Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 8 December 2019

Executive Travel: Pearl Rotana Capital Centre is just that - a pearl

The hotel near Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre offers four-star quality and more

Sparkilng hospitality at the the Pearl Rotana Capital Centre hotel, Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Pearl Rotana
Sparkilng hospitality at the the Pearl Rotana Capital Centre hotel, Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Pearl Rotana

If a $790,000 per night holiday in a space hotel is beyond your budget, the UAE is home to numerous somewhat cheaper Earth-bound facilities that offer an out-of-this-world stay.

One recent such arrival is Pearl Rotana Capital Centre in Abu Dhabi.

After hours walking its vast halls Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre visitors don’t have far to look for a hotel. And with the arrival of Pearl Rotana Capital Centre they have three properties operated by a homegrown brand from which to choose.

the Pearl Rotana Capital Centre hotel, Abu Dhabi
Pearl Rotana Capital Centre hotel, Abu Dhabi

The four star addition joined the collection – within metres of two other Rotanas – a year ago, allowing it to get match-fit for human floods from major Adnec fixtures such as Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Convention (Adipec) in November.

Rotana is comparably smaller than its global rivals, but the hospitality group – also headquartered in Capital Centre district - delivers surprising variety across an expanding network.

As demonstrated by Pearl Rotana’s near neighbours; youthful three-star Centro and elegant four-star Arjaan.

Pearl Rotana sits somewhere between the two, majoring on cool luxury finishes with an executive-friendly lean.

It offers seven meeting/boardrooms, some combining for flexible space. Presentation aids are available, including LCD projection systems, microphones and a music system with 16 channel mixing console.

Sustenance comes courtesy of a catered on request breakout area and close proximity to all-day international dining restaurant, Saffron.

The business centre offers secretarial support, although seems small for a building with 315 rooms and suites. That said, armed with laptop and smartphone - plus high-speed internet throughout - everywhere is potential workspace.

Architects perhaps had that in mind when they incorporated the Club Rotana Lounge. This airy space is dedicated to guests staying on the Club Rotana executive level, offering complimentary drinks and snacks at various times.

Deep windows give stunning views across the Arabian Gulf and towards the Corniche skyline, making it a prime spot in which to unwind or meet associates.

There’s also a dedicated glass walled boardroom for more formal meetings – made private using blinds.

Those views also grace some Club Rotana rooms, where the generous space is given lots of light by floor-to-ceiling windows.

Fresh, stylish décor and furnishings are modern without being cold, the careful use of beige and grey offset by a purple carpet.

A sumptuous bed faces a large flat screen TV. Beside this is good desk space at which to work, with power and sockets and USB points in strategic spots, plus a two-seater sofa and another table from where you can perch your laptop.

the Pearl Rotana Capital Centre hotel, Abu Dhabi
One of the bedrooms at the Pearl Rotana Capital Centre hotel, Abu Dhabi

There’s a sizeable bathroom with tub and shower while other facilities include a fridge minibar, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities

The room service menu accesses the hotel’s F&B outlets to offer an impressive choice; including continental breakfast (Dh85), Caesar salad with chicken (Dh70) and margherita pizza (Dh75).

On the top floor, Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Club is stocked with the latest Life Fitness cardio equipment, plus free weights. Treadmills are strategically placed for a distracting sea view for those who find running a chore.

A sauna, steam room and massages are available for post workout relaxation, all sharing the level with an outside pool.

Flanked by loungers, an artificial grass area, plus a bar, the pool isn’t really designed for serious lane swimming, but you could count a few off during quieter times.

The lobby embraces an attractive mix of modern and traditional colours contrasting designer furniture and combining with artistic flourishes to give an up-do-date feel without abandoning comfort and location.

There are four F&B opportunities, including industrial loft-styled wine and tapas bar The Warehouse - think flatbreads, sliders, sausage by the metre, Lebanese sujouk, spicy tuna poke tacos – and Dino’s Bistro Italiano, which follows a largely traditional path with fun flourishes.

Besides plenty of seating inside and out is a private dining area, with business groups in mind. Dino’s serves a business lunch, noon until 3.30pm, weekdays.

Add in Saffron and Chai Lobby Lounge, and the hotel has plenty of culinary bases covered.

“Due to its location, Pearl Rotana caters primarily to the business and conference sector, being a few steps away from Adnec,” says hotel general manager Karim Nahas.

“The variety of food and beverage outlets caters for both business and leisure visitors. Additionally, location provides easy access to most attractions in the city.”

With several already established hotels on its doorstep – including Aloft, Premier Inn and Andaz Capital Gate (formerly Hyatt Capital Gate) – Pearl Rotana has had to make its presence felt.

“The hotel has managed to position itself amongst the competition,” says Mr Nahas, admitting this was “certainly more challenging for the opening to establish ourselves and become known in the market.”

But the GM confirms his hotel was full during Adipec and the SIAL Middle East food, beverage and hospitality exhibition at Adnec in December.

While Pearl Rotana is effectively going up against two other hotels in the Rotana family, visitor numbers for some Adnec events would suggest there’s plenty of convention traffic to go around; Adipec alone drew 145,000 attendees during its four-day November stint.

The Business Centre. Pearl Rotana Capital Centre
The Business Centre at the Pearl Rotana Capital Centre

That in mind, this new addition - about 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport - is also likely to be grabbing footfall that would have previously ventured to hotels further out from Adnec.

And while the new kid on the blocks caters to strong business customer flow, its distinctive F&B offerings and sophisticated styling readily translate to a leisure audience that can usually benefit from lower rates when there are no events across the street.

Business Escape packages, including buffet breakfast, premium internet, complimentary local calls, daily newspaper, two pieces of laundry/dry cleaning each day, and one hour meeting room use, cost from Dh279 (plus taxes) based on 2 consecutive nights minimum booking. Club Rotana Rooms cost more.

David Dunn was a guest of Pearl Rotana.

Updated: April 8, 2019 01:53 PM

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