We did not select the Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan for a two-night stay in Abu Dhabi en route to Australia. Instead, we went with the choice of our travel agent and mostly enjoyed the visit. Two flaws marred our stay. First, the incredible noise from the building site for the Presidential Palace made it impossible to sleep. It’s well known that there is a lot of construction in Abu Dhabi but that fact becoming intolerable when noisy heavy-duty work goes on from 6am in the morning to 3am at night. Our room on the 7th floor had a grandstand view over the earthmovers and diggers that were modifying the landscape and we did not enjoy the experience one iota. Indeed, the situation was made worse by the offer that we received on check-in to upgrade our room “to one with a balcony”. That choice proved to be a very bad one, especially as the hotel gave no warning that we’d be positioned over a hyperactive building site. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the hotel misrepresented the offer they made to us and took our “upgrade” money on false pretences. I made this point to on check-out and was told, for the first time in hundreds of stays at international hotels, that no manager was available to discuss my complaint (nor did they follow up as committed via email). Truly top-class service delivered with a smile.
The other issue we had was less serious. The hotel has only two restaurants, which is simply not enough choice for a hotel that portraits itself as a high-class establishment. The Beach Restaurant is fine and a nice place to have a meal in the open. The buffet, which was more than acceptable for breakfast (being charged extra for a latte seemed like we were being nickel and dimed), was disappointing for dinner. Bland and so-so is one way to describe it – and certainly not worth the AED145/head that was charged. Maybe we ate there on an off night. It’s true that the lobby coffee bar serves what look like very attractive pastries and drinks, but this hardly qualifies it as another choice of restaurant. And it’s not as if the hotel is positioned in the midst of a thriving restaurant quarter where multiple eating choices are a few minutes away. Be prepared to take a taxi should you (quickly) exhaust the possibilities that exist in the Khalidiya Palace – or if you want an alcoholic drink as the hotel is “dry”. On the upside, the staff in the hotel (apart from check-in who didn’t tell us about the construction and check-out who couldn’t locate a manager) were all very welcoming and helpful; the rooms are spacious and clean; the showers are good with plentiful hot water; and the pool (which we did not try) looked very nice with no evidence of the “lounger wars” of which other TripAdvisor reviews had warned. One other issue I had is charging for Wi-Fi, which really should be included in hotels like this instead of being treated as a profit center at AED25/hour. However, the Internet capabilities of the in-room TV were rather good and I was able to read email, consult Facebook, and read multiple newspapers using the wireless keyboard provided by the hotel. In summary, if you go to the Khalidiya Palace, be prepared to travel to eat (after you exhaust the hotel’s two possibilities) and beware the construction noise on the side of the hotel facing the Presidential Palace project. I’m sure that everything will be just fine once the construction is finished, but it is a royal pain in the derriere at present.
Avoid the rooms facing the Presidential Palace construction site
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Trip Advisor Member,
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Thank you for sharing with us your feedback and I am sorry to read that we did not meet your full expectations during your recent stay with us.
Regarding your comment about the upgrade, it is certainly not our standard not to brief our guests about the room category they are upgraded to and not having a manager to assist in resolving your complaint is not indicative of the quality and excellent service that we are usually known for. Rest assured that your feedback has been seriously addressed to the concerned department to look into and to ensure that guest complaints are promptly responded.
Furthermore, we regret to hear about the inconvenience you have had due to the noise from the outside construction. Kindly note that this current situation is beyond the hotel’s control therefore, we would like to seek for your understanding in this regard.
In addition, we are currently reviewing our restaurant selection and looking for another option in the coming year for an additional Food and Beverage outlet. Likewise, your comment about the separate beverage charges in the buffet is noted and addressed to our Director of Food and Beverage for review.
On the other note, we would like to inform you that we are offering very competitive room rates in the market and unlike other hotels where they mark up their rates for internet to be included as a package, we give it as an option for the guests to be free to choose whether to use it or not, rather than increasing the room rates and taking away the choice. Moreover, we are also offering a complimentary internet in the room through our IPTV facility as an option for our guests.
Nonetheless, we are pleased to know that you found our staff to be welcoming and helpful, our rooms to be spacious and clean.
We are committed to providing our guest the highest quality of services and facilities and we sincerely regret that we fell short of our goal in this instance. We hope you give us another opportunity to welcome you again should your travels ever bring you back to Abu Dhabi.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.