Review of Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi
Where: Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi. By car, the hotel is 10 minutes from the Corniche; 5 minutes from the spectacular Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque; 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport and 5 minutes walk to the Exhibition Centre.
Hotel credentials: The hotel is located in the famous Capital Gate building. The building tilts 18 degrees westward (that’s over 4 times as much lean as the Leaning Tower of Pisa). The hotel has 189 rooms/suites, 3 restaurants, a spa, a fitness suite and an outdoor swimming pool.
When: March 2017
Purpose of trip: Business/leisure
First impressions : I arrived at the hotel by car and valet parked. My bags were quickly unloaded by a friendly valet attendant. The ground floor entrance to the hotel is underwhelming – it is a large vacuous space void of atmosphere and home to a redundant café. Floors 1 to 17 of the building are offices. The hotel lobby and check-in area are located on the 18th floor. The lobby decked in warm amber and cream tones and boasts floor to ceiling windows with breathtaking views of Abu Dhabi. The staff at reception were very welcoming and I had the key to my room within 10 minutes of arriving.
Room type & amenities: I stayed in an executive suite which was approximately 100 sqm with a king bed, a huge living room, spectacular en-suite bathroom, small kitchen and an additional washroom. The suite had floor to ceiling windows with amazing panoramic views of Abu Dhabi. There was complimentary fresh fruit in the room. The room had an Illy coffee machine, tea and complimentary bottled water. The mini bar was stocked with the usual snacks and drinks available on a chargeable basis. The room was equipped with a hairdryer, iron, ironing board and ample wardrobe space. There was a generously sized desk in the room with all the necessary portals and sockets. The desk faced the window which promoted a serene working environment – I found the view very relaxing. The bathroom was massive and bathed in natural light from the floor to ceiling window. It had an over-sized deep soak jet bath with a flat screen TV on the opposite wall, a powerful rain-shower and double sink. The bathroom was stocked with slippers, a super soft bathrobe and decent sized Portico toiletries. I would actually stay in this suite again just to chill out in the bathtub and the shower. This is amongst the one of the best suite offerings in Abu Dhabi.
Wifi: Complimentary and available throughout the hotel.
Business: The room had a large desk with all the necessary portals/plugs points. The room also had a large seating area with a dining table, a sofa and a lazy chair which was great for catching up on emails in a more relaxed setting. The hotel does not have a dedicated business centre but to be honest it does not distract from the hotel’s business offering. The suite had much of the comfort and space that I would expect in a business centre. Staff are happy to assist with small copying/scanning requests. The in-room dining menu is extensive which meant that I didn’t miss having access to an executive lounge for snacks/drinks. If you prefer to be left alone to work or chill out then I highly recommend booking one of the hotel’s suites.
Slumber: Comfortable mattress (medium/hard). Good quality bed linen. The room was on the 21st floor and located near to the elevator. The room was quite – there was absolutely no noise from street traffic or the corridor.
Dinning options: The hotel has 3 dining options:
Lobby Lounge: The lobby lounge is located on the 18th floor opposite the reception area. The décor is subtle and creates a warm and relaxed environment. I had a Caesar salad for lunch – it wasn’t much to look at but it was a super tasty plate of food. I had a few cappuccinos in the lobby lounge during my stay – every single one arrived piping hot which I thought was a bonus (my pet hate is luke warm coffee). Staff in the lobby lounge were very friendly. They intuitively knew when to engage guests in conversation which made for perfect unobtrusive service (especially for business travellers). The lobby lounge is open for light snacks throughout the day. It serves afternoon tea between 3pm and 6pm.
18 Degrees : This is the hotel’s main restaurant. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The lunch and dinner menus are different so guests who opt to dine there for lunch and dinner dwon't get bored of eating in the same venue twice. I had dinner there. The menu is based on sharing plate concept. Hot dishes arrived steaming hot and were packed full of flavour. I highly recommend the sea bream cerviche, gambas al ajilo (sizzling prawns with chilli and garlic) and costine di manzo (melt in the mouth beef short ribs). I tried some other dishes and they were also excellent. Desserts were instantly forgettable which was a little disappointing given the strength of the appetisers and main dishes. Due to the fact that the restaurant is right next door to the lobby lounge I’d recommend having tea/dessert there instead. I was informed that the dessert menu at 18 Degrees is under review by the chef - hopefully future dessert offerings will be as good as the rest of the menu. The restaurant also has a dedicated bar - a nice place to unwind.
Much like the rest of the hotel the floor to ceiling windows offer a dramatic setting and truly engaging view for diners. Staff are friendly, knowledgeable and efficient which made for great service. The restaurant kitchens are open and visible to diners which is a nice touch. The menu has an excellent price point with the average price of dishes being AED60. 18 Degrees is a good option for intimate business dinners. Tables are generously spaced which promotes a high degree of privacy.
Pool bar: Light bites and drinks are available from a bar menu and can be enjoyed poolside.
Alternative dining tips : For guests staying at the hotel for more than two nights - I recommend getting out of the hotel and trying some of Abu Dhabi’s other restaurants either on the Corniche or head out over the bridges in the direction of the airport.
Breakfast : Breakfast is served in 18 Degrees. Pastries, cold cuts, fresh fruit, warm plates and an egg station comprise the early morning offering.
Fitness suite: The hotel has small fitness suite located on the same level as the swimming pool/spa.
Sort my knots : The hotel has a spa (Rayana Spa) comprising 6 treatment rooms. It is the only spa in Abu Dhabi with panoramic views of the city. The spa menu is extensive. The treatment rooms are a good size with a cream neutral interior that creates a relaxing ambience. My upper back was riddled with knots so I decided to have the signature massage to relieve stress and tension. I was offered a choice of aromatic oils for my massage - all of which smelt amazing The therapist was friendly and adhered to the minimum talking rule which made for a very relaxing massage. The pressure applied during my massage was as requested and I felt truly relaxed when I left Rayan Spa.
Swimming pool: The hotel has a small outdoor temperature controlled swimming pool and a whirlpool. It goes without saying that the views from the pool area are fantastic.
Check out: Check-out was swift. When my car arrived it was quite hot inside. If you stay at the hotel during the warmer summer months ask the valet attendant to park your car in the shaded car park which is located slightly further away from the hotel. It will take a little longer for your car to arrive but it will be a lot cooler - definitely worth the wait.
HSQ’s view : When considering Hyatt Capital Gate ignore the fact that it is in an iconic building – when you are inside you forget about the wonderful leaning structure because the interior of the rooms (in particular the suites) is just as impressive. I highly recommend staying in an executive suite if you are looking for a spacious relaxing place to work or if you intend to spend long periods of time in your room. For those considering staying at the Shangri-la or the Fairmont (both of which are excellent hotels) I would recommend including Hyatt Capital Gate in your hotel search. Although it does not offer as many restaurants and beach access like these restaurants it does have generously sized quiet rooms with fantastic views and it’s closer to the centre of Abu Dhabi.
I would definately stay at the hotel again. It is an excellent choice for guests attending conferences at the Exhibition Centre. Up until now the Hyatt Capital Gate has been one of Abu Dhabi’s best kept secrets – I’m pleased to have let the cat of the bag!