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“Losing its appeal and its view”

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Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi
Ranked #14 of 127 Hotels in Abu Dhabi
Certificate of Excellence
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
163 reviews
163 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 648 helpful votes
“Losing its appeal and its view”
Reviewed 28 February 2012

Having arrived at night, we drew the curtains at 8am and stepped out on to the balcony. One of the reasons we chose the Shangri-La was the iconic view across the water to the Arabian nights fantasy mosque. And there it was - gleaming icing sugar white in the morning sunshine. In front of it was a crane, several trucks, mountains of cement and to the right the building site of the enormous Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the design of which hopes everyone will believe they are in Venice. Doubtless there will be gondolas and cornettos. Also on that balcony at the Shangri-La was traffic noise. Big traffic noise. And then the first of several dozen Hercules transports thundered overhead.

With its vaguely Yemeni-influenced architecture, the Shangri-La is obviously a good hotel, even a superb one, with excellent service, but it now looks a bit threatened and under siege from developers. Right opposite is an empty stretch of beach but it’s a certainty that something big will be built there and then the hotel will simply be part of the urban sprawl. Even now it lacks much in the way of atmosphere - it’s big and vaguely corporate and I wouldn’t want to spend more than a night or two there.

Our fourth-floor room was predictably smart and well-equipped, though the lighting system drove us nuts; we simply never figured it out. There was very fast free internet, fresh fruit and complimentary water.

There are many dining options here. We chose the Chinese, Shang Palace, a nicely designed room, and enjoyed a fairly traditional style Cantonese dinner, the sort that was on all London’s Chinatown menus 20 years ago. It was expensive - over £100 for two for four dishes plus rice without any alcoholic drinks. They rather messed up the desert and waived the cost. Breakfast was a vast buffet that catered for every possible taste - you want an Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Arabian, European breakfast? It was there, served in this cavernous restaurant and on the outdoor terrace.

By the way, we walked to the sister and much cheaper hotel, Traders, and really liked the funky lobby, the beach and the pool area. When the view disappears, that might be the better option.

Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Pausanias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (526)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
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English first
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
91 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2012

I was last week (mid-February 2012) in Abu Dhabi for 5 nights and stayed with my friend at the Shangri-La hotel. When you come up to the reception with the car, you see immediatly how luxury the hotel is. Many employees of the hotel were outside waiting for the guests. 2 nice women open the door to enter the lobby. The lobby is big and very nice as well. The receptionists are professionel.

We entered the room, we have booked a premier room and there was plenty of fruits (fruit corb) in the room. The room was large, clean and we felt like at home right away. There were some products from "L'occitane" such as soap, shampoo and conditioner, which are very nice and expensive products.
The room was cold, but we can adjust the air conditioning.
Otherwise the hotel, the pool and the view of the moschee are just beautiful. You can do everything by foot, but you have at your disposal some Golfcars, if you can't walk much.
The whole staff is nice with the tourists and most of them speak english.

There are 2 pools. The main one, near the restaurant, in front of the lobby and another one near the gym. Both are nice. The one near the gym is not allowed to children.
There are 2 gyms. One for men or mixed and another one for women.
I did not try the massages, but there are available as well. The hotel has a small souk attached to it. It's nice, but not cheap and not that interesting.

The hotel has some transfers from the hotel into the town, but the availibility is limited and the transfers are long, as it stops many times. You only have 4 transfers a day. But it's better to take a taxi. It won't costs more than 50AED if you drive during 30 minutes. It's around 12.50 CHF.
If you have a congress, then the taxi will charge you 20AED more, as it's a special event.

Negativ points of my experience.
I booked my room through booking.com and the following day, at 6h30 GMT time on saturday, the hotel called to confirm the booking. Nice that they call, but they should have thought, that it was early for a saturday morning!
Then I wrote, that I wanted a room very calm, possible on the 5th or 6th floor and not near the caviar and pearl, I heard, it should be loud. The women on the phone said that it was not a problem. But disappointement when we saw where our room was. Ground floor, just near the pearl and caviar. What did not they confirm it directly over the phoen that this was not possible?????

To sum up, it was a great experience. If I had to book an hotel again in Abu Dhabi, I would definitively choose the Shangri-La.
we have already been to the Shangri-La in Oman and the chain is just amazingly good.

Room Tip: We had a premier room on ground floor and it was quite. The room was near the villa, in front of the...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cpk383
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2012

Everything about this hotel exudes quality service, from check in to check out I was treated like royalty. Nothing was too much trouble. Rooms were well appointed, food was top class and the conference services worked extremely well.
This was a business trip but I will definitely return for a leisure stay in the near future..

Room Tip: My room looked out onto the water and this is a good place to be.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BarnsleyBoy32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
139 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2012

The Shangri-La is, as to be expected, an excellent hotel. The quality of the building, the room, the staff, the food and service is, no doubt, five star+. However, the site, the environment of the resort, has obviously changed in past years. The site in between two bridges is nowadays a site between two important highways. In fact very busy ones, so the sound of heavy traffic is allover. For me that has been the reason to shorten my stay and book another resort, although staff has been very helpful and has offered other solutions, an apartment or suite in a building as annex to the resort. The staff of Shangri-La is aware of the problem and acted accordingly. Once again, that's the five star quality. This annex apartments however lack the atmosphere and "grandeur" of the original Shangri-La.

