Reviewing the Marriott Hotel Al Forsan
We stayed and we inspected. Today, we have a verdict.
Located in the eclectic Khalifa City, Marriott Hotel Al Forsan is not exactly mainstream, despite its namesake. For one, this modern establishment fringes on the edge of Abu Dhabi city. Many who have booked a stay here apparently have to drive at least 90 minutes to arrive at the hotel from Business Bay. Then again, those who find themselves enamoured by theprospect of spending the night at this 5-star hotel are not your typical Abu Dhabi visitors.
A HISTORY OF THE HOTEL
Built in the year 2017, the Al Forsan is relatively newer compared to other hotels within its league in the region. Its biggest catch is the novelty and the newness of its design and architecture. Thankfully, the hotel is still located within the reaches of communal activities that will never leave guests bored. Horse riding appears to be a thing enjoyed at the nearby Al Forsan Sports Complex. There, you can also enjoy some swimming and tennis to keep active.
Compared to the high-rise towers in the city centre, the Al Forsan is rather modest, at just five stories tall. But the breath-taking thing about it is that it is spacious beyond measure. The hotel has a lot of rooms that can occupy up to thousands of guests at one go. But a quick note for those who are feeling rather lazy: it’s best to book a tenure nearby an elevator; else, you might just end up walking for a couple of minutes, if not more, before you can reach your quarters.
Should you book a night here, expect yourself to cross paths with lovers of life who live for art, culture, elegant enjoyment, and not to mention, family values. To paint a bigger picture of where you would be if you book a stay here, consider the fact that you would only be a 20-minute drive away from Yas Island and esteemed attractions such as The Louvre and Ferrari World.
Upon checking in to my Deluxe Guest room, I was surprised to discover how equally spacious it is, akin to the rest of the hotel. It also has an extremely well laid-out floor plan; every furniture and storage space has a designated place. And from the view of the observer, it all comes together aesthetically in a luxurious combination of white, brown, stony grey, and black.
From the door, I could immediately see the sleek interiors of the washroom, whose big bathtub was immediately spotted thanks to the room’s glass wall. Should you be up for a long bath, then you can count on the comforting fact that you can see through your room, and out of the window into the clear and bewitching Middle Eastern horizon.
What I did not like, though, was the fact that the room did not come with a full wall-to-wall carpeting. Whatever form of it that was available came as a rug stationed underneath the bed, unlike the fullness seen at your typical beach-front five-star properties. But what made up for the interior glitch was the expansive comfort that the room’s king-sized bed provided. With so many plush pillows to lean on, I felt like I was in chiropractic heaven.
Another thing I felt was a little odd was the size of the available TV. It was certainly was a bit small, in contrast to the largeness of the room. But what worked was the fact that it connected to the glass desk next to the bed, which made syncing it to your USB, HDMI, and other devices a breezy feat. There was also an alarm clock that you could connect your phone to play your own music or charge your phone (through USB A&C. The room itself was controllable via the control panel right next to the bed, which made lighting adjustment super easy and hassle-free.
LACK OF SPLASH
For some reason, I did not really indulge in the idea of unwinding in the bathtub that much on this trip, but thinking about it now, I do regret not making the choice. During my stay, the rain shower seemed to work only on a very low pressure. The whole time, the water was merely trickling which was infuriating. I’d made a couple of requests to the hotel staff to resolve this, but every single time they would reach out, the only explanation I would get was that the trickles are the hotel’s “standard pressure”. But after incessantlyinquiring for help, the situation was resolved, and I managed to get out of it a somewhat compete shower.
But one can definitely seek the relaxation that the hotel room could not truly give by jumping into the Al Forsan’s swimming pool. At 50-meters long, the pool is Olympic-sized; it is among the largest in all of Khalifa City. Appealing to the hotel’s ethos of elegant relaxation, the pool is surrounded by plenty of artsy lounge seats for people who would want to sunbathe (beware of the scorching Middle Eastern heat though, so tread with care). People traveling in families, meanwhile, would find solace in the surrounding amenities that are kid-friendly.
As great as Al Forsan’s service and hospitality is, I felt that the management could do well to extend their focus into their room service menu. While it promises a ton of colourful delights, the taste of the hotel food could have been better. Although the list of food was extensive and, not to mention, expensive, their taste was so bland, it was disappointing. Let’s not even go to the presentation bit, as the lack of it was definitely not something you’d expect from a five-star property.
But while dining in bed was an unexpectedly sad option, the restaurants in the hotel made up for it. I’m happy to report that the Al Forsan’s main all-day dining restaurant, Al Khayal, offers delectably versatile breakfast and buffet spreads. If you’re looking for some sheesha to spice up your fine dining experience, then check out the hotel’s other restaurants and bars.
Even though it had everything you would expect from a 5-star hotel, this Marriott property was, in my experience, missing some personality which renders a rating that’s unfortunately lower than the scale of the hype surrounding it. Nevertheless, it is a good entry-level 5-star establishment, and would likely appeal to families who are undoubtedly looking to enjoy a fuss-tree vacation in the UAE.
Official rating: 5/5
Our rating: 4/5
Value for money: 5/5