Despite the road works outside of the property and the neighbouring construction, there’s no denying that once inside the hotel lobby, the impact is instant.
“You have a 23-metre high lobby overlooking the Arabian Gulf,” enthuses Greif. “It’s an incredible sense of space. You come into the lobby and the first thing you see is the ocean and that was also the reason I wanted the turquoise green for the uniforms because in summer, the colour of the ocean is actually that shade of green.
“The lobby is also the first contact point for a customer, so the welcome is very important, but at the same time the product is only as good as the service is.”
As you move around the hotel, the feel is one of understated elegance with key features, such as the colour-changing, custom-made chandeliers, acting as focal points while the use of carefully chosen, high-end materials is apparent, most noticeably in frequented guest areas such as the lifts.
“There isn’t a single guest who doesn’t walk into the lift and say ‘wow – I didn’t expect that’,” comments Greif. “The stone and marble collection throughout Etihad Towers is just extraordinary.”
The 382 rooms and suites also reflect the ethos of quality from the latest technology to the custom-made amenities, designed by ADA Cosmetics International.
“I wanted a scent which reflects male and female travellers without being too feminine or too masculine. I wanted the colours of the rooms to be complemented; especially the bathrooms, but more importantly, I wanted the exact shape of these five towers for the packaging. Guests have given us really super feedback so we’re very happy with it.”
The lastest technology
The use of technology has been integrated for guest comfort but also from an environmental standpoint.
“Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority has extremely clear guidelines in its manuals which you need to get your operating licence.
“Being a high-rise tower with a glass front automatically generates more heat, so we had to get the technology installed to avoid wasting energy senselessly,” says Greif.
“The guest room management system makes sure that if a room is unoccupied, it is set at 23°C. Once you occupy your room, you can choose whatever temperature you like.”
Other simple but effective touches, such as the use of iPads, has also proven popular.
“We have our royal suites and all of these are controlled by iPad — that’s actually far more user-friendly than your normal displays on the wall,” explains Greif.
“We have iPads in the limousines so when you arrive at the airport, you can check your emails first if that’s what you choose to do.
“The technology today is there. It is finding the right technology, but more importantly, educating your colleagues who then make it easier for the guests,” she adds.
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