Gyms may not be top of the list for all business travellers. But if you need a post-meeting run, the treadmills at Hala Arjaan by Rotana grant inspirational views of central Abu Dhabi — a good distraction if jogging is a necessity rather than pleasure.
Generously stocked with Technogym cardio equipment, the well-appointed Bodylines space is definitely a major selling point of this hotel.
The capital isn’t short of hotels operated by home-grown hospitality brand Rotana, which provide a variety of luxury brackets and price points. And with tourism on the up, alongside the rise of the financial economy on Al Maryah Island, demand for a broad portfolio is looking healthy.
The Hala is one of Rotana’s mid-range offerings. Occupying prime on-island positioning on 10th Street/Hamdan Street, in the Al Zahiyah (formerly Tourist Club) area, it’s proximity is a major plus; close enough to serve short or long-stay visitors to Abu Dhabi Global Market without raiding the war chest.
Some high-end hotel names directly serve the district, but this Rotana property combines easy-going comforts with travel budget-friendly room rates. All while being a bridge-crossing walk from the financial hub.
Hala general manager Nadim El Zyr confirms his hotel has been proving “an attractive product” for executives visiting ADGM.
“Some are looking for luxurious accommodation; others prefer a convenient location which offers great value for money,” he says. “Often we welcome executives who reside in Dubai and visit Abu Dhabi during the week.”
Those competitive room rates also appeal to relocating staff taking up roles in the area.
“We work with numerous local and international companies which provide relocation solutions,” confirms Mr El Zyr. “We have also benefited from the oil and gas sector’s growth in the past year, whereby consultants and experts are being brought in for Abu Dhabi’s new projects.”
Some of these professionals were certainly among the weekenders during breakfast in The Gallery all-day dining restaurant.
While not the most lavish space in the Rotana portfolio, The Gallery is clean and bright with mezzanine level views of the financial district and towards the brand’s landmark first hotel, the Beach Rotana.
A 10-minute stroll to that larger property extends your dining options — its broad range of restaurants include the excellent Rodeo Grill steakhouse, trendy overwater venue Finz, vibrant American-Japanese outlet Benihana and upscale Indian eatery Indigo — all suitable for entertaining clients.
Breakfast back at Hala lacked cereal options, but offered fresh fruit and good eggs served by cheery, attentive staff who remembered my previous morning table and tea preference. Guests can also use a discreet seating area suitable for informal meetings over coffee.
The hotel offers 166 rooms across six categories on 19 floors, with suites working well for longer term guests — or families seeking greater privacy during their stay. A spacious lounge with several seating options is flanked by a practical kitchenette for meal preparation and a dining table for four.
Floor-to-ceiling windows deliver plenty of natural light and a wide-screen TV numerous channels.
Like the lounge, the bedroom boasts sufficient power sockets, although mine lacked the array of USB points of some newer hotels.
That said, creature comforts are far from lacking and a sumptuous bed provided a rich sleep and the large walk-in rain shower and marble bathroom a reviving start to the day.
An extensive 24-hour in-room menu includes a good value American breakfast for Dh65, or healthier “lifestyle breakfast” for Dh60, alongside numerous other options, plus detox and antioxidant juices. Soups start from Dh30, with a lamb kofta sandwich at Dh45. Fish and chips costs Dh55 and grilled jumbo prawns Dh90.
“More than half of our hotel guests are business professionals that stay with us for extended periods due to the fact our rooms are spacious and equipped with a washing machine/dryer and kitchen facilities,” says Mr El Zyr.
A classic king suite, including breakfast, costs Dh412 (with taxes) based on advance booking a January 29 stay.
Beside the aforementioned gym, sauna and steam room, the temperature-controlled pool is another key selling point with lane swimming accompanied by more views.
A pleasant seating area for informal pow-wows or to simply catch-up on reports is serviced by the Aquarius Pool Cafe, offering snacks and drinks.
In the main lobby, teas, coffees, light snacks, home-made cakes and pastries, are available from the airy Lobby Cafe.
This can operate as a breakout area for the hotel’s audiovisual equipped meeting room. The flexible space accommodates 25 people theatre style, 18 in classroom configuration and 16 in a boardroom set-up.