Was completely blown away by the service at this new Abu Dhabi hotel. I read alot of reviews as part of my job and as such rarely write them in my spare time, but I had to write about the service in this hotel as it was completely outstanding. We visited the Ritz on Friday as a bit of reccie in advance of staying there in a month's time. Only the villas in the hotel are open at the moment, but the rooms are due to open in the next couple of weeks.
From the second we arrived, we could tell that the people working at this hotel knew what they were doing. At every turn friendly staff greeted you or chatted, without being imposing or, as is quite often the case in the UAE, annoying you by being constantly in your face.
We had drinks in the pool bar, followed by drinks in the main bar Sorso and dinner in Li Jiang Chinese restaurant. The hotel itself is stunning, lovely pool and on the beach the beds can be turned round to make sure they are in the sun till just before sunset. Many of the main indoor areas of the hotel have views out to the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, you will not get views like this from any other hotel. At different times when we passed through the lobby, a pianist and a classical singer were performing, a nice touch, although I wouldn't have hung about long just to listen. Plenty of people were though.
Food and views from the restaurant were amazing. We had to sit in the smoking area to get views of the mosque but hopefully when they eventually open their terrace this will change.
Special mentions for the following staff:
Pool bar staff - prepared us a delicious jug of white wine sangria, very friendly people, really looking after all the people around them, the kids (not ours!) were having a great time with them to entertain them.
Maxence and Vishal in Sorso - great bartenders who know their stuff and great for a laugh. Made my husband the best whisky sour he has ever had and then proceeded to type up the recipe for him so he could make it at home. Happy to make whatever drinks you loved or make great suggestions. Oh and bar snacks all made fresh on the premises were delicous.
Drinks manager - Couldn't see his name badge but enjoyed hearing all about the hotel, his ideas for the venues and his new drinks ideas. Try the gin and tonic, his trick with the ice is something special.
Waiters in Li Jiang - very attentive and knew what we were thinking / about to ask for before we said a thing. They also arranged for a bowl full of cream to be brought to my husband in the bar after he made a passing comment about loving it (sounds strange I know!)
Sommelier - She was so friendly and again knowledgable. I happened to mention that I was trying to introduce myself to red wine slowly (I only really do whites at the moment), and then as an apology for the open kitchen being quite smokey she sorted us out with two glasses of a lovely red Merlot to sample. Unnecessary but appreciated massively.
I know this all sounds very gushy and I haven't even gone into the detail, but we've been to so many hotels in the UAE and we were really blown away by this one, had a great night and met some great people who truly seemed happy to be doing their jobs. Can't wait to stay overnight.
If they manage to maintain this level of service they will be at Number 1 in no time at all. We have already planned to return twice in the next month after our first scoping visit, a fantastic hotel, with great food and some of the best staff in the UAE.
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