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Advice on which of three budget hotels I've chosen please...

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798 posts
107 reviews
Advice on which of three budget hotels I've chosen please...

Hello,

We will be arriving into Abu Dhabi from Europe as a short stopover on our way back to Australia on Wed 11 June. We don't arrive until mid evening so we are just looking for a clean, well located hotel and I have narrowed it down to one of these:

- Al Rawda Arjaan by Rotana (Airport Rd near Al Wahda Mall) - Classic Studio King AED319

- Centro Al Manhal by Rotana (Airport Rd near Al Wahda Mall) - Classic Double AED290

- Al Maha Arjaan Hotel Apartment by Rotana (Hamdan St) - Classic King Studio AED282

Any opinions, ideas or advice on which is a better hotel, or which of the two locations is better for first timers to Dubai?

Check out is 12pm on all. Sometime that afternoon we get picked up by transport for the Arabian Nights Village where we are staying overnight Thu 12 June and they drop us back off in Abu Dhabi on Fri 13 June and our plane then leaves later that evening.

This is the plan so far anyway; we are wondering though whether to cancel Arabian Nights Village and just spend the two nights in the same hotel in Abu Dhabi. Any thoughts on this?

Thank you so much in advance for anyone able to offer me some guidance. Cheers. :)

1. Re: Advice on which of three budget hotels I've chosen please...

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Level Contributor
798 posts
107 reviews
2. Re: Advice on which of three budget hotels I've chosen please...

Hi shorty...

Thank you for replying, could you specify which hotel you meant as they are all 'by Rotana' in their name which is a tad confusing. I am gathering Rotana is a hotel group/chain or similar (?)

Two that I've picked are next to the Al Wadha Mall so I think you are meaning one of these? One (Centro) has a small pool the other (Al Rawda Arjaan) doesn't mention one - is that something likely to be needed mid June or is one too busy off exploring the city and then heading into air conditioned places to escape the heat?

The other one (Al Maha Arjaan Hotel Apartment) at Hamdan St appears close to cheaper, more everyday shopping area's which appeal to me more than mid to high end shopping (which I've been told Al Wadha is). The Al Wadha area appears more central though overall.

Alcohol free doesn't bother us. We will have just spent 7 weeks in Europe (primarily Greece, Italy and surrounding countries so will probably have too much ouzo, limoncello and red wine in our systems already anyway! :)

We weren't going to worry about Dubai this time around unless we cancel the Arabian Nights Village (ANV) night and then we could catch the Etihad bus over (I am unsure what can be seen in a day though until I research more). If we cancelled ANV we could perhaps do a half day sand dunes bashing tour instead?

Main interests are the ANV experience (sand dunes, etc), seeing the mosque, maybe Emirates Palace, Ferrari world and walk along the Corniche area. Idea was to see Emirates and Corniche area and the Mosque on Thu morning and early arvo until picked up for ANV experience then go to Ferrari world on Fri arvo after we got back from ANV. Then to airport at night. If we miss ANV then we'd probably just stretch this plan out rather than rush around so much.

Edited: 4:58 pm, November 13, 2013
3. Re: Advice on which of three budget hotels I've chosen please...

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Level Contributor
798 posts
107 reviews
4. Re: Advice on which of three budget hotels I've chosen please...

Hi short, yep helps heaps.

Hubby and I are okay walking in heat up to about high 30's (celcius), tops about 40. After that we start searching out the air con for sure.

I think I'll leave Dubai for another trip where we can use that as a stopover for a few days by itself and this time just keep to Abu Dhabi and maybe the dunes trip.

I appreciate the help about when to visit Emirates Palace and to walk along Cornice. Ferrari world we can see before the airport on the last day but I will need to check it's closing hours.

I shall have a think and post any other questions in a new thread more suited to those questions.

Ta heaps again, much appreciated.

I'm hoping someone who has stayed at any of these may read and post their thoughts on one versus the other but you have given me great things to consider nonetheless.

Abu Dhabi, United...
Level Contributor
664 posts
40 reviews
5. Re: Advice on which of three budget hotels I've chosen please...

These days AD traffic is as bad if not worse than Dubai. You probably won't be walking far in June as temperatures will typically be about 40C during the day and down to 35C at night. The malls are cool in temperature and Al Wahda is definitely not high-end, more like high-street shops in the UK or Australia. Ferrari World is a theme park and opens late and stays open into the evening - its not really somewhere to go and just look; even more boring if you don't do the rides.

