The United Arab Emirates is a tale of two cities—at least concerning international tourism. While Dubai has honed its reputation around record-breaking buildings and culinary indulgences, Abu Dhabi has matured into a cultured haven, blending iconic events and family fun with cultural exploration and a full range of relaxing endeavours. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort is one of the crowning jewels of the century-old hotel brand, encapsulating the peaceful nature of the emirate while presenting everything you need for the perfect day.
2:00pm: Encounter emerald hues
Glance at a map of the UAE’s capital city and you’ll notice a verdant green square. This is The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, nestled within 27 world-class holes of golf—360 acres of fuzzy felt lawns, towering palm trees, and pops of colour from the manicured flora. The vast oasis sits just outside the main island’s bustle, ensuring total serenity, encapsulated by a seamless and hearty check-in experience—complete with infused welcome libations and a chorus line of assistance.
2:15pm: Discover the room
Whether you’ve travelled from near or far, you’ll be coaxed into some immediate downtime within your Garden View Deluxe Guest Room—one of 172 inviting options. Far from the UAE’s famed superhighways, the high-ceilinged space has a blissful calm that envelopes you, with plush furnishings and wooden fixtures absorbing all acoustics. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and you can barely even register the faint breeze from the cooling AC vent, lofted far above your head—but don’t dive onto the pristine king-sized marshmallow just yet. You might not make it back out again.
3:30pm: Time for tea?
Two hundred years after the English invented afternoon tea, The Westin has added its own generous dollop of indulgence. Book an Afternoon Tea at The Lounge, which adjoins the spacious lobby area. a tea display piled high with sweet and savoury delicacies is highly recommended. These range from the refreshing and stimulating range of Jing teas to the palette of fresh, steaming scones. The Lounge is also the best vantage point to observe the resort’s wildly popular driving range—and the perfect setting to work off some of the salmon rolls, lemon tarts, and all manner of goodies you’ve just consumed.
6:00pm: Hit the driving range
Make sure you reserve your slot for a very different kind of “tee time”. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort is world-renowned for its Troon Golf-managed facilities, with challenging fairways, abundance of water hazards and long carries. The driving range, however, is open and accessible to all. Off-peak stays sometimes earn a complimentary 30-minute session, with a set of clubs et al. First-timers should book a lesson, to avoid incurring any frustrations associated with scuffing the ball. However, even novice players are best left to their own devices, for a meditative round on the range.
7:30pm: Sample Italian excellence
In a resort that’s so welcoming to families and groups, it feels fitting to have an authentic family-style Italian eatery. Resembling a traditional trattoria, Sacci Restaurant is a semi-formal dinner setting. Its menu touches on classic Italian fare, from umami-laden antipasti to delicate seafood and seasonal produce. Burrata is always a good idea— kick off your culinary journey with fresh tomatoes and copious drizzles of extra virgin olive oil from the homeland. To combine a little pasta al dente with something from the sea, try the clams linguine. It’s the perfect option, flavoured with the balance of homegrown parsley and a little chilli.
Swap the Italian vibe for something a little more Anglo-Saxon, with drinks at The Retreat. The resort’s inviting bar venue has a range of classic pub fare, along with a range of wines, spirits and beers on tap. Sports lovers can catch a game on the TV screens, or simply unwind on the terrace during the cooler months. There’s even al fresco shisha on offer to add a true touch of Arabia.
Every resort worth its salt has an all-day dining buffet restaurant, and Fairways has it all and more. The live cooking stations bring a trifecta of culinary influences, from the Arab World, Asia and the Med. It’s the home of the multi-award-winning Bubbalicious brunch, which takes place every Saturday from 1-4 pm. The daily breakfast buffet, however, is thankfully devoid of the madding crowds and the free-flowing boozy beverages, but brunch lovers should make a note to grab a table if they’re staying on a Saturday.
10am: Relax at the pool
First of all, you have to pick your pool. The two adjacent temperature-controlled pool areas have easy bar access if you prefer to have your own curated brunch-style experience. Otherwise, you can just stay hydrated while you soak up the perma-sunshine rays of the UAEs. Some loungers are half submerged in water, so you’re sure to keep cool, even as the mercury rises.
12pm: Sink into some spa time
A trip to The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort would be tragically incomplete without visiting The Heavenly Spa by The Westin. You’ve dined, unwound and even had a little swing, now take your relaxation to the next level a signature wellness treatment. Spend some me time in the sauna, steam room and plunge pool before donning your PLUSH robe and prostrating in one of the six treatment rooms. The Heavenly Spa Signature Massage is the perfect solution to melt your knots and achieve a heightened state of bliss. It can be upgraded from 60 to 90 minutes if you’re feeling particularly tense. Check out the Me-Monday experience to start the week right.