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.
- 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