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Courtyard by Marriott, Abu Dhabi - An Indian Touch in Arab World

Having traveled far and wide - both for passion and work, hotels seem to have an important place in my way of life. These are those inevitable evils that the world has come to live with. While you look for the economy when traveling on a budget, but business travel provides you the luxury to stay upscale - well if not a 7-Star Burj Al Arab for a month, you could at least sneak in a plush 4 Star for yourself. And that was what I had for my recent client engagement which had me stay in the City of Abu Dhabi for an extended period of time. The hotel came as a recommendation from our travel desk in the local office and so I decided to give it a try - there always is an option to shift in case there is something terribly wrong - right!

So, for the last couple of months and maybe a month ahead, my home in the city turns out to be The Courtyard by Marriott World Trade Center, Abu Dhabi. The hotel is a part of the World Trade Center which combines a shopping mall, office buildings, and a residential tower. A nicely managed property with adequate facilities, awesome service, and good accommodation - all in a facility located close to almost everything is how I would describe this Marriott Hotel. It is a four-star categorized hotel but nothing prevents it from being rated as a five-start given the set-up and service. God, I do not even know who and on what basis provides those ratings! But anyways those ratings are here to stay and so are our expectations based on them. Given that I have been here for quite some while now, it was the perfect time to write down a review about the facility.

As with other hotel reviews we have put down on this blog, we evaluate them on a couple of criteria that are important for us in a place we would call abode for a few days. Let us take you through those criteria and see how this one figured in our list of things.


Generally, for us, this comes to be one of the first factors of filtration and Courtyard ticks all the right boxes when this is considered. Located in the "downtown" area of Abu Dhabi - it is close to most of the happening parts of the town. It is attached to a shopping plaza - The Mall - which provides you with all that you need for a relatively long stay including a large Grocery Store and a Food Court. The lane overlooks the famous road which has all the Gold Shops if you are inclined. Further, a short walk away is the Corniche Beach which is a perfect place to spend your evenings - let's say for an average person, it would take about 15 minutes of relaxed walk.

The location is well connected by local transportation - though taxis form the nodal transportation medium - and is well recognized by almost all the drivers you would encounter. The neighborhood of the hotel is nice and you would not mind an early morning or late night walk to get some fresh air if you are one of my types.


Next thing that you need to have in a hotel is well set up and nicely equipped room providing all the common facilities. This hotel has a nice array of rooms spread across the 10 floors across various categories. The standard rooms are quite spacious - obviously, don't expect a palatial hall - and provide all the necessary equipment. The room comes with a decently large TV, study desk, ironing-set tea/coffee maker, safe and other standard items you may find in a hotel of this standard. The large window is shaded from outside and hence provides you the privacy even when curtains are drawn out.

The beds are comfortable and quite - no creaking in any of the rooms I put up in and the bedding is nice. They provide 3 variants of pillows on the bed to choose from based on the comfort level you have. Some of the standard rooms come with a bath-tub. What some of you may not be used to is a bidet - this one has them in every room. The housekeeping maintains the room well and is more than generous in putting up usual amenities in your room - almost every day I got 4 bottles of water against 2 when they realized I was a heavy "drinker".

And I am not sure how many of you value this but for me, it is always an important component especially when I am traveling for work. Of all the hotels I have stayed at, the rooms here have the best lighting in the room. While most rooms have dull lighting in the room and bright lights are reserved for the bathroom area, this one has pretty decent lighting in the entire room and I simply love it for this very reason.

Service and Hospitality

Service is where I would rate this place much ahead of other 4-star facilities I have been to. The Staff is simply awesome - courteous, accommodating, flexible and attentive. Throughout my stay, at the place, I never had any of the requests missed. They would bend a bit to accommodate extras that you may ask for. For a stay as of mine, they added a laundry package to the room even though it wasn't part of the standard contract. Similarly the other time they allowed me to check-in early - as early as 6 hours ahead of scheduled time. On one of the occasions I was traveling early and they gave me a takeaway breakfast since I was going to miss my breakfast that day. And all that came with a smile so that you feel warm and invited. Special call out to the managers, Mr. Hamed and Ms. Valentina - approachable, effective and helpful.

Restaurant and Food

The restaurant - The Bistro - is nicely set up and oozes warmth with seating pretty spread out to allow you some space. The breakfast buffet is pretty spread out with multiple options that would come with any Continental or American spread.  This is where the hotel exudes the Indian touch. Their breakfast invariably has one of the Indian recipes - which included poha, puri, pav-bhaji, upma or idly. For an Indian, you start feeling at home right at that sight. If this wasn't enough, the chef is happy to shell out an aloo paratha, uttapam or a dosa for you. And to top it up they serve desi masala chai (an Indian tea blend) to have a refreshing start to the day. The staff at the restaurant is friendly and observant. Almost every day apart from the first, I was welcomed by name and my tea was there before even I could request it. Servers would keep a watch if you need anything and are prompt in their delivery. They have multiple options both buffet and ala-carte for lunch and dinners. I did not try a meal or the room service - so that is for you to experience. There is also a poolside bar which serves you drinks and snacks right by the sizzling water you have just come out of.

The hotel has a cafe connecting to the mall called Fifth Street Cafe which serves snacks, coffee, and drinks throughout most of the day. There is also a roof-top bar by the pool called Up & below.


This is generally a bit low on our list, given the limited time we spend at a hotel anyway. However, I know of many who are pretty health conscious and would need at least some of the facilities. This place provides you with all that you may expect.  They have a decently equipped gym which would help you keep your calorie count running. There is a pool on the terrace which is pretty large by most standards. There is a lifeguard to keep a look on you and the entire area is well managed. The timings are decent and would allow you to take a short dip after your office. There is also a jacuzzi tucked in a corner to allow for those conversations you may want to have - immersed in water.

There is a bell desk to help you with your concierge requests. They would get you a taxi at the doorstep if you call from your room and would arrange excursions around the city. The desk is also happy to keep your luggage for some time if you check out and have time before your flight.

In all, I definitely had a wonderful stay at the hotel and love their hospitality. The place is well equipped, inviting and offers enough warmth for me to be a bit nostalgic as I write down this article while waiting for the dawn - when I check out and proceed to my home for a lovely week-long vacation.

The Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Fifth Street Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Up & Below Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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