Lobby Lounge - Shangri-La

I must admit that I've always enjoyed the calm and serenity of a lobby lounge of a hotel when it comes to having a drink, be it a cup of tea or a glass of cognac. There is no other place that embodies tranquility and peace like the Lobby Lounge at Shangri-la, Abu Dhabi.

After  a noisy dinner ( see my entry entitled "Japanese - Sho Cho just So So"), some friends and I stopped by the Lobby Lounge for a cup of tea. Now, the entrance is not as grand as The Ritz Carlton or as opulent as Jumeirah Towers on the Corniche, but there is something enchanting about it. Maybe it is the broad smile of the parking attendants or the staff member who greets you as you walk in to the hotel. It might be the kind gentleman who serves Arabic coffee and dates before you even get to the lounge. Or, it could just be a combination of all these. This is service. yes, that is it. It is the service.

The Lounge is indeed very spacious with ample seating options catering for smokers and non-smokers. For those willing to brave the heat in the Summer, there are also outside seating options. After being seated, our waitress informed us of a special Cheese cake promotion that was running until the start of Ramadan. Now I am not a cheese cake person, but when I saw the presentation, I was sold. For Dhs 50 you could enjoy two slices of cheese cake plus tea or coffee of your choice. What struck me was the size of the cheese cake. I think the mistake that many restaurants or coffee shops make with cake is that it is just too big. Now, even the most ardent of cheese cake lovers will admit that you can actually have too much of it. That is not the case here. The size is perfect. I realised immediately why I do not enjoy cake when dining out - the portions are huge. However, I felt that The Lobby Lounge really hit the right note here. Of course, I needed to taste it as well.

So, what did it taste like? I am not one for overstating, but indulge me this time: It was like a symphony in my mouth, with my tastebuds all climaxing at the right time, much like Beethoven's 9th reaches its crescendo - I loved it. And all of this for cheese cake? Yes. This was by far the most delicious cheese cake I've had. Furthermore, because the portions were smaller than normal, there was no guilt afterwards. Lol.

While this promotion will end a week later, the Lobby Lounge is a wonderful place that will allow you to just clear your mind and take in the ambience. Everything about it is just top notch, with naturally eager to please waiters and waitresses, a decent quick snack menu and tremendous value for money Afternoon Tea options. What more could we ask for? The only thing I can think of is a more inventive name that will set it apart from the many other 'Lounges' in the city. But in the meantime  drop by for a cup of tea that will be more than a cup of tea - the lounge here will become your living room at home.!