Flying back from the Seychelles last November, Dan and I had an overnight layover in Abu Dhabi. Due to the flight times (arriving around 9:30 PM and leaving the next morning around 10:00 AM), we decided to stay in a hotel near the airport to get some sleep prior to our flight home. Turns out that the Abu Dhabi airport has its own hotel in Terminal 1, so we booked a room there for the night. This is my review of that room and hotel.
LOCATION OF THE AIRPORT HOTEL
The Abu Dhabi Airport Hotel T1 International Departures hotel is located in Abu Dhabi Terminal 1. It’s easy to find and connected to the Al Dhabi Lounge. Terminal 1 is connected to Terminal 3 and travelers can walk between the two terminals without going through security – easy peasy. The walk takes about 10 minutes, maybe longer with mobility issues.
CHECK-IN TO THE ABU DHABI AIRPORT HOTEL
We made our hotel reservation far in advance and on arrival, had to wait a few minutes to check-in at the desk in front of the hotel entrance. I showed my passport and credit card used to book and was presented with a key to our room. We took the elevator up one floor, as the hotel is located on the second floor of the airport, and went directly to our room via a long hallway. Again, very easy.
OUR ROOM AT THE ABU DHABI AIRPORT HOTEL
We booked a “Double Plus” room at the cost of $175 USD for the night. This price may have been inflated due to the crowdedness of Abu Dhabi the weekend we visited (F1 and Wold Cup in Qatar). Our room was pretty basic but everything we needed for the night. The room was quite large, with two full beds separated by a night stand with multiple electric outlets. In front of the beds was a small table with a chair, a flat screen TV, a hanging rack for clothing, a coffee maker, and a restroom with a toilet, sink, and pretty good shower (I was surprised at the quality of the shower!). The restroom also had shower supplies and toothbrushes and tooth paste.
The one thing I would note is that the rooms have no windows and are very dark. Some could find this claustrophobic. In any case, we slept really well and woke up with plenty of time for our flight. We even had the front desk give us a complimentary wake-up call.
THE AL DHABI LOUNGE NEXT TO THE HOTEL
We were unclear if the hotel came with access to the Al Dhabi Lounge that shares a floor with the hotel. That being said, its pretty easy to just walk into the lounge from the hotel, which we did the night we arrived and the next morning. The lounge offers free food and drink, so its definitely worth a looksie. Priority Pass members get in to the lounge for free, so we didn’t feel too bad about “sneaking in.”
OTHER INFORMATION ON THE ABU DHABI AIRPORT HOTEL
If you can’t/don’t want to access the lounge, all food options are located outside of the hotel area, but you can bring it back. The closest area of restaurants is about a 5 minute walk from the Airport Hotel in the Gate area of Terminal 1, and there are even more in the duty free area of Terminal 3, including a food court and a sit down sports bar. It was late when we arrived, so we opted for McDonald’s in the Terminal 1 gate area. We brought it back to the lounge and ate it there. It was pretty good!
STEAL OUR HOTEL
Abu Dhabi Airport Hotel T1 International Departures: Airside – after Immigration turn right and take the lift to the 1st Floor. Transit passengers arriving in Terminal 3, pass through the Transfer Desk and follow signs to Terminal 1 and proceed to the 1st Floor. No security required for transit between Terminal 1 and 3.
ON A BUDGET
For those on a budget, there is a lot going on in Abu Dhabi airport and its open 24 hours. If you are young at heart, you can definitely pass the night in the airport without getting a hotel. Those on a budget wanting a hotel for the evening should compare prices here with those at the surrounding hotels (there are several right near the airport), which while outside of the airport, may be cheaper. Abu Dhabi is also not that far from the airport (30ish minutes without traffic), so that is also an option if this hotel is pricey or booked up.