Truly memorable stay - Shangri-la, Abu Dhabi
|Arabian touches permeate the hotel.|
We were warmly greeted and then shown to the 5th floor for our Horizon Club level check-in. I have written before about the club concept. I love it - personalized, extra pampering and value for money. Check-in was done in the lounge while I sipped on a glass of sparkling date juice. I love this. Very smooth and quick check in. Less time on these matters means more time for enjoyment.
The club lounge is spacious. That will be the first thing that strikes you. There are seating options a- plenty - the more typical lounge-like section with sofas that allow you views of the lobby downstairs, the middle section which is very sit-down-meal friendly and then seating on the terrace. The Horizon Club Lounge genuinely feels exclusive, so kudos to management here. I am pleased they have not followed the route that many hotels take which is to take standard rooms, throw in some nice amenities and call them club rooms, so as to increase revenue/ They really care about space and exclusivity here.
|Arabian influences have a home here.|
|Walking through the hotel reveals some gems reflecting local culture.|
|Gorgeous L'Occitane toiletries.|
By the way, during turn down service, our attendant Malek tucked in my daughter's doll. What sensitivity.
|Thank you Malek - very thoughtful.|
|One of the swimming pools.|
|The oversized balcony was really appreciated.|
|The foie gras - course 1 of 7 at Bord Eau.|
|Superb oysters on the day at Sofra.|
That evening we the headed to Hoi An, the under appreciated fine Vietnamese restaurant. Again, the staff delivered what was expected. In fact, I was a bit tired, so I asked my waiter, Than, simply to bring what he and the chef wanted to make for me. They did not disappoint me. The seabass wrapped in lous leaf, my favourite, was served.
|Classic Hoi An dessert, the mango soup|
We enjoyed some canapés before dinner. There was a selection 6 canapés as well some cocktails and beers in addition to a choice of red and white and sparkling wine. On our second night one of the Bord Eau waiters, Saw, did a walk about and served some salmon tartar canapés. A nice touch. I would like to see more showcasing in the lounge of the hotel's fine eating options.
The Horizon Club Lounge is true to the 'hotel within a hotel' concept. Magical staff. Ibrahim, Lorna, Princess and Cherry, astutely lead by Kopila, show that a hotel's most valuable resource is not the Mumm Champagne, premium Caviar or wealthy client base - it is their staff!
The finer details
Shangri-la at Qaryat Al Beri,
Between the bridges,
02 509 8888