x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Hotel Insider: Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport, Abu Dhabi

Hareth Al Bustani stays at the new Premier Inn at Abu Dhabi airport.

A room at the Premier Inn at Abu Dhabi airport. Courtesy Premier Inn Hotels LLC
A room at the Premier Inn at Abu Dhabi airport. Courtesy Premier Inn Hotels LLC

The welcome

It’s a refreshing change to park my own car and there’s just enough space for everyone. The reception area is spacious, clean and modest, but well decorated – equipped with a stand of leaflets about things to do in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The neighbourhood

Getting to this new hotel was intuitive. Not quite a stone’s throw away, but a few minutes’ walk from the terminal, the hotel is very convenient for travellers. There’s surprisingly little noise inside the rooms, given the proximity to the runway.

The room

The Premier Inn has 300 uniform rooms with free Wi-Fi. The room and bathroom are both of adequate size, clean and attractive enough. The colour scheme is in keeping with the hotel’s minimalist purple-and-white aesthetic, while an abstract painting on the wall is a welcome addition. The bathroom is equipped with a Lux shower gel and shampoo dispenser in the shower, as well as a foam soap dispenser next to the sink. There’s a phone there, too, a novelty I have always appreciated. The shower itself is strong and on par with what you’d find in most three-star hotels.

While the bed was comfortable, the sofa was a bit springy – I’m taken by shock when I sit on it with a little too much vigour. There’s plenty of cupboard space, a safe and additional towels and bedding.

The service

The staff are lovely, professional and never stop smiling. The waiters make a comfortable amount of small talk; they check to make sure everything is OK once the food has arrived, but they don’t overdo it.

Although I order from the à la carte menu, the waitress is more than happy to talk me through the buffet at my own request.

The scene

Despite the empty tables in the restaurant, the hotel never feels completely sparse. A waiter tells me that the occupancy rate has been steadily rising since the hotel opened last year.

I do wonder whom all the cars outside belong to, but that’s answered the next morning by the buzzing Costa Coffee shop in the lobby.

The food

One could not really expect more of a budget hotel restaurant. I avoid the buffet and try the prawn tempura (Dh32) and chicken wings (Dh24) to start. The former is decent; the latter nothing to write home about. The fish-finger sandwich (Dh46), was commendable, as were the chips, but the restaurant also provides the only minor disappointment of my stay – in the form of a misrepresented chicken situation. I order the fried chicken and ribs (Dh74); however, my carb cravings were not to be satisfied, as the chicken was grilled. Kudos to the staff for replacing the ribs with more chicken, though.

Finally, I order the chocolate brownie with vanilla-pod ice cream and caramel sauce. Good times guaranteed – for just Dh25.

Loved

The convenience of checking in and out, the staff and the value for money. There are hotels in Dubai that charge twice as much and don’t deliver a room, service or food of equal quality.

Hated

Not fulfilling my shameful carb craving.

The verdict

It’s hard to find better value for money, especially so close to the airport.

The bottom line

Double rooms costs Dh225 per night, including tax, with free Wi-Fi and tea and coffee amenities (global.premierinn.com; 02 818 6666).

halbustani@thenational.ae

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