Last week, I was scheduled to fly out from Abu Dhabi. The opening date of the Hyatt Capital Gate had been brought forward by couple of weeks. Previously, it was not bookable before the beginning of 2012. Decided to spend the night there and just take a cab to the airport the following morning. The location of the hotel is about half way from both the city center of Abu Dhabi and the airport. My stay there ended up being on the opening day.
The Capital Gate building is an iconic one already due to being the largest man-made tilted structure. The hotel part of the building begins from the 18th floor. The lower floors are reserved for office space. You can read more about the building itself at www.capitalgate.ae.
Getting to the hotel
My original plan was to be at the hotel around 11AM, but I was late leaving the rather wonderful Sheraton Abu Dhabi Resort & Spa, where I have stayed at several times. The taxi driver was a bit confused first and thought that I was going to the newly opened Park Hyatt in Saadiyat island. I had stayed at the Park Hyatt eight days prior to my stay at the Capital Gate. You can also read about my experiences there. After giving the taxi instructions to drive to the Aloft/exhibition center, we were on our way to the right direction.
There is still quite a bit of construction going on in the immediate area of the exhibition center, although not on the side where the Hyatt hotel is located. The taxi first took me to the Aloft side of the exhibition center. Due to the construction, it is a bit difficult to get to the hotel unless you know exactly the way around the area. We just had to make few turns before getting to the correct destination.
So, I got to the hotel around 1:30PM. My bags were promptly moved out from the trunk. The lobby of the hotel is on the 18th floor. The general manager and other management members were welcoming me to the hotel. We briefly exchanged pleasantries, and I was then on my way to the 18th floor lobby with the front desk manager.
I had made the reservation around 1AM for same day arrival. It was nice to see that the hotel was on the ball when it came to reservations. The front desk manager commented that she had been working in the night when my reservation had come through to their system from the Hyatt’s reservations. The same lady had worked at the Grand Club in Grand Hyatt Hong Kong previously and mentioned that I had stayed there several times, although we had never met. She also commented on the number of lifetime Hyatt Gold Passport points (1.4 million +) that I had earned over the years.
The paperwork was prepared before my arrival and I was escorted to the “room” 2212, that had been preassigned for me, straight from the lobby. They needed me to handover my passport for making a copy/scan of it, which is the usual process in the UAE, and a credit card. These were promptly returned for me.
This is for sure not the usual Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond upgrade at this property. It was a proper two room suite with a panoramic view of the island where the ruling family of the Abu Dhabi lives.
The living room was very spacious with a circular table where the fruit plate was waiting. The work desk area. The sitting area with another table next to the TV, where the Diamond amenity bottle of red wine, marinated olives, and cheese jar were. There was a guest bathroom on the living room as well as space for some storage. The lamp ensemble in the living room was interesting and looked very nice especially in the evening.
The bedroom consisted of a nice bed, another TV set, and some macaroons on the table by the mirror. The view of the “royal” island, where some work was done was nice.
The bathroom was very spacious with a nice infinity bathtub next to the window. You could control the TV that was on the ceiling using the panel on the tub. Also, there was mood lighting you could turn on.
There was the vanity area with couple of sinks. Surprisingly they didn’t have razors, mouthwash, or toothbrushes available on the suite. You can, however, request them from the housekeeping and they were, at least in my case, brought up promptly.
Shower area had the usual rainforest and the regular shower heads. There was a toilet and a bidet, although not the Japanese ones that I would prefer.
Overall the suite was very nice.
There were some problems with the wireless signal on the bedroom. It was going on and off later in the evening, when I prefer using my laptop on the bed while watching the TV. The hotel didn’t have additional wireless routers or bridges available, but they were able to locate one and brought it to the suite. I spoke with the technical guy and found out that the structure of the building complicates the wireless set up. My suggestion was just to have additional wireless access points to ensure that the signal is strong enough.
18 Degrees, Lounge & Profiterole
The Lounge is on the lobby level at the 18th floor. It was very contemporarily setting. I decided to sit out in the terrace that is shared with the 18 Degrees restaurant and the Lounge, although in the evening they apparently would prefer it to be used by the diners. There was a beautiful view of the islands and the surroundings from the terrace. Decided to have a caipirinha there, but they hadn’t got cachaça liquor yet, so settled for a caipiroska, which was done correctly.
I only ate the breakfast at the 18 Degrees, but took a photo of the evening menu that described it as Eastern Mediterranean. To my understanding it was mainly tapas style food to be shared with a group of people. It sounded a bit too complicated to what I was looking for, and I actually walked to the Aloft to have a look at the property and have a snack there. Also, the evening view of the Capital Gate building is stunning from the Aloft’s rooftop bar.
The breakfast is available through the room service, the lounge, or the 18 Degrees. I decided to try the breakfast at the 18 Degrees early in the morning. There were some pastries, breads, cold cuts, fruits etc. available on buffet style and then a menu of hot items that could be ordered.
At the ground floor they have Profiterole “café”. You can get sweet or savory puffs and other small snacks.
The fitness center is what one would expect from a brand new hotel. The locker room includes a steam room but not a dry sauna.
The pool area and the pool bar were being opened when I was there.
The pool area is not huge but adequate for the size of the hotel, and it is on the 19th floor of the building. There are quite a few sun chairs out. The sunset view from the pool area is very nice.
Overall, everything went very smoothly considering that it was their first day of opening. The attention paid to my stay was borderline overwhelming. I spoke with many managers and gave them feedback about my stay.
This location is very good if you have business to conduct at the exhibition center. There are quite a few embassies, including the United States one, located in the immediate area. Also, the location is good if you have an early flight out from the airport.
The highest floor of the building is the private residence of the sheik who owns the building. There is also a helipad on the top of the building that can be used for transport.