A record-breaking stay at Abu Dhabi's Andaz Capital Gate — Hotel Insider

The farthest man-made leaning building in the world offers elevated nights in the heart of the UAE capital

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The Andaz Capital Gate building is a landmark that residents in Abu Dhabi have surely passed by hundreds of times over the years.

Leaning at an angle of 18 degrees, the 35-storey building holds the Guinness World Record as the farthest man-made leaning building in the world, with a design inspired by the dunes of the desert and waves of the Arabian Gulf.

Part of the Hyatt Group, the Andaz brand is known for its vibrant properties that encourage connection with the local community. The National checked in for an overnight stay.

The welcome

Driving into Andaz Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi — a Concept by Hyatt, to give the hotel its full name, we are greeted warmly by the staff at the entrance. After parking our car, we are escorted to the 18th floor, where the check-in desk is located. The lower levels of the tower are home to several offices with the hotel commanding a prime position from levels 18 to 33. A bustling lobby awaits as we exit the lift, and colourful calligraphy works by Iraqi artist Wissam Shawkat instantly catch our eye.

We head to the Andaz Lounge to complete our check-in where an array of refreshing drinks, Arabic coffee and moreish dates gives guests a local welcome.

The process is quick and we soon have our room keys in hand.

The neighbourhood

A landmark in itself in Abu Dhabi, the hotel is located on Khaleej Al Arabi Street. Andaz Capital Gate is a mere five minutes from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, about a 15-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport and about the same from some of the city's other major landmarks including Emirates Palace and Qasr Al Watan. Despite its city location, many of the rooms come with views over the water.

The room

A Capital Suite bathroom. Photo: Andaz Capital Gate

We stay in a spacious deluxe room on the 26th floor, which has a very comfortable and plush king-size bed that faces a giant television. The floors are carpeted and the room is drenched in sunlight thanks to a floor-to-ceiling glass wall. A desk and chair sit in the corner of the room overlooking the city and the sea beyond, and it's a good place to get some work completed if needs must.

A little wardrobe area is tucked away in another corner, where there's also space for luggage. There's a mini bar, with a good selection of teas and coffees on offer.

Featuring muted tones, the room has several interesting Arabic touches — from the cursive calligraphy on the wall to the mashrabya patterned stationary and coasters. A large standalone bathtub overlooking the sea is a main feature of the room's sizeable bathroom, which also has a separate shower area and vanity space.

Labelled light switches by the bedside are convenient — there's nothing worse than battling with a confusing lighting system — as is a small remote control that allows guests to open and close curtains in the bedroom and bathroom without having to move.

There's a beautiful colourful embroidered robe hanging in our room with a note saying it has been designed especially for the hotel by designer Essa Walla. Available in 10 colours, guests are free to don the "loungewear" while staying in the hotel, and if they take a strong liking to it, it's available to buy for Dh900 from the hotel's on-site shop.

The service

Warm, friendly and incredibly helpful. The staff at both breakfast and dinner were also very accommodating with dietary requirements.

The food

Cyan, the French-Arabic brassiere at the property is the hotel's all-day dining restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The name comes from the colour that is a mix of blue and green — blue representing the French “le bleu” and green, from the colour of Arabian olive trees. The menu also blends cuisines from both these regions, offering choices that add playful twists to traditional offerings. The restaurant also features an open kitchen in the centre, allowing diners to watch their food being prepared.

The buffet-style breakfast has plenty of options — from breads, pastries and croissants, to cheeses, cold cuts, fresh fruits and yoghurts. Meat options include Turkish sujuk with eggs, chicken sausages and beef bacon, while vegetarians can enjoy foul with toppings, veggie spring rolls, roasted potatoes and more. Made-to-order eggs are available as are sweet options such as waffles, pancakes and chia bowls.

In the afternoon, Cyan offers a business lunch during weekdays, and on Saturdays and Sundays, diners can either opt for the weekend menu, or order a la carte. Between lunch and dinner, there are teas, coffees and a selection of pastries available.

For dinner, we try the set menu, which offers guests a choice of two or three courses from a starting price of Dh120 on weekdays, with a dip in prices at the weekend.

The tomato tart starter, grilled Angus strip loin and a delicious chocolate tart were our favourites in each of the courses, which we enjoyed seated at the terrace of 18 Degrees, the hotel's bar. Perfect for the cooler months, the outdoor area with dim lighting and soft music is ideal for a quiet dinner with your partner or friends.

For speciality coffee and pastries, head to 165 Below on the ground floor. The cafe is run in partnership with local Cafe Artea, which serves speciality brews.

Andaz Lounge on the 18th floor is another option for beverages, desserts and light bites.

The scene

The desert is the inspiration for the property’s Rayana Spa, where soothing beige colours dominate the space, including in the treatment rooms which have desert-inspired plants and a ceiling designed to resemble a starry sky.

Guests can choose their own oil, with therapists offering several options including rose, lemongrass and stress-busting scents. For an extremely relaxing experience, try the Rayana massage.

Andaz Capital Gate has a fully equipped gym, where you can hit your cardio goals while enjoying stellar views of the Arabian Sea.

On the 19th floor, the hotel has the highest suspended pool in Abu Dhabi and offers amazing city views. Lined with loungers, it was quiet when we visited and is the ideal place to relax for a few hours. There's also a colourful indoor space if you need to escape the sun.

A Latin tapas bar that opened in 2020 and halted operations during the pandemic has reopened, offering poolside drinks and light bites.

There is a big focus on local art at the property, with several works by local and regional names including eL Seed, Shawkat, Badr Abbas and Abdulla Lutfi. Art lovers take note — the ground floor is currently being refurbished to be opened next year as a gallery.

Highs and lows

Our meal at 18 Degrees terrace was a big plus — the views are extraordinary, the ambience is cosy yet intimate and the food from Cyan was absolutely delicious.

The insider tip

The Pulse book in the hotel lobby is a great idea. This huge tome is packed with 100 hidden gems, things to do and places to go in Abu Dhabi, all recommended by previous travellers and ideal if you're looking for some inspiration for a day out.

The Pulse book is packed with 100 hidden gems, things to do and places to go in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Andaz Capital Gate

If you sign up for the World of Hyatt loyalty programme, you'll earn five points for every dollar you spend at the hotel — and all other Hyatt properties. These points can be used to book spa treatments, pay for room upgrades, meals or even an overnight stay. The World of Hyatt app allows you to keep track of your points, and how many you need to book an award.

The verdict

A fantastic place to stay if you are coming to Abu Dhabi to explore the city and want to feel a connection with the local community. It's worth noting that while families are welcome, there's no children's club nor any children's menus on offer.

The bottom line

Rates at Andaz Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi start at Dh450, plus taxes, for a standard room. Check-in is from 3pm and checkout is at noon. More information is available at hyatt.com

This review was conducted at the invitation of the hotel.

Updated: January 23, 2023, 4:20 AM
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