WHAT’S IT LIKE? Abu Dhabi has seen some spectacular additions to its hotels in the past few years, including the Emirates Palace (see review, Business Traveller April 2006), but the Sheraton remains a top-class favourite. In part this is because of continual renewal and reinvention, in part because it has several excellent restaurants which ensure it remains a centre of social life in the Emirate.
WHERE IS IT? Just back from the waterfront.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 272, including three executive floors, 11 junior and Tower suites, three royal suites, one presidential suite and two diplomatic suites. All have good views.
ROOM FACILITIES Three executive floors (the Towers) have their own reception and lounge on the sixth floor (0700-0100), offering complimentary non-alcoholic drinks, afternoon tea (1500-1700), alcoholic drinks (1900-2100), free internet access and continental breakfast (0700-1030). As well as privacy and the ability to enjoy a free breakfast without going downstairs, the Towers facilities also boast very helpful staff, who are happy to phone local numbers and dispense advice. All Tower rooms have a daily newspaper, deluxe in-room amenities, free pressing for three pieces of clothing, high-speed internet and satellite TV.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS These are the hotel’s strongest point. The list of options available is far more extensive than a hotel of this size would normally be able to support, but all are kept encouragingly busy by Abu Dhabi locals. Starting from the ground floor there is Flavours for all-day dining, La Mama Italian restaurant, El Sombrero (Mexican), Il Paradiso (beach-view seafood), Bravo (Spanish) looking out on to the water, The Tavern (British-style pub), Cloud Nine (cigar bar), Café de Foyer in the lobby, a swim-up bar in the pool and Zenith nightclub and disco.
leisure facilities In common with other long-established UAE hotels, the Sheraton has become a part of expatriate life partly through its excellent health club, as busy at the weekend (Friday and Saturday since October 2006) as it is during the week. A large area of fitness machines and free weights is complemented by a squash court, outdoor tennis courts, and the swimming pools.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The new conference centre has six conference rooms taking up to 1,000 guests, as well as an outdoor amphitheatre area. The ballroom has access directly from the street and is at ground level to the left of the main entrance.
VERDICT Excellent. More than a hotel, staying at the Sheraton is like placing yourself in the centre of social life in Abu Dhabi.
PRICE Fully flexible internet rates for a midweek stay in early February started at AED986 (£138), room only.
CONTACT Sheraton Abu Dhabi Resort & Towers, Abu Dhabi, UAE tel +971 2677 3333, starwoodhotels.com.