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“Hugely Disappointing”
Review of Hilton Abu Dhabi

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Hilton Abu Dhabi
Ranked #44 of 128 Hotels in Abu Dhabi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 October 2013

I stayed here last week for 6 nights in a simple garden room on a B&B basis. It was a holiday break away from the wet weather back home, on my own. This was my 5th stay since 2008 (last review posted), so it speaks for itself that I have returned several times. However, bear with me, this stay was a huge disappointment for many reasons, namely:

Upon check-in at 4pm, I was informed that my room was not ready. There was no apology, but I was told I could use the beach facilities and return in ‘an hour or so’. How kind. I was given a voucher, valid for that day only, for a free drink but as it was a festive holiday, the Hotel would not serve the drink I wanted, a glass of wine – an empty gesture as it turned out to be. I was offered an ‘upgrade’ to a room on the executive floor but was asked for an additional 300dirhams/night, plus taxes of 16%, for this privilege. Every time in the past, I have actually stayed on this floor but had noticed it’s facilities/benefits had become less generous as each year passed, so in my opinion, is now not worth the extra. In the reservation, I had asked for a quiet room on a high floor. My room overlooked the industrial air conditioning units, so no ‘garden’ was visible but worse, the units ran very noisily all night long so I had to sleep with ear plugs. Coupled with the huge cement ball crashing about from a crane at the building site next door each morning at 7.30am made this aspect of the stay very unpleasant. I did complain but was told ‘no other rooms available’. Each day housekeeping failed to replenish my room correctly with various items, so calls had to be made for coathangers, shampoo, towels, water etc etc. These items were generally of poor quality, certainly not what was expected of a 5* Hotel. I thought generally that the Hotel appeared to be parsimonious and/or penny pinching in this respect by only providing 2 t-bags, x1 conditioner/shampoo, 2 towels etc etc. An inadequate shower over a bath with a curtain is not something one expects at this standard of hotel, which meant the floor often became flooded. Also, the bath was not wide or long enough. There was no heated mirror, so not practical to get ready in there. Overall, the rooms were old, tired, lacked quality facilities and the bathrooms were in dire need of refurbishment.

Breakfast was not up to standard and certainly not 5*. For example, there were only 2 choices of prepared fruit, just 2 choices of bread. Another problem with breakfast was the huge queues for omelettes and general congestion whilst trying to access food. A raised dining level with 3 steps created problems with flow of guests around the circular tables. Many items were served cold to the table (tea) or were found to be cold upon return to table (pancakes, mushrooms, sausages). The pancake machine dispensed pancakes that were left to cool. Juices and other items often ran out and were not replaced in a timely fashion. The restaurant area was too small to service a full complement of guests and the Italian restaurant next door was opened up for overflow most mornings of my stay. That meant an awfully long walk to fetch your breakfast and a real pain if you forgot an extra spoon etc. Summarising, the breakfast was more 3* standard.

One of the things I have previously enjoyed about this Hotel is its location, right on the Corniche, close to Marina Mall with its own private beach, along with an excellent gym and spa. Well, the gym and spa were still excellent, good equipment, instruction and therapists in the spa. However, my biggest bugbear here was the beach and sunloungers. How can a Hotel, which has a duty of care to it’s guests, allow them to struggle dangerously getting in/out of the sea. The beach was strewn with rocks and large stones all over it and was painful and incredibly difficult to walk on. Why the staff couldn’t clear a path, around 2metres wide daily that would enable guests safe entry/exit to swim is beyond me and shows a serious lack of judgement/management. I actually had to keep my flipflops on. Upon arrival at the beach, some days I was helped with an umbrella and some days I wasn’t. The beds were old and need replacing. The cushioning was dirty, tired and smelt. Tables were not wiped down from spilt foodstuffs from the day before and when I looked underneath my sunbed cushion on occasion, I found rubbish and sand – obvious signs they were not cleaned regularly. Lunch was often taken here which was generally of good quality, albeit, sometimes served cold. Overall, a huge disappointment and an area that needs serious attention.

Hemmingways bar attracted the worst kind of clientele - middle aged, bald, western men who’s leery disposition explained why they were alone and deserved to be. The Jazz Club had a very good group (Transit) who performed an array of enjoyable music most nights. The clientele were mixed – by age and also socio economics but I did enjoy a couple of hours on two nights in here be warned, it was quite smoky. So smoky, you had to shower afterwards.

The staff were generally friendly and professional and that is the norm in the Emirates, so I wouldn’t expect anything less. I noticed they didn’t really go above and beyond the call of duty which I feel they had done in previous years. I stayed at Jumeriah Eithad Towers for 3 nights immediately prior to the Hilton and have also posted a review, quite in contrast to this one. Overall, this stay was a disappointment. I spoke to other guests during the week, some returners too and we agreed, we felt short changed over quality and facilities.

Abu Dhabi is forging ahead with state of the art hotels and I’m afraid the Hilton cannot rest on its laurels any longer. Would I stay here again – I’m really not sure.