Emirates Palace does not require a tour or a booking to go in - just roll up and walk in; you can see round the lobby level which is huge and the gardens/fountains are nice - nice to see during the day or at night. You can just a have a coffee (with optional gold leaf as an extra.

A walk on the Corniche is really not that interesting and not something I would recommend in June - it's easier to go the full length of it in a taxi to get an idea of that end of the island. You might find the fishing dhows at the port ( Al Mina) interesting. An alternative to a desert trip would be a kayak tour of the mangroves.

I think your hotel choices are similar to each other. The Hamdan Street Rotana is the oldest but the area is more interesting than the Al Wahda area if you really think you will be walking round.

Taxis are cheap and buses (at 2 Dirhams per trip) even cheaper for getting round. Al Wahda Mall is next to the city's bus station so best-placed for getting a bus to the Grand Mosque, Marina Mall, Emirates Palace, Al Mina, etc. By the way most buses avoid the Corniche as there are few homes and shops directly on the Corniche.

Level Contributor
798 posts
107 reviews
6. Re: Advice on which of three budget hotels I've chosen please...

Hello Alex,

WOW, that is really informative info.

Okay, of the two I've chosen near Al Wahda one has a small pool (Centro) the other doesn't (Al Rawda Arjaan). Maybe with those temps I should go for one with a pool even if I have to go up a little in price range?

The other option is we stay at Yas island instead and catch bus or taxi across to see the Mosque and Emirates Palace (the two main items of interest for us). I will look up the port as that does appeal to us also.

Do you think it is too hot in June for the desert dune bashing and overnight tours (e.g. Arabian Nights Village program)? If so, perhaps we could just stay at Yas island and spend one day looking at things of interest over in AD itself (mosque, Emirates P, etc) and the other day at the water park and Ferrari world - I LOVE rides.

I will look up the kayaking but I think the dune bashing is more up our alley overall. Thanks for the suggestions to date! :)

Abu Dhabi, United...
Level Contributor
664 posts
40 reviews
7. Re: Advice on which of three budget hotels I've chosen please...

I have done desert safaris/dune bashing in June and it is hot but not too bad (vehicles are air conditioned). Camping overnight I have not done (I'd prefer to stay in a hotel) and in June it might be OK but it could also be rather hot (Oct/Nov is ideal for camping apparently - personally I prefer a hotel).

A pool is a good idea in summer even if it's small. It might not be very cool though :)

There is a very nice beach on Yas Island now.But I have only seen it from the water, but it looks like is not a walkable distance from the hotels. Plenty to do on Yas Island now with the hotels, race track, karting, Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, boat trips from the marina, beach. You can even rent kayaks from Yas beach. Just be aware if you stay there that there are no supermarkets and not many cheap places to eat though apart from Ikea!

Level Contributor
798 posts
107 reviews
8. Re: Advice on which of three budget hotels I've chosen please...

Quote "...not many cheap places to eat though apart from Ikea". LOL... do you mean Ikea the furniture store and they have a café there, or is it some other 'Ikea"? :)

From your help I have realised that you don't have to actually go out on an overnight adventure for dune bashing and that there are several good companies to choose from if you just want a half day adventure/tour and then back to your accoms in AD at night. I am thinking this may be the way to go.

If we just went on a half day 'dune bashing' tour from/to AD, do you need to book in advance or should we still be able to get on one if we just book once we arrive (e.g. the day prior to when we want to do it)?

Abu Dhabi, United...
Destination Expert
for Abu Dhabi
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999 posts
13 reviews
9. Re: Advice on which of three budget hotels I've chosen please...

I would go with Al Maha Arjaan Rotana @ Hamdan Street. Because it is in Central location to everything.

Any Malls you want to you, just 10 minutes ride... Any restaurants you want to go maximum 10 min, or just opposite to it you have KFC, SFC, McDonald, PizzaHut, GoldenFork, Baskin Robbins, etc more importantly Abu Dhabi Corniche is in walkable distance.

Edited: 3:13 am, November 17, 2013
Level Contributor
798 posts
107 reviews
10. Re: Advice on which of three budget hotels I've chosen please...

Thanks JeyaB for your input and advice, I am still considering all options. Very useful to know what is around the Hamdan Street hotel. :)