I did not research this hotel prior to booking it- my husband made all the arrangements. He told me not to expect a lot and that the hotel and rooms would probably be disappointing to me- so I wasn't expecting to be wowed... that said, here is the gist of how I found the place to be:
Not what was expected: rooms are small, on the dark side (no natural sunlight and very narrow windows) and have a certain smell. The smell is not horrible but I don't like to "smell" my room at all unless it's the smell of flowers, fresh linen or coffee (and that's not what it smelled like. Smelled like a very old room).
Hotel is close to corniche- not on it. When I book a hotel on the beach- I expect a beach- I don't want to take a taxi there. Hotel's "beach" area is a joke. Not even with great deal of imagination can this resemble a beach. There is sand and there is water- but few yards of sand on the bank of a puddle located at the foot of two tall buildings under construction is not a beach. It was impossible to stay at the "beach" or by the pool because of the construction noise. We took a taxi to a family beach about 4.5 kilometers away for about 7 dirhams each way and paid about 80 dirhams at the beach for the entrance, lounge chairs and umbrella. Was totally worth it! The staff at the concierge desk was 50/50. One gentleman was helpful and very nice (I did not remember his name unfortunately) and one that was so confused, he really had no clue what he was saying. He had a hard time making a phone call, needed help from others and ended up giving us wrong information. We ended up going to a different Sheraton and got help from concierge there.
What we liked: front desk staff and just about everyone was very friendly and helpful. Free Wi-Fi in the lobby for one hour a day was great. Lots of restaurants and bars in the hotel- none were great or even good, but it was nice to have that option. All restaurants were very busy during our stay so perhaps other people found the food to be more to their liking- I tend to like good food and may be pickier about that. Although live music in the Mexican restaurant made me cringe- so so so bad! And who thought of the repertoire: Madonna’s Like a Prayer? Really?
Buffet in the morning was great- wonderful selection of global cuisine and great service.
Amenities were nice. Had some sweets and wine in the room waiting for us when we arrived. There was also fresh fruit in the room. Bathroom was nice. Hotel has a barber shop that was very busy and a salon for ladies. Did not use either but appeared to be popular with people. Liked the cafe in the lobby. It was lively and a good place to sit and people watch during any time of day. Desert was very good and so was the coffee.
Beware of the information on the website pertaining to local area. It makes it seem like everything in the pictures is "in the area"- it's not. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located on the other end of the city- will cost about 30 dirhams to get there (not much, but it's not local area). Corniche is across the street and the area by the hotel is not really pretty- nice corniche starts about 4 kilometers away- I walked along the entire corniche on foot, large portion of corniche is under construction and has no view at all. We were expecting to find lots of restaurants along the corniche- our own fault- no one said it would be so, but in US- usually you'll find restaurants along the waterfront and boardwalks so we assumed it would be and were disappointed. There are a few food vendors about 5 kilometers away from the hotel on the corniche- but it's take out or fast food type places with outdoor seating available for some.
The Beachcomber- outdoor cafe- mediocre food and air filled with smells of shisha. Views of either nothing or of the gym (that's the view I got).
The Sombrero- guacamole made table side was the best dish. All else was okay-not great, not horrible. Music was awful. If I wasn't enjoying my company- I would have hated it.
La Mamma Italian- surprisingly the best meal of the stay. Restaurant has no views. Staff was okay, pretty friendly not really extraordinary in any way. I had risotto with seafood and beef carpaccio.
Bravo Tapas Bar- don't know how the food is. I left before we sat down. No atmosphere at all. View of nothing/road, too much light and no ambiance at all. Would be okay for a pizzeria or a diner but in a tapas bar I would have expected dim lighting at the very least.
Bar/Restaurant (don't remember the name) - Had to walk out. Place was so smoky my eyes started to tear before I could read the menu. Looked cute and was loud- not great for non-smokers or those that don't want to smell like an ashtray after a night out.
Flavours Restaurant/ Buffet- great breakfast selection. Did not have any other meals there.
B- Lounge- has a lot of potential. Music, lighting and outdoor seating. Wasn't very lively when we were there, plus did not care for the location- basically behind the building- next to AC units and something else that produced noise and steam. Same area is also known as "beach" during day-light hours.
There is another restaurant that is not run by Starwood but located on the grounds. I forgot the name but it serves local cuisine/ Lebanese/ Armenian. Happened to be abandoned when we came here. It was the only restaurant open at the time so we had no choice. Place was okay overall: food edible, service mediocre, atmosphere/ambiance- not much.
Overall, hotel wasn't very good but the staff tried very hard. The biggest loss of rating comes from "misadvertisement" as beach hotel and having waterfront view, smelly rooms and construction noise (it's not Sheraton's fault, I know, but does not help with experience during the stay).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi's shopping and business district, the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort combines the best of business and leisure. Enjoy our private lagoon and resort on the Arabian gulf or try one of the 11 restaurants and bars to choose from. The Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort has everything needed for a perfect stay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel Abu Dhabi
- Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel And Resort
- Abu Dhabi Sheraton