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“A little disappointing, but not a bad hotel.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of InterContinental Abu Dhabi

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InterContinental Abu Dhabi
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street | Al Bateen area, Abu Dhabi 4171, United Arab Emirates   |  
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Ranked #27 of 120 Hotels in Abu Dhabi
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Johannesburg
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“A little disappointing, but not a bad hotel.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

As an Intercontinental Ambassador member, we did not hesitate to book this hotel on our visit visit to Abu Dhabi. The rooms were comfortable, but a bit dated and on the small side...i was particularly disappointed with the bathroom...which could have been cleaner and better appointed.

They had a great pool area with an "in-pool" bar where we spent a relaxing afternoon after a long flight...from there the view over the marina is great at sunset.

You must visit the Brazilian restaurant...and remember to hungry, very hungry.

The hotel was not bad, but in future i will opt for other hotels and forfeit my priority points...there was just something missing.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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968 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (198)
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La Chartre-sur-le-Loir, France
Top Contributor
251 reviews 251 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
169 helpful votes 169 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

The Intercontinental hotel is one of the Abu Dhabi iconic hotels. It's one of the first modern hotel developments in the city, and its elevated position at one end of the island dominates the landscape. The views from the rooms - especially those on higher floors - are terrific, in all directions. The "ocean view" rooms are more expensive, but for my money the view on the city side is more interesting, and there's plenty of ocean to view on that side too. However, there is no escaping the fact that this is a 1970's complex, despite the fact that it's obviously undergone multiple renovations. The layout of the hotel is quirky and complicated, the fittings are outdated, and some of the more permanent fixtures still have a very much 1970's feel about them. That might have been fine in the 1970's but it's outdated now. When I lived in Abu Dhabi, I'd visited the hotel on many occasions to dine at the various restaurants, but I'd never stayed here. So I was curious to see how the property was as a hotel for my first business trip staying at the hotel.

To sum up: Very good service, and a clear effort to make the hotel a good experience by all the staff. But the rooms might disappoint and they are dated. The Club Lounge is very well run and provides a very good experience. I paid a premium price as I was staying over the F1 weekend and so cannot say it was good value - perhaps the normal rates would make it a much more attractive proposition.

The guest room floors have rather claustrophobic corridors with low ceilings and can be quite dark so you tend to navigate along them from one pool of light to the next, over grey/green carpet that looks like it should have been replaced a long time ago. Not a good start on your way to your room!

I ended up on the Club floor, so I had expectations of something at least a little bit special. But the room was on the small side with a faint background of stale air about it - and from the pictures I saw, looked essentially the same as the normal rooms. The large panoramic windows (with a terrific view on the 19th floor) were obviously openable when the hotel was first built. Now they have been blocked for safety reasons (which makes good sense; having a large open window on the 19th floor seems just a little risky!). The windows have been closed, but you can still hear the sound of the traffic and wind noise seeping past the seals. I also had the misfortune to have a room with a connecting door to the adjacent room, through which I could hear every detail of the young children crying and parents shouting at them on the other side. Soundproofing is obviously not what it should be. The room lighting is a bit on the dark side.

The bathroom is smallish, with a shower which is an obvious after-thought. The shower door leaked like a sieve, leaving pools of water on the floor outside after each shower. The plumbing system had more control over the water temperature than I did, and the shower was alternately warm and then much too hot. The fluffy bathmat looked like it was a leftover from the original 1970's design of the hotel, and was not improved by the soaking from the shower. There was also a (small) bath and a good-sized separate area with toilet and bidet. The general bathroom lighting was good, except for the area over the basin which was too dark. An illuminated make-up mirror was a nice touch. There were plenty of nice toiletries, and the towels were very large and pleasant to use.

The telephone on the desk had an "instant service" button, which when used resulted only in a "not connected" signal (the phone by the bed did work however). The desk had a chair which was too low and since it had no wheels was very difficult to move, making working at the desk an uncomfortable experience. I know because I spent quite a bit of time there. The television was connected to a central multi-channel satellite receiver and hotel information display. That worked acceptably enough, but the picture quality was atrocious considering what is possible nowadays. Over-saturated colours, grainy and noisy images and poor resolution. This could definitely be improved. The bed was large and very comfortable, with nice fresh linens and plenty of pillows - with a pillow "menu" for those with special requirements.

I found other little things (each one by itself no big deal) sort of added up to make the room experience disappointing. An example of this was the light in the wardrobe, which is supposed to go on when the door's opened, and then off when the door's closed. Well, it came on alright, but in fact never went off, so it acted like a night-light. Bad luck if you have trouble sleeping with a light on (which fortunately I don't). Another example was the air-conditioning. Although it allowed you to set the temperature as you'd expect, the control wasn't very tight, so the room temperature was constantly going up and down by a degree or two. And it blew right over the desk area, so if you spend a lot of time there (as I did) you're constantly getting a jet of alternating chilled and warm air blowing on you. The toilet paper is unbelievably thin and scratchy - really cheap and nasty and out of place in a hotel like this. The bedside clock and light control unit was showing the wrong time, with no way to change it. I didn't discover that until I work up early one morning while it was still dark (just as well I didn't need the alarm) with the clock showing it was half-past midnight. It was only when I heard the morning prayer calls that I realised that the time was wrong, and I had not in fact woken up in the middle of the night!

