Given its proximity to Dubai, Sharjah’s hotel scene is lacking – in numbers and quality. Besides the Hilton, the emirate’s only other decent offering for business travellers is the Centro. The three-star property, part of the Abu Dhabi-based Rotana portfolio, is located a few kilometres from Sharjah Airport and about 15 minutes away from the city centre.
The Centro range is Rotana’s line of business hotels, located in various commercial hubs in the region with easy access to airports, transport links and a no-nonsense/no-frills attitude to a night’s stay.
But it is not a place for the ill-prepared business traveller. The amenities are limited and few: if you had no time to shave, there won’t be a razor on hand. Forget your toothbrush? Nope, Centro does not supply them either.
This is a hotel for the more organised of travellers, one on a budget who prizes convenience over luxury.
The Centro Sharjah has 306 rooms and suites. The rooms are fitted with queen-sized beds that could do with softer sheets. Still, it is comfortable enough and if you’re on a business trip you probably won’t be staying more than a couple of nights. Rooms have walk-in showers and are equipped with irons and ironing boards. Each room has a separate lounge table and chairs that works as a desk or dining spot.
Room service was prompt and decent quality for the price. The hotel’s sandwiches come in a packed box, so you can take them with you for lunch ahead of days filled with meetings and conferences.
There are also two dining options in the hotel. C.taste, an all-day buffet and à la carte venue or c.deli, providing 24-hour service offering salads, sandwiches and desserts as well as pastries. Both are suitable for informal business meetings. For the more important and discreet discussions, the Centro has three meeting rooms available for hire.
Wi-Fi, although available throughout the property, costs Dh55 per day.
The Centro Sharjah has an outdoor swimming pool and a gym equipped with a fair amount of kit for those wanting to stay active after working hours.
Given that it is only a three-star property, the service and quality of the stay at the Centro Sharjah was surprisingly pleasant.
Michael Kasch, the general manager at Rotana Hotel Management, tells Triska Hamid more about the Centro Sharjah:
How does the Centro cater to business guests?
Centro Sharjah is a stylish and affordable hotel. Its strategic location, in close proximity to Sharjah Airport, business districts and Sharjah University, serves as the perfect haven for executives, giving them adequate time for their business objectives while not compromising on leisure activities.
How long does the average guest stay? For three days.
How do you compete with other hotels in Sharjah?
The constant slashing of prices by competitors has made the market vulnerable and imposes a threat to business. We, however, utilise a differentiating strategy to tackle this and provide our guests with great value and top-notch executive hospitality. We are on the constant pursuit to engross our target audience through various experiential marketing initiatives.
What does your business centre offer?
The fully equipped meeting rooms and business centre (called The Link) are designed to appeal to those who value effective solutions and efficient amenities. The colours, layout, lighting and leading edge technology have all been carefully selected to enhance interaction, encourage communication and ensure productivity.
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