Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi

30 Mar 2012 by BusinessTraveller

BACKGROUND Designed by architectural firm RMJM and unveiled in December, this 160-metre-tall building is the world’s furthest-leaning manmade tower – with a recline of 18 degrees, it slants four times more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is the second Hyatt-branded property to open in the emirate.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The exterior of the cylindrical 35-floor tower is made up of triangular panes of glass, like the Gherkin in London, and because of the curved interiors everything from the drawers to the wardrobes had to be custom built. Floors two to 16 are for offices, while reception is on the 18th floor and bedrooms are on levels 20-33. These are all positioned around a vast atrium that stops the building tipping over as the upper portion is angled further outwards. It is common to see window cleaners abseiling down outside.

A ground-floor lobby with a café called Profiterole is shared between office workers, guests and delegates from the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) next door. The look is slick and modern, with gleaming marble, eye-catching glass light installations and lots of daylight through 360-degree floor-to-ceiling windows.

WHERE IS IT? On Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street in the fast-developing Capital Centre district, comprised of numerous commercial buildings, offices, and the 55,000 sqm exhibition centre. There is also an Aloft hotel connected to ADNEC – for a review visit businesstraveller.com/tried-and-tested. The airport is about 20 minutes’ drive away, as is downtown.

ROOM FACILITIES Rooms range from 40 sqm to 160 sqm and feature smart grey and cream colour palettes, Zebrano striped wood panelling from the Congo, cappuccino marble from Turkey, and glass walls in the bathrooms with long blades of grass embedded in them to create a jungle feel. Standard amenities include a workdesk with international sockets (there are more near the bed), an iron and ironing board, a minibar, a free bottle of wine and a bowl of fruit, mineral water, a safe, fluffy robes and slippers, 24-hour room service, air conditioning, a separate shower and tub, a flatscreen TV, and wired and wifi internet for Dhs 55 (£10) per day (free in suites).

My 100 sqm 23rd floor Executive suite had a spacious living room with sweeping city views, a dining table, sofas, an espresso machine, TV, Blu-ray player and Bose CD player. There was also a guest washroom. The bed was soft and comfortable, and the bathroom had twin sinks, a rainshower and an infinity spa tub with a panoramic vista. My only complaints were technology-related – the lifts were confusing to use as sometimes you needed to swipe your key card to activate them, while at other times this didn’t seem to work. (The hotel says that by April guests will always need to swipe their card.) In the room, the panel controlling the air conditioning and lights was confusing – I had to repeatedly press a number of blank buttons just to turn everything off.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS The 18th-floor lobby lounge is a chilled-out place to stop for a coffee or cocktail, while the connecting 18 Degrees restaurant serves food throughout the day. In the morning there is the option of choosing from a sumptuous buffet or à la carte options, while a menu of Eastern Mediterranean cuisine is available for lunch and dinner. Guests can also eat and drink on the 18th-floor open-air terrace or sit back with something cool at the poolside bar.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES There are four small meeting rooms (the largest holds 12 people) on the mezzanine level between floors 18 and 19. Each has plenty of natural light and there is also a breakout area. For larger events, delegates can make use of ADNEC’s facilities.

LEISURE FACILITIES The 19th floor has a 24-hour gym with city views and Technogym machines with web access and TVs, while the adjacent spa has five treatment rooms. I had the hotel’s signature Rayana Renewal massage (Dhs 490/£85 for 60 minutes), which was relaxing at times yet a little too vigorous at others – I left with a few bruises so be clear about what pressure you prefer. There is also an outdoor lap pool.

VERDICT Easily accessible from downtown and the airport, and connected to ADNEC, the Hyatt is perfect for a business stay. While the facilities will leave you wanting for nothing, the views from this dramatic landmark are what really make it special.

FACT FILE

HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 189 – 167 rooms across three categories (King, Twin and Deluxe) and 22 suites across four categories (Capital, Executive, Diplomat and Presidential).

ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The spa bath and walk-in rainshower, stunning cityscape views and large amount of space.

PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in May started from Dhs 986 (£171) for a King room.

CONTACT Hyatt Capital Gate, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street; tel +971 2596 1234; abudhabi.capitalgate.hyatt.com

Jenny Southan

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