Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Review

On Christmas Day last year, a few friends and I were able to snag a mistake airfare that was published through the Etihad Airways website; $178 roundtrip economy airfares from New York to Abu Dhabi and back – what a steal! Without even thinking, I pounced on this opportunity to see a part of the world that I was yet to explore for less than a roundtrip airfare from Orlando to Chicago!

By adding a few extra vacation days onto our Easter long weekend, we booked in our flights to give us a five-night Abu Dhabi vacation. Next up was accommodation. Knowing that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an expensive country, I expected a decent hotel to cost a small fortune, but was extremely surprised when I went onto TripAdvisor and saw that the Southern Sun Abu Dhabi was only $500 USD total for a five-night stay in my own Deluxe, King Bed room! Definitely a bargain considering this hotel has a 4.5 star rating and is ranked #3 of 120 hotels in Abu Dhabi over on TripAdvisor.

THE ROOM

The Southern Sun Abu Dhabi offers a total of 353 rooms and suites across 27 floors. I was absolutely in love with my hotel room – a Deluxe Room with a King Bed. The room itself was huge, with a comfortable, stylish feel, highlighted by neutral, dark wood and leather tones coupled with Arabesque influences. The hotel is brand, spankin’ new, so the modern and stylish feel runs throughout the entire property.

Free wifi is offered throughout the hotel – this is always a God-send, especially when you are traveling internationally and you’re not using International roaming on your cell phone to avoid ridiculous charges. While the wifi bandwith was not strong enough to allow me to make a FaceTime call back home to my family to wish them a Happy Easter, it did work perfectly when Facebooking, Tweeting and Instagramming – all obviously very important life necessities!

{Deluxe Room – King Bed}

Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Review

Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Hotel Review

The photos above indicate just how spacious the Deluxe rooms are. The room also features a work station/desk, a couch, two bed-side tables, each with a convenient bendable reading light, a flat screen TV, and closet space which includes a mini fridge. The mini fridge is stocked, however you are charged for anything you consume. HINT: If you’re looking for the full-length mirror, it’s on the inside of the closet door!

Power outlets were minimal by the bed – I had to almost crawl under the bed-side table to get to one so I could have my phone on charge by me overnight. The work station, however, has an entire outlet strip built into the top of the desk – this I found extremely convenient for my MacBook and camera chargers!

{Deluxe Room – King Bed}

Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Hotel Review

Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Review

The bed was super comfortable. The best part about new hotels often means their mattresses are new too, so there is no dent in one side of the bed from it being worn in.

Now, onto the bathroom. Man, am I glad I didn’t room with a friend that joined me on this trip. Why, you may ask? Well, the shower glass door is completely see through! That really would have made shower time awkward. Despite that though, the shower is HUGE and it’s an actual stand-up shower, not a tub/shower combo which made me extremely happy. There is also a separate tub and then another little glass room that houses a toilet and a bidet.

{Bathroom}

Souther Sun Abu Dhabi Review

Souther Sun Abu Dhabi Review

Souther Sun Abu Dhabi Review

POOL & LOUNGE FACILITIES

There is a rooftop pool located on the 27th floor. While the pool isn’t huge, it is a decent size to cool off in during the scorching heat. Although it wasn’t overly crowded while we were there, given the size of the rooftop deck, it definitely has the potential to crowd quite easily during peak travel seasons. There are shaded, cushioned pool cabanas that we had no trouble in securing, even in the very middle of the day. If laying in the shade isn’t your thing, there are a couple of deck chairs laid out directly in the sun, too.

Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Pool

Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Pool

There is no outdoor pool bar, however there is a full-service bar just beyond the pool doors. There didn’t seem to be any restrictions on taking your drink from the bar to have with you at the pool. You can also order snacks and light bites from here.

If you want a real treat, you definitely need to make your way to the Balcon just before sunset time. I wish we knew this place existed on our very first night at the Southern Sun. The Balcon is an elegant yet casual outdoor lounge terrace with up-scale cushioned cabanas, surrounding a pool of crystal clear water. You must remove your shoes before stepping up onto a cabana – each cabana can sit 6-ish people and there is a small table in the middle to hold your beverages and a candle. Here, you can order from an entire menu of shisha flavors – this was my absolute favorite! Sit back under the star-filled night sky, smoke some shisha, have a drink and just relax.

Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Balcon

On our second night hanging at the Balcon, we ordered a bread platter with hummus. Oh man, the hummus was probably the most freshest and amazing I’ve ever had in my life. It complimented the delicious, crunchy bread perfectly. On this night, the manager of Balcon stopped in to check on us and we ended up chatting with him for a good 30 minutes. He had such a fantastic life story to share, and was so humble and proud of where he is – conversations of this type throughout my travels always make me smile.

If you’re staying at the Southern Sun and looking for an easy night in, Balcon really is a unique experience you definitely need to try.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

While we had our days jam-packed with things to see and do, our time at the hotel was limited. There are some other great features of the Southern Sun to note though:

  • The hotel is in a great location. We rented a car to get around and had no problems finding the hotel using a GPS (even when it wouldn’t route us quickly enough at times).
  • If you do have a car with you, Southern Sun offers free valet which was extremely convenient.
  • If you’re one of those fitness freaks that works out while on vacation, there is a fitness center located on the 27th floor.
  • The hotel is home to two restaurants: The Foundry – offers a breakfast and lunch buffet and a la carte dining options, by night it turns into a Steakhouse, and Kahraman – an Arabic restaurant that also houses a sushi bar!
  • The Southern Sun is roughly a 20 minute walk to get to the Corniche walking strip. If you’re traveling solo, it’s a very pleasant and safe walk, even at night.
  • There is a convenient store right in front of the hotel. We walked here a few times to stock up on drunken travel necessities like Pringles!

Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Review

Southern Sun Abu Dhabi Review

 

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