I have been to this hotel a few times, but not for a number of years and I was impressed with the refurbishment that had taken place.
We had a standard room, it was small but it was clean and adequate for our needs, and to be honest how much time do you spend in your room. Nevertheless the beds were comfortable and sheets changed each day. They had a desk area if you wanted to use a laptop and a flat screen tv with a selection of channels. The bathroom was standard and the room had a safe.
We had booked and paid for half board and we were not disappointed, the breakfast was really good with a nice selection of fruit, breads, cereals etc, as well as a selection of hot items and about 5 or 6 canisters of different fruit juice.
In the evening they had a buffet and each night there was a different theme, so you were never bored with the food on offer. I have to say the standard of food was outstanding, it was fresh, tasty and was replaced on a regular basis. They had a great choice of starters, soup and wide selection for main courses.
The puddings were outstanding, with a massive choice. All the puddings were light and very tasty and I found myself saving room each night for a one or two of them.
However, the most impressive thing about the restaurant was the service. The manager of the restaurant, a tall guy ( did not catch his name) was highly visible and made every guest feel welcome as they entered. As a result of his excellent leadership his staff could not do enough for you, glasses topped up without asking, plates cleared away promptly and they took time to interact with the guests. In particular there was a gentleman called Janark or something similar ( I think he was Nepalese), he never stopped smiling and always made the guests feel at ease and could not do enough for you, what was key was the consistency in how he approached his guests, he was the same with everyone there.
Working in the hospitality industry myself I am always looking not only the service, but how it is delivered and how the employees interact with the customer. I was really impressed here and I am sure most of the employees in the buffet restaurant could secure a job in one of the higher standard hotels in Abu Dhabi, If I was recruiting these are exactly the type of people I would want working for me.
As usual the beach club is great, two swimming pools with a huge selection of very comfortable sun beds, as well as a small beach, also full of sunbeds. They have an excellent gym with good equipment and a nice sauna, steam and Jacuzzi to unwind later in the day. The sauna/steam is single sex but the jaccuzzi is mixed.
The only criticism I could place at the hotel would be the internet, it was very very expensive for connection in the room. It was 80 Dhm plus 10% tax and 6% tourist tax and it was very hit or miss. It wouldn't be so bad if the connection was reliable and fast, it was sadly was not, it dropped on a regular basis and at times I thought I had gone back in time and was using dial up.
In this day in age, I would only expect to pay this premium for internet for super fast speed. Many hotels these days provide you with a basic connection free with the choice to upgrade in terms of speed for a fee. With so many of us depending on the internet for work etc this is not longer a luxury but a basic requirement and I would encourage the management to review the service they offer their guests here. I would however point out that connection to the internet in the lobby and beach club is free.
Overall I would say that the hotel is lovely, is a really nice place to stay with excellent customer service and I am sure I will return in the next year as it is perfect for a short break.