Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi

Welcome to the future. Inside and out, this unique hotel looks like a spaceship that landed in the middle of the desert. It’s half on water, half on land, and 100% futuristic in design. There’s a breathtaking glass structure that blankets the two main buildings of the hotel, overlooking the Formula 1 circuit where cars zoom by during the season. With the lighting, it looks magical.


I visited over New Year’s Eve to take advantage of the proximity to the Yas Arena where Coldplay performed one of the best concerts I’d ever been to. The hotel provided a 5 minute shuttle service to and from the arena, which made my sore feet happy after hours of dancing. And every time we came up the ramp towards the entrance of the hotel, we were in awe all over again.


The Welcome

The lobby was festive, with a massive gingerbread house-cum-bar, a sleigh, a decorated tree, and a fake fireplace.


It was beautiful and surreal.


That’s literally how serene check in was for me – well, the hubby was checking in while I was reading by the fire, as you do in the desert 😀 How beautiful is my Ted Baker luggage? That was my Christmas present!

Check in was very busy because it was New Year’s Eve, but surprisingly swift as most of it is done digitally on an iPad.



Sweet Suite

The interior of the hotel is sleek and looks like what I would imagine a UFO to look like inside. Room doors are opened by touching your room key to the lit numbers in front of your door. Welcome to the Twilight Zone.


The rooms are modern and cool. The tables all have marble finishing and the king size beds could fit four people. The pillows were just the right amount of fluffy. Initially we got a room with twin beds by mistake and were swiftly taken to another room with a king bed despite the NYE madness.


Some rooms face the marina and others, like ours, had a view of the Formula 1 circuit. It’s a really unique experience.




There are 11 dining options in the hotel that range from rustic Italian to a full-on international buffet – that night, they were featuring Hawaiian fish of all things – but we decided to grab a quick bite at the rooftop pool and bar before heading out to the concert. We shared a delicious chicken shawarma wrap with french fries. It was pricey – Dhs85 – and not much chicken in it, but we were starving. And the view made up for the meal.



Breakfast in the morning was like a royal feast. There was a made-to-order omelette section, a pastry section with every type of croissant imaginable, a fruit and cereal area, and even an Indian section with paratha and yummy rice. A lovely way to start the new year!



All in all, the Yas Viceroy is a true 5 star experience and I look forward to coming back sometime to try the restaurants and the spa!



Glitter and sparkle is the name of the game for New Year’s Eve, so here is some festive elegance to get you in a party mood!


Happy New Year!


River Island sequin top
90 AED – riverisland.com

RED Valentino high-waisted pants
1,395 AED – stylebop.com

Burberry strappy sandals
2,685 AED – net-a-porter.com

Mesh purse
130 AED – hm.com

Égotique earring jewelry
490 AED – yoox.com

Nars cosmetic
99 AED – lordandtaylor.com

Nars cosmetic
99 AED – net-a-porter.com
Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Paris holds no terrors for well-heeled travellers, who can check into one of the city’s eleven palaces such as ­ the Georges V, Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol or my favourite, Le Meurice. But for those on any kind of budget, finding a decent place to stay in the French capital can be a challenge. Bedrooms smaller than a bathroom, bathrooms smaller than a bidet, we’ve all stayed at one of them and lived to regret it. So, it’s with great pleasure that I have found almost the perfect Parisian hotel – and you don’t need to be a tech billionaire to afford it. The Bedford has been family owned and run for more than a hundred years, combining Swiss roots, French flair and English tradition. It benefits from strong leadership, attention to detail, and a staff eager to look after you. With just 140 rooms, it is large enough to intimate, but not so large that you are anonymous. It’s a 4 star, but deserves more.
The rooms
Parquet flooring; high ceilings; comfortable beds and pillows; keys rather than plastic cards; and best of all, real switches, that turn the lights on and off. The Bedford has sensibly ignored many of the technical traps that can make staying in a hotel room more challenging than setting up your own satellite transmission site. The result is a place that combines understated elegance with modern touches and old school service. Some rooms overlook the rue de l’Arcade, others look over a courtyard, but all are a decent size and a muted colour. There is air-conditioning too, which is a relief when the summer strikes.
Breakfast is a buffet in a glorious belle époque room, boasting stucco reliefs and a glass roof. Dinner happens here too, French cuisine and fairly formal. There’s also a relaxed bistro/bar that serves meals and cocktails.
A stone’s throw from the Place de la Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, and the Opera, this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris. (Marcel Proust used to live just around the corner). It is a lively area, with great boutiques, wine bars and an eclectic mix of restaurants, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and French too.
Don’t miss
The Bedford knows that many people like to travel with their pets, so they are allowed to stay too.
HOTEL BEDFORD, 17, RUE DE L’ARCADE 75008 PARIS Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 77 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 97 More information at www.hotel-bedford.com
Rooms from €250; Suites from €450


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Sara Hamdan

Welcome to a magazine editor’s guide to luxury hotels and what to wear when you’re there! My work has appeared in: The International New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety and CNN Travel. I’ve held editorial roles at VIVA Magazine, Dubai Magazine and Stylist Arabia.  Now, I freelance for the likes of Google, CNN and Savoir Flair!

Editing travel pages was always my favourite part of working for lifestyle magazines. I started this blog out of a love of beautiful hotels that provide the fairytale escape of a day as a princess where breakfast is a buffet and chocolates appear on my pillow.

PR queries, feedback and compliments? Email sara@holidaysinheels.com!