I must say that when I mentioned some of these things in response to a general query from the Club lounge manager to check if everything was OK, by the time I got back to my room the telephone had been fixed and the bedside clock was showing the right time. You can't fault that for a quick reaction!

The Club lounge provided a very good level of amenities and had a continuous service of food and drinks throughout the day, including free pre-dinner alcoholic drinks served with an impressive variety of canapés. Breakfast was also served there and was extremely complete, especially considering it's not a fully-fledged restaurant. The Club lounge also has wonderful views in many directions, and even has an outside balcony which is a nice touch. The Club lounge makes the Club floor worth the extra (the rooms certainly don't).

As for the restaurants, there are at least six in the property so there's plenty of choice. I was however disappointed to find the Italian restaurant I had known before as a fine-dining experience degraded into a "family-friendly" restaurant, of which the most obvious indication was several screaming kids running around, totally uncontrolled by their selfish parents. The Belgian café serves pork dishes which is a rarity in Abu Dhabi. The Brazilian restaurant is an excellent way to satisfy your urges for a lot of meat, and the seafood restaurant by the marina is worth a visit if you like fish and seafood.

The hotel has a marina and a private beach area, which is small and currently undergoing renovation, so it's not a particularly pleasant place at the moment. Finding your way to the seafood restaurant, located in the beach area, involves negotiating a construction site. That's a temporary inconvenience of course.

The hotel swimming pool is reasonably large for a decent swim, although the general seating around it is fairly small and can get crowded. There's an enormous health and fitness club (a bit out of the way) which has an impressive array of machines and weight training accessories, as well as a spa and sauna area.

This is probably not a hotel suited for the holiday traveller as it's located at one end of the Abu Dhabi island (although that puts it near the Marina Mall shopping complex and Emirates Palace hotel - itself worth a visit). The hotel has a business-like atmosphere, rather than a holiday feeling. If you're staying for business it may well be a suitable place, depending on where your business is, and how the room rates compare with other (newer) properties.

Room Tip: Upper floors have nice views (city view is more interesting, and cheaper).
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Manama, Bahrain
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

I have been in this hotel mant times since 1991 and found it over years as good as it is first time.
The location is excellent , the atmosfiere is great every thing is so fantastic.
the quality is so great and all around is so great. very big gardin wi9th a beatiful outlook.
I always feel homesick to this when I go to Abu Dhabi

Room Tip: I have been in this hotel number of times but a few years a go
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Brentwood, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

We booked this hotel for a last minute break in the sun as it had a beach and pool. We unintentionally booked ourselves a junior suite (1 king bedroom with ensuite and a lounge, kitchenette and additional toilet) as my husband and i had our 16 year old daughter with us and she was able to have a single bed set up in the lounge area of the suite. It turned out that we were on the Club Level of the hotel which is a little more expensive and probably designed with business travellers in mind, but for us, it was a stroke of luck and money well spent. The room rate included use of the Club reception and lounge area with it's outstanding views, constant buffets of food and drink and attentive service standards. It also included breakfast for the two adults (but as my daughter only eats fruit for breakfast and this was provided in the room, that suited us. The breakfast buffet caters for all nationalities and tastes with a huge variety of fresh food and an 'egg station' for eggs prepared to exacting requirements. Coffee and tea is constantly available in the lounge and our room also had a coffee maker and tea making facitiies too (unusual outside the UK) which was most welcome especially as room service provided fresh milk for my tea which I could keep in the kitchenette's fridge, an enormous improvement over UHT longlife or powdered milk usually provided!!
We spent our days by the lovely pool and it's bar which serves a nice selection of foods for lunch and on the beach which has a bar too and a restaurant with terrace for lunches. The beach is clean and very well attended with cabanas and sunbeds a plenty and a play area, showers and volleyball court too. The beach attendants, like those at the pool and throughout the hotel are friendly, kind and helpful. The beach area is accessed via a stroll along the marina which is enjoyable and the whole facility is under redevelopment but don't let this put you off as it is hard to avoid construction in Abu Dhabi generally as it is booming, and the construction area is well managed and screened to minimise disruption. When it is finished the facility will have two more pools and restaurants alongside the beach and will be very impressive.

Another bonus of the Club level was that the breakfast buffet is followed by a buffet of fresh prepared fruit and cookies over lunchtime, Sandwiches and patisserie in the afternoon and pre dinner drinks (alcoholic or not) and a spread of cheeses and canapes in the evening. I took advantage of all of these during our stay as it gave me quiet time in the cool, spacious lounge with the free newspapers and lovely food, at any time I needed to get out of the heat of the beach or pool. My husband and daughter were quite cool under the pool or beach umbrellas but I thoroughly enjoyed the quiet lounge facility, a bit like being in a library with lovely snacks available and tv too if required (which I avoided!).

