After a five-hour-long flight, the choice between a bath with a thick layer of whipped foam and the need to go find something to eat is obvious.
A box of chocolates bought at a duty free outlet, the one that traveled with you from Boryspil to the Sharjah Airport and then spent two more hours on an express train to Abu Dhabi, should be quite enough for dinner.
Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana is just the right hotel for the perfect first impression when your first impression of the city is bound to be multiplied by travel fatigue, and the smallest imperfection (no towel or bathrobe in your hotel room) might turn into a sort of a personal tragedy.
Well, at Capital Centre Arjaan you open the door to your suite, drag your suitcase into this light space with rounded corners and subdued pastel-toned furniture, then you see a gigantic white bathtub behind a slightly opened bathroom door — here you go, you’re already home, you adore Abu Dhabi and you feel like you could do without any substantial food till the morning!
“It feels like home!” — this is the feeling that forms the basis of the whole concept of new Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana business hotel (it’s been opened for only a year). It’s oriented not on having a place to sleep between your business meetings but on a lengthy stay of business travelers who will have to spend a month or a year in Abu Dhabi, or even more.
This is why the suites look nowhere close to a hotel room but are more like small comfortable apartments — with a kitchen, a cooker, a washing machine, one or two bathrooms, a separate bedroom, a dining space and a study. There are no traditional rooms at the hotel — they provide either spacious studios, or two-room suites.
Additionally, you’ll have all the benefits of living at a hotel — daily cleaning, breakfasts in the hotel restaurant, a swimming pool, a gym, and the Abu Dhabi business area in close proximity — the largest exhibition center of the Emirati capital, ADNEC, is just across the road.
Although Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana is quite far from the tourist center, it’s got an advantage — it is close to the main sightseeing spot of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which is just an hour of walking (we did it and we finally understood that the Emirates were no good for pedestrians at all), or a 10-minute taxi ride away.
Besides, the hotel provides daily shuttles to Ferrari World amusement park and to Yas Island, and there are a couple of shopping malls around as well, for example, Mushrif Mall.
Traditionally for the UAE, there is a construction site around the hotel where construction works still go on as the business district is getting more and more densely populated.
In general, the hotel is perfect for business — no temptations available in the city will get you distracted from reports or business plans.
Choose the right working place — either in your own suite, or in the hotel lobby, or the lobby bar that makes perfect cezve coffee, not to mention freshest cheesecakes, croissants and chocolate pasties.
Breakfasts at Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana are served at Tamarind restaurant that works as an a la carte restaurant from lunchtime till late at night.
The Rotana network actively supports the “green initiatives” — greens are grown everywhere in pots hanging on the walls, and then the same greens are used in salads or dried to be turned into dressings and spices.
Fresh fruit by the season, salads, local cheese, hummus and Mutabal, Falafel balls, rice, date jam and yogurts — oh believe me when I say it, it was worth waiting till the morning to have that breakfast and not ordering something to eat from a late-night café via Zomato delivery service.
When you have lunch at Tamarind, note the Moroccan tomato soup — a crazy combination of spices and Eastern ingredients (I have seen the recipe and now I’m racking my brains over a way to make it in winter Kyiv!) — it is spicy and hot, and the tomato taste still dominates over those mad splashes of savory spices.
Crispy Falafel balls, lamb in red sauce with vegetables and rice, a nourishing salad with burrata cheese and ruccola, or beetroot with spinach, traditional Biriani with vegetables — and, alas, no space or strength left for any dessert!
The portions are so large that there’s no chance for you to try and cram anything else into your stomach.
The main joy of the hotel is its swimming pool, a classic one for a megalopolis — surrounded by steel and glass towers, with clear warm water and a feeling that you’re top of the world although you’re only on the second floor terrace.
A SPA complex with massages and relaxing fragrances is surely made to make a traveling businessman more capable and give him energy.
And, naturally, a gym for those who did stuff a caramel cheesecake in at lunch and is trying to keep fit nevertheless. You may even have a personal coach if you ask. So now you can easily munch on as many chocolate bars as you want and chase them down with whipped cream cocoa relaxing in the clouds of fragrant foam in your bathtub after a long working day.
Capital Centre Arjaan by Rotana explored by Olga Kari and Anton Lazutin
Text: Olga Kari
Photos: Anton Lazutin, Olga Kari