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Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi

Lynda Moyo hovers mid-air in this groundbreaking leaning hotel

Written by . Published on May 3rd 2012.


Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi

IF you weren’t convinced by Abu Dhabi from my review back in March, then this review, dedicated solely to the architectural juggernaut that is the Hyatt Capital Gate, will sway you. Quite literally.

The UAE often comes under criticism for being style over substance, but when it comes to hotels, let’s face it we’d all take this level of luxury over a B&B.

Positioned within the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), this is a strategically placed, tidal wave of a building aimed at businessmen and women attending conferences at what is the largest exhibition centre in the Middle East.

We travelled with Etihad who coincidentally offer the insightful documentary of the construction process of Hyatt Capital Gate as part of their in-flight service. You can view the video below; highly recommended for anyone planning a visit to Abu Dhabi, it will put you in good stead for understanding a country often misunderstood as lacking in any substance. It may not be historical, but the substance for the future is certainly evident.

The Hyatt Capital Gate powers out of the ground at an impressive 18 degree angle, as though the construction team had injected the soil with Viagra. It leans five times more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa but remains a resolute piece of engineering, defying gravity and leaving you stood, stupefied, beneath its towering presence upon arrival. Inside, it’s a little easier to swallow.

With 189 guestrooms, including 22 suites, the space in this 40 storey building is vast, with luxury suites larger than most penthouse apartments and complete with every hospitality trick in the book, such as your own individual lobby. Hyatt also provides you with a kitchen (with your own espresso machine), living, dining and study areas (with fresh fruit delivered daily) plus a bedroom with en suite bathroom more lavish than most spas. Just wow. The guestrooms aren’t exactly a step down either. Captivating views come as standard at Capital Gate and no stone has been left unturned, no matter what your price bracket.

Views from Hyatt Capital GateViews from Hyatt Capital Gate

Once you’ve worked out how to operate the technologically advanced curtains keeping you cocooned in your new mansion, you’ll never want to close them again. The floor to ceiling glass windows allow for views stretching as far as under construction islands. You’ll feel like you rule the world as you float above the landscape; exactly what the design team had in mind.

The outer peripheral design of each of the guestrooms purposely prevents guests from seeing the ground directly beneath them, instead jutting out as though hovering in a space ship. It’s futuristic, but not without its homely qualities. In fact, the hotel has everything to make you feel right at home and beyond.

High on the list of perks is of course the suspended swimming pool. It’s the highest swimming pool in Abu Dhabi and comes complete with the adjacent sky high Rayana Spa with yet more unsurpassed views of the city. They’ve gone above and beyond to make the spa an integral part of the Capital Gate journey and will leave you floating in the clouds with the wealth of holistic treatments available, from bathing rituals to soothing massage. There’s also a state of the art fitness centre for those wishing to really earn their relaxation time.

The suspended swimming pool at Hyatt Capital GateThe suspended swimming pool at Hyatt Capital Gate

Sun loungers next to the suspended swimming pool at Hyatt Capital GateSun loungers next to the suspended swimming pool at Hyatt Capital Gate

Due to the fact the UAE is famous for building vertically rather than connecting low level buildings with back streets and communal spaces as in the UK, Hyatt Capital Gate is fairly secluded aside from the conference centre. As with anywhere in this part of the world, a taxi is required to for journeys beyond a few paces. And whilst it may initially feel frustrating being unable to go for a walk to anywhere of note, you really couldn’t be stranded in a better equipped place than here.

Clearly a consideration of the hotel’s 18 degrees restaurant, the chefs  do their utmost to provide a cross-continental catering experience. Despite being labelled as Eastern Mediterranean, the menu boasts a real mix of local and international produce to suit all tastes.

We bounced from one country to the next on our three day stay, with dishes varying from Italian pasta dishes to local seafood, chicken livers, lamb creations and comforting puds. It’s a theatrical feast day and night, with the open plan kitchen serving as the stage. Breakfast in particular, could keep you in there for hours with welcome options such as honey, straight for the honeycomb. Take it out onto the terrace and enjoy.

A lamb dish prepared before our eyes at 18 Degrees in the Hyatt Capital GateA lamb dish prepared before our eyes at 18 Degrees in the Hyatt Capital Gate

Honeycomb for breakfast anyone?Honeycomb for breakfast anyone?

The UAE often comes under criticism for being style over substance, but when it comes to hotels, let’s face it we’d all take this level of luxury over a B&B.

This is a first class hotel which makes no bones about its pledge to be forward-thinking in everything, from the architectural to the honey served for breakfast. During our visit, a helipad was still being finished on the roof for the Sheikh, who also has the penthouse suite. The icing on probably the best cake I’ve ever tasted.

Follow Lynda on Twitter @lyndamoyo

Lynda stayed at Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi. Visit abudhabi.capitalgate.hyatt.com

Lynda flew to Abu Dhabi with Etihad from Manchester Airport. Etihad flies twice daily between Manchester and Abu Dhabi and current fares on the route are available from  just £399pp return. To book your flight, or for further information, visit www.etihad.com or call 020 3450 7300.

Etihad also offers free chauffeur limousine services between Abu Dhabi and Dubai for Pearl Business Class and Diamond First Class guests, or a luxury coach service between the two cities for Coral Economy class guests.

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Darth FormbyMay 4th 2012.

Migrants comprise some 90 percent of the 1.7 million workers in the United Arab Emirates.

Despite their value to both their home countries and the societies in which they work, many migrant workers suffer from discrimination, exploitation and abuse. Migrants, including large numbers of women employed as domestic servants, face intimidation and violence, including sexual assault, at the hands of employers, supervisors, sponsors and police and security forces. Children are especially vulnerable to labor and sexual exploitation and denial of basic rights.

"Thousands of children are trafficked to the United Arab Emirates for use as camel jockeys," " said Rory Mungoven, global advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.

Could you spot any of this from up there Lynda?

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