Living in Abu Dhabi: Weekend Staycation

 Nation Riviera Beach Club, St. Regis Abu Dhabi

Nation Riviera Beach Club, St. Regis Abu Dhabi

Living in Abu Dhabi can feel like a perpetual holiday, but us expats still need a break from our routine every now and then.

This past long weekend, I decided to mix things up and create my own, mini Abu Dhabi vacation. Though I admit I was tempted to venture to a certain, neighboring Emirate, I resisted the initial urge and stayed in the capital for the holiday. I love the energy of Dubai nightlife and the city’s gorgeous resorts, but if you are looking for a relaxing, beach vacation - you can’t beat Abu Dhabi.

Here are my top three tips for creating your own, relaxing Abu Dhabi staycation:

1. Snag a beach club day pass.

  Nation Riviera Beach Club, St. Regis Abu Dhabi

Nation Riviera Beach Club, St. Regis Abu Dhabi

If you are heading down from Dubai, you will be in for a treat with some amazing hotel deals in Abu Dhabi at the moment. For those of you who are already residents, take advantage of the same amazing facilities by snagging a day-pass.

There are countless options when it comes to beach clubs in Abu Dhabi. In the end, my fiancé and I decided to venture to The Nation Riviera Beach Club at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi. The club has a bit of everything - a lovely beach, a pool with a swim-up bar, a sauna and steam room, and it’s conveniently located next door to two of my favorite restaurants, Catch and Asia de Cuba.

Knowing that we were looking for a more secluded spot to settle into for the day, we opted for a private poolside cabana. The tucked away space was well worth the upgrade. After a long afternoon of lounging and reading, we popped next door for a gorgeous dinner at Catch. The restaurant’s stunning sunset views and sensational seafood made for the perfect end to our beach day.

2. Unwind with a relaxing massage.

 Sense Spa,  Rosewood Abu Dhabi

Sense Spa, Rosewood Abu Dhabi

Nothing puts me into a holiday mood more than a relaxing massage, so I made sure the long weekend included a treatment at the Rosewood Abu Dhabi. The hotel’s Sense Spa delivers one of the best massages in the Abu Dhabi. I am always impressed with their therapists, who manage to address all of my knotted muscles and still leave me feeling refreshed. An added bonus - after your treatment you can enjoy the rest of the spa’s facilities. You can easily spend a whole afternoon taking a dip in the jacuzzi, sweating it out in the steam room or sauna, and jumping in the revitalizing, cool mist shower. After you’ve wrapped up your spa experience, head upstairs to Glo for a light bite to eat and beautiful Abu Dhabi skyline views.

 Glo, Rosewood Abu Dhabi

Glo, Rosewood Abu Dhabi

 Glo, Rosewood Abu Dhabi

Glo, Rosewood Abu Dhabi

 Pool views, Rosewood Abu Dhabi

Pool views, Rosewood Abu Dhabi

3. Try a new restaurant.

 Original Fusion, The Hub at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi

Original Fusion, The Hub at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi

Though Dubai usually gets the attention for its flashy and trendy restaurants, Abu Dhabi has an abundance of its own unique and top quality eateries that are begging to be explored. This long weekend, I made it a point to break out of usual dining routine and try a new restaurant at The Hub.

Original Fusion boasts a variety of (middle) east meets west fusion dishes. My personal favorites were the Camioli (Yes, that’s camel ravioli.), Chilean Sea Bass, and, for dessert, the Halwa Cheesecake - a fun twist on a local favorite. The restaurant’s delightful dishes also came with a more accessible price tag, making it a guilt-free way to cap off my staycation adventures.

What are your top tips for staycation-ing in Abu Dhabi? Share your favorite spots and activities in the comment section.