This was my first visit to Dubai and I was lucky enough to stay at the Al Qsar hotel at the famous Madinat Jumeirah 5 star resort overlooking the wonderful sandy beaches of the Persian gulf just a short distance from the Burj al-Arab. I wasn't sure what to expect from Dubai, the recent development of the quiet fishing village into one the premier holiday destinations for the rich and famous made me wonder if it was going to be a triumph of ostentatious gaudiness over class and style. However I was pleasantly surprised. THE HOTEL The Al Qsar which translated means The Palace is simply that a palace. It comprises 292 rooms and suites and was designed to reflect a sheikh's summer residence. The hotel only completed in 2006 was designed to recreate the style and opulence of the traditional Arabian palace and it has succeeded in every sense. The building itself is mesmeric mixture of traditional wind towers piercing the perpetually deep blue skies of the Persian gulf, with 21st century luxury but always in a considerate and authentic Arabian style. From the moment you approach the entrance along the winding drive and are met by the huge golden statues of wild horse frolicking on the lawns you know you are going to be in for an unforgettable experience. The entrance and lobby is even more impressive. Marble floors inset with colourful mosaics, marble pillars lining the huge lobby dominated by three enormous Arabian crystal chandeliers leaves you awestruck the instant you walk in. The hotel fans out right and left on either side of the central lobby on multiple floors each tastefully decorated in traditional style. Earthy colours on the walls, hanging lanterns and impressive light stands are everywhere to be seen. The hotel space includes many secluded atriums with fountains and pools that give the whole building as sense of mystery has you learn your way round. The facilities are of the highest order. In the hotel itself let alone the resorts there are a numbers of restaurants, shops, salons, spa, gyms and general relaxation areas to cater to your every need. THE ROOM We stayed in the Ocean Deluxe room, a mid priced room with balcony overlooking the resort canal and with views across to the down town Dubai skylines was spotlessly clean, extremely comfortable and included all the niceties that you would expect from and 5 star establishment and of course full air conditioning as was throughout the hotel. The on suite facilities where wonderful including a luxurious bath, a spacious shower and twin basins all traditionally decorated in Arabian design; marble floors Persian rugs and cast metal lantern. Guests are provided with bath robes and silky slippers and an endless supply of towels. The bed was enormous and probably the most comfortable bed I've ever had in any hotel. It was covered with a fabric canapé and was made from a dark rich hardwood that matched the terracotta paints the golden and red fabrics and the hardwood carved furniture. The room included a comfortable sofa and armchair as well as a desk and coffee table. The wardrobe was spacious with an automatic light that came on when you opened it (a nice touch). All the other extras you'd expect were included; large flat screen TV with satellite channels, well stocked mini bar, tea and coffee making facilities (restocked every day), hairdryer, ironing board, room service, laundry service, free Wi-fi, alarm service etc. A daily supply of bottled water was also provided each time the room was serviced (usually twice a day). The room also led on to a private balcony with spectacular view across the resort over the tops of the palm trees that lined the avenues and waterways. The balcony had a small table and chairs so that you could enjoy the sunrise or sunset over the shores of the Persian Gulf. THE FOOD Included in the price of the room was breakfast in one of two luxurious dining rooms. We opted for the first floor dining room that had a huge indoor seating area as well as a large outdoor shaded terrace area. The breakfast was buffet style with a huge selection of anything you could wish for. Cooked meats, cereals, sweet and savoury breads, eggs done whoever way you wanted, fruit and fruit juices, selections of teas and coffees. On entry to the breakfast room you were greeted by polite staff asked where you wanted to sit and shown to your table where you could order drinks and then shown to the buffet which of course you could revisit as many times as you liked. For us the generous breakfast meant that we usually only needed a very light lunch to see us through to the evening meal. The best thing about the breakfast was sitting outside on the terrace. The whole area was lined with palms which provided a lovely cool shade. From the terrace you could look out over the resort and the beaches and out to sea taking in the impressive Burj al-Arab hotel in the near distance with its distinctive sail shape. It was the most relaxing way to start the day. Don't be surprised if your breakfast is accompanied by the calling of parrots or the tweeting of sparrows hiding in the palms and trees. THE RESORT As a guest at the Al Qsar you have the run of the whole Madinat Jumeirah resort. The resort is made up of two luxury 5 star hotel at either end the Al Qsar and the Mina A'Salam and a courtyard of summer houses called Dar Al Masyaf. The area in-between the hotel is connected by palm lined waterways and includes 40 world class restaurants, a covered traditional Arabic market or Souk, a theatre and a number of high class bars and nightclubs. The resort also boasts huge pool areas and a private beach front adjacent to Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Burj Al Arab, and Wild Wadi Water Park. The different areas of the resort can be access on foot, by golf cart taxis or by water taxis navigating the canal system these are free for the use of guests. Many of the restaurants and bars lie along the canal system giving them waterside views and seating. The Souk is a wonderful collection of small stall selling traditional Arabian fabrics, lanterns, earthenware as well as more western style products. We ate at a couple of restaurants while we were there an Italian and a Thai and they were both excellent quality and reasonable value considering this. Although situated in a Muslim emirate the resorts bars and restaurant are all licensed to sell alcohol. There was also no dress code for women as there tend to be in Muslim countries and female guests could happily wear short, skirts of sleeveless tops, we found this was true of most of Dubai in general. The beach area was also impressive, a spacious stretch of almost white sand gently sloped towards the sea's edge and beyond making it very safe for children, in any case the beach is permanently manned by lifeguards during daylight hours. The 1km stretch of beach is private solely for the use of hotel guests and on arriving you are greeted by friendly attendants that will provide you with beach towel and cushion that they will take for you and arrange on the sun-beds that you choose. The sun-beds are positions at reasonable distances apart so that you never get the feeling the beach is too crowded and each one comes with a large parasol to provide shade if desired. All this is included in your hotel price. If you wish a little extra you can hire out an Arabian beach tent with recliners and cushions for that little bit of extra luxury on the beach. The attendants are also there to provide you with drinks, snacks or food from the hotel menu if you wish. The water was lovely and warm and looked extremely clean as did the sandy beach to match the whole of resort in general. THE SERVICE I couldn't fault the service and customer care of the staff in the hotel or anywhere in the resort. Every member of staff from the hotel managers the receptionist, beach attendants, waiters and cleaners where extremely polite and extremely keen to provide a great service. The majority were from the Indian subcontinent, Thailand or the Philippines. They wore very stylish traditional uniforms and made you feel welcome whenever they spoke to you. Even walking through the resort you would get greeted by passing staff, gardeners, cleaners etc. What's more the friendliness seemed genuine. They certainly did their job well, our stay was without hitch, the room was spotless as was the whole resort; even the canals didn't have any debris in them it seems that any falling palm leaf was instantly removed. Through the crystal clear water you could see fabulously coloured carp happily swimming around testifying to the cleanliness of the water. Right from our arrival when our bags were taken to our room as we checked in to our leaving when our bags were again collects and placed in our taxi by the bell boy our every need was taken care of. THE SURROUNDINGS The Madinat Jemeirah resort lies on the coast to the east of central Dubai. It is within a half hour drive of Dubai international airport and ten minutes by taxi from central Dubai. While we were there we also ventured on a desert safari and were picked up at the hotel taking about 40 minutes drive to reach the desert. Not sure how practical it would be to walk to the city but the taxis that would be called for you to the hotel lobby were reasonably priced. While you stay make sure you visit the huge shopping malls near the Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world, take a trip down the Dubai 'creek' and have lunch on one of the traditional dhow restaurants that travel the waters and go for a desert safari with Bedouin night-time feast under the extraordinary desert night sky. OVERALL The Madinat Jumeirah was a dream place to stay. It provided the sort of luxury and levels of service that we are sadly pressed to find these days in Europe. The styling of the buildings the quality of the food and the accommodation was superb and I would re visit without hesitation. Price wise it is not chap but there are plenty of offers out there depending on the time of year you go. I expect you could get a week's stay for two including economy class flight for not much more than £3500 at this time of year. The weather is not a problem in terms of rain, although be warned that in the summer May to October the temperatures go up to 50C. When we were there in April it was touching 38C. Highly recommended! © Mauri 2012
The Jumeirah Mina A Salam Madinat really is a hotel out of this world, and if I ever had the opportunity to visit Dubai again I would not dream of staying anywhere else! Part of the famous Jumeirah chain, the Mina A Salam is located right next to the 7* Burj and Jumeirah Beach (the wave) hotel, and right on the sea front. The location of the hotel is fab, and as you can imagine the views are breath taking. Right next door you have access to the Wild Wadi Water Park, Jumeirah Beach, and only a short taxi ride away is the amazing Emirates Mall and Dubai Creek. From the first step inside the hotel reception you can instantly tell that this hotel is something special, the reception is huge, with a water feature in the centre filled with rose petals, and surrounded by cushions. There is also a cake counter in the reception, which serves the mose mouth watering chocolate cake ever!! The hotel staff were the most pleasant and helpful I have ever experienced, and could not do enough to assist you. We staying in an Arabian Deluxe room, which despite the name is the cheaper standard of room. The room itself was beautiful and you could of lived in the room if you had to!! Full of antique furniture, and typical arabian design the room is everything you could wish for. The bathroom had the biggest walk in shower ever, as well as two sinks, a huge bath, and a seperate toilet, and every toiletry you could wish for is provided. The bed was huge, and so comfortable. Even the TV was something you couldnt imagine! The mini bar was full of a wide range of products, quite expensive however you expect this anyway. There was also a beautiful range of cut glass to use. You also get free slippers and dressing gown, and every time you get your bed made the staff make an animal out of the towel and place this on your bed, we had a crab made with stick on eyes which was wicked!! When we returned to our room we had been provided with a massive complimentary fruit basket in our room which was a lovely suprise. The hotel is surrounded by miles of water, and you can travel on a waterboat to the different sides of the hotel. There is also a turtle sanctuary, where injured turtles are nursed back to care. The hotel has a massive shopping area, where you can purchase a wide range of products and even got your photos developed. Within the shopping area there are also many restaurants for the travellers on a cheaper budget. The hotel consists of a large range of restaurants and cafes, and even have its own starbucks! We visited a wonderful grill restaurant, which served beautiful wine, and really enjoyable food. The wine is pretty expensive but all alcohol is in Dubai, we actually paid 35GBP for a bottle of rose, which cost more than our meal. The hotel is located right on the beach, and the view is just amazing. The staff direct you straight to your own lounger, and position the seats, towels and umbrellas in the best position for you. You also receive complimentary face towels, ice lollys, and lime for your eyes. The staff are constantly walking around the beach and are happy to take your food and drink orders. The view of the Burj is wonderful and is a perfect photo opportunity. There are even Kodak photographers in the sea who will take your photo in the water posing by the Burj. This hotel really is out of this world, and is definatly worth a visit for anybody planning to visit Dubai. I would personally chose this hotel over the Atlantis. Really do visit here, you will not be disapointed!
Habtoor Grand Jumeirah Hotel and Spa (Dubai) The first time I went to Dubai, I went with family for two weeks as I wanted to experience the luxury of Jumeirah in the first week - and then the city areas during the second.... For our first hotel, I chose the Habtoor Grand Jumeirah Hotel and Spa. The reason being it was located very well, with a section of the beach to itself - the reviews I had read were great, and pricewise it was also very reasonable. I paid £700 per room, for the week (so £350 per person) which should have got us a tower room (the hotel has two towers which have a pool at the top, and overlook the Burj (7* Hotel) with B&B every day. When we arrived, the flight got us in around midnight - so we got to the hotel later than expected and were pleasantly told that we were going to be upgraded free of charge to a Garden Room... This was amazing, because rather than having to walk through the whole hotel to get to the main pool/beach area, we had a room which had a patio door which opened and 10 seconds to the left was the pool (great as it meant I could leave my room in my bikini, rather than having to cover up in the heat before entering the hotel) and 20 seconds walk to the right, was the private beach!! It was excellent!! Breakfast was always a joy because we would leave for a fresh breakfast - anything and everything anyone could want is catered for - the choice is amazing! I regularly had eggs/omlettes made freshly, and they would do all they could to cater for peoples needs. The seating is also quite open - and they have other restaurants (other than the main one) which can be used if the main restaurant is full - but I personally preferred to wait until seating became available in this one because all the food was fresh and easier to get.... By the time we would get back to our rooms, they were clean, with fresh bottled water left (this was replaced twice daily at no additional charge) and exotic fruits too - again for free, and replenished daily. We got into a habit (quite easily) of having breakfast and then relaxing by the pool, and then using the gym or having Spa treatments. They have some water activities which you can pay additionally for and use, plus lots of towels are readily available. Staff are constantly on-hand to take food orders and the pool bar was also fab! They served a good selection of alcohol/cocktails and mocktails and charged everything to the room... They also get to know your likes and dislikes and make drinks accordingly - great in 45degrees heat!! There are also four restaurants which we could eat at - on our first night, dinner was included for free within the deal of staying in the hotel so we chose to eat at the Thai restaurant... It was very quiet - probably because a lot of people prefer to travel/eat out while in Dubai, but this is apparently the best Thai restaurant in Dubai too - and they did not disappoint... The food was amazing, and the service was fantastic too... So much so, that when I went back to Dubai I did take friends there again and the experience the second time around was just as good! I did not eat at the other restaurants so cannot comment on them. I did go into the pub at one point because they were showing football matches - but this was like an actual pub which you could find anywhere in this country - nothing like the glamour of the rest of the hotel. There was also a shisha lounge too with a very Turkish/Dubai type authentic feel about it... The Spa was amazing - they have almost all treatments possible, and need booking in advance, but really do all they can to make the experience amazing. The staff are very obedient, and almost silent - they will speak if you speak to them... As a 5* Hotel experience - we definitely walked away smiling, especially once we'd all moved along to the sister hotel I had booked for the second week in the City/Deira area (reviewed separately). The hotel was about 20 mins away from the airport - so it costs around £10 to get there, and whenever we wanted taxis they could easily be picked up from the exterior of the hotel (there are about four hotels next to one another so they line up). One thing I would say is that the hotel has excursions desks, but we shopped around to find our own and this was by far much better. We were told that as we were staying in Jumeirah, everything automatically has a higher price tag - well that just seemed ridiculous so we didn't always just choose the hotel's recommendations, but did shop around sometimes.
