Trip to Dubai, United Arab Emirates -
We stayed at
Dusit Thani Dubai in the end of May 2009 and we booked it through a
Norwegian online travel agent as that gave us the best deal. The price was
about 780 NOK (at the moment about 120 USD) pr. night including all taxes
but excluding breakfast. Due to this I sent in a request for an upgrade to
Club level and after getting various responses, I asked for the upgrade
costing 204 AED (including taxes) (about 55 USD) per night.
We arrived after midnight and check in was pretty fast and efficient. But the reception was not like the one you would get at a 5 star hotel in e.g. Thailand. But as this is a Thai hotel branch the staff did great us with the wai and took care of our suitcases. We got room number 2912 on 29th floor (it seems like the hotel rooms are only from level 24 to level 35) and it was a Grand Dusit room – this means that we got a corner room with views in two directions. When we first entered it was easy to see that this was a large room. When we came in the door there was a work desk to start with and in the rest of the room there was a sofa, two chairs, a table, a big 42” flat screen TV and a coffee making machine (similar to Nespresso). There was also a large plant, a mini bar under the TV (one Heineken was 34 AED and a Pepsi was 19 AED). The floors were covered with a darkish green carpet and the walls were light. There was a large window opposite of the door and from this there was a nice view of The Dubai Mall, Burj Dubai (the world’s tallest building), The Address hotel etc.
From this room there were two doors leading into a bedroom and from the bedroom into the bathroom – all in all the room was about 60 square meters (645 square feet). The bedroom had a HUGE bed but it was a bit too hard for us as we are used to a softer bed from back home. The frame was a bit dangerous as it stuck out in the corners and it was very easy to bump into. The bedroom also contained wardrobes, a mini safe that you could lock with a credit card (quite clever) and even a small CRT TV. The bedroom had a separate air-con so we could have a different temperature than in the living room – excellent.
The bathroom was also quite large and contained a sink and a bathtub visible when walking into the room. Over the bathtub there was a view of Sheikh Zayed Road and as usual there were lots of amenities ranging from shaving stuff, toothbrushes, combs, bath salt etc. The bathroom also contained a toilet hidden behind a glass door and a shower also hidden behind a glass door - quite a clever setup in my opinion. There were no blinds on the window in the bathroom so it did light up the bedroom in the morning but it was not a huge problem.
The breakfast of the hotel is served on the 24th floor and once again with some nice views. The breakfast itself was not as lavish as you would find at 5 star hotels in Asia but the breakfast was more than sufficient and included a station where you could get your eggs made on the spot, there were bread (and a really bad toaster), Danish pastry, a small selection of cereal and muesli, fruit etc.
As we also had Club level access and that meant that we had access to the lounge on 34th floor. We didn’t spend that much time there but it was great to go there after a long day in the hot weather of Dubai to enjoy an ice cold Singha beer – they also had Tiger and Heineken beer. The alcoholic drinks were free from 6 pm to 8 pm and they also had a small selection of appetizers in the lounge but there were of vary various quality – some quite excellent and some completely horrible. So there is still potential for improvement when comparing with the Club lounge in e.g. Trades in KL :-) The lounge did have wireless internet and even laptops that could be used so this was an excellent service.
The pool and gym in on the 36th floor of the building and the pool is outside on the very top of the building. There is quite a bit of shade there due to the construction of the building but it didn’t matter for us as it was 40 degrees in the shade. But it was quite a decent pool.
The location of the hotel is on Sheikh Zayed Road near Burj Dubai, Dubai Mall etc. The problem at the moment is that they are still working on making the intersection near the hotel and hence there are lots of temporary roads – due to this the taxi drivers sometimes had trouble finding out how to bring us back to the hotel. We did have to take a taxi whenever we wanted to do stuff - as Dubai has spread out I guess this will be the case for most hotels. It might be a bit better when the Dubai metro starts operating in 2009/2010 – we did see them test running the metro so I guess it will be open soon. Note that the hotel do try to get guests to use the hotel taxi that also runs on a meter but this seems to be a bit more expensive than the public taxis – so just ask for a regular taxi.
We left on the morning of May 25th and we were taken to the airport in the hotel limousine – a nice BMW 730. Dusit Thani Dubai is definitely a hotel I would choose to stay at again if I got the same kind of deal. But there are also some negative issues that I would like to mention while I’m at it. My wife needed a visa for Dubai and the hotel did not seem to be that interested in helping out in this process as we had booked through a travel agent and not directly at the hotel. In the end I had to write them and tell them that we would love to stay there but without a visa we would not come and there would be no business for them. It was also confusing to get various prices on the prices for upgrade and what was included or not. We got fruit served in the room and some of the fruits were typically South East Asian fruits…dragon fruit, mangosteen etc. But these all seemed to be too old so I did not dare to eat them. Internet was supposed to be included in the room but there was not wi-fi. And when I plugged in the PC I could not get the internet to work and eventually the hotel had to send a guy to set up the proxy for me as the main server was down. In the end it was fixed :-)
But all in all – we had a very nice stay at Dusit Thani Dubai and I would not mind staying there again or recommending it to friends. We had a lovely big room for a great price and the perks of the Club level was well worth the money.
Here is a video that I took from our room at the
Dusit Thani in Dubai: