Review: Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi

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Introduction
US Airways Club Tampa
American Airlines Premium Lounge Miami Airport
Airberlin Business Class A330 Miami To Dusseldorf
Airberlin Lounge Dusseldorf Airport
Etihad Airways Business Class A330 Dusseldorf To Abu Dhabi
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
St. Regis Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Airport
Abu Dhabi Airport United States Immigration Pre-Clearance
Etihad Airways First Class A340-500 Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles


As I’ve written about in the past, there are some crazy good hotel deals in Abu Dhabi in the summer. The great rates aren’t really surprising, given the 110+ degree temperatures which are common in the UAE in summer.

Abu-Dhabi-Weather

For the first few nights I decided to stay at the Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi. I’ve wanted to stay at this hotel ever since it opened in 2011, for no other reason than how damn awesome it looks on the outside. The hotel leans at an 18 degree angle, which is just ridiculous.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi

Since it was summer, the hotel had a “2 for 1” promotion, so the average nightly rate came out to $75USD per night. That’s crazy good for a full service Hyatt. When you live in hotels full time, it’s tough to beat that as a Hyatt Diamond member, given that you can hardly get a Hyatt Place in a rural town in the US for that price.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi

Anyway, I was dropped off at the Hyatt Capital Gate at around 9:30PM by Etihad’s chauffeur service. The Hyatt Capital Gate is about a 15 minute drive from Abu Dhabi Airport. To kind of put the location of the hotel into perspective, it’s roughly halfway between the airport (the big red box on the right) and downtown Abu Dhabi (the Emirates Palace Hotel is the box on the left). That’s potentially convenient for an overnight, though there’s not a whole lot in the immediate area of the hotel, aside from the “Capital Gate” district.

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Map of Abu Dhabi

Upon arrival at the hotel there were no bellmen outside, which kind of surprised me, given that hotels in the UAE are typically generously overstaffed.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi entrance

I walked into what I thought was the lobby, though as it turns out the lobby was actually on the 18th floor.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi entrance

On the ground floor was just sort of a secondary lobby and Profiterole, which sells coffee, pastries, etc.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi ground floor

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Profiterole Cafe

I took the elevator up to the 18th floor, where I quickly arrived in the rather impressive lobby. It wasn’t massive, though was gorgeous, both architecturally and in terms of the natural light.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi lobby

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi lobby

Near the reception desk was a table with dates and arabic coffee.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi arabic coffee and dates in lobby

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi lobby

Off the lobby was the lobby lounge, which is open from 7AM till 1AM, so is a good place to grab coffee in the morning or a drink at night (or if you’re like me, a great place to grab a coffee at night). šŸ˜‰

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi lobby cafe

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi lobby cafe

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi lobby cafe

There was no queue at reception, and within about five minutes I was checked in. The associate was efficient though not especially friendly, which is just about on par with most service in the UAE in my experience.

I was informed that as a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member I’d receive complimentary internet, breakfast, and a welcome amenity (I chose the 1,000 points). I specifically had to request 4PM late check-out, though, which was granted.

I was assigned a Deluxe King Room on the 21st floor. The associate walked me to the elevator area, and then I made my own way to the room.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi elevators

The atrium starts a level above the lobby floor, and goes to the top of the hotel (below that are offices, I believe). The atrium is fascinating, which I guess isn’t surprising given the angle of the hotel. Because of the angle, though, there’s very little natural light in the atrium area, even in the middle of the day.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi atrium

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi atrium

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 21st floor

My room, 2105, was located across the atrium from the elevators.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi room entrance

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi floorplan

The room was massive for a “deluxe” room, at 45 square meters (almost 500 square feet).

At the entryway was the bathroom to the left and the rest of the room to the right.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room entrance

In the room was a king bed, which was super comfortable.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room

Next to the bed was a desk with two chairs, along with some conveniently placed outlets.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room entrance

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room desk

Then in the far corner by the window was a couch and the TV.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room entrance

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room couch

That’s also where the minibar and illy coffee machine were located.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room minibar and coffee machine

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room coffee machine

The bathroom was separated from the rest of the room by a sliding door.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room bathroom entrance

The bathroom was really impressive, especially for a non-suite. It featured a large soaking tub, walk-in shower with both a rainforest shower head and a “portable” shower head.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room bathroom

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room bathtub

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room bathroom

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room sink

The one thing I found puzzling was the sink design, especially for a newly built hotel. The faucet was maybe three inches over the bottom of the wash basin. It was a damn task to wash my hands without touching the bottom of the wash basin. Just puzzling, no…?

