Experiencing the Rixos Marina in Abu Dhabi – Review

We visited Dubai last year and loved it, so were very happy to get the chance to return to the UAE to review the Rixos Marina in Abu Dhabi. It is a new hotel and was opened less than two years ago in late 2022.

It is a wonderfully glamorous hotel and a lot of thought has gone into its beautiful design. You get a taste of this as you first approach the hotel, the design with the huge arch is simply stunning.  We had a Premium Room with a balcony on the 9th floor.  You can see that review here.

The same week, we stayed at the Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island – full review here.

Our flight from Heathrow arrived early morning and, as you can imagine, we were very tired from the overnight flight. We checked in as soon as we arrived, expecting a wait of course before we could enter our room as the regular check-in time is 3pm. However, we struck lucky in that a room was available that we could go to immediately.  We stayed in a Premium Room with a balcony on the 9th floor, below you can see the view from our balcony.

Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi Review

We visited at the end of June and it was hot as you can imagine! But between the hotel aircon and the swimming pools, we were very happy with the weather. Outside there is a large adults only swimming pool with a swim up pool bar. I have to say that the majority of people seem to gravitate towards this (regardless of age). I suspect this was because this was the coolest pool. We didn’t try it as it was busy, preferring the quieter pools and the sea.

Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi Review

The other pool we went in was much shallower and was warm (like a warm bath) which while not exactly refreshing was very enjoyable, quiet and also had a swim up bar. On that note, waiters were also on hand to bring drinks, if it was too much trouble to stir from your sun lounger (and really why would you when a lovely waiter would bring you drinks)!

Around the pools you will also find the towel stand. You are given towel cards at check in, you hand over your card for a pool towel then receive the card back when you hand your towel in. Then you have a nice fresh towels every time and no sand goes back to your room.

You can also find fresh fruit and ice cream stands around the pool.

I have to say, there are lots and lots of sun loungers, both in the sun and in the shade. You don’t have to join a scrum to get one, as there are more than enough to go around. As well as regular sunbeds there are some beautiful daybeds if you are lucky enough to get one of those, certainly there is plenty of choice first thing or later in the day. 

It’s always worth having a look at the pools at night as they are beautifully lit up:

Now I have mentioned the beautiful night time views.  Have a look at how beautiful it is (if warm) to sit outside the buffet restaurant.

It is also worth a walk out of the front of the hotel to see the beautiful pools and the hotel itself lit up.

Turquoise Buffet Restaurant

We stayed full board at the Rixos Marina rather than all-inclusive. This meant that all three meals, (breakfast, lunch and dinner) were taken in the Turquoise buffet restaurant. Now, it has to be said that this buffet restaurant was quite magnificent with all sorts of different options. I have taken lots of photos of various parts of the buffet during all three meal times so you can get a little flavour of what it will be like. They do cater to all different nationalities so it’s an excellent opportunity to try something new.  I shall share some photos here, but scroll down to the bottom if you want to see them all (it’s definitely worth it, but I don’t want to bore anyone who does not want to see them all!)

Every day at lunch there were barbecue options in tureens. Items like grilled chicken, salmon or steak. On an evening, you could visit the barbecue in the gardens and choose other options. There was usually some sort of kebab or wrap here too.

Inside, there were several live cooking stations. The pasta cooking station seem to be a permanent fixture and you could choose your type of pasta and what sauce you would like. When I visited you could choose from a white sauce, a tomato sauce, or a mushroom sauce. Then you could choose to add cheese or herbs.

Another of the live cooking stations changed what they served every evening. So one night there was a seafood dish and another there was a chicken tikka dish with a spicy salad.

On an evening, a whole section of the buffet is dedicated to children. I definitely saw chicken nuggets and chips!

Soft drinks at meal times in the buffet restaurant are included on full board. This was great as we got a couple of drinks at every meal. There is also a complimentary water in the room to keep you nice and hydrated.

Rixy Kids Club

I had a wander over to the Rixy Kids Club while we were there to check out their facilities, just in case you want to take smaller ones. This is suitable for children aged between 4 and 14. Children under 4 can attend but do need to be accompanied by an adult.  There is also a covered kids pool.

They have lots of things going on at the kids club. Have a look at this fantastic itinerary. 

I also saw a carnival advertised for on a Saturday. I have seen photographs of the carnival before and it looked amazing!

I also have a photo of all the rules and regulations.

With the amazing kids club, kids pool and special kids menu, it’s a brilliantly family friendly hotel.



There is also entertainment for the adults. While we were there we saw musicians playing classical versions of pop songs which really gave off Bridgerton vibes and I loved it!

I also saw some ballroom dancing which was beautiful.

I have a (not brilliant, but legible) photo of the entertainment schedule.

On an evening I think there is entertainment in the Anti-dote bar which is adults only. I didn’t have a drink in there because I was at the hotel with my son but I did pop in to take some photographs and it was beautiful.  I have included the photographs below.


Whilst in Abu Dhabi, we also stayed at the Rixos on Saadiyat Island.  Last year we visited Rixos the Palm in Dubai and you can read that review here.

More Buffet Photos as Promised!

We stayed at Rixos Marina as part of a press trip.  As always, all opinions expressed are my own.



Recommended Articles