An insiders guide to one of the best family-friendly hotels in Abu Dhabi

Megan and Rebecca are the two mums behind @JustTwoMums. With six kids in tow, they headed to Abu Dhabi for a fun-filled day at the majestic Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi and have shared their experience below, alongside some of the amazing hotel highlights that they discovered on their visit

Over to Megan and Rebecca… 

When we heard the news that Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi had joined Privilee, we were dying to check it out! As a treat for the last weekend of school break, we packed our bags and made the 60-minute drive to Abu Dhabi from Dubai. As expected, the extravagant resort really does live up to its reputation, here is what we thought. 

Amazing pool for kids

Privilee’ing as a family, we started our day at Cascades, which is the family-friendly pool on the West Wing of Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi. This is the absolute dream for kids, they had the best day. The pool features two big slides, a lazy river, caves, waterfalls, a baby pool, and loads of space to roam around. My kids could have easily spent days here, and have been begging to go back since we left. We for sure will be returning soon!

I can’t speak highly enough of the service we experienced here, at entry everyone is given complimentary water and there is sun lotion dispensers available in case you forgot to bring any. These little touches really make such a huge difference to your day. 

There are actually two pools available at Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi, we spent our day at Cascades, but the second pool is called Las Brisas and more suited towards those looking for a quieter pool. We got to have a quick look and it was gorgeous, the pool is enormous with hammocks in the water, and there’s even a jacuzzi too! Both pools are quite far apart, on opposite sides of the hotel, so there are golf buggies available to get from one to another. This was another part that the kids loved!

Extra kids’ activities

In the middle of Cascades, there is a kids’ club with fun activities and face painting available, this location was ideal as the kids could easily run in and out, whilst we could still see them. 

There were also some outside games that were highly appreciated by both parents and kids. Alongside all of this, the gardens of the palace are enormous, which means there is plenty of space too for the kids to run around, chill and play games. 

Tasty food

We ordered lunch at Cascades, which is the poolside bar and restaurant - this was great as it was close by to where we had set up for the day, and there were options that everyone liked, including a Kids’ Menu. We ordered a selection of dishes for the adults to share; Mediterranean Salad, Truffle Fries, Fried Calamari and the ‘Palace Club’ - all of which was delicious and arrived super quick. The kids ordered the usuals; Margarita Pizzas and Spaghetti Bolognese, which went down a treat amidst them running around the pool area! 

Another highlight was the Bianco Italy ice cream cart on a bike driving around, serving the yummiest of ice creams. The ‘Classico Cookies and Cream’ was a great choice! 

We saved 20% on our bill at Cascades with Privilee, this made a huge difference as obviously there was a group of us, so the discount really helped! 


Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi sits on the west end of the Abu Dhabi Corniche, next to the Royal Palace. This means the beach has the most beautiful views, we can’t wait to make the most of this during the winter season in Dubai - the kids will love running around and playing games on the sand! We found out when we visited that the pristine white sand is actually imported from Algeria - a fun fact for the day! On the beach, there is also a complimentary mini inflatable water park that we will be back soon to check out, as it was a little too hot when we visited. 

We had the best daycation at Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi and the whole family was super impressed! It’s enormous, but so well organised and there really is so much for everyone to do, I feel like we only scratched the surface, so we will be visiting again very soon for more fun Privilee days. 

Looking for more Privilee spots? The below will help you!


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Oct 7, 2022