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Reviewed May 30, 2008

We've just returned from a 4 night stay at the Abu Dhabi Intercontinental and felt it worthy of a review. The hotel was excellent! All the staff were amazing and were quickly on hand to assist to any of our needs. They were able to reconfirm flights, book local restaurants and provide assistance on anything local. The hotel itself was very slick and thanks to a recent modernisation, positively gleaming! We ate in 2 of the restaurants - the Italian on the first night, which was great, and the Brazilian. The Brazilian was amazing - don't eat much all day, and try to avoid tucking into the bread and the salad bar! They served up 10 types of meat, all freshly cooked on the spit - thankfully, you can pause proceedings, so the eating experience can last all night! The hotel bars are reasonably priced for such a hotel, and the wine lists in the restaurants, surprisingly reasonable.

The pool area was spotless, and staff were attentive without being in-your-face. We preferred the pool to the beach - the pool at 28 degrees was more refreshing than the sea at 33! However, the beach area looked spotless, with a lovely fish restaurant that we didn't have time to try.

Our room (a standard double) was great. They replenished toiletries each day and delivered a regional newspaper.

We had considered upgrading to a club room, where breakfast would have been included, plus access to the Club lounge with free drinks for a few hours each night. However, we didn't think the added expense worth it, unless the entire visit was spent in the hotel. Other hotels also have great restaurants and bars (Hilton - Hemingways bar had great live music and food; Le Meridian - revolving restaurant not to be missed for great food, plus Oceans bar for great Mohitos!) which we would advise you try out.

All in all, our stay was wonderful. The city is safe and clean, and we were amazed at how reasonably priced everything was - certainly no more expensive that the UK for a night out, and often cheaper.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank britbirdabroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 25, 2008

Could not believe some of the negative reviews.

Definitely a 5-star property.

Staff - A real joy. polite, attentive and not in your face. Like to have a chat if you do...

Rooms - Not massive but, large enough room to swing a cat or three. Bed comfortable.

Pool - On 3rd Floor. Great, Plenty of Loungers and facing the sun for most of the day.

Breakfast - Massive Choice. Eggs any-style, cooked to order.

Bars - A choice of bars. Just one thing missing for me... I would like to see a more Informal Pub-type bar. All the bars were quite sedate and Polite lacking any buzz!.

Restaurants - Most of the tourists tend to eat in the hotel restaurants. They tend to be similar to UK hotel prices, but portion sizes and quality are outstanding! Try the Brazilian restaurant at this hotel (You will need to book!). Do not eat for 3 days before hand though!.
Our second best meal was in the Jazz restaurant at the Hilton. Wow-standard food, and top-draw Jazz. A great evening!

Overal Abu Dhabi.
- Its not really a tourist destination. Great for 3-4 days, but with a lack of a 'walking/strolling' culture around the hotel area, hence no bars / restaurants / shops to wander around....and not a huge amount of places to visit.

The shops are all in the Huge Malls, which are taxi journeys away. Although we did walk to the Marina Mall, pass the Emirates Palace Hotel. (we went to the Emirates Palace for Afternoon Tea.... worth it if you want to see a 6-star hotel and sample the home-made high-tea)

AD is more of a business City and the hotels are in all honesty geared towards the business trade.
But don't be put off coming for a short-break on a stop-over to somewhere else.

Ps. We went onto the Maldives after this 4-day stop-over.

3 nights were about right!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mark-UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 26, 2008

Recently refurbished and looking superb. Although still in soft opening apparently we didn't notice. Lovely pool and yet also next to the sea with their own little private beach and facilities.

Short walk from the Emirates Palace and Marina Mall (20 mins).

Staff were very good and the Club floor was excellent with free drinks in the evening including very good champagne.

One of the best hotels in the Middle East at the high but not super high end. Its not a Chedi but it was excellent value for money for a true 5 star hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ScottRichardsonBrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 19, 2008

Fantastic Hotel in a great location quiet but not too far to walk to shops etc although taxis are very cheap £1.30 for a 15 minute journey (make sure you get a White and Gold Taxi as these are the cheapest). Beach is best in Abu Dhabi and we had it too ourselves most days. Breakfast is very good but pricey at £15.00 each.Bar snacks at the pool bar are far better value and one meal easily serves two people.The only downside to the hotel is the lack of understanding of english by the reception staff. The concierge speaks very good english and arranged a lovely half day Dune bashing, sand boarding ,camel riding, barbecue and belly dancing which cost about £40 each. We were collected and returned to the hotel.Taxis are easily available at the airport and only cost us £10.00 for the transfer which takes about 30 mins.
If you can book a club room these come with completmentary breakfast and snacks and have late checkout and great views from the lounge on the 18th floor.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank PriorityClubber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 10, 2008

We stayed here for 4 nights 19th Dec - 23rd Dec 2007 as part of a longer two and half week trip to Thailand and Dubai. We are a family of four, two adults, two children and booked 2 Club rooms which were interconnecting. Booked through Dial a Flight - cost was just less than £200 per night for each room, which we thought was a good price considering it was peak season. The hotel is about 25 mins transfer time by car from the airport.