I went to Dubai last June (2008) with my wife for our honeymoon. When we arrived at the airport in Dubai, and looked out of the window on the plane, it looked hot, and sure enough, as we exited the airport for the 20m walk to our luxurious taxi that heat really hit us hard! Upon getting into the taxi though, the normal ice-cold air conditioning soon sorted us out, and the two chilled bottles of water that the taxi driver handed to us also helped! The drive to our hotel was about 45 minutes, and the whole journey was spent cruising along the motorways past thousands, and thousands of tall state of the art office blocks and apartments. We arrived at our hotel the (Jumeriah Beach Hotel), and could not believe how enormous it was. The driver grabbed our cases, and escorted us to a fantastic lift, and took us up to the Executive lounge, where we sat down in some leather chairs, and were offered a complimentary drink, while we checked in. Then it was off to the room, and what a room it was! It was bigger than most people's houses, and an awesome view of the pools, harbour, and the 7* Burgh Al Arab. We spent a week there, in total luxury, the people at the hotel could simply not do enough for you, for example, one day we headed for the executive pool, and on choosing our location for the day, I was just about to put up the umbrella, and lay the towels out on the sun lounge's, when one of the pool attendants, came running over, saying 'please sir, I will do that for you'. Within a few minutes of him completing the task, another fellow wandered over to us with complimentary ice-lollies, and then came back a few minutes later to take away the wrappers, and sticks. On top of this there was a guy who made his way over to us a little later with a huge water container strapped to his back, and sprayed us down with ice cold fine mist of water. It is pure heaven! There are a lot of things to see in Dubai, but due to us only having 7 nights, and being shattered from our recent wedding stresses, we took it very easy. We visited the Burgh Al Arab, and we also went to the Mall Of Emirates, which is a gigantic shopping centre. Overall, It was a holiday of a lifetime, the service is unbeatable, and although it can be pricey, the quality of the food is out of this world. If you get the chance to go, I would REALLY, REALLY recommend it!
I stayed at the Dubai Marine Beach Resort in October 2006 whilst on my honeymoon. The pictures on the website at the time really didnt do it justice, and having not visited Dubai before I was unsure what to expect. On arrival we were greeted by a very polite man who welcomed us to the hotel and led us into the foyer. As we were on our honeymoon, they allowed us to check in early and after a quick and easy check in process we were escorted on a gold buggy to our room. The gentleman that took us there was very friendly and was explaining to us that during our stay it was the period of Ramadan and advised us that whilst we were allowed to eat and drink throughout the day within the resort grounds, it would not be seen as acceptable whilst in public places. We appreciated this advise and use of local knowledge as we would not have been aware of it otherwise and could have caused unintentional offence to people. He took us to our room which was located in a small block of four apartments, ours was located on the ground floor and was wonderfully cool with fantastic air conditioning, which is a must have when its forty degrees plus outside. We were showed our way around the apartment, where the closets and storage space was and advised us that he would be back shortly with a surprise for us. We unpacked our suitcases and sat down for a while and had a read through the book of local information and hotel facts whilst waiting for them porter to come back. Sure enough he returned within ten minutes with a huge chocolate cake which said congratulations across the top, a bottle of wine and a basket of fruit. This was a lovely unexpected surprise and a nice touch to the start of our stay. The bedroom was large as was the separate sitting area. There was a large walk in closet and the bathrrom was huge and looked very luxurious. The hotel has its own private beach which has covered seating areas along with day beds. There weren't many of these though so these were often taken very early morning and we didnt get to use them ourselves. There are plenty of sunloungers around the pools and numerous shaded areas if you wish to stay out of the sun. The pools were fantastic, very spacious, not busy and they were warm. There was a separate childrens pool with a waterfall which looked great fun. The staff regularly walk around and ask you if you require a drink and will bring them to you without the need to go to the bar. This was always friendly service with exceptional manners and politeness. I would most definitely recommend that you wear flipflops both around the pool and the beach as theses areas get tremendously hot throughout the day and I personally couldnt walk in these areas barefooted as it would burn my feet. There is a gymnasium and tennis courts along with fitness and aerobics classes for you to join in with. This hotel also boasts a spa, which other hotel guests told me was fantastic, however I did not experience this for myself. Throughout the complex there are a total of 12 restaurants and bars. We only actually used one of them, but the food was equisite, very well presented and again served with smiles and politeness which this hotel excelled at throughout. As this was the last part of our honeymoon we literally just wanted to relax for the three days that we were here and so I didnt experience many of the facilities that the hotel has to offer. I can however tell you that this is by far one of the nicest hotels I have stayed in and they offer exceptional service throughout. I hope to return here in the future and I highly recommend it.
During a trip to Dubai a small group of us stayed at the Al Manzil Hotel. This hotel is mainly known for its romantic nature - as most of the rooms have gorgeous baths in the middle of the room - which provided a lot of fun for my lady friend and I! I found (at the time) booking through Expedia was slightly cheaper than booking direct or with other hotel booking websites - not sure if this is still the case, always good to shop around. This hotel should be awarded a 5* as it is so much better than the 4* it has been awarded. The staff go out of their way to help you and they have a 24 hour reception desk!...on arrival we were given a complimentary drink and told that there would be hot towel and bathrobes waiting in the bedroom for us - which there were.. The hotels design was a modern Arabic twist, and the rooms were fantastically finished and every where was very clean. There are 3 bars/restaurants in the building, we did not dine in any of these as we chose to eat out every night - although the restaurants were pretty full most nights which Is a good sign. We did one night have a drink in the bar and it was very expensive and I would advise avoiding the pricey bar and sticking to a glass of wine at a restaurant. The location of this hotel could not be better - it is literally 5 mins walk from the huge shopping centre - which is a must to visit. Perfectly located. The hotel also offers - Free Wi-Fi, outdoor pool, fitness room and free parking if you rent a car! A lovely placed to stay and would be more than happy to go back there.
