Arrival/Check-in: I could not miss the red sandstone exterior of the Sheraton Abu Dhabi on the Corniche. Nor could I miss the smiles that greeted me upon arrival, making me feel right at home. I was registered in a matter of moments and took myself to the room; the bags followed shortly after. (20/20)
Guest Quarters: The guestroom was fresh and modern with hints of Arabic décor that extended to the bright, modern bathroom where there was a vanity with Arabic carvings. Hardwood floors were a welcome change from wall-to-wall carpet, and the Sheraton “Sweet Sleeper” bed provided a comfortable night’s rest. My only quibble with the guestroom itself is that there was no overhead light above the desk, which made the work area feel darker than desired. The small balcony overlooking the ocean was a nice feature, but be sure to close the sliding door tightly as the A/C is turned off when the door to the outside is open, and the desert air warms a cool room quickly. (11/15)
Services/Amenities: The Sheraton Abu Dhabi is geared for the business traveler, yet it offers the features of a true resort, including two hair salons — one for men, one for women. I tried the women’s salon and was pleasantly surprised with the finished product (and at half the cost of New York!). The fitness room, which allots times for women only, was a three-minute walk from the hotel’s main building. There’s also a pool and a private beach. (A newly constructed bridge spoils the beach view slightly.) The hotel’s 12 food outlets range from a juice bar to a nightclub. The business center includes a meeting room. Because I visited the hotel during Ramadan, I enjoyed one special amenity: the Ramadan tent. Located on the property, the tent had all the spoils of Arabian Nights: shisha pipes, Moroccan tea and great company from locals and visitors alike. (43/45)
The Experience: From the lobby (warm, but not overbearing) to the guestrooms, restaurants and amenities, this property offers something for everyone. Centrally located in Abu Dhabi, it boasts unassuming luxury from beginning to end, and I am looking forward to a return visit. (19/20)
Total Score: (93/100)
SHERATON ABU DHABI HOTEL & RESORT
Corniche Road Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
tel 971 2 677 3333
After driving through the arts and entertainment district of Delray Beach, I was expecting the lively and vibrant energy to follow me to my doorstep at Crane’s Beach House that evening. I was pleasantly surprised when the spirited rumble of a night downtown halted right at the front gate. As I walked the pathway to the front office for check-in, I was welcomed by a quiet rustle of the greenery and flowers that guided my walk, strung with lights and colorful, tropical décor. At check-in I was provided with a complimentary parking pass; although I would only be there for one night, I much appreciated this unexpected perk. I received my room information, including a pass code that would open my door. Keyless entry was a nice touch.
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