Finding a place to stay in Abu Dhabi wasn’t really as easy as I thought it would be. Of course, there are some really nice hotels in Abu Dhabi, it’s the capital of the UAE, after all. But most hotels I could find with an ideal location and positive reviews were not in my budget.
After going through the list of many hotels in Abu Dhabi, I decided to book my three-night stay with One to One Hotel – The Village. I can’t remember why I booked this hotel out of all those hotels available at some extra money, but I regretted my decision as soon as I entered my room.
I can just explain my experience with One to One – The Village in one word: Horrible!
I took a bus ride from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. It took us more than two and a half hour to reach there in an AC bus. It was a hot day and as soon as we reach Abu Dhabi bus station and got out of the bus, I started sweating.
One to One Hotel – The Village is located about 2km from Abu Dhabi central bus station. As I usually prefer walking such short distance, I started walking. After walking for a few minutes on the main road, I entered a quiet area with hardly anyone outside. There were only a car or two passing by. After taking a few turns around, I reached my hotel.
Located off the Hameem Street, “The Village” takes pride in being a hotel in a posh locality of Abu Dhabi. Walk a few minutes and you reach the embassy of Cyprus. Embassy of Spain is also nearby. Walk a few minutes more and you have the embassy of Brazil. The whole area was full of lavish bungalows and luxurious cars. It was pretty amazing.
The hotel is about 30km far from Abu Dhabi international airport. Some must-visit places like Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Emirates Palace, and Heritage Village are about 15km, 10km, and 11.5km from here, respectively.
Location-wise, there was nothing to complain about. But as the hotel is located way deep from the main road, you have to hire a taxi everytime you wanted to go somewhere (unless you have a car, of course). This was a bit of inconvenience for me.
While I liked the location and my first look at the property, surprises were waiting for me inside. As I climbed up the stairs to enter the reception area, there was no one to help me with my luggage. I left my bag outside and went straight to the reception where two ladies were present to welcome their guests.
“Hello!” said one of those ladies. “Am, I have a booking. I would like to check-in,” I said, showing my booking voucher.
She took my voucher, did something on a computer, and confirmed my booking. Now all I had to do was to wait before my room was ready.
“I have my bag waiting outside, can someone please bring it in?” I asked and she called up a lobby guy who literally struggled to find and then carry the bag inside.
Things were pretty smooth so far. I was just waiting to enter my room and crash on the bed. It was a hot day, and I was exhausted.
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Once my room was ready, I was asked to follow the lead of the lobby guy. He led me to a stair, where we were to climb three floors. “Top floor!” said the guy with a smile, all excited about something. There was no elevator to carry us there and I wasn’t sure what was there to be excited about the “top floor.”
Once we reached my room, a disaster was waiting for me. The room smelled like a whole bunch of junkies smoked there days and nights for a year! The smell of smoke was literally inside everything that was present in the room. The bath, the table, chairs, wardrobe. It smelled horrible in there.
As I am allergic to dust and strong smells, I quickly put a handkerchief over my nose. “I asked for a non-smoking room,” I told the guy – who was absolutely okay with the room.
Covering my nose didn’t help. I started sneezing. I am a serial sneezer, and I sneezed about 20 times one after another.
I ran straight to the reception – three floors down. “I asked for a non-smoking room,” I told the lady. “We don’t have another room available,” she replied with a dull face and an authoritative tone.
“But I’m allergic. I can’t stay in this room. That’s why I requested for a non-smoking room while I booked it. Do something.”
She had a solution. She sent someone to my room with a room freshener. The guy literally sprayed the hell out of that spray can – spraying all over the room, and turned on the AC.
Instead of solving my problem, this increased it even further. The room was now smelling like a torture chamber to me and I couldn’t help but go downstairs, again.
I took a walk around for a few minutes, thinking how excited I was about crashing on the bed just a few minutes ago.
After 15 minutes, I climbed upstairs, and went into my room, with a hanky around my nose. Exhausted, I jumped onto the bed and slept.
The next morning had a few surprises of its own, too. As I was brushing my teeth, the sink got blocked. “Here we go again,” I said and called the reception. “I will send someone,” said a lady.