---Hotel--- Majestic Tower Hotel ---Location--- Bur Dubai, Mankool Road Majestic Hotel is located in the heart of Bur Dubai. ---First Impressions--- Everything about the hotel screams luxury and class. As we pulled up outside I was stunned. When we visited it had only JUST been completed and there was no website to show us what the hotel looked like beforehand. We booked it as part of a package and the travel agent recommended it to us when our first choice (a 5* hotel) had no availability for our travel dates. He described the hotel to us and assured us that it ticked all of our boxes. It was amazing and I'm so pleased we opted for this hotel. Everything from the International flags hanging outside, to the gloved doorman to the stunning chandelier as soon as we walked in to the hotel made me think "wow". I could have happily lived in this hotel for months. It was painful having to leave! ---Accomodation--- Spread over 28 floors, there are standard rooms, deluxe rooms and family suites to choose from. International satellite channels, high speed wireless and cable internet access are available in every room. We stayed in a deluxe room which had a king sized double bed, a seating area with a sofa, tv with cable channels, mini fridge, desk/dressing table, floor to ceiling windows, and a spacious bathroom complete with both Jacuzzi bathtub and a separate shower. ---Hotel Facilities--- * High speed internet access * International satellite channels * Mini bar * Hair Dryer * Airport transfers * Visa assistance * Tour assistance * Currency exchange * Safe deposit boxes * Shuttle bus service to major business areas and shopping centres * Access to a beach in Jumeira. * Wireless internet access * Valet parking * Private indoor parking * Babysitting service * Laundry service * Business Centre and secretary services * Conference and banqueting services * Outdoor Swimming Pool with children's pool * Shopping Arcade * Health Centre * Hair Dresser * Variety of restaurants, cafes and bars ---Shopping, food and points of interest close to the hotel--- Nearby are Meena Bazar, the Dubai Museum and the Ruler's Court. Meena Bazar is a cheaper place to get goodies including clothes, shoes, bags, watches, gadgets, computers and food. There are lots and lots of shopping malls in Dubai but the bazaars are where to go for bargains. Shaikh Zayed Road, which has some of the most massive skyscrapers in the world, is a short drive from the hotel. There are luxury cars outside the hotel for the guests to use, which we did the first night, but we found it much easier to walk and discover where everything was ourselves. The location is so good; everything is in walking distance. ---Where to eat--- There are loads of places to eat such as KFC, Subway, MacDonalds, Lebanese Village and others in the same street as the hotel so it's a useful location. All of the food is halal as it's a Muslim country. If you go to the old side of Dubai across the Creek there's a brilliant place to get fantastic milkshakes and burgers which not only tast amazing but are dirt cheap! ---Food at the Hotel--- We only had the breakfast at the hotel which is a buffet breakfast but it was all delicious. There was a huge variety and you can help yourself to meats, cereals, eggs, fruit and more. The dining room is located next to the pool. We sat by the windows in the dining room every morning and we were waited on by smartly dressed waiters (with linen napkins over their arms- so classy) who topped up our tea and coffee and chatted to us if we wanted to talk. We would then go out to the pool and lounge around in the sunshine and enjoy the views (being a tower hotel we were high up and could see a lot of Dubai from there). ---My Opinion--- This is a gorgeous 4* hotel with 5* quality. I absolutely loved the hotel and would definitely go back again and again. The staff were fantastic and really made the stay more enjoyable. They were always friendly and chatty and gave us tips on where to visit, helped us to organise day trips and told us all about the events that were taking place in Dubai at the time (namely the Dubai Shopping Festival). We enjoyed relaxing by the pool both in the sunny daytime and the night time. The sauna was great and even the gym was fun! It was a memorable trip and if you can afford to go I highly recommend this fantastic city and beautiful, quality hotel. (c) TheWriter
Jumeriah beach hotel, wow what can i say. The hotel is pure luxury. On entering the hotel I was wowed with the decor and the standard of the hotel, I hadn't seen anything like this before it knocked me off my feet. We received excellent treatment at reception as they checked us in. We then went to our room. The porters would not let us carry our own luggage they wanted to take it for us, so we let them. They couldn't do enough for us. On entering the room I was amazed, I have never seen a hotel room like it. I was so excited it was amazing. On entering the room the first thing that caught my eye was the view from the room. The Burj Al Arab and the white sand and crystal blue waters were staring right at me. It was overwhelming. The way the room was decorated was pure luxury. It looked spotless, it was like nobody had stayed in the room before, and it was that clean. They left us a bottle of champagne and fruit on our table. We had a big widescreen TV, with lots of TV stations, there was even CD albums loaded onto the TV to listen to. The bathroom was amazing it was so big and spacious, there was a big shower and the great thing is the music from your TV played into the shower so you could listen to the TV or music while showering. They left us bottles of spa shower gel, body scrub, shampoo, soap, shower caps etc. I could not fault the hotel room at all. We had our breakfast at the hotel; we sat outside in the sun looking at the Burj Al Arab. Breakfast was fantastic there was something for everyone, from bacon and eggs to muffins and toast and they even did sweet and sour chicken balls for breakfast if you fancy that sort of thing. They would even carry your plate to the table, I felt like royalty. The hotels private beach is fantastic, it's so clean and tidy and getting into the water is like getting into a warm bath. They even have staff in the sea with cameras ready to take your photo in the sea in front of the Burj. You can then choose to purchase the photo when you go back into the hotel if you wish. The Wild Wadi water park is located next to the hotel; if you stay at the Jumeriah beach you can enter the water park free of charge. The water park was so much fun, I haven't laughed so much. Great fun for the whole family. No matter what age you are. I was too scared to take on the Jumeriah Scarer, which is the biggest waterslide I have ever seen. The lazy river was so fun, especially when you didn't know what slide you were going to go down. I can't think of anything negative about the hotel, it was perfect. It was worth every penny and a dream of a lifetime. I still can't believe I went there, it was heaven. I highly recommend the hotel.
The Mina Al'Salam is a beautiful 5* hotel within a stones throw of the famous Burj Al Arab. Situated on a beautiful stretch of beach, this hotel is competely furnished in a traditional Arab style. The rooms are clean and spacious with iron and ironing board and safe. We stayed here for our honeymoon and were presented with complimentary champagne, hand made chocolates as well as a basket of fruit. There are computer connection facilities in the room as well as tea and coffee making facilities. The bar is well stocked although the prices are as would be expected! The bathrooms are kitted out with good quality complimentary products and bathrobes and slippers are provided for use. Our room overlooked the Burj and the beach. Just outside the hotel is a canal system which can provide transport to 2 other hotels and the market place. The market place is only a short walk away and contains various shops selling local goods and foods including furniture. There is also a hotel shop where you can purchase items available in the hotel rooms such as the bathrobes, bath mats and cook books. There is a transport system to the Burj Al Arab where as a visitor at the Mina, you are able to use the bar at the Burj. There is a beach bar and counter where towels are provided and drinks are served. Drinks can also be brought to you on the beach so no need to bother to move! The pool is fairly small but this is not a problem being so close to the beach. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful and will arrange transport to the shopping malls as well as providing details opening and closing times of the malls and other attractions. We will be going back very soon.
Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, Dubai ------------------------------------ There are several Le Meridien Hotels in Dubai, but we found the Mina Seyahi on Jumeriah Beach to be one of the best. We stayed there for the first week of our honeymoon in the summer of 2002. Le Meridien Mina Seyahi is a relatively new 5 * hotel about 30 minutes drive outside of the city centre of Dubai. It stands on the shores of the Arabian Gulf beside the magnificent Jumeriah Beach. The hotel is part of the new international marina complex, which is located adjacent to the hotel on the left hand side. To the right of the hotel is the new Palm Island development; a man-made peninsula stretching out to sea, made of sand, in the shape of a palm tree. It is a modern complex of houses and apartments and is one of the few man-made structures on earth, which is visible from the moon. The hotel has all the usual Le Meridien facilities, including a seafood restaurant, an a la carte restaurant, Ciros International Italian Restaurant, gift shops, hair and beauty salon, car rental facilities, 24 hour reception with multi-lingual staff, the Penguin Club for children over 3 years, beautiful landscaped gardens, a poolside bar and restaurant, a fabulous infinity pool (You cant enter the lobby/reception area in swimwear. You have to take the lift to the basement to gain access to the gardens and pool if you are in your swimwear), childrens pool, lifeguard, Jacuzzi, direct access to the beach, tennis courts, Watersports and fantastic accommodation. There are 7 room categories, starting with Deluxe sea-facing rooms with spectacular sea views and a balcony. Deluxe land-facing rooms have the same facilities as the sea-facing rooms, but face the marina instead. Also, they dont have a balcony. Royal Club Sea View rooms have fantastic sea views, a balcony and are much larger than deluxe rooms and also have more facilities. They also have access to the Royal Club lounge, with butler service and continental breakfast. Royal Club Land View rooms are the same as the Royal Club Sea View rooms but dont have a balcony and face the marina. The Royal Suite is a large two bedroomed suite with its own private lounge and large terrace. Deluxe Royal Club rooms have all the facilities of the other Royal Club rooms but have views of the sea and the marina. Facilities in the rooms include some or all of the following, depending on the room category: 24-hour room service, air conditioning, alarm clock (on TV), bath and separate showers (Executive Rooms), bathrobe and slippers, complimentary newspapers, computer data port (via telephone), CD player (Executive Rooms), free nightly shoe-shine (on request), fresh fruit (for VIPs arrival), full-length mirror, hairdryer, disabled facilities, high-speed Internet access (in Business Centre), international direct dial telephone, interconnecting rooms, iron and ironing board (available from housekeeping), laundry service, minibar, remote-controlled cable television, safety deposit box, satellite television, smoke detectors, sprinkler system, stereo/Hi-Fi/CD player, turndown service, umbrellas (dont understand why you need these in Dubai!), voicemail and a wake up call daily. For anyone going there on business, the hotel does have a business and conference centre. Le Meriden have a rewards programme known as Moments. Customers can collect points for money they spend with Le Meridien on accommodation, food, beverages and other extras. Points can then be redeemed to use against the cost of future stays at Le Meridien properties. We built up quite a lot of points at this hotel, but intend to continue saving them until we have enough to pay for a weekend break at a Le Meridien hotel. This hotel has a luxury feel and a touch of quality about it. It is very modern and no corners have been cut in its design, building or furnishing. The service is truly first class. This hotel is thought of as among the best in Dubai. Its easy to see why when you go there!
* Initial Note * When in Dubai, visiting my parents, me and my fiance were a little bored in my parents home. It was the middle of July, and therefore Dubai was relatively quiet - with temperatures soaring close to 50 degrees celsius. We had heard from friends that the Hatta Fort Hotel was doing a special offer, that if you purchased dinner on a Friday night for 250 dirhams (Approximately £42) you were given, on the night of your dinner, a free nights stay. So I thought well, for £42 why dont we go up. My parents gave us a lift from their home in Dubai to the hotel, which is approximately and hour and a halfs drive. For obvious reasons, if staying in Dubai, you may not be able to be as fortunate as we were with a lift and therefore may need to arrange a taxi. If you are staying in one of the Jebel Ali International Groups hotels, such as the Oasis beach, I believe that you can arrange transport to and from your hotel to the hatta fort, for little to no cost. However, if staying in a different hotel, such as the Burj Al Arab, or The Jumeirah Beach hotel (Jumeirah International group), or for example a holiday inn, you will need to book a taxi. Dubai transport can take you directly from your hotel to the Hatta fort, for approximately 100 Dhs or £16 each way. Meaning a combined total of £32. I would however advise that you call the Hatta Fort hotel initially, to see whether they have any transport arrangements set up, that could cater for you. * First Impressions * The route up to the hotel is a very picturesque one. Initially as you leave Dubai, you will enter the immediate yellow sand desert. Yellow sand in the Emirates is a haven for wildlife, and am almost certain that you will see camels, and a veriety of the local wildlife. Around this area you will expect a view of Low Lying, Flat Topped trees, similar to ones that you would expect to see on the plains of Africa. As you move further away from Dubai, the plant life will subside, and the desert sand turns red. This is a very beautiful stop, and if possible is a nice place to take photographs if possible. In the distance all you can see is a barren red desert. If the sun begins to set on your journey, ask the driver to stop. If you get out of your transport, and walk not far off the road on to the top of a road-side dune, the beautifully Red Arabian sun will be setting against the rolling dunes. This view has been photographed so many times, and is regularly used by the UAE tourist board, and hotels such as the Hatta Fort. After this stop, you will begin to see the beautifully rugged hajar mountains in the distance, and will also notice that the sand begins to turn black and rocky. As you enter the mountain range, you will notice (depending on time of year) a much lusher and greener environment that you will have exprienced in Dubai. There are hundreds of intermittent rivers, or locally termed wadis, that run riot among these mountains, carving huge gorges, and canyons. They are extremely beautiful, and if look closely will notice palm trees, and more often than not, spots of agriculture here and there. * Arriving in Hatta, and Entering the Hatta Fort Hotel* As you enter hatta (which is a much older settlement than Dubai, and has a more traditionally rich culture too) you will see a roundabout formed in the shape of a fort. You will then turn left in to the hotel where you will see how beautiful it is. As you enter the gates, there are acres of green irrigated grasses, and intresting rock gardens that make the hotel look extremely appealing - a very big contrast to the almost barren rocky surroundings. We got out of my dads car, and went in to the lobby. This was the point where I was little off-put. The decoration in the lobby, lets say, reminds me of a corny 1980s film, with black leather angular sofas, angular plastic doors and finishes to tables and decorations, and black and grey marble. In the background I could hear an 80s styled take off, of Celine Dions single, the power of love. I looked at my fiance and cringed, and to be honest feared the worst. We approached the lobby, and was very quickly booked in to our room, after revealing the offer in a local magazine, and paying our money. We carried our rucksacks up to the room, and as we entered were pleasantly suprised. * The Room * The room was very spacious, and although a little dated in terms of style, was clean, and equipped with all of the modern conveniences. Our room was a chalet, and had a sit out patio looking out to the rugged mountain scenery. Inside the room there was, most importantly a telephone, with lots of different numbers to dial for customer service and instructions on how to dial back in to Dubai, as well as how to dial international numbers. Also, the room included a mini-bar, which may i say was priced very reasonably, a colour television with access to satelite and movie channels, 2 bath robes, and, although useless to me, a hairdryer. The beds were relatively comfortable, and again were very clean. All rooms also come with an ensuite facility, with all of the normal mod-cons (shower gels etc) a shower, a bath, a toilet and a sink. Again very clean. * The restaurant * The dinner which we had bought, was for a meal in the Jeema restaurant located on the second floor. This restaurant has clear glass a round its whole perimiter allowing its guests to look out on to the mountains whilst dining. The meal which we bought with the offer was a set- menu, which was very appetising. Although, may not be applicable if you stay with the Hatta Fort, included a small sample entree of delicacies that included salmon on granary