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room sink

But the shower more than made up for it. The water pressure was insanely good.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room shower

The toiletries were Cornelia Signature branded. That’s not a brand I’ve ever heard of, thought I thought were perfectly nice.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room toiletries

Then the toilet and bidet were in a separate room.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room toilet

Just outside the bathroom was a closet.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room closet

One other thing worth noting about the room is that the views are a bit obscured by the actual structure of the building, given the angle its at. So you don’t have a direct view out of the hotel, but rather you have a glass shield which looks out on the actual window.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Deluxe King Room view

On the whole I was impressed by the room. It was massive, well designed, and nicely appointed. I especially loved the shower and bathtub, which more than made up for the crappy sink design. The wifi was also quite fast, though seemed to disconnect once in a while.

In terms of the hotel’s other features, 18 Degrees Restaurant was located on the lobby level (the 18th floor). 18 Degrees served breakfast daily from 6AM till 10:30AM. As a perpetually jetlagged person, I loved the 6AM start time.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant entrance

The restaurant was massive and stylish, with good views of the surrounding area (not that the surrounding area has many views, but…).

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant

The breakfast spread was good — not quite to the level of the St. Regis Abu Dhabi Saadiyat Island orĀ Le Meridien Bangkok — but still very good.

They had a variety of freshly squeezed juices (I love a buffet with pineapple juice!).

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant breakfast buffet

Then fresh fruit.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant breakfast buffet

And pastries/croissants.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant breakfast buffet

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant breakfast buffet

And cereal and jams.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant breakfast buffet

And yogurt and muesli.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant breakfast buffet

And then they had a bit more of a regional spread, with lots of salad, veggies, and fish. Over the course of three days I’m pretty sure I ate my body weight in the olive/tomato/cucumber/feta cheese salad thing.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant breakfast buffet

Then there were eight (mostly Asian) hot dishes.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant breakfast buffet

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant breakfast buffet

The restaurant was never anywhere close to full, but despite that I found the service to be lackluster. It always took a while to clear plates. Beyond that, apparently if you want anything that’s not on the buffet (omelet, waffles, pancakes, etc.) you can order it, though that was never explained to me or proactively offered by the server. You’d think that’s something they would explain on the first morning…

After I came to that realization, I ordered waffles the last morning, which were quite good.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant waffles

Their cappuccinos were also excellent.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant cappuccino

As part of the “Summer 2 for 1” package you get 20% off all food & beverage outlets at the hotel. So after my first full day in Abu Dhabi I was pretty jetlagged and just wanted to eat at the hotel, so had dinner at 18 Degrees. They’re open for dinner from 7PM till 11:30PM. Their menu is pretty varied, with Italian, Greek, Lebanese, Syrian, and Turkish food.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant

I was offered some warm bread and olives to start.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant dinner bread

As an appetizer I had the pine nut falafel.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant pine nut falafel appetizer

Then for the main course I had salmon.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi 18 Degrees Restaurant salmon main course

The food and service during dinner were top notch, which might have something to do with the fact that my server was Balinese. I love Bali and I love the people there. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a rude person from Bali…

The hotel’s spa, Rayana, was located on the 19th floor of the hotel.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Rayana Spa

That’s also where the gym was located. It wasn’t huge, though had a good variety of modern equipment.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi gym

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi gym

Just outside the spa was the outdoor pool.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi pool entrance

It was a decent size, and boasted nice views of the Capital Gate area.

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi pool

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi pool

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi hotel view from pool

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Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi view from pool

Bottom line on Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi

At $75 per night, this hotel was an absolute steal. The deluxe room was gorgeous and huge, and the property as a whole is great.

The service was ultimately fine. It didn’t blow me away, but then again I don’t expect to be blown away by service in the UAE.

The only major consideration is the location. The hotel is located between Abu Dhabi Airport and the city, so there’s not a whole lot to do in the immediate area. Ultimately it’s a 15-20 minute taxi ride downtown, and taxis in Abu Dhabi are inexpensive. So I wouldn’t necessarily view that as a huge hurdle. Still, it’s a consideration, given that the Capital Gate area isn’t otherwise all that interesting.