Room Tip: All rooms are noisy due to location on Corniche.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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5  Thank hailmaxi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gregory T, Director of Operations at Hilton Abu Dhabi, responded to this reviewResponded 27 October 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing to stay with The Hilton Abu Dhabi and taking the time to write to us. I greatly appreciate any comments made by our guests and constantly strive to achieve the highest quality standards.

I am extremely sorry to hear about your experience during your stay. Your concerns about our facilities were addressed with the concerned department head and actions taken to avoid any future re-occurrences.

We are indeed one of the first 5* hotel in Abu Dhabi and i may assure you that we are constantly working on renovating and improving the hotel facilities. Our rooms will be refurbished next year for example. Regarding your comment about the beach, i fully understand your frustration. For your information, we do beach cleaning exercise on regular basis to remove the stones and major beach project will take place shortly.

I am truly disappointed that we failed to exceed your expectations on this visit and please accept my sincerest apologies. I truly appreciate and thank you for your loyalty with Hilton and assure you that we are completely committed to provide the highest service standards to our guests.

In order to show you our best, i would appreciate if you could contact me directly for any future stay in Abu Dhabi. You will find hereunder my direct email address.

Warm Regards

Gregory Thierion
Director of Operations
gregory.thierion@hilton.com
Hilton Abu Dhabi

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1,569 - 1,575 of 3,012 reviews

Reviewed 26 October 2013

I had booked a day stay with my family a few days in advance. I was shocked to see if I had booked the last minute, I would have got a better rate. I requested for an early check in and this was done smoothly without any hassle. I was not happy after i got the room as it was small and had no balcony. It had a small window with a poor view. Requested for a change of room, but was turned down due to non-availability. The recreational facilities in this hotel are good. Clean swimming pools, well equipped gym and a wide choice of spa treatments. We spent most of our time here and were happy with the experience. There is also a wide range of restaurants, bars and night clubs. We decided to have dinner at Vascos. But I moved out half way because the service was not upto the mark. I am an Asian and the Asian waitress felt we did not fit in that place. Finished the rest of my dinner at the pool side restaurant. I spent an hour at the Jazz Bar too. The band was really good and I could see most of guests having a good time out there. Overall as a family we had a good time. I feel the staff require some good training. At many occasions, I noticed they don’t even acknowledge your presence. The facility is old, but well maintained and clean. I canceled my booking with Anantara and chose this place because it had a beach. I will go back only if I get a better deal.

Room Tip: Request for the Garden or Beach view room.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank SHANKAR K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonAbuDhabiDO, Director of Operations at Hilton Abu Dhabi, responded to this reviewResponded 5 November 2013

Dear Mr. Shankar,

Thank you for choosing to stay at the Hilton Abu Dhabi and for taking the time to post your review on trip advisor.

I am glad to know that you and your family enjoyed the variety of our food and beverage restaurants, as well as our Hiltonia Beach Club.

I regret to learn that the size of the room along with its view did not meet your expectation. With regards to your experience at Vascos may I request to know what happened that made you decide to leave the restaurant?

Your comments are vital for us in improving our services. Please do not hesitate to contact me at gregory.thierion@hilton.com for your future requirements. We hope to have another opportunity to welcome you in the hotel.


Yours sincerely

Gregory Thierion
Director of Operations

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Reviewed 25 October 2013

It is one of the older hotels in Abu Dhabi, but a wonderful place to stay. Excellent location, very nice rooms and the executive lounge is the best! Beautiful beach club and an outstanding gym. Very easy access to the Corniche for very pleasant and long walks.
Staff is excellent, top-notch in all areas of the hotel.
The executive lounge staff is brilliant and Elsa is a diamond among these stars!
I am a Diamond member and long-stay guest so very familiar with all the wonderful folks at this delightful hotel.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
Thank Ralph R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonAbuDhabiDO, Director of Operations at Hilton Abu Dhabi, responded to this reviewResponded 5 November 2013

Dear Ralph R

Thank you for sharing your review about your stay on Trip Advisor.

We are happy to know that you had an enjoyable stay. Thank you for complementing the Hiltonia Beach Club, our facilities, and the services rendered by our team members.

We place great value with our loyal clients and it has been our pleasure to serve you. We look forward to welcome you again in the hotel.


Yours sincerely

Gregory Thierion
Director of Operations

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Reviewed 20 October 2013

A return visit for me and my 2 daughters to Abu Dhabi-we lived there 37 years ago. The Hilton Hotel made it a very memorable and SPECIAL holiday for the 3 of us. It was fabulous from beginning to end. Mr Thierion (Director of Operations) made us so welcome and all staff were professional, kind and couldn't do enough to make our stay a wonderful experience. A special mention to Reshvin Gill and her staff, all in the Terazza restaurant, Hemmingways restaurant and the wonderful waiters in the executive lounge. Our bedroom was always spotless and we really enjoyed relaxing at Hiltonia. There is no better place to stay and be pampered in Abu Dhabi. We very much hope to return soon. Our best wishes and a BIG THANK you to you all.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Shirley H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonAbuDhabiDO, Director of Operations at Hilton Abu Dhabi, responded to this reviewResponded 23 October 2013

Dear Ms Shirley H
Thank you for choosing the Hilton Abu Dhabi to spend your holiday.
It is truly heartwarming to read that you had a pleasurable and relaxing time with us and that you enjoyed the facilities of our Hotel.
Thank you for the appreciative comments regarding the friendliness and helpfulness of our team members, which I have shared immediately.
I look forward to welcome you again during your future visits in Abu Dhabi and I will do my best to make them as enjoyable as this recent stay!

