For our Easter 2019 trip to Abu Dhabi, we decided to stay at Yas Island for the first time. We had four nights at Crowne Plaza Yas Island, which is located quite close to the the Formula One Racing Track. Here is a review of our stay.
Crowne Plaza Yas Island – Location / Access
Like a couple of other hotels (e.g. the Radisson Blu or the Rotana), Crowne Plaza Yas Island is located in Yas Plaza. All the hotels there are adjacent to each other. You can easily walk to the race track. Yas Mall is about five kilometers away as well as the key amusement parks there, Yas Water World, Ferrari World and Warner Bros. World. To the Presidential Palace, which we were gifted to visit, you should calculate a 45 minute drive.
You will likely access the hotel by car. Valet parking is complimentary. The Abu Dhabi Hop-on-Hop-off tourist bus stops in front of the hotel as well as the Yas Express, which is doing frequent bus services. Of course, you may also grab a taxi. The area seems to be very popular among the locals as well, at least regarding the cars which were around on the weekend days.
Crowne Plaza Yas Island – The Room
We went for the Club Deluxe King Room, which was 3,300 AED (roughly: 700 Euro) for the four night stay. However, the prices per night differed quite much – the night from Sunday to Monday was 80 per cent more than other ones. The room was a Club Room, which means that you have access to the Club Lounge / Executive Lounge (see below). We were located on the eighth floor, overlooking the pool area and the Al Raha Creek. There were also construction works to complete the Yas Plaza resort. Though they might look quite dramatic, they did not disturb too much.
The bathroom was separated from the living and sleeping space just by a glass wall – there was a shutter for privacy, though. The bathroom featured a combined shower and bathtub. The bathtub was very spacious and even suited me very well. The setup was not too ideal, especially for showering, though. The positions of the handles were not ideal. Therefore, there was a generous selection of all kinds of amenities. Characteristic for the region, the toilet features a shower as well.
As said, the view from the balcony was just lovely. Here are some examples.
Crowne Plaza Yas Island – Club Lounge
Thew club lounge on the 8th floor is a lovely gem of the hotel. You have a nice view over the water and golf course in this quiet and nicely made up room. We chose the lounge twice for breakfast (see below) due to the nicer atmosphere. The lounge is opened from 6:30 to 22:00hrs, there are afternoon tea hours as well as a “Happy Hour” with alcoholic drinks and evening snacks. Due to that reason, the lounge is adults only from 18:00hrs.
The service in the lounge was very nice. However, you have to state that in some cases, other hotel guests misbehaved, which I felt very bad about. For example, they cleared a whole table of sandwiches right after it has been served, ate right at the buffet and in once case, somebody even dipped his finger into a desert, licked it and pulled the desert back. The service staff behaved very friendly in these situations. I felt very annoyed, though.
Crowne Plaza Yas Island – Breakfast & Food
The hotel offers numerous restaurants and other places to indulge yourself. The main restaurant serves breakfast (buffet) as well. I love U.A.E. breakfast, majorly due to the vast variety of items offered. The selection here was good, but there was for example no Indian breakfast curry, which is quite typical for that area. A very amazing experience for me is that you could order an Arabian flatbread, made with your selection of fillings. Lovely!
The service was quite limited in some situations, though. For example, at our second visit at the main restaurant, it took us some 15 minutes before we were served hot drinks. Overall, the organization of the buffet felt to have space for improvement. The omelette at the egg station was not well done as well.
Thus, we overall preferred breakfast at the Club Lounge. For a lounge breakfast, the variety of items was really amazing. The food was nicely decorated. We also made use of the cafe in the lobby area, which was quite a nice atmosphere. I cannot judge about any of the other restaurants.
Crowne Plaza Yas Island – Pool and Services
Despite it was really crowded on the (Arabian) weekend days, the pool area is one of the centerpieces of Crowne Plaza Yas Island. The main pool is named to be 25 meters long, the water depth is 0.9 to 1.4 meters. It is partially in the shadow by sunscreens above the pool area. The most beautiful places are directly around the pool, which have partial shadows as well. None of the sun loungers, though, guarantees you a day in the shadow as the screens are not sufficient to give shadow over a longer period. There is a small kids pool next to it.
There is also a pool bar with seats in the water. Management seemed to have given it up as you are no longer allowed to sit there. Even worse, as it is next to the low-depth area of the pool, the kids take it to play in the water, which is – call me too German – too dangerous in my point of view. The lifeguards are comparably passive. Once, they have even been exhorted by their manager to be more rigid with the kids – they did not do after some minutes. In contrast to other U.A.E. hotels we have been to, there is no complimentary water at the pool area.
Other services and amenities provided by the hotel were very good. The 24 hour gym is realy nice and provides a lot of machines. There is even a squash court next to it. As far as we understood (we have neither been explicitly told nor tried it out), staying at a Yas Plaza hotel provides complimentary access to the Yas Beach, which we could see from our room. The WiFi was complimentary and reliable. The staff was very kind and provided good service. The valet parking people were very efficient, which is very important to me.
Crowne Plaza Yas Island – My View
I think Crowne Plaza Yas Island is a lovely place. If you are by (rental) car, I would even see it as a perfect location – you are comparably quick in the city center without the daily hassle of traffic. On the other hands, it is much more convenient to the new attractions like the Louvre, the Yas Mall with Ferrari World and Warner Bros. World or the Dubai Parks with the Outlet Village. The hotel is nice, the rooms are good, the pool area is beautiful and the construction work around is not that disturbing.
However, the hotel needs some adjustments in processes and service to make it a real top stay. I would also say that the out-of-weekend rates are rather on the aggressive side, but that did not influence my rating. They are part of the Etihad stopover program, which might lead to some “bad” hotel guests. One thing they somehow need to work on – a very tricky challenge. Nevertheless, if you go there, you will highly likely have a good time. I definitely had a nice stay over Easter.