We spent last weekend at Viceroy hotel. Set half on water and half on land, Viceroy on the man-made Yas Island of Abu Dhabi is set right on top of the Yas Marina Circuit. You therefore get great views of the race track, and a continuous vroom-vroom of the race cars as they whiz across the circuit.
I’ve read many positively glowing reviews about Viceroy online, and was therefore very excited about this trip. This five-star property is very new-age and styled with modern minimalism and panache.
What really irked me was the service at the reception. They had 4 counters open, and only one was in operation with a long queue tailing behind it. Once at the desk however, the staff are very courteous and the lady at the reception even walked us to the elevator to indicate directions to our room.
Viceroy is split into two towers that are interconnected by an internal bridge.
We were staying in one of their Deluxe rooms which had a partial view of the racecourse and the sea.
Keeping with the new-age theme, the room facilities are very tech-savvy. The room numbers on the doors are LED lit, and the lighting within can be controlled by a remote control. You can even pull open the curtains with the remote!
The king-sized bed was spacious enough to accommodate me, my hubby and four year-old and as can be expected of a five-star property, the bed linen was topnotch!
The bathroom has sliding doors, and there’s a door between the bath and bed if you’re inclined at conversing while you scrub.
And ofcourse the room has the usual amenities including free tea/coffee, and travel-sized toiletries in the bathroom.
Viceroy has 2 separately located swimming pools. One is for adults only, and with a child in toll we only had access to the family pool by the Skylite lounge on the 9th floor.
As you enter the 9th floor, guests can lounge around on the comfy seating and get glimpses of the race track. Even at this elevation, you can hear the roar of the racing engines. It’s all very dramatic at first, but by mid evening, I was starting to tire of the race-course noise and wondering if it would extend to bedtime. Thankfully, the races end just past 6!
The family pool was a bit of a disappointment to me. They have the adult pool a few steps up, and the baby pool is a narrow stream with a cascade of water on the side. The steep steps between the adult and children’s section does not look like good news to me. Also, both pools in general are rather small in size.
I went for a dip mid-afternoon, and then decided to lounge by the baby pool as my daughter had some fun splashing around.
We didn’t have dinner at Viceroy. We headed out to Iris just across the harbor (more on that in my next post!). However, a one-night stay at the Viceroy is inclusive of a buffet breakfast at Origins, their intercontinental restaurant located on the ground floor.
The breakfast was divine! Apart from the usual breakfast options of breads, cereals and a live omelette-making station, the breakfast buffet at Origins also has an Asian corner serving dumplings and Congi, and an Indian section with vegetable curries and paratha.
The restaurant is also considerate enough to think of their little customers, and has a cute little corner dedicated to children. The bunny-faced buns were so cute that my daughter didn’t protest on gobbling it up despite it being stuffed with cheese and spinach!
Checkout is at 12 noon, but the hotel were kind enough to accommodate us till 2. However, we had a Cinderella moment when, half-soaked from the pool, we realized our swipe card allowing us back into the room had stopped working! We had to go back to the reception to get it reactivated till 2. Awkward!
Overall, we enjoyed our stay at the Viceroy. The hotel has noteworthy futuristic architecture, and the hum of the racing cars during the day makes it a unique experience. Moreover, the hotel is just walking distance from Abu Dhabi’s most happening shopping destination, Yas Mall (which also houses Ferrari World!). The staff are courteous, but from our experience, they could do much better given the hotel wears a 5-star badge. Perhaps it was the weekend rush.
For more details on Viceroy Abu Dhabi, please visit their website.