x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

From pastillas to putting green in minutes at Westin Abu Dhabi

Hotel Insider Walk out of your room and onto the golf course in minutes - seconds if you are on the ground floor.

The atrium of the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa.
The atrium of the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa.

The room

Despite a medley of beiges and browns, the decor manages to be neutral without being offensively bland. Yes, it's spacious at 45 square metres for a standard category, deluxe room, complete with desk, free Wi-Fi, flatscreen television and comfortable seating area but, again, what's outside is more important. The rooms have private balconies so you can gaze out onto the course and mentally prepare for that day's game or wonder what might have been.

The service

Uniformly fast and friendly. The staff all wear name badges that also tell you what their passion is, which was a great icebreaker and in welcome contrast with some five-star hotels. I didn't meet anyone whose passion was golf, but if you like talking cricket, you're never far from someone with whom to chat.

The scene

Golfers and businesspeople. Players grabbing a snack before a round sit side to side with chino- wearing business types scrutinising their emails in the Lounge Coffee House.

The food

The Moroccan restaurant Agadir is a must. The crunchy sweet and savoury pastillas are delicious and the lamb tagine melts in the mouth, while the warm and knowledgeable Moroccan staff create a more authentic atmosphere than many restaurants of its ilk. Breakfast at Fairways was a little disappointing - not helped by the fact that the constituent parts of a cooked breakfast were spread around the vast buffet seemingly without logic. There is also a coffee bar, snacks served by the huge pool and an informal bar called the Retreat, serving up a "gastro pub" menu. Sports fans can enjoy live television coverage of international sports events too.

Loved

Being able to walk out of your room and onto the golf course in minutes - seconds if you are on the ground floor.

Hated

The hotel and the golf club are not one and the same organisation. Golf buggies are in plentiful supply, but the hotel has to send one to pick you up from the clubhouse. It's quite painful when the sun's dropped and there is no one at the other end of the walkie-talkie.

The bottom line

A standard deluxe room costs from Dh574 per night, including taxes (www.westinabudhabigolfresort.com; 02 616 9999).