Yours sincerely

Gregory Thierion
Director of Operations

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Reviewed 20 October 2013

We spent 6 nights in a double room with garden view. We had a very warm welcome on the morning we arrived. The breakfast buffet was amazing and kept us well fed until the evening. We very much enjoyed spending the day at the Hilton Beach Club.
The housekeeping staff did a great job and kept the room always really tidy, filling up coffee for our coffee machine in the room. Great beauty products from Peter Thomas Roth were added in the bathroom daily.
We highly recommend the Hilton Abu Dhabi. We loved every minute of our stay. Go there - you won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Martina J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonAbuDhabiDO, Director of Operations at Hilton Abu Dhabi, responded to this reviewResponded 23 October 2013

Dear Ms Martina J
Thank you for your recent stay and for sharing for feedback on Trip Advisor
I am very pleased to read your positive comments about our restaurants, team members and Hiltonia Beach Club. We are pleased to know you were also satisfied with our room and amenities.
Thank you for your recommendation and we look forward to welcoming you back should you visit Abu Dhabi again.

Yours sincerely

Gregory Thierion
Director of Operations

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Reviewed 20 October 2013

Rooms were great, location was excellent along the lovely corniche with marina mall being conveniently close. The buffet breakfast was delicious with a huge array of options, but it was the beach/pool/gym area that made the hotel so perfect. It was beautifully kept with every facility you could want. Add that to the fantastic staff (particularly all the guys putting in long hot days sorting all the sun loungers) and it really was a great 5 star hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2013
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1  Thank jimmy1231
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonAbuDhabiDO, Director of Operations at Hilton Abu Dhabi, responded to this reviewResponded 24 October 2013

Dear Jimmy1231
Thank you for your recent stay and for taking the time to share your comment on Trip Advisor.
We are glad that to know that our facility and services met your expectation. Thank you for complementing our Hiltonia Beach Club and our team members.
Hopefully we will have the chance to welcome you back should you visit Abu Dhabi again in a not too distant future!

Yours sincerely

Gregory Thierion
Director of Operations

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Reviewed 20 October 2013

We had a great time staying at this hotel. The staff were amazing and very accommodating; especially Ms. Chehbi at the front desk. We enjoyed the excellent and prompt service, good restaurants and nice beach club. Moreover, the hotel is located in the center of the fabulous city of Abu Dhabi where endless fun, leisure and shopping venues can be found. I strongly recommend it.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Ali S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonAbuDhabiDO, Director of Operations at Hilton Abu Dhabi, responded to this reviewResponded 24 October 2013

Dear Ali S
Thank you very much for your feedback about your recent stay and for your recommendation.
Our location is indeed convenient to points of interest, such as Emirates Palace and Marina Mall. Thank you for your appreciative comments about our team members, Restaurant, and Hiltonia Beach Club.
We hope to welcome you again as valued guests should you visit Abu Dhabi in the future.

Yours sincerely

Gregory Thierion
Director of Operations

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hilton Abu Dhabi

Address: Corniche Rd | PO Box 877, Abu Dhabi 877, United Arab Emirates
Phone Number:
Region: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Abu Dhabi > Abu Dhabi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#20 Romantic Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#27 Spa Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#27 Family Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#28 Business Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#40 Luxury Hotel in Abu Dhabi
Price Range: £60 - £247 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hilton Abu Dhabi 5*
Number of rooms: 326
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the vibrant Corniche, Abu Dhabi's prime beach location, the stylish Hilton Abu Dhabi hotel places you at the heart of the capital. Hiltonia, our beach club, fitness center and spa offers a spectacular beach, featuring 11,000 square meters of pristine white sand, three swimming pools, water slides, a relaxing spa, an indoor and outdoor whirlpool, a sauna, steam room, modern fitness center and a variety of water activities ranging from paddle boarding to power boat trips. The relaxing guest rooms at Hilton Abu Dhabi feature air conditioning, satellite TV, a seating area, work desk, mini-bar and tea- and coffee-making facilities. Select a Guest Room Sea View for spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf. Stay in an Executive Room for access to the Executive Lounge, which provides an exclusive check-in desk, complimentary in-room internet, breakfast and refreshments. Discover a selection of award-winning restaurants, lounges and bars at Hilton Abu Dhabi. Experience Italian dining at Bocca, international flavors at Vasco's, authentic Japanese cuisine at Toki, and soulful jazz at Jazz Bar and Dining. Hilton Abu Dhabi is a 10-minute drive from the city centre, 5-minute drive from Marina Mall, 7-minute drive from the Heritage Village and 20-minute drive from Sheikh Zayed Mosque. The hotel offers 24-hour room service, front desk service and complimentary on-site private parking. Complimentary WiFi is available in public areas. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton International Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Hilton
Hilton Hotel Abu Dhabi

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