It was the height of summer in the Middle East when the Sybaritic Single took residence at the brand new luxury Abu Dhabi EDITION hotel.
With humidity soaring above 86%, it felt like Singapore outside. Inside, a déjà vu: the new hotel reminded him of his favourite Mandarin Oriental Singapore with a similar atrium (above), similar colour scheme, even similar carpets that absorb any noise.
However, the 1987 Singapore landmark nostalgia vanished the moment the Sybaritic Single entered his room, overlooking Al Bateen Marina: the space looked sterile and dark, without a single hairdryer socket next to any of the mirrors. He could only use his own device in the foyer where he managed to get the fire alarm light on, so that he could work on his signature hairdo.
Pressing a suit was another fiasco: why-oh-why hotels in the Emirate never invest in decent irons? They are all the same water-dripping disasters, whether at Jumeirah, St. Regis or now here. The Sybaritic Single almost ruined his latest Dior suit before he got it anywhere close to being properly steamed.
What the Abu Dhabi EDITION got absolutely right – refreshing for the destination – was the service. Very often it is patchy in most new hotels in the Middle East yet here it appeared well-orchestrated, decently personalised and virtually flawless. Each and every member of the team was a shining personality, friendly, efficient and elegant.
It was them who turned the luxury hotel from a soulless modern environment into a place where the Sybaritic Single would consider coming back to.