toast with grilled mozerella, Cappucino of Wild mushrooms, and fried mozerella cheese encased in bread crumbs. Absoloutley delicious! My main course consisted of a parma ham pizza with 3 different cheeses, complemented by a rocket salad. Again very nice, followed by a small tiramasu and coffees. The whole experience was very pleasurable. However, if staying in the hotel, and obviously not on a set menu, they have a very wide selection of international dishes, including local food, such as Saloona (Mutton in Juices with boiled potato and spices) served with rice. If you like you can also sample the food at the pool-side restaurant, which has common foods, with ligth snacks such as club sandwiches and burgers. * Things to do * Although I never opted really to do anything but relax by the pool there are a lot of activities that can be done at the hatta fort hotel. Outdoor activities include: - 4 wheel drive trips into the wadis where you can see the old irrigation or falaj system that the locals still use today. These trips are a little pricey but are apparantly very much worth the money - allowing you to see breathtaking views, and rich cultural sites. - Shooting clay plates, and archery - not my cup of tea personally. (whatever floats your boat as my mother says) - Golf - Jogging and cycling through some of the many nature routes in the area. - and Swimming, which are temperature controlled, so that you dont get too hot in the summer, and too cold in the winter. < br> Indoor Activities include: - A beauty Salon - A gym, a pool table and table tennis. I also noticed on the following morning that there were childrens activities going on, with minders. * Some points to consider* Firstly, I would like to straighten out one thing straight away. There are a lot of beliefs, or ignorances to that fact that nowhere in the middle east serves alcohol, or provides nightlife entertainment. If you believe this, you are far from the truth. 5 of the 7 emirates of the UAE allow alcohol to be purchased from Hotels and shops. Other countries which also allow alcohol in the middle east include Oman, Qatar and Bahrain (only for personal consumption and not resale). The only places which I believe to by dry of alcohol, is Iran, Yemen, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. I would also like to mention that there is not much in terms of clubbing or night entertainment at the Hatta Fort Hotel, being a remote, and quite small settlement. *Conclusion* I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Hatta Fort Hotel. The views are breath-taking, the food gorgeous, facilities more than ample, and activities endless. If you are in Dubai, and are wanting to experience something a little different, Hatta Fort Hotel is the place for you.
The Fairmont Dubai opened in February 2002, and within a week we had made our reservation for our trip in January 2003. Such was the reputation of the Fairmont group that what had for years been an ongoing intention to visit Dubai, quickly turned into a reality once the Fairmont opened. The rate we booked online was Dh 450 per night (around £100 when you add the 20% tax and service charge) which was for a Fairmont Gold room on the private floor. This was an amazing bargain, and the rate shortly became around 3 times this price. As often is the case with Fairmont there are amazing bargains to be had if you book as far ahead as the website allows. We were in contact with the Fairmont Gold Manager before our stay, and he set the tone for the service we were to receive, being extremely helpful and efficient. He answered all our queries, no matter how trivial, and made restaurant bookings for us. His tone demonstrated a genuine desire to help and a professionalism that we have come to expect. When we arrived at the airport at 7am we were greeted by our Chauffeur who quickly transported us to the hotel, after offering us some refreshments. This is a perk of the Fairmont Gold room, as the transfer is complimentary. A smooth ride in a Mercedes S Class sure beats most other transfer options available when checking into your average hotel. We were struck straight away by the customer service, the chauffeur being extremely professional and a pleasant change from the grumpy or over familiar taxi drivers that usually make the transfer to hotels such a trial. The Fairmont is situated on Sheikh Zayed Road, in the business district. It is directly opposite the World Trade Centre and close to many business office blocks, as well as a few other hotels. The hotel is a striking building, in common with many on Sheikh Zayed Road. Being 33 storeys high it is a landmark you can see from most locations in the city. The exterior is built of a light sandy coloured stone, but the structure is a pleasant change from other high-rise hotels, that usually end up looking like featureless stone and glass boxes. The shape of the hotel, being a square site with four large corner columns and the glass shaping inwards at increments towards the center of the structure, result in the building having a very pleasing appearance. The building is topped off by a wind tower inspired roof. Once at the hotel, our bags were taken care of for us while we found our way up to the 33rd floor, and the Fairmont Gold reception. We expected there to be a dedicated lift, so wandered around momentarily before we took the normal lift. The lobby is gleaming and stylish, the main space set off by a water feature in the center with a few places to sit dotted about. It has a very modern feel but not minimalist enough to be clinical or austere. Its size is deceptive as much of the ground floor space is taken up with the cocktail bar and shops and the deli at the rear of the lifts. Two of the six lifts are glass enclosed and offer an exciting ascent as you speed towards what appears to be the ceiling on the 9th floor, which you strangely zip through as you carry on towards the upper floors. When we reached the Fairmont Gold reception we were greeted by two receptionists who made us feel very important and suggested we went for breakfast while they checked us in. This was a lovely touch, and considering many of the beach hotels in Dubai insist you reserve a room for the preceding night if you are arriving early, we felt very grateful that no problem was made of us checking in before 8am! We handed over an upgrade certificate, as my husband is a member of the President's Club, and left the receptionists to arrange this for us. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with very personalized service with nothing appearing too much trouble. The Fairmont Gold lounge service seemed very different to that we have experienced in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, as you are served at your table for many of the items as opposed to fetching everything yourselves. The emphasis here appeared to be not to check you in as quickly as possible, but rather in the most civilized and relaxing way - a totally different experience. After a while a receptionist came to check we wanted to upgrade our room, as on our original booking we had requested an Arabic style room, an option that was not applicable to the suites. This attention to detail impressed us, and we confirmed that we would like to upgrade to the suite. The corridors leading from the central lifts have light mosaic granite floors with soft carpet runners. The walls are all in a crisp off-white, and you are struck walking around by the peacefulness. Our room was on the 20th floor, and was classed as a Deluxe Junior Suite, actually an upgrade of two room categories. You enter into the living area with a large cabinet on the inside wall containing the mini bar with mirror above. A large glass topped dining table with four chairs was contained within the first half of the room. On the right was a guest washroom. Separating the dining area from the living area was a large L-shaped desk with leather chair. At the window end of the room were two off white sofas with big burgundy cushions, a coffee table, side table with lamp and a large TV cabinet with large TV. The floor is in cream coloured shiny granite with burgundy-patterned rugs in both the living and bedroom areas, and the furniture is of extremely high quality. The white walls are set off with large silver framed pictures. Next to the living area separated by a door is the bedroom, which would constitute a generous hotel room in itself. A large bed covered in crisp white covers with burgundy and beige harlequin patterned valance and cushions, and floor to ceiling windows set off the room. In both the living area and the bedroom the windows, due to the shape of the bui lding, are at an angle so you get views in two directions. There is a second TV unit, a dressing table with large mirror above and a large chaise longue near the window. The bed and chaise longue are set off by large, soft rich coloured cushions. The bathroom along the same lines is also very generous in size, with a separate shower, a large bath with shower above and a marble topped sink unit with green/blue pearlescent mosaic tiles below. There are plentiful supplies of toiletries and the often unwelcome addition of a set of bathroom scales! I cannot stress enough the whole feel of the entire room being that of quality and understated elegance. The usual Fairmont attention to detail is apparent with an added twist of furnishings reflecting the Middle Eastern taste - a perfect combination. The living and bedroom areas are separately air conditioned and both TVs offer complimentary Internet access, using a cordless keyboard. This added