Very friendly approachable greeting on arrival, the receptionist came out to let me in as I was struggling with the revolving door, check in was fast and informed of the complimentary breakfast served in the restaurant on the mezzanine level.
I had a great deal from Agoda which gave me a room on the Executive floor Room 1712, which included Breakfast, Butler service, complimentary shoe polishing, free pressing of a suit or dress per day, upgraded bathroom amenities, bathrobe as well as DVD/CD player, the butler service was difficult to use due to language differences, I called and asked for my shoes to be picked up for polishing as well as my suit to be pressed, I spoke to someone with an Arabic accent and by the end of the day, nothing had happened, the next day on the way out I asked reception if this could be handled and of course were very obliging, but again through the language barrier, I returned at the end of the day and found a shoe cleaning sponge left for me on the kitchen bench and my suit and shoes still on the coffee table, the next day I tried again and gave the suit and shoes to the housekeeper after calling again and after this someone else arrived using the term Valet, the easy thing here is to train the staff to use one term for the product, they use the word Butler in the hotel directory as well as the website but in practise they seem to use the french term, considering most of the staff are from the Phillipines, this must get confusing.
The inclusive breakfast was very good and adequate, something to suit most tastes as well as covering religious requirements, so you won't starve, each day I had a nice fresh omlette and the side items on the buffet changed daily and the staff remebered who you were as well, this was such a nice touch at breakfast you can be very invisible. I also liked the fact that they gave you a jug of hot milk with your pot of coffee.
The pool and staff were great, it was heated beautifully and the depth varied from 1 metre to 1.6 metres, it was perfect for me. I asked if they would mind if I used to shower facilities on day of departure to change before heading to the airport, the response was of coures Sir, so many hotels will end all services after you check out with the exception of baggage storage, apart from not having the room, I felt like I had not actually checked out.
On day of departure, check out was at 12.00 midday annd due to an Airline schedule change I had to leave 12 hours later and my baggage was stored while I went out and finished my shopping, when I came back to the hotel early and took a place on the lounges in the lobby the young concierge recognised me and started to get my luggage ready, so I had to tell him I wasn't being picked up until 6pm, so he sent it back to storage, this again came back to excellent customer recognition.
As for the shower facilities at the roof top pool, it was excellent, very large facilities that were no different to your hotel room, which after a day of sightseeing and shopping it was nice to leave the hotel clean and fresh for a long haul flight in a suit back to Sydney.
One strange quirk in staying here was that looking through the hotel directory, they asked that Guests do not bring food into the hotel, but this is an Apartment hotel, with a full kitchen, in each room, something I found very odd, but it did say reception could explain, I did not seek the explanation though, I did bring in some cheese, crackers and juice.
The one big thing I think the hotel needs to advise customers, is that this property is a "Dry Hotel", not uncommon here, but when your room lists as having a mini bar, you can get a wrong impression as I did. Overall I had a really nice 4 night stay as the end of my trip to the UAE, the staff are wonderfull, I wish they were here in Australian hotels
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Al Manzel Hotel Apartments ideally located in the Tourist Club Area - Abu Dhabi's business and commercial district. The 216 all suite 5 star Deluxe Hotel Apartments in Abu Dhabi is only 15 minutes drive from Abu Dhabi International Exhibition Centre, 30 kilometers from the Abu Dhabi International Airport and 160 kilometers from Dubai International Airport. ... more less
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