When researching things to do in Abu Dhabi, there are a few landmarks that are regularly mentioned. One of them is the Capital Gate building. Just 15 minutes away from Abu Dhabi Airport and located next to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), the Capital Gate building is one of the tallest buildings in Abu Dhabi. It is also the 'World's Furthest Leaning Man Made Tower,' and has a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records to prove it.
The building leans at an astonishing 18 degrees to the west, four times more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. And unlike the latter, this structure was specifically designed to lean this way. On my recent visit there, my family and I got to experience it in the best way possible – by staying in the five-star Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi by Hyatt hotel, which is located inside the building.
The hotel has 167 hotel rooms and 22 luxurious suites which are situated between the 18th and 33rd floors. After a warm welcome at the reception area, we went to our rooms on the 28th floor, where we were welcomed in an even sweeter way - with personalized platters of gourmet chocolates and bowls of fresh fruit.
We had two inter-leading rooms, one for us and one for the kids. Both were huge and had equally spacious bathrooms. The kids loved having so much extra space in a hotel room. There was a comfortable King-size Grand Bed in each room as well as a sitting area and a workstation. The mini-bar and the beverage drawer were subtly placed in the wall panelling and the safe was large enough to store and charge a laptop. Complimentary internet was provided.
The décor was modern and trendy. Floor-to-ceiling windows provided amazing views of the city and the coastline. I enjoyed looking at the islands, mansions and royal palaces from there.
The marble bathrooms had an enclosed shower area with a rain shower, and another enclosed area with a toilet and bidet. A deep bathtub with mood lighting created a relaxing bath time zone. Comfortable bathrobes and slippers were provided. A transparent glass window separated the bathroom from the bedroom, however a roll-down screen was available for those who prefer their bathroom activities to be private, like us.
On the ground floor of the building is a lounge area, a coffee shop called Profiterole and a gift shop. Offices occupy the lower half of the building.
The reception at the Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi is located on the 18th floor, at one end of an opulent lounge with several comfortable seating areas, and a small library. Teas, coffees and sweet treats are served in the lounge, and it makes a great meeting and socializing place.
Also on the 18th floor is the hotel’s signature restaurant, the appropriately named “18 Degrees”, which specializes in Mediterranean cuisine. We enjoyed breakfast there. The dining room is huge and has open kitchens where one can view the chefs at work. There is an outdoor terrace too, which is a great place to eat, weather-permitting. Breakfast consisted of a wide variety of dishes, including Arabic, Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisine as well as fresh fruit and pastries.
In the evening, after a long day exploring Abu Dhabi, we ordered delicious Pizzas and Club Sandwiches from Room Service, which the kids especially enjoyed.
All the public areas share the great views of the city. Rayana Spa (meaning ‘Gates of Heaven), on the 19th floor, is the highest spa in Abu Dhabi. It offers a range of holistic treatments that embraces its desert location. I didn’t get an opportunity to experience it on this visit though. The Fitness Centre contains state-of-the-art cardio and resistance machines and gym lovers can have a great workout with a view here. A suspended swimming pool area with sunbeds overhangs the building. There is a helipad on the top of the building too, if that’s your mode of transport.
There are many reasons to stay at the Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi hotel: the comfortable rooms, the panoramic views and bragging rights for having stayed in an architectural marvel are just some of them. Go and experience it for yourself. Book your stay here.