extra is very welcome and a service that I wish more hotels would offer. The realization that not everyone who would appreciate Internet access travels on business with a laptop is appreciated. The room also benefited from a Bose CD/Radio player which was of a superior quality to those usually found in Fairmont Gold rooms. The do not disturb signs are superfluous as you have a 'smart door panel' with LEDs indicating whether you want to be left undisturbed or the room made up. Each room also has a door bell. Bathrobes (for use during your stay) and slippers (for use when you get home!) are provided in the room, and there is a complimentary shoe shine service. I cannot think of anything the room lacks; even the daily run to the ice machine is avoided by ice being delivered every afternoon to your room. The first afternoon when we arrived back after doing some sightseeing, a platter of exotic fruit and sweet items had been brought to our room. A bit later a large bowl of fruit and a note had been brought we lcoming us to the hotel. Every afternoon we were brought a similar fruit platter along with mineral water (of which we were kept well supplied) which was a nice touch. Being on the Fairmont Gold floor afternoon tea is served between 3 and 5pm, consisting of various small sweet cakes and delicacies. Slightly later the evening hors d'oeuvres are served. The usual help-yourself hors d'oeuvres service is dispensed with, with individual plates of canapés brought to your table. During our stay we enjoyed canapés including oysters, langoustine and foie gras all prepared by various dining outlets of the hotel. The bar service similarly isn't the usual Fairmont Gold 'honor bar' but you are served at your table by staff. Complimentary tea, coffee and soft drinks are served 24 hours per day, but similarly we did not pay, or see anyone else pay for alcohol either. This is something that is not publicized and caught us out somewhat when you are expecting alcohol to be less readily available than at home. For breakfast you are served tea, coffee, juice and toast to your table, but there is a good choice of Danishes, croissants, fruit, cereal etc that you can help yourself to. The hotel has plenty of dining options, all stylish affairs. On the lobby level is Bridges, a cocktail bar serving light meals. Cascades are situated nearby, with a nightly buffet and a deli, Pronto, is also tucked away behind the lifts. The signature restaurant of the hotel is Spectrum on One, a multi kitchen concept serving amongst others Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Indian and French food. Bacchus, serving Italian food is on the 9th floor near the Spa. The hotel also has a more traditional restaurant, The Exchange. On our first evening we enjoyed two very good cocktails - a long island iced tea and a martini. Fairmont usually excel at cocktails, and the Dubai Fairmont was no exception, apart from the long island iced tea which was actually superior. Contr ary to what we expected, the cocktails were not expensive, and the stories we'd heard about alcohol costing an arm and a leg in Dubai turned out to be totally false. The cocktails were Dh 35 each (less than £7 each) and so were actually less than you would pay at a hotel in the UK. The bar has an extensive drinks menu of beers, wines and spirits, all at typical hotel prices. We decided to have a snack in the bar, my husband choosing the Mezze and myself the tiger prawn and vegetable tempura. Both were generous in size, compared to the equivalent in the UK or Canada. Each dish cost around Dh 50, less than £10, so were very reasonable. On our second evening we dined at Spectrum on One. Beforehand we sampled the cocktails in the adjoining bar, and in my opinion the cocktail menu compared favourably with that at Bridges. The martini menu contained a Cosmopolitan, which the Bridges did not, and this cocktail that is often disappointing was just right. My husband sampled a martini with sake, which was an interesting twist. The bar is stated as having a city view, but from where we were sitting, this was not apparent and the area seemed quite small. The bar with its showcase wine cellar is a very civilized place to enjoy a cocktail, and the whole space seems quite intimate. Spectrum on One itself is a very large restaurant, with tables placed around the various show kitchens. From the descriptions I imagined a large space with tables clustered together in the center, but the location of the restaurant around the central atrium space, means the space is divided up effectively and you are not aware of the sheer size of the restaurant. Our table was near the Japanese kitchen, and the tables and chairs are all a light wooden design with black plates and the restaurant is stylish without appearing too stark. Our Waitress was very helpful, and eager to answer our questions. She hit a very happy balance between professionalism and friendliness. A sign of a t ruly great restaurant is the ability to judge the customers preference in making chit-chat - this is something that Fairmont usually get right. The menu is separated into the various regional cuisines, and offers around 7 or 8 options per region for starters and main courses. We selected a bottle of Canadian wine costing around Dh 150, only to be told that they had run out of this particular wine. The waitress selected another (more expensive) option, but we decided to order another Canadian wine costing around Dh 130 instead. It then transpired the waitress had found a bottle of our original choice after all. It didn't strike us straight away, but it dawned on us half way through our first glass that the bottle was corked. WE chose another bottle though and this was changed without any fuss. It was only when a few days later at another restaurant when we were again told our original choice of wine was unavailable that we started to wonder if this was some way the restaurants tried to maximize their profits. Maybe when a customer chooses a low priced bottle, this choice is 'not available' but it suddenly becomes available if the customer chooses a bottle costing less! I chose the prawn cakes from the Thai menu, my husband opting for the Japanese tempura tiger prawns. Both starters were good quality and well constructed but rather on the large size - something that we were beginning to realize was typical of restaurants here. For main course I chose the Chicken Teriyaki from the Japanese menu and my husband decided on the Lamb Bhiryani from the Indian selections. My main course was delicious, and just the kind of food you often yearn for when faced with complicated and rich hotel food. Already quite full, we were still tempted by the dessert menu, my husband choosing 5 scoops of a variety of ice creams and sorbets. By the end we felt probably overfull, but still had enjoyed ourselves immensely. The following evening we dined at Verre by Go rdon Ramsay, and despite much praise from various sources, I found Spectrum on One a much more satisfying experience, the style of food much more appropriate to the climate and the service immeasurably better judged. The hotel has a large Willow Stream spa, with two outdoor pools on opposite sides of the hotel, one ideal for morning swims and the other for evening! One of the pools has a jacuzzi alongside. Both are lovely places just to relax and look out over the city. Of the hotels on the Sheikh Zayed strip the Fairmont is the closest to the city, but still requires a taxi ride to get to most of the locations that a visitor will want to visit. This really isn't a problem as taxis are so inexpensive, and the location combines the feeling of being in the City away from the tourists as well as being in a relatively quiet area. On our first afternoon we walked down to the public beach at Jumeirah and through Satwa, but every other day we caught taxis. As a guide though we had six taxi rides to various locations either side of the Creek. We also caught a taxi to get us to our second hotel, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which is a fair way out of the city, and then one back to the airport from the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. In total we spent less than £35! To stay just at a beach hotel, any of which are a long way out of the city, even if you do have a trip into Dubai, would seem such a waste, and you really would be missing out on the real Dubai. At the Fairmont you are not surrounded by European tourists, and you feel part of the scene. There is nothing I would change about the Fairmont. With extremely high expectations, we were not disappointed, only further impressed. The Fairmont brand has been fine-tuned here to offer an exemplary product and at a surprisingly reasonable price. There are many much hyped hotels in Dubai, including those proclaimed (self or otherwise) as the best in the world. Having stayed also at the Jumeirah Bea ch Hotel, regularly voted the best hotel in the world, I find myself wondering if is it possible to be better than the 'best'? From my experiences at the Fairmont, it certainly appears so! With personalized genuine caring service, stylish rooms and quality interiors, world class restaurants and bars, it is likely only the Burj Al Arab (at many times the cost) would be better in Dubai. For our own amusement we keep a score of all the hotels we stay at, and unsurprisingly the Fairmont Dubai leapt straight to the top spot. When we return to Dubai area, there are many uncertainties as to which hotels we would stay at and for how long, but the one constant is that we would definitely return to the Fairmont.
