Traders Hotel, Abu Dhabi 2 - When misfortune smiles, smile back.

Well, after our one night stint at Traders I felt confident that we could move back in to our apartment, enthusiastic pest controller notwithstanding (see previous post). Sadly, it was not to be. I then made a late reservation again and checked in at Traders Hotel at 20h00. I had booked a Club room once more, but on check-in it was clear that my room was not available. However, the check-in agent, the wonderful, Anju upgraded us to an executive suite - I put up a fuss about this...NOT! Never look a gift horse in a mouth, I recalled an expression from grade school.

The difference between a Club room and an executive suite is substantial. There is a definte sense of space, and while there is not a  separate living room, the room is designed in a way that the seating area in the corner lends itself to a feeling of space. There is also a balcony that offers a fantastic view of the canal. Furthermore, the bathroom is outstanding,  offering separate basins, a walk-in rain shower and the proverbial cherry on the top,  a jacuzzi style bath. Did I mention the toiletries by L'occitane? Sometimes when misfortune smiles on you, you just have to embrace it because you never know what awaits down the road.

My daughter loved the room and immediately ran to the bed and started jumping up and down. "I love it",  she said. Honestly, I did too. Dinner was in-room dining and I realised something: if your child wants to have room service never say NO. If it means you have to pay extra, do it. If it means that you could have had the same meal meal at a near-by restaurant for a lower price, don't care. He/she will not be a child for long!I never had the experience of staying in a hotel as a kid, but if I had, I would have liked the added memory of ordering room service. Just do it.

The next morning we had breakfast in the Club Lounge. Enjoyed it immensely. There is a super group of employees that run the Lounge. Again, I recommend paying the extra Dhs100 or so for a Club room!

After breakfast it was swimming time again. I find it cruel that parents would check in to a hotel with no swimming pool. Have you forgotten what it is like to be a child? On our way to the pool, we stopped by the beach. I think Traders will acknowledge that it is not the nicest of beaches. Yes, it is clean, but certainly not St Regis. Nonetheless, they have done with it the best they can. There are some lovely green areas on your way to the beach as well as cabana style tents. Were it not for the stifling heat we would have stayed longer than the 10 minutes we were there, and in need of some cold water, went to the pool on the 1st floor.

After a 2 hour session at the pool we headed to our room where we ordered the mini burgers. the kids menu really is great. I find the food items  a tad pricey, but not feeling famished, I settled for something from the kids menu. The kids menu offers great variety from pasta, fish, mini burgers and even a beef and rice dish which my daughter had the night before. And at Dhs 32, the price too is great.

The problem with the summer heat in Abu Dhabi is that there is not much you want to do outside, so you are pretty much restricted to staying in the hotel and enjoying the facilities.

Dinner was canapés and drinks in the club Lounge. The drinks selection included  a choice of Spanish red and white. plus a few other harder options. The choice of canapés was generous, but if you needed something more substantial, they alos had some tasty fried rice on offer and nachos. The latter proved quite filling. In summary, while by no means gourmet cuisine or satisfying if you are a big eater, the Lounge is perfect for people like me who eat like a bird.

An annoying aspect of the lounge is the section allocated to smokers. It is right where the computers are, and more importantly, where the comfortable sofas are. I dream of a world where smokers will be sent to their own country so that the rest of us can have improved life expectancies!

Breakfast the next day was taken at Afya, the main restaurant at Traders. Had we known that the whole of Abu Dhabi would be there, we would have stuck with the lounge. As Club room guests we had the option of having breakfast in both places, and we thought we would try it. While the selection of food surpasses what was available in the Club lounge, we left after 20 minutes. Too noisy, rushed and did I say 'noisy'? After that briefest of experiments, we headed for the tried and tested. Again, the Lounge was good.

Overall, Traders Hotel is a wonderful hotel that you should try. The service is outstanding, and there were a number of instances not mentioned here where service went beyond what is expected, and management has been made aware of that. The Club Floor service staff are particularly efficient (Anju, Karl and Tuan). For the price and what is offered, you will struggle to find something better in the city.  For that Shangri-La touch at an affordable price, Traders Hotel is it.