We stayed at the hotel between 12 and 27 December 2011 and could not have been happier.
We stayed in a Gold view room, which had a creek/mosque view. All of the staff were fantastic and took the time to chat. They all knew our names and it was nice to be personally greeted all around the hotel - especially nice when Jimmy the Doorman welcomed us home when we returned to the hotel.
There is already plenty of reports on the rooms and I would definately advise to try to get a creek view room - the sun sets behind the mosque.
In relation to the sunbed saga, we never had any issues but as our stay went on, we did notice a big difference in how busy it got around the pool. I guess that there is about ten days of the year where there is a big demand but quite honestly, most hotels in the world will have the same problem in peak season, so don't hold it against this one.
There are also plenty of comments about this hotel being more business than leisure but having just spent fifteen days of sheer leisure there, I can dispel these stories.
The pool is absolutely massive, with a swim up bar and an attached whirlpool. The pool temperature is lovely. We ate at the pool bar a few times and was never disappointed - please remember that it is a poolbar and not an a la carte restaurant. Staff are really nice and cheerful and there are often little treats from them throughout the day - smoothie samplers and fruit kebabs.
You must eat in Frankies and Marco Pierre White's - absolutely fabulous. We also did the Friday brunch (with bubbly which was very very free flowing!) - fantastic. I would challenge you to find a food not there. Cedar Lounge serves good local food and the garlic and parsley hummus is to die for. The Exec Chef invited my husband to join him in the kitchen to learn how to make it - not the kind of offer you get in most restaurants. Needless to say, that husband took up the offer and, if you are interested, the kitchens were immaculate.
To sum up the service we got from the Gold Floor staff, Umme Honey booked us on a helicopter trip on Christmas day. We had been speaking to her on Christmas Eve and had made reference about being slightly nervous of the flight for personal reasons. After our flight had ended, Umme Honey (in her own time) then phoned the helicopter company to make sure that it had passed safely! The morning butlers, Erique and Mariam, knew exactly what beverage we wanted and served it without being asked. Chinmay and Hossien, the evening butlers, also knew our drinks orders for the evening and again, these were served soon after sitting down in the comfortable sitting area. I will admit that people can smoke in the area but given that it is legal to do so, we just accepted it although it would be preferable if it did not happen.
The hotel's decor is fantastic and the lobbies smell wonderful - they do sell the scented diffusers. I would recommend buying one - I have it by my front door at home so I get a nice reminder of my holiday when I come home.
We ate at Shangri-La, Emirates Palace, Yas Hotel and Beach Rotana. All very nice but we were always glad to get back 'home'. Emirates Palace and Yas were impressive but they felt like a tourist attraction.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fairmont Bab Al Bahr boasts a prime location at the mainland gateway to the cosmopolitan city of Abu Dhabi. With its striking, contemporary design, this beachfront hotel offers the highest level of comfort and elegance throughout its 369 rooms and suites. Guests can enjoy world class on-site amenities, including private sandy beaches, an Olympic-length swimming pool, covered children’s pool, separate ladies’ and mixed-use gyms, business services and state-of-the-art conference facilities. Add to this an awarding winning portfolio of eight dining options; all delivered with genuine Arabic hospitality - the result is certain to exceed every guest’s highest expectations. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Hotel Abu Dhabi