Check in was not that smooth - as we had booked club rooms, the receptionist in the lobby area should have directed us straight to the club lounge for check in, but didn't. We arrived early morning and had booked the rooms from the night before, so that we could access them immediately, but the receptionist had trouble locating our reservations. When he finally found them, he said 'You were meant to be here yesterday'! This was despite the fact that I had e-mailed the hotel some days before we arrived to explain that we had booked the extra night as we were arriving early morning and would be a late check in. Lobby area spacious and nicely furnished - not quite as OTT as some of the Dubai hotels - quite elegant. We then went to our rooms, which as requested, were interconnecting. The room size was more than adequate and really nicely furnished. Plasma TV, sofa and an enormous bed! Bathrobes and slippers provided, as well as tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary mineral water and morning newspaper. The boys had a twin room, and the beds were much larger than UK single beds. Each room also had an office desk and chair. TV had a great choice of channels, including BBC World and loads of movie channels. Also, a fruit bowl, which was regularly replenished. Room was serviced at least twice a day and turndown service was provided. We had absolutely fantastic sea/ beach views - we were on the top flooor. My ony criticism of the rooms was the bathrooms. The hotel is meant to be have been recently refurbished - whilst the bedroom area of the rooms were really nice, I felt that the bathrooms were not consistent with the hotel's 5 star rating.They were fairly small and the refurbishment work seemed a bit 'dodgy' - for example, grout between the tiles was all over the place, shower door was loose, fittings did not seem to be top quality. Having stayed in 5 star hotels in Dubai, the standard of bathroom was average. However, it had all you needed - separate walk in shower, bath, very large sink and mirror. Toiletries provided were adequate (shower gel, shampoo, soap, body lotion) - but not branded. Would have expected better quality from an Intercontinental 5 star, but maybe I'm being fussy. What made this hotel stand out for us was the Club Lounge - it was superb. Very large, beautifully furnished and the staff were excellent. As we stayed in a Club Room, access was free and included complimentary breakfast, all day snacks and soft drinks, light lunch, afternoon tea and canapes/ alcohol from 7pm-9pm. Lounge was open 24 hours. Also had computers with free internet access - kids loved it! What made this Club Lounge so good was the quality and choice of food and the fantastic service from the staff. Breakfast was superb - proper sit down affair, full choice of both hot and cold food. Afternoon tea consisted of great sandwiches and scones with strawberries and cream. The evening canapes were like a full dinner. We expected just a few snacks, but it was much more tha that! You didn't need to eat afterwards. Great views from the club lounge of the Emirates Palace.

From the hotel photo's, we thought that the hotels' private beach area was directly at the back of the hotel - it is, but between the hotel and the beach is the hotel's private marina which you have to walk through to get to the beach - about a 3 minute walk. Beach area is superb - plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas. Nice towels provided. Sand is really soft and sea is quite enclosed and calm. There is some construction going on to the right hand side of the beach area - looks like they are building another hotel, but didn't really spoil the view and no noise heard. However, after the first morning we didn't go to the beach as the water was freezing and too cold for the children to swim in. So we spent the rest of our time during the day round the pool. This is on the 4th floor and is great. Plent of choice of beds, both in the sun and shade and not a bad sized pool. There is an outside pool bar for drinks/ lunch. Approx. cost of lunch was about £5 a head - we didn't think was bad at all. Sevice by the pool was exemplary - staff couldn't do enough and were great with the children. The pool area was not that busy, but as the days went on, more people did seem to be arriving - families who weer staying for a week over the Xmas period. It never felt too crowded though.

We arranged an evening desert safari via the concierge - great experience, would highly recommend. Included dune bashing, sand boarding and barbeque.

One word of warning - if you want to get a taxi, the doormen will offer you the hotel's own taxi service first. The first night we used this to go to the Marina mall - cost was 17 dirhams. On the way back when we just hailed a standard taxi, cost was 5 dirhams!! From then on, we just asked the doormen to call us a standard taxi, which they did with no fuss.

If you book Club rooms, check out is 4pm. When we went to check out in the club lounge, the club lounge manager offerred us a free transfer in one of the hotel's cars to the airport. This was a nice gesture and appreciated.

Would we return to this hotel? Probably. The only issue for us is that it is in Abu Dhabi, which in all honesty, we found quite boring compared to Dubai. If it was just my husband and I travelling and it was for a couple of days as part of a longer trip elsewhere, then definitely. If it was for a week's family holiday just for some sun and a rest, then again, yes, we would stay here. Overall, a good experience.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
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9  Thank eastbarnetgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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