Abu Dhabi’s Hyatt Capital Gate hotel has become an iconic structure on the cities constantly evolving skyline. An image as much a symbol of the United Arab Emirates’ capital as as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque or Emirates Palace. Poised like a cobra waiting to strike, the building’s an architectural marvel, rising out of the desert at an incline of 18° westwards and becoming a Guinness World Record holder in the process. Hyatt Capital Gate is officially the world’s furthest leaning tower.
Hyatt Capital Gate is often dismissed as little more than a business hotel but this assumption isn’t entirely correct. Yes, business travellers may be the properties predominant clientele, but perceptions can be deceiving and the rooms hidden behind the glass diagrid facade (similar to that of The Gherkin in London) are far more luxurious than you’d imagine.
Having visited the property on numerous occasions, we were really excited to be invited for a weekend stay in one of the executive suites. We arrive on a quiet Friday morning and are immediately swept up in the grandeur of the experience. The touch points in service, from the valet to the front desk, are faultless and offer exemplary customer experience in which guests are placed front and centre.
Due to the design of the building (in which the lower floors are stacked vertically and then staggered to support the structure above) the hotel reception is located on the 18th floor. Guests enter at the base of the structure, taking one elevator up to reception, before crossing the lobby into another elevator to access the rooms. The lobby itself is the focal point of the hotel with both the food and beverage outlets (18 Degrees and The Lounge) accessed from here. The lobby is light and airy thanks to the glass windows streaming natural light across the space (not so great for taking photos though) and promotes a feeling of tranquility. Vases of orchids and a sculpture of blown glass resembling a pink cloud, punctuate an otherwise neutral space. Providing bursts of colour that catch the eye as you pass. Our check-in was prompt and friendly with traditional Arabic coffee and dates offered.
The Executive Suite:
We’re not sure what we expected from the executive suite but to say it surpassed our expectations would be a vast understatement. There are no corridors as such, just a central atrium which exposes the steel structure of the building as it rises skywards. Situated on the 21st floor we’re right in the centre of the building and as the door opens the first thing we notice is a fragrant smell.
The suite begins with a small kitchenette complete with sink and espresso machine (finally, a hotel in the capital serving real coffee as opposed to the powdered stuff), before opening out into an expansive living area. We admire how modern the space is, with feathered chandeliers, sculpted glass tables, metallic coloured upholstery and a leather chaise lounge, adding to the contemporary look of the 100-sqm suite. It’s the seamless nature and flow of the space that makes this suite such a pleasure, impeccably designed and tastefully decorated in tones of cream and brilliant white.
Awash with natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows, the curvature of the building adds a sleekness to proceedings and the panoramic views are simply stunning. Stretchin from the ocean to the skyscrapers at the far end of the corniche. The rooms give the impression of being suspended and due to the incline of the architecture, it feels as though the room is slipping away from beneath you, as you hover above busy Khaleej Al Arabi Street below
The living area is separated from the rest of the suite, with the bedroom offering a king-sized bed amidst plush furnishings. The marble bathroom is what will impress the most, with its dual sinks, rainfall shower and free-standing spa tub. Complete with massage jets, LED lights, sound system and in built television. As you can imagine, we spent most of our stay sitting in the bath and gazing out at that view… well almost!
Hyatt Capital Gates corrects a number of issues we’ve had with other recent staycations. It’s a property with technology and convenience at heart, from the ample plug sockets beside the bed, to the automated lighting and curtain controls. Ease is key here (though we did require assistance with the bath tub) and the modern comforts certainly heighten the experience. There’s even a WhatsApp number you can message rather than having to pick up the phone, with the only other place we’ve seen this feature being the ultra-luxurious Zaya Nurai Island.
Internet connectivity is excellent offering speedy wifi with no black spots and guests can expect the usual amenities — hairdryer, ironing board, minibar, flat screen tv, MP3 docking station, safety deposit box and the most important items of all… comfortable robes and slippers.
