Khalidiya Palace, Rayhaan, Abu Dhabi
THE HOTEL: On the shores of the Arabian Gulf, Rotana’s five-star, 443-room and suite city resort is a 30-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport. Blending modern design and an authentic Arabian atmosphere, it offers a full range of business facilities and is close to Abu Dhabi Corniche.
THE CHECK-IN: After a night flight from London, I checked in at 1.30am in the vast atrium lobby. The staff were wide-awake, efficient and courteous, offering to change my allocated room with a balcony – but overlooking a building site - for something quieter without outside access.
THE ROOM: Room 1705 on the 17th floor, decked out in neutral colours with oak furniture, was like a large studio flat. The facilities included a king-size bed, a desk unit, large TV, a sofa and chair, safe, and full-length wardrobe space. There was also a minibar with soft drinks and complimentary mineral water, and a kitchen area, equipped with tea- and coffee-making facilities, an electric hob, microwave and sink. The large bathroom was equally well appointed, with a big bath and wet room. It came with plenty of towels, a hair dryer and toiletries including.
THE BUSINESS: : The six conference rooms, located on the ground and mezzanine floors, range from Meetingplus 2, seating 180 theatre-style, to Meetingplus 5 and 6, both accommodating 70 in similar configuration. All feature the latest audio-visual equipment, with the DDR from around £30, including taxes. There is also a business centre with a meeting room and secretarial support, while free wifi is provided in public areas.
THE FACILITIES: The Khalidiya Palace is alcohol-free, which means fruit juice with dinner, although a number of nearby hotels serve alcohol. The hotel has three food and beverage outlets: Horizon, serving an extensive buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner; The Beach Restaurant for alfresco eating by the pool or indoors; and The Lounge, which offers a light breakfast, snacks and a selection of tasty fruit cocktails. The hotel also has a fitness club, treatment rooms, and one of the largest swimming pools in the city.
THE VERDICT: Opened in September 2010, the Khalidiya Palace has quickly made its mark among UAE-based Rotana’s selection of properties in the city and throughout the Middle East. A class act, with extensive business and leisure amenities, it proved an ideal home-from-home for a business trip.
THE DETAILS: Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, PO Box 4010, Corniche Road West, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Room rates start from AED596 (£96) ; see www.rotana.com .
Reviewed by Colin Ellson (2014)