What a fantastic hotel, staff, suite and overall stay!
I was in Abu Dhabi for 3 weeks on a consulting job. The client made the hotel reservation directly at Cristal Abu Dhabi (another Cristal hotel). I immediately checked the TripAdvisors reviews, which ranked the Cristal Abu Dhabi as #5 and the Cristal Salam as #3, both with 4.5 stars each. As such, I had high expectations.
The Cristal Abu Dhabi was not really my type of hotel (for once, it does not have liquor license), – see my review separately – so I went to visit the Cristal Salam.
When I arrived at the hotel, I was immediately greeted by the food and beverage manager, Bassel. He toured personally the full hotel with me, showing me all the rooms, which were much better than at the Cristal Abu Dhabi. In fact, the hotel surroundings is also better. Bassel even offered to help me make the move. As you can expect, I moved.
To make the story short, my high expectations were highly surpassed. This is rare, considering that I travel all the time around the world and I know lots of hotels.
The hotel is not on the beach (Corniche), is not big (only 12 floors) and does not have big amenities (the swimming pool and the gym are relatively small). But what it lacks on that front compared to big brands, is highly compensated with a beyond fantastic staff and personalized attention.
Let’s begin with the facilities. This is a new modern hotel, run by Cristal Hospitality. It has standard rooms and also suites. My client reserved a suite, which had 67 square meters (big!), and included two baths (actually a bath and a half), a big bedroom and a big living room. All rooms faced the street with big windows and great views. The bathroom was also big, and included a tub and a separate shower room. The décor of the room was impeccable. On the top floor, the hotel has a two-level wine bar called Vertical, with private dining rooms, which carries an incredible variety of wines and spirits. The food there is phenomenal, although at the time of my visit the menu was somehow limited. But they were in the process of expanding it. Next to the bar is a small swimming pool, with an open ceiling (not really an outdoor pool). The hotel also has a small gym, but complete, a coffee shop on the lobby and a full restaurant in the 2nd floor, which offers buffet breakfasts in the morning. Finally, the hotel has free valet parking and wifi internet.
Up to here, the experience would have been very good. But when you factor in the staff, the experience got exponentially better, reaching outstanding levels. First of all, everyone introduced him/herself and were extremely courteous on a consistent basis. In general, I was greeted by name every time I entered the hotel. I really felt at home. The assistant manager, Noaman, was amazing.
As I rented a car, every morning I called to get my car ready. As soon as I was out, the car was waiting for me, with the engine started and already warm. When I returned from work, the valet guys were literally running out of the hotel to park the car for me. In particular, I would like to highlight Washanta. What a magnificent employee!. And Pradip and Ron were also as attentive. As soon as I showed at the door, Noaman always greeted me with “Hola Fernando” (Hello in Spanish), as he knew I speak Spanish.
Finally, I really have to mention all the girls at the Vertical. What an attentive staff! The times that went by myself to the bar to have a glass of wine, all of them treated me as a friend and made me feel at home.
Although I am mentioning only some staff members, which maybe interacted more with me, I want to highlight that EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE was consistently friendly and attentive.
Truthfully, if I could put this hotel more than 5 stars, I would.
Congratulations to management for having found the recipe of excellent hospitality!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ramada Downtown Abu Dhabi an exciting new hotel in the heart of the downtown banking district. Our 112 rooms & suites have been designed with contemporary luxury in mind. Enjoy Korean cuisine or beverages at Sura, let your hair down at our Karoake rooms & savour specially selected cuts of Meat from our Steak menu at Vertical, the city's only Wine Bar & Restuarant while you take in the panoramic views of Abu Dhabi's skyline at night. ... more less
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