This weekend my partner and I along with 5 friends stayed in the Gold rooms and suites for two nights. We have stayed in Fairmont Gold rooms elsewhere previously so our expectations were high and overall they were definitely met. Disappointingly our room wasn't ready when I checked in at 3.45pm but this wasn't the fault of the staff it was because the guest hadn’t yet checked out, it was ready before 4.30pm but I did notice that perhaps the housekeeping had been somewhat rushed since our friend's suite had a huge platter of fruit, chocolates and plenty water whereas I couldn't seem to locate the water so asked for this to be delivered. The staff on the gold reception desk were always very helpful and friendly as one would expect from a Fairmont hotel.
The Gold Suites are huge and tastefully decorated, it was a little odd that rather than a bathroom there is a wet room for the bath and shower, a separate room for the toilet and then the sinks are next to the bed, regardless it was still very nice with plenty of space to relax and lots of wardrobe space, the views from the suite were fantastic, definitely worth paying a little extra to be on the side of the hotel with views of the grand mosque, the only complaint with the room would really be the fact that we could never achieve total blackout as light came through the curtains but not too important.
The hotel overall is beautifully designed although on the 7th floor which is where the gold lounge is situated I found it unpleasant when walking to my friend’s room 817 that the corridor smelt of smoke then when I reached the lift there was an ashtray with 3 gentlemen stood around smoking, I found this surprising and think if a hotel must have a smoking area then it shouldn’t be in such a public place where non-smokers are subjected to second hand smoke inhalation, I thought this one small design flaw.
One complaint which is typical with service in the UAE was the slight lack of logical thinking with regards to the "privacy please" sign we placed on the door on two occasions, both times the concierge called the room phone and woke us up saying sorry they hadn't wanted to knock since they saw the sign - this was somewhat frustrating as common sense would dictate that a request for privacy would mean the desire to not be disturbed at all! I had a confusing incident also when a staff member came to fill up the mini-bar when I first arrived, I explained that I’d just checked in and hadn’t consumed anything yet then thanked him and closed the door, strangely the same gentleman then knocked on the door once more and said he needed to fill up the mini-bar, eventually he seemed to understand.
On Thursday we snacked on canapés in the gold lounge, I was disappointed to find that unlike other Fairmont Gold lounges they didn’t have Prosecco, we were offered a sparkling wine called Gosset but decided to stick to the wine which was ok. The canapés and cheese on offer in the lounge were delicious and they had a good selection of options at breakfast the following morning.
We lounged on the beach on Friday and had lunch at the pool bar, the sun loungers didn’t have any padding so weren’t too comfortable but the pool and beach area are very aesthetically pleasing and well maintained and water and ice are free-flowing which is a nice touch. The staff at the pool bar appeared to be having some troubles with the fridges and kept serving warm beer and trying to offer glasses with ice, my partner suggested they put a couple more cans in to ice to cool down for later in the day but this request seemed to be ignored as time after time he was given warm beer which he found frustrating, other than this the service was ok and the food was nice and reasonably priced.
We had dinner at Frankies on Friday evening and sat in the private dining room as there were 9 of us in total, the waiting staff coped well with all of our needs and the food was delicious, wine and cocktails were also fantastic, especially the Expresso Martini.
Upon checkout it took us 3 requests for someone to collect our luggage but perhaps they were very busy, checkout was very straightforward and problem free, we took the opportunity on our last day to sample the afternoon tea where we enjoyed a platter of sandwiches and scones – lovely.
Overall we had a wonderful stay and would recommend the hotel to anyone staying in Abu Dhabi.
- 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