Now here I was, with my teeth half-brushed, waiting for someone to arrive. While I couldn’t see anyone around for more than 10 minutes, I called again.
After 10 minutes more, a guy finally came to the rescue. “It will take a couple minute, sir. Don’t worry,” he said confidently.
As I stood outside my room, I heard all those weird sounds of plunging. After nearly 15 minutes, the guy was done.
What a way to begin the day.
Besides a smelly room and a blocked sink, other things were nice enough to convince me my stay was going to be okay. The room was smelly but cleaned. The bedsheets and blanket were clean, too (I found a bed bug on my blanket, though).
The lobby area was neat, and so was the area outside of the hotel. I found it weird that the housekeeping guy was always busy mopping the stairs of my building – every time I walked by him.
There were an electric cattle and a few pouch of coffee and sugar near the wardrobe. Two water bottles were available complimentary. Three green apples were sitting on a table, waiting for someone to eat them.
The wardrobe was big, and a safety vault was present. There were two phones available. The AC, although a bit noisy, was working well, too.
There was no power plug converter in the room (I know I should have carried one myself). I called the reception at least three times and finally went downstairs, waited for around 15 minutes when someone finally came up with it.
Same thing happened with WiFi. It connected quickly to my phone, but not to my laptop. I called the reception once again. “I will send someone,” replied a lady with the same dull and uninterested tone.
When no one stopped by, I went downstairs with my laptop. After sitting there for 10-15 minutes, the IT guy appeared, took the MAC address of my laptop and entered it in the router’s settings via his phone to make it work. Besides this, WiFi didn’t give me problems anymore.
The hotel has a spa, some restaurants, and a cafe. There are a pool and a gym, too.
I am knowingly putting this topic at last as it sums up all the encounters I had with the staff as mentioned above.
Those two reception ladies were the worst of all. One of those (I don’t want to call out their ethnicity) ladies sounded like the burden of solving all the problems of this whole world was on her shoulder. She was rude, unhelpful and dominant.
Be it my horrible room, clogged basin, WiFi and any other problem I brought to her, she didn’t care at all. She would rather be looking at her computer screen than making an eye contact while talking to me.
I had fewer interactions with another lady. So I don’t really have anything to say about her, except she wasn’t really helpful either.
When I was waiting in the lobby for the IT guy to arrive, they both were talking about their boyfriends. It’s none of my business, but they were walking so loud, their voice could be heard through the whole lobby. I tried to make my presence noticed, but those two didn’t seem to care.
Besides those two reception ladies, there was a lobby guy who got along nicely with me. He was always there with a smile, calling my taxi, helping me with my luggage and all.
Other lobby men and helping staff seemed nice, too.
One to One Hotel – The Village: Overall Experience
My overall experience with One to One Hotel – The Village was nothing but a disaster. My room was pathetic and the reception girl was rude with a “not my problem, dude” attitude.
During this three-night stay, I dealt with a smelly room – sneezing now and then. I had a clogged basin to begin my day with and a not-so-hot shower.
The place was clean overall, but not well-maintained. The place was designed in a way that each building had a garden and probably a pool on the terrace. The terrace in my building seemed like it wasn’t cleaned in years.
I am not sure how they received a 4-star rating but my stay was worse than a 2-star hotel. In fact, I had a better experience in Dubai when I stayed in Comfort Inn – a 3-star hotel.
Although a bit far from the main road, I liked the locality. The hotel itself was very quiet and had a relaxing atmosphere. If there was a different, better hotel available here, I would definitely stay there.
But will I stay at One to One Hotel – The Village again? Definitely not.
Note: This could have been a random rant published on the first night of my stay. But I completed my stay, observed things and people without prejudice and then took the time to understand what really went wrong. You will find similar opinions about this hotel at several places including TripAdvisor.
One to One Hotel – The Village hotel is part of a huge group. The management could really spend some time and money on this place to make it better. The property is in need of some deep cleaning and maintenance. The staff could also use a bit of training.
I am not sure why would anyone want to pay what they’re paying for a smelly room, a few cups of coffee, three green apples and a pool?
Did you stay at One to One, Abu Dhabi? How was your experience? Share it with me.