Staycation: Al Maha Arjaan Rotana, Abu Dhabi

Some time in July (2015) we decided to go visit the capital, Abu Dhabi. It was a long weekend because of the Eid holidays so we had time to burn. We wanted to have the  usual staycation but Dubai hotels are super expensive during this time and they were all fully booked by the time we were able to confirm our days off. 

So, a trip to Abu Dhabi happened. To be honest, we were on a budget so a resort hotel was out of the question. We decided to stay at Al Maha Arjaan Rotana because of several reasons. 

  1. It offered reasonable rates. 
  2. They honored The Entertainer vouchers. 
  3. It is at the heart of the city! 

Al Maha Arjaan Rotana, Abu Dhabi


We checked in on a Thursday. We asked for late check in because we still had work that day. When we arrived, we were greeted pleasantly and was assisted throughout the process. We booked for a Classic Studio room which was just right for us three. (Four, including the bear! :P)


The room had a comfortable king size bed, flat screen TV, a working desk, telephone lines, (free) Wifi, a clean toilet and bath.



It also has a well stocked fridge, mini kitchen with complimentary coffee and tea. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Because the hotel is at the middle of everything, we had a lot of restaurants to choose from. My cousin who lives in Abu Dhabi recommended we try Oriental Korner at Mariah Center which was just walking distance from our hotel. 

The food was amazing but we had to wait for more than half an hour for our food. They serve freshly cooked meals — meaning they only cook when you order, so you really have to have a lot of patience when you eat there. But it was worth the wait. A must try!

We went back to our room after dinner because we were making arrangements to meet with friends. Nothing materialized of these plans. LOL. They were all too busy with family or work, whatever. So we decided to just call it a night and had a long relaxed sleep. 

Next morning we had breakfast at City Cafe – the all day dining restaurant at the ground floor of the hotel. The food was ok. Don’t expect much. We did enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, though.


After breakfast, we decided to go to Emirates Palace since none of us have been there before. Unfortunately, they were not accepting walk ins at that time. Not to be discouraged, we went to Abu Dhabi Marina Mall instead. This was all familiar sight to me. 

Back in 2002, when I was still fresh from my home country, I lived in Abu Dhabi with my Aunt. My cousin would tell me to go visit her at her workplace which was at the mall. I stayed there till she finished work and then we would go out and party …. ahhhh, the life. LOL. 

Fast forward to the present, I have been to hundreds of malls and they don’t really appeal to me anymore. I’ve always hated shopping (ok, hate is a strong word … LOL ). Don’t get me wrong, I believe in retail therapy … I just get bored in malls easily.

Anyhoo, we decided to check out  Colombiano Cafe at the sky tower. Now this is new to me. The tower is a new addition (opened in 2009 … yes, I have not been to Abu Dhabi for quite some time!) where you can have a 360 view of the city. 


A photo posted by Galadriel (@galadrielthebear) on

We returned to the hotel and hibernated for the next two days. We went up the rooftop to enjoy the decent sized pool whenever we felt like it. 

I also used their steam room. Here’s a tip: bring your hair oil or deep conditioner and apply generously on hair when inside a steam room or sauna. Instant hair spa! 😛

We checked out the next day, traveled back to Dubai … ready to face the work week once again. 




This is not sponsored. Hotel stay was paid by yours truly. This post has affiliate links.


Mom, Partner, Sister, Daughter, Friend. Pinay Blogger currently living in Dubai, UAE. I blog about expat life, beauty, food, being a mom … and everything else in between.

Previous Post Next Post


  • Candice

    Looks fun sis!

    February 1, 2016 at 7:45 AM Reply
    • Sheila | A B & Me

      It was! Quick and stress free. lakad lakad lang kami going around the city.

      February 1, 2016 at 8:43 AM Reply
  • Tarana

    A weekend away is always so relaxing!

    January 31, 2016 at 9:42 AM Reply
  • We would love to hear what you think! Leave us a message: