Hospitality Interiors: W Hotel, Abu Dhabi

From the barren desert to a concrete metropolis, the United Arab Emirates and its people boasts one of the most diverse cultures and unique landscapes in the world. With luxury cars swishing by the lanes, the buzzing inhabitants and the architecture that marvels this city rarely sleep and the illusion of this space commands exploring.

The exterior grid shell facade.
The exterior grid shell like steel facade that drapes around the two hotel towers.

W Abu Dhabi – a luxury hotel spread over two buildings located in the heart of Yas Island is designed by the New York-based architects, Asymptote Architecture along with designers Jestico + Whiles and Richardson Sadeki.
As we approach towards the hotel, we were first greeted by the stunning engineering feat nicknamed as grid shell, the 210 meters of sweeping steel with 5,096 diamond-shaped glass panels providing a veil that drapes around the two hotel towers. This glass panels create a stunning optical illusion by reflecting thousands of coloured light against the surrounding sky.
The interiors of the newly renovated spaces (i.e. The living room, W lounge, wet deck and garage) is designed by Dubai based firm DWP.  The interiors are inspired by the symmetrical and intricate designs of the hidden gems in the U.A.E. such as natural lakes, wetlands, salt flats, and fossilized sands and dunes. As we stepped inside the lobby we knew we discovered something really special.

W Monument outside the entrance.
W Monument outside the entrance symbolize the liquid gold.

Each W Hotel around the world has its own unique W Monument outside the entrance. The W hotel in Abu Dhabi has an amazing crude oil textured stone with polished gold sides and is elevated above a gold pool. Even though it’s not made of gold, it’s 24K Bold!

Nose peg wall and oil drop reception desk
Nose peg wall, oil drop reception desk and jewellery curtains

Another significant historical feature is the peg wall behind the Oil drop inspired welcome desks. The pegs are replicas of local nose pegs that represent the origin of pearl divers in U.A.E. On the other hand, the Welcome desk represents the prosperity oil has brought to the Capital.

Living room with accents representing the iridescent colour of Oil spills.
Living room with accents features representing the iridescent colour when Oil meets water.

Throughout the living room you will see accents of key feature from coloured side tables, representing the iridescent colour created when oil meets water, the veil sofa depicting the local dress the Abaya, Laser cut chairs and Mangrove side tables representing the root structure of mangroves in U.A.E.

The roastery draws inspiration from the arched architectural elements and walking bridges in Abu Dhabi
The roastery at W, Abu Dhabi

The roastery draws inspiration from the arched architectural elements and walking bridges in Abu Dhabi. The low stools at the bar are in contrasting colours of the Kandoora and Abaya while the backrests depict the metal Niqab veil worn by Emirati women. The Rope light above the bar represents the rope or the Agal, worn around the ghutrah by Emirati men.

W Lounge- The hand-tufted carpets designed specifically for W hotel includes an abstracted UAE National flower, the Tribulus Omanense.
W lounge Exterior
View of a hallway leading towards the W lounge entrance covered with feather like steel structure

While the exterior of W Lounge is covered with silver feather-like structures to represent the Falcon’s feather, the national bird of UAE. The interior of the Lounge draws inspiration from a botanical phenomenon called Super Bloom that awakens wild fauna and exotic edibles.

Nikkei House - Innovative Japanese and Peruvian fusion restaurant
The garage -The design inspiration for Nikkei House is centered on the narrative of “The Dream of Peru”. The origami shaped chairs, Bull horns and the cracked walls, the bowler hat in the iron gate all reprint the Peruvian and Japanese culture.
Steam table Asian street style fair
The Garage- Steam Table embraces the variety of the Asian street style fair. The art installation you see is inspired by internationally recognized artist Yayoi Kusama and depicts oversized polka dot resembling a rice wok.
Mezza bar interior
The Garage- Mezza Bar is inspired by La Maison Rose, the abandoned Jewel of Beirut. The custom resin tables in Mezza Bar were inspired by the dilapidated pink texture of the house itself. The stained glass window elements and the brick oven cladding were each inspired by actual elements from the historic house.
The Garage

The garage is the home to fine dining restaurants like

Nikkei house, Steam table, Mezza bar, Meat Vault, Tap wall and a tart van


Rooftop poolside wet deck

A rooftop poolside deck has a colour palette derived when the light waves are reflected by the boundaries of the oil, an iridescent array of colours are seen, ever-changing when seen from different angles. While the floor patterns and the furniture’s represents henna patterns and local weaving traditions respectively.

Rooms w hotel
Suite room view
Interiors views

If you are looking for a luxurious stay in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. then W hotel is most definitely worth marking in your planner.


Special thanks to Saadhvi Mehra, director of marketing for the detailed design walk.

Images courtesy of W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island.