1946 was a remarkable year.

The United Nations held it’s first meeting. The bikini was introduced to the world by French designer, Louis Reard. UNESCO and UNICEF were created. The Tupperware brand was introduced to US consumers. Originally scheduled to launch in 1939, but delayed by World War II, the Cannes Film Festival was launched. And Louis and Blanche Shrager gave birth to a boy they named Ian.

Fast forward to 1975 and Ian gives up a law practice of 3 years to open a disco called The Enchanted Garden. That success leads to him partner with a fraternity brother, Steve Rubell, to open a club in Manhattan in 1977. They called it Studio 54. And it quickly became the stuff of legends. On any given night, if you were lucky enough to get inside, you’d be rubbing shoulders with Mikhail Baryshnikov, John Belushi, David Bowie, Truman Capote, Cher, Salvador Dalí, Tom Ford, Debbie Harry, Michael Jackson… the list is very long and very noteworthy.

In 1984 they turned their attention to hotels.

And with the launch of Morgans, the pair invented the concept of the “Boutique Hotel”. With other properties, they introduced “lobby socialising” to the world – Ian is the reason why hotel lobbies became places where the who’s who hung out. With the launch of the Delano in Miami and the Mondrian in West Hollywood, both designed by the legendary Philippe Starck, he introduced the “urban resort” concept to the world.

To call Ian Schrager a “visionary” would be tantamount to calling Virgil Abloh a “tailor”. It does not do justice to the work of the man and his influence on the zeitgeist.

Schrager once said in an interview: “One of my daughters had ordered something from Apple and it wasn’t working quite right and she posted about it,” he explained, adding that within five minutes, the most valuable company in the world sent her an email asking how they could help. “That’s customer service. That’s luxury.”

And it perfectly sums up my experience at The Abu Dhabi Edition.

The drive from Dubai to Abu Dhabi took little over an hour. It felt a lot longer because 2 of my passengers were 4 year old twins. That trauma was soon forgotten though, the moment we stepped inside the Al Bateen Marina location.

The first thing you notice is the smell of the place. It smells premium. Luxurious. It’s a scent that makes you immediately realize that you’ve arrived in a better place, made good choices in life and that you’re going to steal the bath products.

After the best sleep I’ve had in ages, I decided to brave a breakfast alone with the twins. No wife. No nanny. Like I said, the previous day’s trauma was a distant memory.

We started our dining experience the way I always start a dining experience. A bottle of sparkling water. Ice. And lemon. On this occasion I added waffles to my order. My guests demanded it.

The next morning I was inspired to do the same. No wife. No nanny. And before I even looked at the menu, a staff member, who I couldnt remember meeting before, approached our table. And on her perfectly polished tray was a bottle of sparkling water. Ice. And lemon. And waffles.

That’s customer service. That’s luxury.

I enjoyed coming back to my room each evening to find the wires that charge my iPhone, iPad, MacBook and DSLR neatly wrapped in little Edition-branded velcro bows.

That’s customer service. That’s luxury.

I also enjoyed how the poolside lifeguards’ faces lit up when they saw my spawn running towards them. And how happiness quickly turned into horror when they realized my babies were running to jump into the deep end. I especially enjoyed that they called them by their names. My Misha and Amir made two new friends. Who clearly cared for them as much as I do.

That’s customer service. That’s luxury.

I could go on and on. About the coffee being specialty, for example. Supplied by Seven Fortunes. About the chocolate being specialty. Supplied by Mirzam. About how the restaurants are led by Michelin star chef, Tom Aikens. Or about how every enquiry about my stay from everyone who asked felt genuine.

It’s difficult for me to explain exactly why I loved The Abu Dhabi Edition. Ian Schrager articulated it in this interview: “I think luxury is about humanity and a state of mind, and how it makes you feel. Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel looked after? Do you feel protected? That to me is luxury.”

The Abu Dhabi Edition is luxury.

The Edition brand of hotels is a joint venture between the Ian Schrager Company & Marriot.

The Abu Dhabi Edition features 198 guest rooms, 57 exclusively serviced residences, 3 signature restaurants, a lobby bar, a pool bar and a 3-story social space. If you’re in the mood to take the pampering to the next level, there are also two pools, two state-of-the-art fitness centres and a spa with 7 treatment rooms. If you must work, the hotel has over 900 square metres of meeting and event space including several meeting studios, ballrooms and a boardroom.

Which is your favorite hotel in the UAE? Let us know in the comments below.