If you've ever wondered, what on earth is that strange looking, tilted, building at the far end of Abu Dhabi? You are not alone! I thought the exact same thing a couple of years, just after it was built! Until I found out it was a hotel, and not just any hotel but a Hyatt property .... "Hyatt Capital Gate" to be precise. And ever since, I've been dying to see what it looked like on the inside.
Hyatt Capital Gate is no ordinary hotel. It holds the Guinness world record for being the furthest leaning made made tower with an inclination of 18 degrees. Just before you enter the building, you see this little board at the entrance saying just that. I felt a little proud to be staying in a building that holds a world record!
And although you enter from the ground flower, its not until the 18th floor that you'll see the lobby ... an eye catching one that too with bubble sorta things hanging from the ceiling! We were greeted by Shazia who quickly checked us in and Abhishek who escorted us to our room on the 22nd floor.
The interior of the hotel is equally impressive. After passing through a criss-cross foyer, we reached our room. I dunno about you, however for me, when I enter a hotel room I check two things - View and bathroom! And let me tell you, I was more than impressed. For the first time in my life, I saw a freestanding bathtub! Okay, I've seen it in movies and all, but now, I'd actually be able to sit in one! This one had a view too! Of course, there was a stand up shower as well. But this, this was spectacular!
The room was super spacious with a work station, safe, fully stocked mini bar and an Illy coffee machine! This coffee machine was probably what impressed Mr. D the most. He loves his fresh coffee! Everything about the room was so organized. The only issue we found here was that the AC vents faced directly on one side of the bed. Guess, who slept there ;) The internet worked a bit slow as well, even though we were just browsing. This is something the hotel could improve on.
Our room had ceiling to floor windows with a view of the city and well as the sea! And here's how we were welcomed ! Hyatt Capital Gate... you've definitely got style!
With regards to Rayana Spa, I got to try out one of their signature massages called the "Rayana Renewal Massage" ... which is a combination of Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage. If you've slept through any of your massages, you can be sure that the therapist did an excellent job! That's exactly what happened to me when Petronella gave me a massage! It super relaxing. Thankfully, I didn't snore ... or I think I didn't! I loved that I was able to choose my own oil for the massage. There were 3 oils to choose from and I went for something citrus-y and refreshing. The massage rooms and lounge area are super clean and tidy. The lounge actually looked like a little cafe with a kitchen! Steam and Sauna were also available. My massage room had its own shower and tub, although I wasn't informed about it until I entered the massage room. So, i ended up using the common one instead.
With the exception of the pool bar, I tried out two restaurants at the hotel. The first one was 18 Degrees. I had both dinner and brekkie here. 18 Degrees has a beautiful view of Abu Dhabi and I made sure I got a nice table during the day. They have an alfresco seating arrangement too, but given the current weather scene in Abu Dhabi, it was a clear NO from me! The restaurant has a Mediterranean inspired cuisine and had a open kitchen concept. You can see the chefs whip up your food. Dinner was a-la-carte which I absolutely love. Buffets confuse me whereas in a-la-carte, chefs give their undivided attention to one dish! Mr. D and I both had a pretty big dinner, and tried to get a taste of everything. What I recommend trying out is the Gambas Al Ajillo (garlic-y prawn kinda thing) and Costine de manzo (beef short rib). If you're feeling experimental, try out the chicken livers too. They are really good. The food at 18 degrees is meant for sharing, so the portions might appear a bit less. However, I think they're worth the price. I was very disappointed when carpaccio wasn't available, even though it was listed on the menu. In my opinion, if something isn't available, it shouldn't be shown on the menu!
Brekkie at 18 Degrees had a mix of items. We saw beautiful flower shaped idlis, fresh juices, an assortment of pastries and cereals, live egg station, waffle/pancake station and lots more. The salad selection was a bit less, however, it didn't affect us much.
We even got to try out the popular Afternoon Tea at Hyatt Capital Gate's other restaurant known as Lounge. The three tier afternoon tea set came with a selection of items from sandwiches to scones, cakes to macarons, and more. It was a perfect balance of sweet and savory. And nothing overly sweet. Personally, I liked the chicken-spinach bread and the macarons. We got to choose from 12 different kinds of tea. Lounge also offers alcoholic options if you're interested.
The hotel boasts of a full fledged gym as well and a pool which had sweeping views of Abu Dhabi. I visited the gym only to take pictures. Yes, I'm not ashamed to say that!
However, I did spend some time at the pool. Although it wasn't very big, I liked it for its unique design and views.
