Located on the Corniche Beach, Bab Al Qasr has a striking copper look and is hard to miss amongst the neighbouring Towers. From one side of the hotel, you can see the Arabian Gulf and the other the grand Emirates Palace. The Presidential Palace & Emirates Palace are all walking distance. The hotel has beautiful Arabesque architecture with superb interiors that give it that Arabian feel.
We got a half-board package from Travel Bag. We flew with Etihad (an airline that was really disappointing). In short, we had to wait ages for a drink, we got just a main meal on a plate with a bread roll (no water) and got a slice of dry cake with the hot drinks round. Etihad basically were promoting their “inflight food and drinks shop” instead of providing customer with adequate free food and drink on the flight. It was like a budget airline.
We wanted a hotel on the Corniche side that had a beach and was not too overpriced. On our last visit to Abu Dhabi, we stayed at Fairmont Abu Dhabi which is by the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, about 20 minutes away from the Corniche side.
We checked in at three in the morning. The staff member was welcoming and the check-in process was smooth.
We received a complimentary upgrade to a lovely suite on the 27th floor.
The Junior Suite had a partial seaside view and was like a mini house with a perfect lounge, king-size bed, enough storage space, rain shower and enough space to dance around whilst getting ready. The room had a coffee machine, a stocked fridge and two TVs too.
My parents received an upgrade too and we would get together in their lounge for a pre-dinner drink (when we were not on a roof top somewhere enjoying happy hour).
Bab Al Qasr has its own Spa, Ayana. I saw a deal on Groupon, 499 AED for 2 people for a 60-minute treatment each. It is always worth checking this while you are abroad. You will be surprised at how many deals are around.
I went for the Balinese Massage which was really relaxing and enjoyable. I ended it with a calming tea in the relaxing room.
The Spa has Steam Room and Jacuzzi facilities too which are open for hotel guests. The hotel also had a fitness centre.
Food & Drink
All our meals were at served the Artisan Kitchen (the international buffet restaurant). The hotel has five restaurants but we never dined in them. This included a place by the pool area where you could get light snacks including wood-fired pizza.
The breakfast spread was delicious and there was a good selection of traditional as well as Asian items to chose from including a vegetarian curry. What I really enjoyed was the Spicy Congee, a traditional Chinese dish. I had never tried it before and though it is something I would not have ordinarily for breakfast (especially with the fried onions and garlic), it was great on holiday. We sure did eat breakfast like kings which set us up for the day.
There was also a fresh waffle and pancake station.
Every evening there was a different variety in the buffet. There was a good selection of salads, curries and desserts to choose from.
It would have been nice to have a station making a fresh dish every night even if it was just hot naan.
There would always be two hot desserts, fruit and a variety of beautifully made desserts.
We had afternoon tea on the day of arrival at a reduced price because we missed out on the dinner the night before.
The Afternoon Tea was beautifully presented. The sandwiches were tasty and created well. The sweet tier had a lot of cakes with a mousse-like texture which I didn’t like. They did look nice. The scones were not warm and the server said they did not serve them with jam or clotted cream. When we asked for jam she brought honey and marmalade. It was an average Afternoon Tea in terms of taste. The presentation was good.
Beach and Pool Area
The hotel’s private beach is where we spent our mornings. Perfect sand, warm water and views of the gulf was just what we needed. We had views of the gulf The sunbeds were limited however the staff did their best to move beds around to ensure all guests could get a spot. The was beach was well maintained and the water was clean.
There were water sports available by the beach area at an extra cost. Staff were around if customers wanted to order drinks and food while at the beach. The service was not the quickest and many were waiting for about an hour for their food.
The hotel has an infinity pool however we did not manage to see the view because there was a tent propped up (for Ramadhan) in between the pool and the beach. The pool area was busy and we never managed to get any sunbeds. This did not bother us because the pool area felt busier and was noisier compared to the beach. Guests are able to reserve a bed for an hour which is what most people did. It also gave me a chance to get out my unicorn and take a few photos on the pool.
The hotel has two bars. Between 5pm and 8pm the hotel had Happy Hour by the pool. You can get some wine, spirits and beer (no cocktails) at a discounted price during Happy Hour.
The WiFi was not that great in the hotel. It worked perfectly in the lobby and some spots in the room.
We had a lovely stay at Bab Al Qasr. The location was perfect and it was an ideal hotel for a mini-break.
More details on the hotel can be found by visiting their website.
Corniche Road W – Abu Dhabi, UAE