x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Yas Island's magnificent seven on track

The renowned hotel on Yas Island bridges the race track, providing unique views of the Grand Prix, while The Park Inn is part of the Rezidor Hotel Group.

Yas Hotel

Stars 5

499 rooms

The renowned hotel on Yas Island bridges the race track, providing unique views of the Grand Prix. It is covered with colour-changing LEDs and serves as a spectacular backdrop during the race.

Preparation for Grand Prix week

Stephen Banks, the director of sales and marketing at Aldar Hotels and Hospitality, the company that manages Yas Hotel, is preparing for a busy week. "I think it's going to be busier this year," he says. "From the hotel's point of view, we have a lot more areas where things are going on in terms of corporate hospitality. This year activity will be extended. "Some of the teams are staying on to test tyres. Also, on the roof of Yas Hotel we've got smaller events, like acoustic sessions by Gabrielle, Sugababes and Corinne Bailey Rae. It's interesting. It went without a hitch last year."

Yas Island Rotana

Stars 4

281 rooms

Restaurants include Rangoli, an Indian restaurant and the Blue Grill steakhouse

Centro Yas Island

Stars 4

259 rooms

A stylish budget hotel, with facilities including a swimming pool and gym. This was the first property Rotana opened under its Centro brand.

Preparation for Grand Prix week

Patrick Martinez, the general manager of the Rotana and Centro hotels, is confident the hotels are well prepared for the influx of tourists. "Based on last year, I think the hotels did not have all the logistics to be able to deliver on a service and product level," he says. "On a logistics side, we are definitely better prepared. In our restaurants, this year there will be more staff to ensure we can deliver. This year we know the demand. The training has been an ongoing process to make sure we deliver like any other day of the year."

Crowne Plaza

Part of InterContinental Hotels Group

Stars 4

428 rooms

Restaurants include Jing Asia and a gastropub, Stills

Staybridge Suites

Part of InterContinental Hotels Group

Deluxe hotel apartments

164 suites

Preparation for Grand Prix week

Dieter Franke, the general manager, Crowne Plaza, is looking forward to welcoming back guests to both hotels, which are managed by the InterContinental Group. "There is a lot of excitement in both hotels during the lead up to the race next weekend," he says. "This will be Abu Dhabi's second year hosting the last race of the F1 season and this combined with all the exciting activities planned for the island for the weekends following the race will ensure Yas is firmly placed on the map. Last year, we had just opened both hotels and our main focus was on meeting our guest's expectations. This time around we will be no different but with the added benefit of experience. We are also looking forward to welcoming back a number of F1 fans and teams who stayed with us last year for the race and hearing their feedback on the experience they have in the hotels this year."

Radisson Blu

Stars 4

397 rooms

Restaurants include Zeeba, which serves authentic Persian cuisine. Radisson Blu is part of the Rezidor Hotel Group

Park Inn 3

Stars

204 rooms

The Park Inn is part of the Rezidor Hotel Group. The hotel on Yas Island is Rezidor's first property under the budget Park Inn brand in the UAE.

Preparation for Grand Prix week

Torbjorn Bodin, the general manager of Radisson Blu and Park Inn, is hoping for a "smooth" week. "Everybody is much more organised now," he says. "Yas Island is, of course, much more complete. Operation of the hotels is much smoother. There is also a lot more trust. Many people didn't believe that the hotels were going to open in time. We opened the hotel three days before the race, so of course we were not organised. You cannot be 100 per cent prepared in those circumstances. But this meant that last year we could get away with [some mistakes]. Now, we've been open for a year, we have to deliver the top-notch service that everybody is expecting. We're all trained and all our systems are in place."

David Harnois, the executive chef for the hotels, admitted last year was "a challenge". "It was an unknown," he says. "We didn't really know what to prepare for. We had to make a lot of last-minute decisions. This year we are much more prepared. I'm flying chefs in from other Radisson hotels in the region, including Oman and Kuwait, to give us a hand. We are expecting our restaurants to be full. We're not going to take reservations. If we have a table available, we have a table available. There's so much happening on Yas Island, with the race, the concerts, Ferrari World, people are just going to want the food and want it now.