Courtyard by Marriott in central Abu Dhabi offers mid-range value and sublime waffles

The hotel is connected to the World Trade Centre Mall and is an affordable option for the business traveller.

The Fifth Street Cafe at the Marriott Courtyard Abu Dhabi is a popular spot for business meetings and connecting with others. Delores Johnson / The National
Powered by automated translation

Courtyard by Marriott Abu Dhabi is a strong mid-range islet in the capital’s sea of ultra-luxury hotels.

As we near the off-peak summer season, room rates vary between Dh460 to Dh710, making it an affordable option for the business traveller, particularly as the location is so attractive.

The hotel is connected to the World Trade Centre Mall, and is in the heart of the city, close to Adia, the Tourist Club, and the beach.

The one-bedroom suite offers one full bathroom replete with triple-width marble shower, a small bathroom, and a modest living room – large enough to relax, with a pull-out sofa bed. The room is pleasant and the bed obscenely comfortable, but the dark horizontal grain of the wood-effect wallpaper feels vaguely oppressive. From the seventh floor there’s not much of a view, but the open-air rooftop amenities offer views enough.

In terms of connectivity, there is complimentary Wi-Fi in the room but it’s too slow for streaming. For Dh35 a day you can upgrade to high-speed access. The business centre houses three meeting rooms, all offering high-speed Wi-Fi along with the standard audio-visual conference facilities. The largest can accommodate up to 60 guests. The hotel also has special offers for groups of 10 or more.

To power up ahead of the working day, breakfast at The Bistro is a generous buffet. It is the first hotel buffet I have spotted that serves pav bhaji, (an Indian vegetable dish served with bread), for which it scores a few points. A chef will cook eggs to order. But the make-your-own waffle bar is the buffet’s standout star. Waffles are excellent; customised waffles are sublime.

In the evening, the rooftop venue Up and Below is romantically lit by a firepit and whimsical bauble lights suspended from wooden lattices. It offers a range of mixed drinks, and an invisible DJ plays Balearic music beneath the stars.

Across the roof, the picturesque pool area is designed for lounging. The pool itself is on the small side, but it’s lined with shady, bedlike cabanas. If you crane, there’s a sliver of a Corniche view from up here.

For its central Abu Dhabi location, and neat, modern interiors, Courtyard by Marriott is excellent value.


Ailsa Martin samples the fare at Fifth Street Café in Abu Dhabi’s Courtyard by Marriott:

Where is it?

Fifth Street Café is located on Courtyard by Marriott’s ground floor, and accessible via World Trade Centre Mall.

What is the vibe?

Relaxed, informal dining in a modern, hipsterish setting. Fifth Street Café is designed to appeal to trendy young things toting MacBooks for casual lunches, flat whites and artisanal teas. The music playlist is one of Abu Dhabi’s best.

What is the decor like?

It’s full of trendy details like suspended wicker egg chairs, menus on chalkboards and artisan olive oil jar arrangements. Plenty of plug sockets make it easy to set up shop at the communal table spread with magazines. For Silicon Valley-style brainstorming sessions, hackathons and the like.

What's on the dinner menu?

A slightly bizarre chicken tikka salad on a savoury waffle; beef braesola, pomegranate and rocket pitta bread; sea bass on a bed of vegetables and a fantastic pan-fried gnocchi with sage butter and hazelnuts. There is a specials board.


Monumental slabs of Oreo cheesecake and pistachio pie, finished with a round of salted caramel milkshakes. Jumbo-sized cakes and pastries are displayed in the hotel’s dessert vitrine.

What’s unique here?

For breakfast, they’re offering quinoa porridge with fresh berries, pistachios, dates, honey and cinnamon. Lovely.

* The writer was a guest of Courtyard by Marriott