and loungers aplenty dotted around the pool if you want to indulge in an afternoon pick me up at the poolside.
Besides the pool, the resort also features a one-kilometer stretch of pristine beach. This is accessible from the pool complex and features loungers and parasols.
If you’re visiting the hotel for a special occassion, you can even ask the staff to set up a private dinner on the beach for you. Such a magical experience!
The adults-only pool is located on the rooftop of CHI, the Spa. This full-service spa is open daily, 10 am – 12 am. Aside from the pool, sauna, and steam room, the spa menu consists of massages, facials, manicures, and hammam rituals.
The fitness suite at the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri features a gym, lap pool, and a yoga room. Classes include yoga, pilates, boxing, Zumba, and cycling. Unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to try the Health Club but if you’re planning to do a little workout while you’re staying at the hotel, definitely check it out.
The hotel offers complimentary Abra rides to the Souk Qaryat Al Beri. We also took a tour in this traditional boat so that we could learn about the hotel’s architecture and location. Needless to say, it was absolutely amazing!
The Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri is fitted out with 7 dining destinations and it’s also possible to dine in your own room if you wish.
We decided to take the first morning easy and ordered breakfast to the room. The ordering process was smooth and easy: all I had to do was to scan the QR code provided in the room and I could order everything online.
Since we had an amazing view from our room, we just simply couldn’t pass on having a breakfast on the balcony! It was the perfect start to our morning.
For our second breakfast, we went to the typical breakfast venue, Sofra bld. This comprises a massive buffet where you can sample the classic Middle Eastern breakfast delights alongside international staples.
If you book a Horizon Club room then your breakfast is included. Otherwise, the cost of the Daily Buffet Breakfast is 142 AED ($38 US) and it is inclusive of hot drinks, fresh juices, service charges, and taxes.
Restaurants & Bars
Since our room came with access to Horizon Club, we took advantage of the opportunity and visited the lounge a couple of times during our stay.
This lounge is located on the rooftop and provides incredible views of the Khor Al Maqta waterway and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It has both indoor seating and outdoor tables available at the balcony so it’s perfect in any weather conditions.
Horizon Club is open from noon until late night and it’s the perfect place for an afternoon coffee or some evening cocktails. They also have a small buffet consisting pastries, sweets and fruits if you get hungry.
It’s important to note that access is only available if you book a Horizon Club Room so make sure you book accordingly if you want to visit the lounge.
On our first evening we dined at Shang Palace, the hotel’s signature restaurant. This is an upscale Chinese restaurant located on the hotel property with dishes ranging from dim sum to Peking duck.
We chose the Signature Dim Sum Selection as a starter that consisted of lobster dumplings with caviar, chicken & shrimp dumplings with teriyaki eel, and crab meat dumplings with green chives, 2 pieces each.
For the mains, we sampled the Signature Udon Noodles with XO Sauce and the Traditional Beef Noodle Soup. Although we were already pretty full, we couldn’t resist ordering some desserts and we picked the Chilled Fresh Mango Soup and the Chocolate Dream “Beijing Mask”.
Thanks to the traditional rotating Chinese dining tables in the restaurant, we were able to share everything so both of us were able to try every dish. Needless to say, everything was delicious but the desserts really stole the show, especially the mango soup!
For the second and final night of our stay, we actually returned to Sofra bld to sample their famous International Dinner Buffet. This is only available on select nights: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Food is available between 6 pm – 11 pm and it costs 220 AED ($60 US) per person. Drinks are priced separately. Although the selection is huge and everyone will find their favorites, if you have to choose, I would recommend Shang Palace over Sofra bld.
The Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi more than exceeded our expectations. If you’re seeking a luxurious place to stay in Abu Dhabi then you can check into the Shangri-La and know that you’re in good hands.
We had tonnes of space in the room and appreciated the impeccable attention to quality and service in the decor and furnishings. The food scene was simply mindblowing and the views from the property are unbeatable. Check the latest prices and availability here!
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What Camera Gear Do We Use?
- Camera body: Sony Alpha 7 IV
- Standard zoom lens: TAMRON 28-75 mm f/2.8
- Wide angle lens: Sony FE 16-35mm f/4
- Telephoto lens: TAMRON 70-180 mm f/2.8
- Drone: DJI Mini 3 Pro
- GoPro: GoPro Hero 7
- Camera Bag: Peak Design Everyday Totepack
- Tripod: Manfrotto Compact Action
If you want to read more about what is in our camera bag, check out my detailed post about our travel photography gear!