I found this gem of a hotel quite by accident.
It was the early hours of the morning and I'd arrived in Abu Dhabi on the late flight for a 3 month business trip. Having been unable to locate my designated hotel I stopped at the Cristal to ask directions and call my hotel. On finding that my designated hotel had no record of my reservation the duty manager at the Cristal offered me a room for the night and for the duration of my stay if required. Needless to say I took him up on his kind offer and experienced what I must say was an excellent 3 months at the Cristal as part of their "family".
The Cristal really does excel at attention to detail and manages the difficult balance between efficient operations and customer comfort and satisfaction. The staff lead by MD Peter Blackburn and his management team are the best in Abu Dhabi in my opinion and this is supported by the fact that many of them have come to the Cristal from other high quality hotels in the city. The staff are friendly, happy, eager to please, committed, interested in the guests and keen to progress in their careers and this makes a big difference.
The hotel is in the heart of Abu Dhabi within easy reach of the beach, shopping malls, cultural and commercial amenities. As with most developing cities there is construction work going on in the surrounding area near the Cristal and I appreciate that this may cause some travellers concerns. For me it wasn't an issue, just like the call to prayer at 5am it's part of life in Abu Dhabi and just like with the time difference, most seasoned travellerslearn toadapt.
The Cristal has an excellent gym and spa that I used frequently. The restaurant provides an excellent wide-ranging buffet with regular themed nights and there is a ground floor coffee shop where you may well find the senior team, (Peter, Kamal and Hamdan) having finished work for the day, chatting with guests, planning the next innovations for Cristal Hotel and putting the world to rights.
During my 3 month stay the level of service never dropped. The staff all remembered my name and even accurately pre-empted my requests. I was treated as a valued guest and received a back-of-house tour which tells you a lot about what’s really going on behind the scenes in hotels. That said, back-of-house at the Cristal is truly the secret of their success and many of the 5 star hotels could learn a lot from this 4 star little gem.
Thanks guys, I will most definitely be requesting to stay at the Cristal for all my future visits.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi. We offer both business and weekend travelers the ultimate in deluxe facilities and accommodation. Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi is located off Electra Street in the heart of the Abu Dhabi business district and offers the following facilities: 192 rooms and suites, three food & beverage outlets (Viewz restaurant, Blendz cafe & Cristal Viewz Bar and grill) five spacious meeting rooms, executive lounge and a business center, underground parking, health club, indoor pool, beauty salon, treatment room, sauna and steam rooms. Close proximity to Abu Dhabi Mall and Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre. As one of very few hotels in the city, Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi offers its visitors free WIFI internet access, in addition to free parking facilities. ... more less
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