I landed in Abu Dhabi about 19.30 after my really outstanding flight on Etihad’s 787-9. I’d booked to stay at the Hilton after a recommendation from a friend. I’d secured a rate of AED300 per night, and as a Hilton Diamond had breakfast and executive club access included.
Immigration formalities at Abu Dhabi were swift. Being a business class passenger I was given a fast track card, but being second off the aircraft an empty immigration hall greeted me. A quick scan of my passport and photo taken by the machine and I was through, and then a walk to customs and I was out.
I’d arranged the hotel to pick me up for AED140, which was more expensive than the roughly AED100 taxi, however didn’t want to get any cash out for my short stay. Additionally, there’s no Uber available in Abu Dhabi at all, which is a shame.
There was a driver waiting with a sign with my name and we had the short walk in the 40°C heat out to the car. After about 30 minutes we arrived at the hotel and after the check-in formalities was safely ensconced in my room.
The Hilton is an older property, however perfectly adequate, and for the rate I was paying, I suspect due to being in the middle of Ramadan, very good value. For comparison, the St. Regis next door was double that, plus wouldn’t have had breakfast included being only a SPG Gold.
This was an executive king room, on the 10th floor. It was fine for my short stay, however there were a few niggles.
Despite the air conditioning being on maximum, the temperature in the room wouldn’t go below 23° or 24°C which was uncomfortably warm at night.
The Wifi was terrible. The signal strength was poor all over the hotel and despite being the “Premium” offering, was slow too. I actually ended up connecting via an Ethernet cable for my MacBook which made a bit of a difference to making things faster.
On the subject of internet access, Grindr is completely blocked in the UAE which was a pain, however Scruff does work. And it, er, worked within about of arriving at the hotel.
The bathroom was a traditional bath, rather than just a shower, however the water pressure was decent.
Apparently I have OCD about this as I mention it in all my trip reports 😉, but there were no USB ports anywhere for charging devices, however there were sufficient regular plug sockets, which I found to my surprise were all UK style BS1363.
The club lounge was quite good with a view over the beach. Breakfast was a nice spread with a good selection of hot options and there was a beans to cup espresso machine too.
All of the health club facilities and pools are located a short walk over the other side of the main road. Thankfully there’s an underpass allowing easy access.
Being Ramadan it was both very quiet and they didn’t start to serve alcohol until after 19.30. Unfortunately being a ginger, I can’t really spend more than 30 minutes outside in the sun with the UV (even with factor 50 sunscreen on), so after a quick dip of the pool, which was bathwater hot, popped back inside and back over the road. I’ve been told that it gets quite busy and is a good place to go.
The other bar at the hotel Hemmingway’s is also worth a visit, but they do allow smoking inside, however again at 23.00 on a Friday was less than 1/3 full.
Overall, I felt the hotel was OK. There was no upgrade as a Diamond despite it being empty, the facilities are not bad and the staff friendly. Would I go back – maybe. Only if the rate was similarly low.