Hemingway’s Whiskey

(Kenny Chesney) Hemingway’s bar – Abu Dhabi Hilton

Over the years we’ve tried a number of ‘Hemingway’ bars, from his old fishing lodge at Watamu, Kenya, through the various “Sloppy Joe’s” bars in Key West, “Pepé’s” in Key West where ‘Papa’ used to breakfast after a night drinking (a delicious omelette with ‘sonora’ chilli peppers), to a “Hemingway’s” bar on Antigua whose only claim was “It’s the sort of place he would have loved“.

The only reason I can think that the Hilton, Abu Dhabi, chose to name their bar “Hemingway’s ” is that the name, like “Hilton”, starts with an ‘H’ so, I wonder, will they name a bar in the London Hilton “Horatio’s”?

No matter,  we fancied a few drinks, a bite to eat and, perhaps more importantly, a change of venue. So “Hemingway’s” it was to be.

The Hilton is located off the main Corniche, eat the western end, close to the Emirates Palace and Jumeirah Etihad Towers (JET) hotels. Access is through the hotel lobby, past the dodgy gift shops and down a slightly forbidding corridor.


Inside the décor is a mixture of Prague beer hall and Mexican Adobe, with white painted arches and heavy wooden furniture. Almost inevitably there are screens around the bar showing a variety of sports – when we were there it was soccer, F1 and Arab drag racing.

We ordered ‘Surf & Turf Fajitas’, and when they arrived they were tasty and, frankly, huge. None of us could finish the portions and Gaz took the best part of a portion home in a ‘doggy bag’.


Drinks? Well between 4pm & 8 pm every evening it’s ‘Happy Hour’ which offers 35% off beverages, then there’s a different offer each evening.

All in all Hemingway’s is a reasonable enough bar, worth another visit if we’re ever at that end of the Corniche.

Rating: ★★★½☆

And I confess that while it fitted my ‘song title as title’ meme, I’m afraid we resisted the lure of the whiskeys. We did, however, spot a rack of customers’ bottles, Papa Hemingway would have appreciated that.

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