Your first sighting of Jumeira Beach Hotel is so magnificent that if like me, it will stay with you forever. The Hotel is just 20 minutes drive from Dubai Airport. It is classed as the second best hotel in the World with the hotel voted first standing right next to it. The first is Burj al arab. So to see these two Hotels together is something else. We arrived at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel at 9.30 am and checking in time is midday. They take your bags, details and passports in case you use "extras" such as drinks room service etc as you wont need your passports till you leave. This is better than leaving money, credit card details and so on. That done they invite you to wait till a room is ready by taking you to the Restaurant for a complimentary drink. which after the heat outside and the travelling you really appreciate a long cool drink. Although contary to what people think you can have a drink of alcohol in Restaurants and hotels. The room itself is more like a suite. The first thing you notice is the massive bed and then the most wonderful view. Every single room has a view looking out over the Gulf. Many photos were taken of the view so you can tell how wonderful it was! In the room is a television with a personal message to you. A fax machine that they use to send you a message every day telling you what is going on at the Hotel, in Dubai and any messages. The bathroom and shower is wonderful and the shampoo they give is the best I have used and um yes I did bring some back with me. Going out your room and along the corridor to the lifts is full of huge windows and you cannot but stop to look out to admire the view everytime you pass! There are 4 lifts plus a glass one. Take this up to the 25th floor and the view from there is, yes okay also breath taking. From the 25th floor look down the floors and on the walls you will see the moon and stars despic ting all the 4 seasons. Breakfast is self service. You have a choice of eating it inside or outside. Again both with wonderful sceanery. Even at 7 or 8 am it is warm enough to eat outside looking at the palm trees and hearing all the different birds chirping. After being shown to your table you go up to the separate sections to help yourself to food. As there are so many different nationalities the variety is impressive. One section has all different cereals and fruit juices, another the cooked brekkies such as smoked bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs and pancakes. Another has fruit from all around the World. Lastly there is a big bread selection from rolls, croissants, pitta, Arabic - name it they had it with every jam you could name as well. No one hurries you, and you may eat what you want and how much you want. They come round with tea and coffee and again have as many cups as you want. There are shops and restaurants in the hotel. They are expensive compared with the shops in Dubai but they give you an idea of what will be on sale other places. The hotel has a free bus service to take you into the town shopping. It also takes you to the different shopping centres and to the Souks which are a must as you really have to buy something made of gold here but that will be on another opinion. The Hotel has its own private beach. You go to the basement and they will ask you what room number you are in and if you want towels or not. Go through the doors which makes it look like a cave and on to the miles of golden sand. Dont forget to walk along so that you can get a wonderful view of all the Hotel. This all lit up at night is specially worth a photo. If you dont feel energetic you can be lazy and go out there by the buggy and back. If you do this though you do miss looking down into the water and seeing all the fish there. For people staying at the hotel you also get to go free into the Wild Wadi Water park. Everyone is friendly in the hotel. They are helpful and treat everyone great. There is no snobbery with them. I know in this opinion I should tell you the prices of staying here but I dont really know them. You see my husband won us the holiday here!
This hotel was wonderful. I'm a big golf fan, and I saw an item on CNN reviewing Dubai as a great golf destination. So I did my research before I went. I searched around the internet and found some great information on dubaisands.co.uk. Jebel Ali hotel was so beautiful, even more than the photos on the site showed. The golf courses were great I would recommend them to everyone. If you've never played golf before you can get some great coaching out there as well. Paid $20/hour for a certified PGA golf coach. I'd be paying 5 times that amount back home. Apart from the golf and the hotel, Dubai was a wonderful place. Great nightlife, great clubs (you should have seen the number of Porsches outside the Dubai Marine Beach and Spa Hotel club!). The restaurants were great as well. Not the cheapest, but certainly good food. I'm planning on returning for the next golf tournament next year.
the jumeirah beach hotel, dubai - has got to be and is one of the most desired and sought after hotels in the world - located right on the beach with every room overlooking the clean white sands but this hotel is within reach of must of us. it is offered in many package deals and the hotel has got to be seen to be believed. it is built in the shape of a wave. this is a top class hotel which offers the highest standards of luxury. the rooms or call them suites are sumptuous, the bathrooms large with a separate power shower from the bathtub and the shower stall even seemed to be dried off whilst we are at breakfast. nothing is too much trouble from the mainly indian employees. the breakfast buffet which was extensive featured menu items from all over the world served in relaxed leisurely style which sums up nearly everything about dubai - a luxury unhurried retreat (apart from maybe driving) - staying at the jumeirah beach entitles you to free entry to the wild wadi water park next door and it is in the same group as the marvellous burj al arab hotel built on a man made island in the gulf itself. transport is free to the shopping malls or downtown to the gold souks. the hotel does offer childrens facilities -yes keep an eye out for this hotel as i have seen it featured in many offers as of late - whether for a honeymoon, a short break or to recoup your equilibrium - this is the place to do it!