An Architectural Gemstone: The Yas Hotel

Colorful diamond-shaped lights beaming from a monumental curvilinear form mesmerize, enchant and transfix. These lights decorate the exterior of the The Yas Hotel, a gargantuan 500- room hotel which is now one of the main architectural features of the 36 billion dollar Yas Marina Development in Abu Dhabi. Designed by New York-based Asymptote architects Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture who envisioned a monument which would reflect the elements of speed and movement while also recalling the artistry and geometric patterns of ancient Islamic art, The Yas Hotel has become an architectural gem and cultural landmark for the United Arab Emirates.

The hotel is composed of 85,000 square meters of a 217-meter expanse of curvilinear forms made out of steel. Adorning the hotel’s anamorphic shell-shaped structure are 5,800 diamond-shaped glass panels which contain around 5000 LED fixtures making it the world’s largest LED project. This grid-like shell creates what appears to be a veil draped over the entire complex composed of  two hotel towers connected by a bridge just above the Formula 1 track. The resulting shape of the hotel easily reflects the surrounding sea, sky, and desert landscape and glistens with light in the evening as if it were an uncovered glistening stone.

Inside the hotel the spaces flow together through curvilinear rooms and halls which echo the race tracks below while the filtered lights from the Gridshell highlight the contemporary interiors. The lobby gives a modern interpretation of the Arabian mashrabiya meaning the “place to drink.” Light-weight white latticed walls provide defined areas within an otherwise public space. The diamond patterns of the lattice cast intricate and decorative shadows on the surroundings while the upholstery incorporates the colors of deep purple and indigo thus contrasting to the other wise stark white interior.

The deluxe and executive suites feature floor to ceiling glass panels which change from scarlet to indigo and make the most of the outside sunlight. These specialty rooms contain an over-sized wet room enclosed within a glass box and mounted with fine silk sheer panels for modesty. Made from tactile materials including Carrara marble, glass and porcelain, the delicate feel to these elements is juxtaposed by warm leather upholstery and bronze mirrors. 

Stay in the Marina Executive Suites for exceptional views of the Marina and Grand Prix circuit from wrap around balconies. Living rooms feature state-of-the-art home theater systems while the bathrooms showcase a beautifully sculptured standalone bathtub which sits by the window providing guests with stunning views of the island.

For the ultimate luxury stay check into the Yas Presidential Suite. This lofted, double height space is endowed with a clear view of the gridshell and the monumental structure of the hotel. The white space features original contemporary artwork, exclusive furnishings from MoMA as well as other bespoke pieces and a custom-made beds. The suite can accommodate up to sixteen people in the dining room and is serviced by a private lift, a full chef’s kitchen, dining room and a private lap pool on the large terrace. The two Yas Presidential Suites cover the entire sixth and seventh floor of the hotel, comprised of a total of 28 bedrooms in a space of 2,531 Sqm making them the largest suites in the entire GCC.

Restaurants feature a range of cuisines from around the world such as Indian at Angar, Italian at Amici, a variety of Asian specialties at The Noodle Box and delicacies from around the Middle East including the UAE at the popular Atayeb restaurant.

Get an after-dinner drink at Rush, a swanky bar located in the bridge which stretches over the racetrack and links the hotel’s two towers. Operated by George V Restauration, which also runs Buddha Bar, the design includes a back-lit resin bar, a chrome orb back bar, a DJ booth, and a slightly elevated VIP area.

For a more tranquil nightcap  visit Skylite located by the poolside on the roof of the hotel. Situated directly under the gridshell, guests enjoy stunning views of Abu Dhabi and the race track below. A great recreational place during the day, Skylite becomes a vibrant venue in the evening complete with a shisha and cabana lounge bar and the chilled out tunes of a live DJ.

The perfect setting not only for Formula 1 but for any special event the hotel celebrates, the Yas Hotel is bound to be a treasure not just for Abu Dhabi but for the UAE at large.

The Yas Hotel

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