The Intercontinental is situated at one end of Abu Dhabi, near the Jumeriah Towers and Emerite Palace and is not central which suited us, as the whole city, like many in the U.S.A., is designed for the car, and not for walking. As taxi's are plentiful and cheap, getting around was not a problem. The hotel does have several lovely restaurants but we used none of them for dinner as we found that, after lunch by the pool or beach, afternoon tea and pre -dinner drinks, cheeses and canapes in the lounge, we did not require an evening meal too! It also has some great bars which, had we been with other adults we would have made use of. The Belgian Beer Bar seemed to be particularly popular!

We had a delightful, lazy half-term week at the Intercontinental with no effort required on our part for anything. If you want a week of doing nothing but lazing in the sun and being waited on, I would thoroughly recommend it. It would suit groups of adults as well as families with children. We will definitely be back.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

I spent 14 nights in this hotel for work. It is well appointed & the rooms are nice. It is not a holiday hotel though...yes it has a beach (which is being upgraded) but I wouldnt stay here for a holiday. It's on the westen end of the Cornish near the Emirates Palace Hotel & about a 10dirum taxi to city. The restuarants a good & there are a number of options of places to eat. It is also close to Marina Mall where you can then get "Big Bus" tour buses etc. For Westerners is is very close to "Spinneys"...a local Bottleshop....not easy to find in the Middle East...

Room Tip: Buffet Breakfast gets tiresome after a while but at least you have options.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

I paid 600 UAE Dirhams a night to stay in this hotel during a business trip and it's an odd mix of business hotel with a micro poor-quality beach resort. My advice; if you're looking for a romantic getaway, avoid and if you're here on a business trip, avoid unless on a tight budget. Location is OK (about 20 minutes to the centre of Abu Dhabi by taxi) but there are hotels much nearer.

The hotel building is fine; a standard (but not particularly exceptional) skyscraper type near to the sea and the rooms are to a good international business hotel standard (but slightly small and dated).

The beach however is terrible; it looks nice from a distance but you get there and realize (i) it's fake and has been built with industrial coarse grained sand, (ii) there are no facilities (except portacabin changing rooms), and (iii) there's a building site *surrounding* the beach on all sides.

The pool however is quite nice and more 'resorty'.

Final two minor points. First, on check in I asked for a sea view (recommended) and the check in assistant said 'sorry, the entire hotel is full'. I checked online and they had over 100 rooms free - I don't like hotels using this lie rather than just saying the truth (we don't want to move you 'cos it's a hassle).

Also, at the pool the lockers require a coin to use (a bit inconvenient). I asked a staff member for help and they said "all the lockers are broken so just keep your stuff with you" (which was not true; I just needed a coin). He also said if my bag was stolen while I was swimming the hotel could do nothing. Minor point, but a bit exasperating.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view; some rooms have a side on view.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental Abu Dhabi, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Dear jimster99,

Thank you for taking the time to review our property. We work diligently to ensure our facilities are well maintained and we try our hardest to provide not just good value, but comfortable, clean and friendly accommodations. It sounds like we fell below your expectations due to the service received from our staff and I am sorry to hear that you were disappointed about the beach location. Though I would prefer you had a better experience at our hotel, I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts as this is our best resource for improving guest services.

Your business is valued and we hope your future travel plans will continue to include IHG properties.

Sincerely,

Lera M
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012 via mobile

Overall a great stay!! Currently the Beach area is under expansion but this causes only minor disruption. Staff are all really friendly. Currently Abu Dhabi has a lot of building working happening and especially around this hotel, this makes walking anywhere impossible but taxi are very cheap.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about InterContinental Abu Dhabi

Address: King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street | Al Bateen area, Abu Dhabi 4171, United Arab Emirates
Phone Number:
Location: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Abu Dhabi > Abu Dhabi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Romantic Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#26 Business Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#26 Family Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#26 Luxury Hotel in Abu Dhabi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — InterContinental Abu Dhabi 5*
Number of rooms: 390
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
InterContinental Abu Dhabi is perfectly situated on the beach and less than 10 minutes from bustling downtown and the Abu Dhabi International Exhibition Centre. Heritage Village, the Cultural Foundation and Lulu Island are also close by. For a unique shopping experience, the Gold Souk (market) is a must while the Marina and Abu Dhabi Malls offer more contemporary alternatives. The hotel concierge can arrange a 4x4 desert safari for those looking for adventure. Our Bayshore Beach Club offers the beast recreiation facilities, 300 meters white sandy beach, an adult pool with a wish up bar, a children's splash pool with a slide and a shaded children's pool. The Bayshore Beach area also includes a beach bar and a restaurant offering delicoius snacks and drinks. Guests can also continue to enjoy our outdoor pool located on the 3rd floor of the main hotel building. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Hotel Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Intercontinental

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