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I stayed here as part of my RTW trip last year, following a superb flight on Etihad in Pearl Business class from MEL-AUH. South Pacific to the Middle East on Etihad using American AAdvantage miles is a sweet spot. For the 14 hour flight, they only charge 45,000 AAdvantage miles each way. That is a crazy steal of a deal on an amazing product.
I was also able to somehow convince United to let me drop CAI-JFK on Egyptair (which is a dry airline) in favor of Lufthansa AUH-FRA-JFK, which were pretty decent (and very “wet”) flights. It left us with an 18-hour gap to fill, and we didn’t want to stay in the airport the entire time. I poked around and decided to pay $90 for the layover at the Park Inn Yas Island. 18 hours would be plenty of time to sleep, eat, take a dip in the pool, shower, and get back to the airport.
So right when we landed, we found the chauffeur desk at AUH and took a car to the Park Inn, courtesy of Etihad (I believe the chauffeur service has since been discontinued on award bookings).
That photo encapsulates the whole experience I had that day: kind of a blur.
I did one of those where I showed up and crashed into the bed without taking pics first (bad blogger!), then woke up in a haze to a cloudy day and decided to catch up on email rather than swim.
When we got to the hotel, it was still the middle of the night. We were dead tired, but the check-in agent was fast and kind, and we veritably collapsed into the separate twin beds.
I have to say, Park Inn is incredibly consistent as a brand. They love their little runner thing on the bed. Their color scheme and overall feel is great: low cost but comfortable. Not opulent or luxurious, but practical. Not a first choice, but not a last either. I’m interested in how hotels decide which properties get branded a certain way.
There was a pool attached to the Park Inn, but it was overcast, so we didn’t bother with it. It was about 80 degrees though, which was a lot warmer than the typical January back in the Northeast.
You know we made sure to get breakfast. It wasn’t included in the room rate, but after the conversion, the rate at the time came to about ~$17 per person. Not bad, so we went ahead and got the buffet.
There was also a small selection of hot foods: eggs, oatmeal, potatoes, and the like.
Overall, a very good breakfast and well worth the price. The restaurant was clean and well-stocked, and the buffet was constantly replenished with fresh foods.
This hotel stay prompted further thoughts that I will have to address in a future post.
But for now, let’s keep centered on the hotel itself.
It was a great property, perfect for a long layover. I got back to the airport refreshed and rested.
It went by quick – I was only here for about 15 hours all told, which added to the blur effect.
The wifi is blazing fast and the staff were all very kind. I found the room to be clean and comfortable, and very much in line with Park Inn’s overall branding mission.
While I’d love to return to Abu Dhabi, I’d probably go to a place that’s closer to the city. But if I found myself laying over for a day at AUH? I’d return to here without hesitation. But I’d make sure to behave myself.
Has anyone else stayed either here or in Abu Dhabi? How was the experience?
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