Rooms have little balconies, kettles, and work desks
Two outdoor pools, a kiddy pool, and a waterslide
Italian, Mexican, and buffet restaurants with live entertainment
Swim-up bar, English pub, and a nightclub
Spa has sauna, steam room, and hot tub
Modern fitness center plus tennis and squash courts
24-hour business center, meeting rooms, and grand ballroom
Free basic Wi-Fi throughout
Rooms have dated decor and amenities
Lots of noise complaints
Pools and facilities are open to the public and can get crowded
Surrounded by busy roads
The upscale Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort is one of the older hotels clustered near each other in busy downtown Abu Dhabi, and it shows. Despite its branding as a resort, along with the availability of water sports on a lagoon and live entertainment, the hotel feels small and the public spaces are tired next to its more modern competitors. Its 272 rooms benefit somewhat from little balconies, but they're on the small side and have dated decor. On the plus side, its varied dining options are welcome and the rates are attractive. Though it lacks direct beach access, it's worth considering the nearby Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi.
A partial 2015 renovation updated the international buffet restaurant and added a nightclub, but the mud-colored Sheraton looks small and underwhelming compared to the shining towers that have sprung up around it in recent years. Apart from the lobby -- with its towering Arabic arches and columns -- many of the common spaces have low ceilings and a lack of windows that make them feel cramped. Its location near the business district and its conference facilities ensure that many of the guests are business travelers. Couples and leisure tourists might be disappointed by the lagoon's beach since it's hemmed in by a busy road, and traffic throughout the area increases with the constant development.
The Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort is in a unique waterfront location on its own lagoon, but also closed in by the busy road networks of the Corniche District in downtown Abu Dhabi. The surrounding area is densely packed with office buildings and other hotels. Tourists who want to see the sights will need a car to get around, and it’s certainly not the best-placed hotel for getting to the main attractions. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a 20-minute drive away, and popular sights such as Yas Island and Ferrari World Park are 30 minutes by car. The Abu Dhabi International Airport is around a 30-minute drive without traffic.
An outdated style pervades the hotel's 272 rooms, with light-wood furnishings and sand-colored decor. Wood floors and ornate light fixtures help keep up the appearances of an upscale property, but the standard rooms are on the small side and are surprisingly devoid of natural light despite having small balconies -- other than the balcony doors, there are no windows to enjoy the views. Large work desks and roller chairs are set into rounded alcoves and there are awkward sitting areas facing the beds, with two upholstered chairs. Older 40-inch flat-screen TVs are mounted on the walls above.
Free basic Wi-Fi comes standard (or there's a fee for high-speed internet), as do aging iPod docks and clock radios, along with minibars and electric kettles. The bathrooms are attractively covered in marble, outfitted with bidets, large walk-in showers, and separate soaking tubs. Upgraded rooms grant access to the Club Lounge with refreshments. Suites have more posh decor of Italian marble and velvet furnishings, and include a breakfast buffet. Note there have been several complaints of noise issues due to poor soundproofing.
Beach with water sports, outdoor pools, waterslide, and multiple restaurants
The hotel's lagoon provides a semi-enclosed space for water sports, scuba diving, and fishing. Excursions and sightseeing tours by boat are also available. The beach has plenty of loungers and umbrellas, and there are also sundecks surrounding the two outdoor pools (one with a waterslide) and a kiddy pool. A full-service spa has a sauna, steam room, and hot tub, while the big fitness center has modern cardio and weight-training machines, along with two squash courts and two outdoor tennis courts. Zumba and karate classes are also available. It's worth mentioning that pools and facilities are open to the public and can get crowded.
Dining options include a big international buffet with cooking stations and regular live music, along with La Mamma Italian restaurant, and El Sombrero's Mexican cuisine accompanied by a Latin band. A Spanish tapas joint, an English pub, an outdoor cocktail lounge with a fire pit in a palm garden terrace, and a swim-up bar are additionally available. Business and meeting facilities include several conference rooms that can accommodate up to 800 guests, along with a grand ballroom, and a 24-hour business center.
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