Hotel Review: Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri
With so many trips further afield over the last year, it’s been a while since I stayed in a hotel in Abu Dhabi, and I’ve never actually stayed in the Qaryat Al Beri area so I was delighted to be invited to check it out Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri for the weekend.
Don’t let the four star label put you off, the hotel rooms are actually much bigger than you would get in most five star hotels, possibly one of the reasons that it is technically defined as a four star luxury hotel. The other reason could be the range of amenities provided in the quite frankly enormous bathroom, the highlight of which being the huge jacuzzi bath.
The service is exceptional, which for me is the real differentiator between an average hotel and a great one. We had a hand written note from our housekeeper when we arrived and everyone we met, whether in corridors, on the beach, or in the restaurants, greeted us with big smiles and a helpful attitude.
Our room looked out over the beach and the promenade, though our eyes were more drawn to the sight of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque across the water. The beach itself was a great spot for sun worshippers, although we were unlucky enough to experience a few drops of rain while we were there, and the promenade links the hotel to the Qaryat Al Beri Souk, through the grounds of the Shangri-La, and was a lovely walk to do, whether by day or night. The proximity to the souk means that you don’t have to leave the hotel, even as the weather changed, we enjoyed a stroll to the souk and spent several hours shopping and enjoying coffee and snacks. You can also take an abra (traditional wooden motor boat) between the hotels and the souk – although we hose to simply do a loop and enjoy the boat ride in itself).
There are also a number of restaurants within the souk complex, should you want to get out from the hotel for dinner or lunch one evening, though I wouldn’t understand why you’d want to! The food in the hotel is excellent, on the first evening we had the Omani lobster, which was exceptional – I’d be tempted to go so far as to say one of the best I’ve had! The portions were a little on the large side, as we discovered from the starters and sides we ordered, but when I saw Japanese mochi on the menu I couldn’t resist, and was not disappointed! We also discovered that the restaurant has its own pizza oven, and again, the pizzas were outstanding, whilst not normally something I would go for on a menu, I’m so glad that we did on this occasion (we liked it so much we ordered another the following day!) The main focus of the weekend’s food though was the Friday Beach BBQ, where we sat in our own cabana on the beach and helped ourselves to an array of fresh BBQ – a great option for families as there were plenty of things for the kids to do including a bouncy castle and face painting, and with a very laid back, non pretentious vibe. This same vibe and relaxed ambience was carried through to the Saturday Bubble Beach Brunch, with a resident DJ on the beach, plenty more kids activities, and a great selection of food – all for the remarkably affordable price of AED 140 for food only, and AED 190 for food and bubbly.
All in all, Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri offers a great place to stay in Abu Dhabi, whether for families or couples. Whether you want to use it as a base to explore the capital or simply as a retreat that you don’t need to leave, you can expect great value, huge clean rooms, exceptional service and excellent food.