Don’t disregard the Hyatt Capital Gate because it’s not on the beach (both Yas Beach and Al Bateen Public Beach are only a short drive away), for the property has one of the most striking swimming pools in the city, plus a state-of-the-art fitness centre. Situated on the 19th floor the pool is ‘bolted’ onto the side of the building offering an infinity style body of water that complements the views. While not the biggest pool in the city, it’s one of the most luxurious, with a shallower whirlpool area for children to play, separated by a splash deck that’s ideal for topping up that sun tan while partially immersed in the soothing waters. Glass panelling gives the impression that there are no boundaries between water and sky and the pool deck is an ideal spot to grab a cocktail and enjoy those one-of-a-kind Abu Dhabi sunsets.
For those seeking rejuvenation we would recommend a trip to Rayana Spa. Described as the ‘finest in desert wellness’ the intention is to bring the tranquility of the UAE”s natural environment into the confines of the hotel. It’s an idea that we appreciated and the mix of rough stone and sand, plus a hydrotherapy pool inside the treatment rooms, all helps to accentuate the elemental idea. Making for a welcome change from the usual stark and sterile spa environment.
Utilising natural elements in all of the spa products we throughly enjoyed our Rayana Rejuvenation treatment which involved a 60 minute full body massage that left us feeling relaxed and refreshed.
The staff in the spa were extremely courteous and maintained the utmost levels of professionalism at all times, making us feel immediately at ease. We also welcomed the pre and post treatment waiting areas that allow guests to prolong their enjoyment of the spa for that little bit longer.
One disadvantage that the Hyatt Capital Gate suffers from when compared to it’s competitors, is limited dining options. Aside from the pool bar and the lobby lounge (which serves a superb afternoon tea) the only real option for a full meal is 18 Degrees. The hotels signature restaurant and recent winner of the FACT Abu Dhabi Dining Award for ‘favourite Mediterranean Restaurant.’
18 Degrees doesn’t fall victim to the soulless canteen feeling that plagues many an all-day-dining restaurants, partly due to the support of the atmospheric views. The restaurant is home to a popular outside terrace (so make sure you reserve ahead), ideal for shisha, sundowners or a spot of dinner in the cooler months.
We’ve covered both the dinner and breakfast offerings at 18 Degrees in previous posts and as creatures of habit we always tend to gravitate towards the same dishes when dining here. We throughly recommend the beef short rib, burrata, manchego with quince jelly and the venison. Despite working our way through the majority of the menu during our various visits to 18 Degrees, these are the dishes we always return to.
We appreciated the way in which the restaurant manages to re-invent itself once breakfast service rolls around. Transforming into a predominantly buffet led affair, supported by live stations for eggs, pancakes and waffles, If you’re staying in the hotel, it’s imperative that you dine at 18 Degrees for both meals, not only for the food but for the contrasting views from daylight to night.
Spread over 33 floors, the Hyatt Capital Gate is a boutique five star hotel offering 189 rooms that includes 22 suites, all defined my a modernist touch. The usual connotations regarding a business hotel (small rooms and uncaring staff, due to high customer turnover) are nowhere to be found and these are rooms you will WANT to spend time in.
Despite an unfortunate lack of outside space, it’s extremeley family friendly. Children are well looked after with their own menu at 18 Degrees and the beautiful pool deck, which on weekends you’ll likely have to yourself. The hotel is ideally situated close to the leisure attractions of Yas Island, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Abu Dhabi International Airport.
This was our second stay at the Hyatt Capital Gate and we can gurantee it won’t be our last. It’s a property that’s well maintained and offers a luxurious touch that you don’t neccesarily expect. Perfect for a weekend getaway with a focus on relaxation, the spa and leisure fascilities are exemplary, offering Abu Dhabi’s only ‘spa in the sky’ experience. Plus that view is enough to make you want to return time and again.
We were invited to stay at the Hyatt Capital Gate. All views are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE.