WHAT’S IT LIKE? Traders is
the upper-four-star brand of the five-star Shangri-La chain. Aimed
firmly at business travellers, there are 11 in Asia-Pacific and the
Middle East, with the next two opening in Bangalore and Macau. Traders
Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi opened in August and the
sunlight-filled reception’s bright colours, waterfall and modern art
make an immediate impression.

Overlooking the strait that separates Abu Dhabi Island from the
mainland, the property is part of the same complex as the Shangri-La
Qaryat Al Beri (you can dine in that hotel’s restaurants and sign it to
the room). Between the two properties are 161 residences, also managed
by Shangri-La, and a souk with shops and restaurants. To the other side
is the newly opened Fairmont Bab Al Bahr hotel. Frequent electric
buggies shuttle you between Traders, the Shangri-La and the souk, and
the cheerful operators drive at speeds that are certain to be the
highlight of any trip. There are also abras (Arabic gondolas) plying
the waterway, familiar to anyone who has stayed at the Madinat Jumeirah
complex in Dubai. The hotel is less than 15 minutes’ drive from the
airport and five minutes from the ADNEC convention centre.

301 rooms and suites are contemporary in style and come in several
sizes, ranging from large (Superior, 32 sqm) through to very large
(Deluxe, 48 sqm) and huge (Premier, 52 sqm). The hotel has nine floors,
with the top two reserved for the 51 Traders Club rooms, and a Club
lounge on the ninth level (tenth if you count the ground floor as the
first, American style). All rooms have free wired and wireless internet
access, and a neat touch is that if you are watching TV and need to
answer the phone, the TV volume automatically lowers. There’s also a
panel by the bed with a headphone socket, allowing you to watch TV
without disturbing anyone who is sharing the same bed. Rooms have
dual-line telephones, data port connections, an LCD TV with
satellite/cable feed, a separate bath and shower, free mineral water,
tea and coffee-making facilities, a minibar, a safe, and a PC/laptop
port with an independent power supply, allowing you to charge devices
when you’re out. More than half of the rooms have balconies, and every
second floor is smoking. Most rooms have Traders-branded toiletries,
but the suites have L’Occitane. Club room guests receive express
check-in and check-out, a free breakfast buffet, evening cocktails,
soft drinks and fresh fruit, one free suit pressing and shoeshine
service. In a Superior room these services come at a daily charge of
Dhs 300 (£50). Service was excellent, with room service arriving in ten
minutes and staff always available to help.

The bar is just beyond reception and feels a little exposed, being
effectively in the lobby. The bright, smart restaurant serves
breakfast, lunch and dinner with à la carte and buffet options.

facilities There is a small business centre on the ground floor with
three terminals, but staff have access to an office at the back from
which they can print documents and carry out the services of a full
business centre. A private meeting room is also available.

On the ground floor, past the 15-metre outdoor pool (open 6am-8pm), is
a well-equipped gym. There is also a private beach, and guests can use
the spa at the Shangri-La.

PRICE Online rates for a midweek stay in November started from Dhs 809 (£135) for a Superior room.

CONTACT Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Between the Bridges; tel +971 2510 8888; shangri-la.com

VERDICT Excellent, with great service, a good location and the advantage of having the Shangri-La’s restaurants and spa close to hand.

Tom Otley