Hyatt Capital Gate is definitely not located within the city centre, and you might need atleast 20 minutes to actually reach Abu Dhabi downtown. However, I don't think this would be a problem as there as taxis readily available. Although some of Abu Dhabi's popular attractions such as the ADNEC, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and the Abu Dhabi airport are located not too far away.
All in all, we loved our stay at Hyatt Capital Gate. The service is top-notch just like everything else. And it has even opened our minds to the possibility of staying at Hyatt properties around the world during our travels!
I have to admit, its been ages since I last stayed at a hotel in Dubai ... so much so, that I cant even remember when I did last! Last weekend, I was excited to stay at the Avani Deira Dubai Hotel ... a hotel that I pretty much didn't know existed until 2 months ago. Avani Deira Dubai Hotel is centrally located luxury hotel. It is more of a city hotel and is perfect for business travelers and visitors alike.
CHECK IN/CHECK OUT
Check in was super quick. We were greeted by the friendly front desk staff who we even managed to have a little chit chat with. Check out was equally quick. Thankfully we were the only ones during both check in & check out!.
We stayed in an AVANI room & were given access to the executive lounge as well. Our spacious room had a view of old Dubai's busy streets. Believe it or not ... we saw an airplane pass over us every 5 minutes! However, it didn't disturb us. Our room was also equipped with a work table, safe, seating area, ironing facility,fully stocked mini bar and fridge. And of course, a super comfy bed!
I absolutely loved how the hotel welcomed us - the moment we entered, we saw a plate decorated with choco-starberries and gigantic chocolate bars. In addition to that, we were given our very own mason jars. They also put a nice, welcome note in there. Talk about attention to detaill!
I liked the bathroom because it had a rain shower. Personally, I am a big fan of hotels with rain showers rather than regular showers. However, I was rather surprised when there wasn't any hand-washing soap. When we called housekeeping and asked them for soap. they brought us shower gel (something which was already placed in the room)! Naturally, we assumed that hand soap wasn't available. However, while checking out, we got to know that they had forgotten to place the handwash in our room. The rest of the bathroom amenities including plush bathrobes and slippers were all available.
Some of the benefits as an executive guest included - full access to the executive lounge (breakfast, afternoon tea, light dinner), airport transfers to Dubai airport, suit pressing, and access to Oceana Beach Club.
AVANI Deira Dubai Hotel is located in the older part of Dubai (which is Deira) and is very convenient to visit some of Dubai's most popular attractions like the Gold & Spice Souqs, Dubai Creek, etc. Even the airport is a mere 4 kms. away! If you want to venture into the newer part of Dubai, there's a metro station located just 2 minutes away from the hotel. Hop on the metro, and you can visit other popular attractions like the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall etc. If you use a car/taxi, there are chances that you can might get stuck in traffic, and believe me, thats the last thing you'd want! I'd definitely recommend sticking to public transport.
The hotel has its own gym and a swimming pool.
But the best part is, we had access to one of Dubai's best beach clubs "Oceana Beach Club" located on the Palm Jumeirah. From the beachclub, you can get a magnificent view of Dubai's every changing skyline from a ginormous infinity pool or a private beach. Yup! Thats once fancy beachclub. Lets not discuss how packed it was though, it looked like the whole of Palm Jumeirah was there that weekend!
Even though the selection of food was limited in the lounge, I absolutely loved it! The choice of items there were excellent. During tea time, we enjoyed sandwiches and during dinner, delicious canapes. I personally felt that a lot of thinking went into choosing the right items. And the cheese selection was fantastic! The good part is, in the evening you can enjoy happy hours.
We even had a sneak peek of the breakfast at the lounge (sneak peek because we already had breakfast at the hotel's Jigsaw Restaurant). And I loved the breakfast selection too. Plus, they allowed us to take away hot beverages.
Besides a pool bar, the hotel has a 2 other restaurants and a sports bar. I had an opportunity to dine in one of them for breakfast i.e "Jigsaw". Breakfast was buffet style, with a live egg station, selection of juices, and a variety of Asian, Indian, Arabic and International cuisine. In my opinion, the choice of items were just average. The hotel could definitely improve on the selection as well as presentation ... maybe make it a bit more appealing. As I mentioned earlier, I had a sneak peek of breakfast at the lounge and immediately regretted not choosing to dine there.
One thing that I absolutely loved during my stay here was the staff. They went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. Everyone, from the valet to the front desk, housekeeping to the lounge were all so warm and friendly. It definitely made my stay at lot better.
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