In mid-June, I stayed at the Hyatt Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The hotel is connected to the Abu Dhabi national exhibition center. The hotel is world renowned for both its height (520 ft) and its striking 18 degree incline to the west. See my video review for the Hyatt Capital Gate below:
I stopped at the hotel in route to flying on Etihad’s First Apartment flight from Abu Dhabi to Sydney, Australia. The hotel is roughly 24 kilometers from the Abu Dhabi international airport. By taxi, the hotel is a 15 minute drive from the airport. Because I booked a business class award ticket coming into Abu Dhabi from Germany, I was able to use Etihad’s chauffeur service from the Abu Dhabi airport directly to the Hyatt Capital Gate.
I didn’t realize when I originally booked the Middle Eastern portion of the trip, that I would be arriving in the middle of Ramadan. During Ramadan, most of the major area attractions do not operate on their normal schedule. Due to fasting during daylight, restaurants were not serving food or alcohol during the day. Room service was available, but hotel restaurants shut down during the day after breakfast and reopened for dinner after sunset.
An unexpected benefit was that the hotel had limited occupancy and the rates were significantly lower than usual.
Hotel: Hyatt Capital Gate
Address: P.O. Box 95165, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Temperature: 107 (F)
Reserved Room: King Room (AED 286 a night; $78 US)
Diamond Member Complimentary Upgrade: Deluxe King (AED 495 a night; $135 US)
Upgraded to a Suite using 6,000 Hyatt points: Capital Suite (AED 1,128 a night; $307 US)
Final cash cost for Capital Suite: $78
I originally booked the room online as a king room for one night. Since it was only for a single night, I usually would book the hotel with the Hyatt chase credit card for the additional points. In this case, I used the Citi Prestige card because it gets reimbursed for foreign transaction fees and the Hyatt credit card does not get reimbursed for foreign transaction fees (foreign transaction fees are charged when the credit card is used to pay for something in a different currency).
Because I’m a Hyatt Diamond member, I was upgraded to the Deluxe King room. I didn’t want to use one of the 3 suite upgrade certificates I had left in my account, so I used 6,000 Hyatt points to upgrade into a suite (the suite upgrade certificates can be used for a stay of up to 7 nights, so you get the most benefit from them if you use them during a longer hotel stay).
Capital Suite Room
The room was located on the 20th floor. Standard rooms are 40 sq meters and the Capital Suite was 70 sq meters. The suite included a living room with separate work area, guest bathroom, king bedroom, master bathroom, and floor to ceiling windows with panoramic views of Abu Dhabi. The master bathroom included a walk-in rain shower, jacuzzi and granite counters.
There were 3 TVs, one in the living room, one in the bedroom, and one by the bathroom jacuzzi. Free premium internet access was included, but the speeds only reached 3.64MB. Additional notable amenities included: complimentary fresh fruit & mineral water, DVD player, and a coffee machine. The hotel did not have a Regency Club. Breakfast was complimentary at the 18 degrees restaurant.
The room was the size of a small, modern apartment. The view of Abu Dhabi at night from the windows was really amazing. The one aspect of the room that could have been improved was the light switches. There were unlabeled metal light switches throughout the room that turned either turned off, on, or dimmed different lights in different rooms.
I managed to figure out how to turn off almost all of the lights after a few minutes except for a small light by the door back into the hotel. I ended up leaving that light on for the whole night. The lighting issue could be easily correct with labels, which I’ve seen in suites at other hotels (most recently at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi and the Park Hyatt Sydney).
Breakfast at 18 Degrees Restaurant
Hyatt Diamond members receive complimentary breakfast from the hotel only when a club lounge is not available. Because there was no Regency Club at this hotel, the breakfast buffet was complimentary at 18 Degrees.
The breakfast buffet was excellent. The buffet included a wide variety of options from traditional American breakfast foods to middle eastern cuisine. The selection included an omelet station, a large selection of hot food, fruits, yogurts, pastries, juice, and coffee. Pancakes, waffles, and french toast were also available.
The 18 Degrees restaurant also had a nightly dinner buffet. I actually enjoyed the dinner buffet even more than the breakfast buffet as there was a simply massive amount of dinner and desert options of both the American and Middle Eastern variety.
Pool, Spa, and Gym
The hotel spa has a full range of treatments. The facility is located on the 19th floor and is a very modern facility. The gym is located on the left side of the main spa area. The gym area was clean, relatively large, and had a variety of modern cardio equipment. Strength training was more limited to a selection of free weights and a few machines.
The hotel pool is located outside on the 19th floor. The view from the pool area is unbelievable. When I was outside in the afternoon, the temperature was close to 110 degrees (Fahrenheit). The outdoor pool area was not large, but there seemed to be an adequate number of chairs and umbrellas. At the left corner was a bar area for food and drink service. Due to Ramadan there were no hotel guests in the pool area at the time of my visit.
– Impressive and modern business hotel.
– Diamond members are treated well.
– Suite upgrades are honored at this property (some properties make it difficult to redeem suites).
– The Capital suite was impressive and the view of the city was unreal.
– The service at the hotel was excellent.
– Among the best hotel breakfast and dinner buffets I’ve had at a Hyatt branded property.
– There are not many nearby attractions that can be reached without a car.
– The in room internet was only 3.6MHz.
– The suite light switches were unmarked. There were so many different switches and different lights that it became hard to figure out how to turn off some of the lights.
Few things have the ability to grab your attention like driving up to a giant glass structure with a slight tilt. The Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi is a really impressive hotel. The staff went out of their way to be helpful and frequently greeted me by name. When I checked in on the first night, the manager spent ten minutes talking to me about the hotel and describing the upgraded suite in detail. He also mentioned that President Obama stayed in the hotel while he was visiting Abu Dhabi. Although I thought the suite I stayed in was pretty impressive, apparently the President stayed in a better suite than I had (The hotel has two suite levels above the room I stayed (Presidential and Ambassador suites).