If you’re looking for an alternative to staying downtown, there’s always Saadiyat Island, which is the new “leisure destination” in Abu Dhabi. I’ve stayed at the gorgeousĀ Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Saadiyat Island and St. Regis Abu Dhabi Saadiyat Island. They’re roughly the same distance from downtown as the Hyatt Capital Gate, and have the advantage of being by a beach and some other recreational activities.

Still, this is a heck of a hotel, an amazing value, and actually really convenient for an overnight at Abu Dhabi Airport. I’d recommend it if the price is right.

Redeeming points at Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi

If you’re looking to redeem points at the Hyatt Capital Gate, it’s worth noting that this is a Category 4 Gold Passport property.

That means:

  • A free night redemption costs 15,000 Gold Passport points per night
  • A Points + Cash redemption costs 7,500 Gold Passport points plus $100USD per night
  • The anniversary night certificate from theĀ Chase Hyatt Visa Card can be redeemed here, as they’re valid at up to Category 4 properties

I value Hyatt points at roughly 1.5 cents each, so to me 15,000 points is worth ~$225USD, and the “cost” of the Points + Cash redemption is ~$210. Even in the high season rates at this hotel don’t usually go above $200USD or so per night, so there are very few circumstances under which I’d redeem points for stays at this property.

Then again, Hyatt points are fairly easy to come by since they’re transfer partners with Ultimate Rewards. So if you have a lot of points you’ve accrued through the Chase Sapphire PreferredĀ® Card, Ink BoldĀ® Business Charge Card, or Ink PlusĀ® Business Credit Card, then for some people it might make sense to redeem points for a stay here.

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Comments

  1. Hey lucky, glad to see you liked this hotel! I’m staying in the same class of room with a breakfast package (and will likely be on a Hyatt Diamond challenge). Managed to BRG a good rate too! Looking forward to it! Thanks for the review.

  2. They use June Jacobs products in the suites.

    They also had a complimentary happy hour of sorts at the pool when I was there in February. One free drink which was rather large and loaded with booze, and appetizers that they kept bringing out. Maybe they got rid of that?

  3. @ The Mystery Traveler — Hmm, really? Wouldn’t be the first time I missed out on free drink benefit I wasn’t made aware of (also happened at Grand Hyatt Cannes). That being said, never actually saw the pool bar open, so maybe it’s closed in summer due to the heat?

  4. I clicked through to the 18 Degrees menu. Its restricted diet designations are the most bizarre I’ve ever seen and make me wary. Few items are marked gluten-free, except one whose second ingredient is bulgur, which is wheat. Very few items are marked as nut-free, although many look as if they would be naturally nut-free. Restaurants lose credibility by superficially and inaccurately catering to those with food allergies. This place should either correct or remove the allergen signs. I think their designation of locally caught, sustainable fish is cool, though.

  5. God, that looks awful. A typical business hotel with no character whatsoever. Dust around, no view, 120 degrees. Sounds great. Sorry, but what exactly did you like there?

  6. Lucky, this is an awesome review of the Abu Dhabi Hyatt. When I visited this area, I saw this hotel being constructed from my taxi ride back to my hotel. Thanks to your review, I may have a return voyage to Abu Dhabi.

    PS, did you manage to visit Ferrari World? This is definitely a lifetime experience, and you should go for the VIP Pass which lets you go to the front of the line for every ride. With the VIP Pass, I rode the Formula Rossa ten times in a row, which is quite impressive going at 225 mph.

  7. I share your feeling of being perplexed by these shallow sinks (also at either Costco or Sam’s, I’m not sure which). It feels like you’re getting re-contaminated while you’re washing your hands.

    I think the “official” name for the “portable” shower is “hand-held” shower.

    Nice review.

  8. Another question about staying in hotels – would you ever actually use the bath? šŸ˜‰

  9. I took 20 people for dinner there once. Place was empty and after being seated for 15 mins no one acknowledged us as they walked by. Fed up we left for another place. Other than that the hotel was cool.

  10. I’ve eaten at 18 Degrees a couple of times and the food has always been exceptional (and quite reasonably priced for the quality). Service has been friendly but a bit unpolished and unorganised. Overall though, I share your positive impression of the hote.

  11. Looks pretty nice for the price. And you are absolutely right about Hyatt hotel pricing – not very cheap; I guess My Elite Rate would help with that.

  12. @ davidb — Theoretically there’s a view, though due to the shape of the building it’s not actually that great.

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