Room Tip: rooms as far away from the left side bridge and highway will reduce the disturbance by traffic relat...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bert_janmaat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cork
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2012

We booked this hotel after reading some great reviews on Trip Advisor. We were travelling from Ireland to Australia and wanted to stay somewhere special as it was a big move for us leaving our home for good. We were certainly not disappointed!
We have two young boys aged 3 years and 15mths and I would have to say the staff in this hotel are some of the best I have ever come across. The hotel was about 15-20 mins from the airport which was a breeze. We had booked a transfer with our travel agent which I would recommend.
We arrived late one evening and were departing late the next so I had requested a late checkout which was accommodated with no problem.
The room itself was simply stunning. The balcony looked straight over the grand mosque opposite and the bathroom was to die for. The L'Occitane amenities were greatly appreciated after the flight.
After settling in for a while we decided to head out to get something to eat. We asked the concierge where to go and they suggested that maybe it was a bit late to be trying to find somewhere with the two kids! We said we would still like to go for a walk to get some fresh air and let the boys relax a bit, but the porters insisted on taking us by golf cart. They were just fantastic. One let our 3yo 'drive' the cart for a bit and another took photos of us. They made a huge fuss of the boys which we really appreciated after a long day of travel. My kids are usually quite wary of strangers but even the youngest headed off with one of the staff to look at the fountain and actually cried when I tried to take him back!! We had a fabulous tour of the property and the other hotel and apartments owned by the same person as the hotel. The staff member was so knowledgeable and friendly and made us feel so welcome.
We went back and ordered our room service which was beautiful. It was prompt, delicious and beautifully presented.
The following morning we decided to walk to the nearby souk which is really just a basic mall. The staff saw us and suggested we could take the gondola as well if we wanted. We decided to walk over to the souk and the boatman collected us and brought us back! I cant describe just how friendly every staff member was and how nothing was too much trouble.
We had lunch by the pool and Wilbert looked after us. He was superb and accommodated the children well. We had our late check out and we still had a couple of hours to spare so we took the children to the beach area and the staff came rushing over with buckets and spades and toys.
We kept them busy for hours and they were then well exhausted and ready to sleep on the 14 hour flight to Aus!!
The travel agent had made an error with our return transfer to the airport so the hotel organised this for us. As we were emigrating we had a lot of luggage so they ended up having to send a 2nd car out with our bags which again was no trouble at all. We left the hotel feeling rested, refreshed, relaxed...I honestly cant think of a bad thing to say about the place. We only wished we could have stayed a week and enjoyed the luxurious surroundings a little longer. Thank you Shangri La Abu Dhabi.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
6 Thank FamilyFriendlyCork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2012

Booked this hotel as the first choice of Emirates Palace was not available. Spent 2 nights on business.

As like other Shangri La's the property and service wer top drawer. Room view of the mosque was spectacular.

Food was very good; ate breakfast (very good) and at the French and Chinese restaurants. Both very good.

Service at all levels perfect.

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the mosque
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mungo888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
99 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2012

I have choosen this hotel because of its location near the offices i was visiting during my business trip.
The location is somehow remote if you are interested to the city center, but on the other hand all the rest is really super.
From the entrance hall, the reception service, the size and furnishing of the rooms, the restaurants and bars.
A few months back i had choosen another five star hotel here in Abu Dhabi, but the Shanfri La outpaces it greatly.
The bitter side is the price, which is fairly expensive, however it is worth trying if you want to pamper yourself once in a while.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KinPa_1951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi

Property: Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi
Address: Qaryat Al Beri Complex | Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, 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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#2 Family Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#7 Business Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#9 Spa Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#14 Luxury Hotel in Abu Dhabi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi 5*
Number of rooms: 213
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on a one-kilometre stretch of private beach overlooking the strait that separates Abu Dhabi Island from the mainland, the hotel is situated ten minutes drive from the city's international airport, five minutes from the golf course and the new Convention Centre and 15 minutes from the Corniche and the city centre. Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, features 213 luxurious rooms and suites, all furnished to the highest standards in a modern Arabic style. Each room also has a balcony or a terrace providing an ideal setting for viewing striking ocean sunsets and traditional Arabic domes and minarets. Accommodation choices also include six spectacular villas comprising four bedrooms and a private swimming pool. Regarded as an ideal hotel in Abu Dhabi for longer stays, the Shangri-La Residences include 161 spacious serviced apartments ranging from studios to four-bedroom units.The 8.5 Hectare hotel complex provides a wide range of facilities and services for the discerning traveller. These include the signature CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La, and a dedicated well-being zone comprising two gymnasiums, a swimming pool and a yoga room. In addition, there are four swimming pools within the grounds. The Souk traditional Arabian market built in a modern setting offers a variety of shops under one roof which are connected by a waterway featuring Arabic gondolas, or abras, which slowly meander through this unique architecture lush garden scenery. Supreme waterfront lifestyle enhanced with Shangri-La hospitality. Designed with luxury and comfort in mind, the Shangri-La Residences has all the features of the hotel at their doorstep. ... more   less 
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Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi Hotel Abu Dhabi

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