Sleek contemporary lines, a modern minimalist space, superb lighting and the harmonious feel of a pristine home away from home. This is the essence of the EDITION, a luxury lifestyle brand with properties in London, Miami, New York, Sanya, Bodrum, Barcelona, Shanghai, Los Angeles, and most recently, Abu Dhabi. Envisioned by hotel magnate Ian Schrager and Marriott International, the EDITION hotels aim to offer a seductive environment where dreams merge with reality in an insatiable mix of contemporary décor, fine dining and recreational activities.
This hotel wonderland has arrived in the UAE with the Abu Dhabi EDITION that opened this November. Situated in the downtown district on the waterfront of Al Bateen in the Abu Dhabi Marina, the hotel features 198 guest rooms and 57 exclusively serviced residences; unique food and beverage outlets including two signature restaurants helmed by award-winning chef Tom Aitkens; a gourmet market; lobby bar; pool bar and three-storey nightclub.
“We think along with Leonardo Da Vinci here that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication and people’s lives in the region, although full of luxury and glamour, I feel that there’s a sense of simplicity to their lives,” says Schrager. The Abu Dhabi hotel houses two pools, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa with seven treatment rooms available to guests. Large and luminous, it also has over 900-square-metres of meeting and event spaces, including several studios, ballroom and boardrooms.
Designed using a sophisticated neutral palette reflective of the colours and materials found at other EDITIONS, the Abu Dhabi hotel incorporates numerous local references, such as the grey oak timber flooring’s herringbone pattern, which draws inspiration from local basket weaving techniques. This contrasts with the pristine off-white marble in the bathrooms and the windows, which are dressed in elegant off-white drapery, and walls featuring beautiful wood panelling.
Further lining the walls are photographs by Brett Weston, who reveals his skill at manipulating photographs of sand dunes to create the sensuous and otherworldly forms that one can find when they venture out into the UAE desert. Such a mix of local heritage with the EDITION’s signature aesthetic endows the hotel with a rich appearance. “I think the unique qualities [of the hotel] are being visually spectacular and sophisticated, giving a sense of time and place so that each property is truly one-off and customised but has a common approach to the rest of the EDITIONs,” says Schrager.
Design is clearly at the heart of the EDITION’S ethos. The Abu Dhabi hotel has been designed by Lebanese architecture and engineering firm Khatib & Alami and built by Dubai-based ASGC. It forms part of Abu Dhabi’s Marina Bloom mixed-use development. “Every EDITION is unique and original and manifests the city and the country that they are in,” adds Schrager. “I think it’s very important that the EDITION in Abu Dhabi is a hotel that can only be in Abu Dhabi and that’s what makes them all unique.”
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“I think the Middle East is just an exciting place where growth possibilities are limitless,” he adds. “We work in an opportunistic business and this opportunity arose on this spectacular site. It’s an area steeped in tradition but with an eye towards growth, it’s ever-evolving doing special things within culture and the arts.” Having an EDITION in Abu Dhabi is an honour — one that goes both ways.
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