Following a successful night at the Centro Capital Centre we moved the next day into the Arjaan by Rotana also located in the ADNEC area of Abu Dhabi. Having been invited by Rotana to stay at two of their hotels during the course of one weekend, we felt almost ashamed to be driving less than 200 meters to valet park out car again, when we could just as easily have walked. The Arjaan though still a business hotel has a completely different look and feel to the Centro, with the lobby being an open-plan and spacious area of brilliant whites and plentiful foliage. The feel is more upmarket and refined that its sister property and the same high level of customer service and guest interaction remains. As I think we’ve mentioned in all of our previous reviews of Rotana hotels, consistency is the key.
Luckily for us it was a quiet weekend before Christmas and with seemingly very few business travelers around, we were immediately upgraded to a premium suite on the 19th floor. The Arjaan is the polar opposite to what we experienced at the Centro the previous evening which we described in our review as ‘compact.’ The rooms here are sized very generously and our 78SQM suite featured a separate bedroom with comfortable king-size bed and the en-suite contained our highlight of the entire room, a standalone egg-shaped bath tub. There is also an additional WC, large living area and fully equipped kitchen with microwave, full-size refrigerator and washing machine.
All of the things that were missing from our room at the Centro were present and correct at the Arjaan (we just love hotel robes and slippers), though the powdered coffee still remains (it’s almost 2017 and coffee machines in hotel rooms should be provided as standard). The suite has a very contemporary look with bright purple and turquoise competing over a general palette of silver. An abundance of light wood gives the impression that these rooms have recently been modernized and the curvature of the building is accentuated via the large floor to ceiling windows, providing the room with a feeling of sleek seamlessness.
As with most Rotana hotels the decor and thematics are harmless. The feeling is muted and subdued which is pleasant in itself though lacks a little personality when compared to other hotels that choose to make a statement with their decor (take the newly opened W Hotel in Dubai’s Al Habtoor City for example). Saying that, the Arjaan is the nicest Rotana that we’ve stayed in with the exception of Ras Al Khaimah’s Cove Rotana.
Tamarind is the Arjaan’s all day dining restaurant and transpired to be a bit of a surprise. The restaurant itself is not as soulless as many of its counterparts and provides an appealing space that feels modern and very ‘New York’ in its styling. Silver chairs, a focal booth of plush leather couches and a large outdoor terrace tick all of the boxes.
Refreshingly, the menu is very brief and offers little more than a selection of salads, sandwiches and savory pies. Torn between the ‘Curry On Thali’ and the ‘BBQ Burger’, our attentive server convinced us on the latter due to it being the restaurants signature dish. Similarly to our experience at the Centro, the food was mediocre at best. The large burger was slathered in so much bbq sauce that the bun become uncomfortably moist and didn’t enable us to taste anything else. The moisture may have been needed though, as the burger patty itself was very dry.
Even the accompanying bread was overly salty to the point of being inedible and we left feeling more than a little underwhelmed. It’s a shame because Tamarind has so much potential and with all the correct elements in place, the food and beverage team just need to give the restaurant a few tweaks and it could potentially be pushed into the realms of greatness. Eating again at Tamarind for breakfast the following morning, we suffered a very similar experience but it should be noted that their hot chocolate is fantastic.
With a coffee shop and small convenience store both located on the hotels ground floor, these may currently be the better options for your dining needs.
The highlight of our stay at the Arjaan was an invitation to the health club that not only contains a fitness centre, swimming pool, steam room and sauna but a fully equipped spa with multiple treatment rooms. Opting for both Swedish and Thai massages, the latter was the perfect stress reliever with the correct amount of pressure and the massage therapists were courteous while respecting boundaries by not talking throughout the treatment. An all to common problem at many hotel spas and a particular bug bare of ours – if we’re going for a massage we want to relax and not make small talk.
The second floor pool deck offers a spacious amount of water for adults and a small and shallower pool for younger children. Though not on the rooftop, the pool provides pleasant views, especially for lovers of architecture. Who’ll appreciate the world’s further leaning building, the Hyatt Capital Gate, with a curvature at eighteen degrees westward. With our stay taking place in mid-December, we would’ve appreciated a little more heat to the pool, which felt a little chilly at times.
The Arjaan is a lovely property, a spacious, bright and modern collection of 259 fully furnished studios. As expected from the Rotana brand, all staff were courteous and warm and the benefit of a property such as this. If you’re looking to forgive five star excess, then the Arjaan is great value for money and a step up form the norm.
Location: Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana, Near ADNEC, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Embassies District, Abu Dhabi
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Phone: 02 495 4444
We were invited to stay at the Capital Centre Arjaan but all views are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE, with the exception of five image used courtesy of Rotana Hotels.