A hotel stay in the nerve centre of the city - Crowne Plaza Hotel, Abu Dhabi

In my 5 years or so living in Abu Dhabi, I have seen a number of 'islands' become the city's focus when it comes to new hotels. You just need to look at Yas, Al Maryah and Saadiyat to see what I mean. In the meantime, though, some of the older hotels in the city have continued to thrive owing to their convenient location, and in some cases, for the Food and Beverage offerings. The Crowne Plaza Hotel, centrally situated on Hamdan street, is one of those. My daughter and I  recently had the chance to stay there. 


The hotel could not be more central. Hamdan street is pretty much the heartbeat of downtown Abu Dhabi. People often complain that Abu Dhabi is becoming too modern and losing its old charm as more and more glass and steel take over. Well, the great thing about Crowne Plaza's location is that you will find all the little south Asian restaurants, so much a part of the city's fabric. Old style shops are also around the area, and just a couple hundred meters down the road is Hamdan Centre, which houses little kitschy souvenir shops. 

Check-in and rooms

Check-in was efficiently done and what I appreciate was the introduction I was given to the hotel's restaurants, clearly a major selling point for me. I always say that restaurants and bars are the soul of a hotel. 

An elevator ride with gorgeous views of the hotel atrium took us to our room, one of the hotel suites. Note there are also club rooms. Our room at 41SQM is on the small side, but this is common with city hotels built a few years ago. The rooms are looking a bit dated, but we were quite happy with our separate living area where my daughter quickly found the remote to enjoy her favorite channels on TV.


The rooftop pool offers great views of the city, and anyone who has  a penchant for city living will enjoy the views at night. There is something very alluring about the city at night. The hotel also has a mixed gym, something quite unique in the city. Finally, the hotel's commitment to one of its cornerstone philosophies, Fitness and Wellness, is illustrated with its onsite massage treatment rooms. Incidentally, the masseuses are all Thai. 

Restaurants and Bars

The hotel offers 7 Food and Beverage outlets. During my stay, I tried their PanAsian restaurant, Cho GaoThere is something very welcoming about Cho Gao the moment I walked in. It was the lighting. The mood was set the moment the door was opened to welcome me. Then, lanterns are strategically placed around the restaurant. Bamboo light fixtures. The clever pockets of space. The wood. There was an earthiness about the restaurant, leaving you in no doubt that the Asianness of the restaurant goes beyond iconography.You can read a full review of my experience here Cho Gao

For breakfast, we went to The Garden, the hotel's all-day dining restaurant. The restaurant has  a lot of natural light and we ended up at the window with views of the city. It serves what you would expect at a breakfast, but two dishes really stood out - the Idly and curry and the Grilled salmon. You will be impressed, finally, by the staff who are constantly on the run, getting guests what they need, and doing so with a smile. 

The Verdict

Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, despite rooms which are small and in need of a retouch, offers guests a great location, a good variety of restaurants and bars (even though I tried only two, I had visited others on previous occasions) and excellent value for money, while the city lights keep twinkling into the wee hours of the morning!

Crowne Plaza Hotel,
Hamdan Street, 

Abu Dhabi
Crowne Plaza Hotel
+971 2 6166166

Rates are seasonal, but a one bedroom suite cost around 600AED during my stay. 
Brandon Stoltenkamp

Disclaimer: I was invited to try Crowne Plaza Hotel Abu Dhabi courtesy of the hotel. All views are my own.