If the four-star Mafraq Hotel in Abu Dhabi were a person it would be Barbara Cartland. At night you can spot what looks like an Arabian Fortress fort a mile off. It is almost entirely covered by garish blue green and yellow neon hues - like an explosion in a paint shop. While the description may be true it is possibly an injustice. The Mafraq is a tidy and pleasant garden resort hotel only ten kilometres from the International Airport in the middle of the desert. It costs AED50.00 (about £7.00) in a luxury sedan to get there – and can be booked at the taxi office in the arrivals hall.
The hotel itself was a mixed experience. We arrived just after midnight worn and tired after 20 hours of car, bus, plane, taxi and waited more than ten minutes to check-in for the single night while the three reception staff looked very busy. We were the only guests waiting. Check-out was only slightly quicker.
Taken to our room it was a relief to discover a spacious and clean expanse after the long confinements. The décor was that of modern contemporary furniture and art combined with well worn carpet and borderline floral chintz bedspread and drapes. The bed was firm. The bathroom was immaculate - big and clean with spotless tile grouting, large mirrors and a bidet. The bath however was quite narrow. To the point I feared I might become wedged and require emergency assistance. There was no iron or hair-dryer.
The buffet breakfast starts early at 0600 and lasts until 1030. It was one of the best I’ve eaten. A massive selection of fresh tropical and dried fruits beckoned. Melon pineapple, watermelon, mangoes, kiwifruit, paw paw – not to mention the old favourites such as banana orange and apple. Add croissants and Danishes, muesli, yoghurt to the cooked breakfast, sausages, bacon, eggs and more. There is a good chance other guests may struggle with the bath as well.
The hotel itself has facilities that deserve more than a night’s stay. A leisure pool has a bar with a decent slide for kids that runs through a rocky outcrop. Other facilities include table-tennis, tennis, volleyball, badminton and a gym.
For the grown-ups Happy hour is from 1200 to 2000 hours. Enough time to get more than happy.
It seems the hotel can’t decide whether it is a kid friendly family resort or a business hotel. My best guess is that is hedging its bets by being both - with no obvious detriment to the other.
A room including breakfast, service (10%) tourist tax (6%) cost AED719. About £103 and is pretty cheap by Abu Dhabi standards.
Its location and its price mean I’d probably stay there again. Even Barbara Cartland was loveable.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mafraq Hotel & Resort Abu Dhabi is locally own and managed 4star deluxe hotel, offers travelers the perfect balance of a culturally rich encounter with a modern twist. Conveniently located 10 minutes from AD International Airport, 20 minutes' drive to unique landmarks such are the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque & Heritage Village, Saadiyat Island's Cultural District & Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. The property provides warm minimalist indulgence with well thought-out finishing's, facilities and food and beverages outlets.The subtle tones and simple lines of the hotel is mirrored by the humble approach the hotel takes to delivering a quality modern product built on strong customer service.Mafraq Hotel & Resort offers 250 modern deluxe rooms and suites boasting tranquil garden & pool views, and is well equipped with in-room amenities and facilities such as:•24 hours room service•IP telephones with bathroom extension•Wire/wireless with high speed internet access in guest rooms•Free complementary Tea & Coffee making facilities•Interactive 32" LCD Sony TVs with satellite channels, alarm clock, weather & news feed•Well-supplied mini bar•Iron & Ironing Board•Free in-room electronic safety box•Daily complimentary water•Laundry services•Swede Dreams 5 star mattresses•Pillow Menus ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ramada Abu Dhabi