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Question Dubai: seeking hotel recommendation

themaiz

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Well... help! I'll be in Dubai for three nights and two days in transit from Dublin to KL, and after a few weeks of searching I still have no idea where to stay - either location or property. After days of crawling websites, I know when I'm beaten - too much choice can be too much. 😰 To be fair, this is the first time I've been in the middle east that wasn't a transit stop (and even that is years go), so no knowledge of what to expect.

Arrive very early on Thursday 22 Aug, and fly out mid-morning on the Saturday, so assuming three nights in the hotel.

Simple needs. I'm looking for a pleasant, well-situated, reasonably priced place to stay from which I can do two days of sights (mall-walking, souks, Burj Khalifa, a desert night, that sort of thing). Must have access to guest laundry or a washing machine or an insanely cheap laundry service, because I'll have 13 days of clothing to clean up before moving on to another stop. Preferably comes with breakfast so that I don't have to think. Bonus: Marriott-affiliated (or maybe Hyatt or maybe Hilton). But a washing machine trumps everything.
 

RooFlyer

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Unfortunately the washing machine requirements nullifies anything I would suggest, as I don't know about those.

My tip would be get a hotel very close to a metro station. It will be oppressively hot so the shorter distance, the better, unless you want to use taxis everywhere.

I'm at the Sofitel, next to the metro and the walkway to the Burj Kalifa and the Mall next week.
 
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I used to visit Dubai a few times a year for work and like you would inevitably arrive with a pile of laundry. I almost always stayed at the Flora Creek Deluxe Hotel Apartments in Port Saeed.

Pros: washing machine and self catering facilities if you so choose, close to the airport, five minute walk to Deira City Centre metro if you are willing to take a short cut (granted this was three years ago, it may have been improved). Taxis are quite affordable and much better than the walk from the metro station at Burj Khalifa which is long to say the least. Probably fifteen minutes drive to the Deira Souks and twenty minutes to Burj Khalifa if traffic is good.

Cons: Port Saeed isn't fashionable, so it's unlikely to be the first choice for many visitors, no Hyatt relationship to my knowledge. Much further distance to Mall of the Emirates (may not be an issue if Burj Khalifa will suffice)
 

themaiz

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I used to visit Dubai a few times a year for work and like you would inevitably arrive with a pile of laundry. I almost always stayed at the Flora Creek Deluxe Hotel Apartments in Port Saeed.
Thanks for the tip. Looks workable - spacious enough.

Have you (or anyone) had any experience of the Marriott Executive Apartments Dubai Creek? Very close to Flora Creek, slightly cheaper, and will help me with my Marriott status bid...

Also looks like getting from that area to anything I want to do (a few tours and some mall experience) will be hot but not hard.
 
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Thanks for the tip. Looks workable - spacious enough.

Have you (or anyone) had any experience of the Marriott Executive Apartments Dubai Creek? Very close to Flora Creek, slightly cheaper, and will help me with my Marriott status bid...
Yes more than spacious enough for me.

I haven't experienced the Marriott Executive Apartments but if it ticks your boxes and has decent reviews then that may kill two birds with one stone for you.
 

themaiz

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...but if it ticks your boxes and has decent reviews then that may kill two birds with one stone for you.
The one thing that's not clear: if I'm 600m from the Metro, will I melt before I get there on foot? Weather is predicted to be 42C. Normally I wouldn't worry about a 600m stroll, but I get the sense from reading that Dubai is... different?

BTW, you didn't mention, but presumably proximity to the airport isn't an issue?
 
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The one thing that's not clear: if I'm 600m from the Metro, will I melt before I get there on foot? Weather is predicted to be 42C. Normally I wouldn't worry about a 600m stroll, but I get the sense from reading that Dubai is... different?

BTW, you didn't mention, but presumably proximity to the airport isn't an issue?
I just had a look on Google maps and I think you will struggle from the Marriott to walk to the nearest station. You would have to cross some major roads in the heat. Each to their own. Perhaps worth reaching out to the hotel and asking if they offer a shuttle service to major sights or of there are any short cuts to the station.

I had no issues with the airport proximity.
 

Renato1

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The good thing about going to Dubai this time of year is that the hotels are very cheap compared to when the weather starts getting nice in November. Walking 600 meters to a Metro is not a good idea.

Not sure why washing is such a big deal for you. Buy a bar of Sard Wonder Soap from Coles or Woolworths and wash clothes in your hotel basin, and hang them over the shower or bath tub to dry (or on your balcony if you want them dry in 10 minutes). Sard wonder soap is like carrying around a little washing machine in your pocket.

My brother has gone there this time of year on quite a few occasions. He either stays at five star places and enjoys them, or at cheap places in Baniyas Square - because the Metro entrance is in the square (though I wouldn't stay there, as the hotels are too cheap looking for me).

He really likes the way the shops in the streets of the square, and in all the souks up to the Gold Souk area are closed and dead as doornails during the day - because of the heat - but then they all come alive when night time comes.

If you want to find any bargains or reasonably priced goods in Dubai, the street shops in places like Baniyas Square are the place to go. The Malls are huge, but you won't find bargains there - my wife reckons they are dearer than back home in Melbourne. That said, I'm quite fond of the little Mall in Deira Creek, as I always find interesting things there.

Most hotels will organise for someone to pick you up and take you on a dune bashing trip, with dinner in the desert at the end of it. I highly recommend it - though passengers sometimes get sick and throw up.
Regards,
Renato
 

themaiz

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The good thing about going to Dubai this time of year is that the hotels are very cheap compared to when the weather starts getting nice in November.
Thanks for the info in general, and that explanation in particular. I'd wondered why pricing seemed so reasonable.
Walking 600 meters to a Metro is not a good idea.
I'm starting to wonder about the sensibility of that myself, but yesterday I passed the point of no return on cancellation, and so I'm at that Marriott for sure. Still don't have an itinerary for while I'm in town, and I've now been told a few times that it might not be the right time of year to go to the desert for dinner. Well.. not much choice about timing!
Not sure why washing is such a big deal for you.
Fair question. This is a three week trip, and my visit to Dubai is sandwiched between two conventions occurring in totally different climates. I've already burned nine changes of clothing at one, and no way that was going out to hotel laundry (cost: gold bars). Even with QF SG allowance, I couldn't justify packing three weeks of clothes. And no way I was going to get laundry to dry in Dublin. :-( (it was 11C last night in the middle of summer). So in another two days I plan to do the job properly.
 

themaiz

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Very appealing, but looks like it's a $2700 option (I'm not going to sign up to find out exactly though).

Possibly not what Mrs TheMaiz (SWMBO) had in mind... 🥳
 

Renato1

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Thanks for the info in general, and that explanation in particular. I'd wondered why pricing seemed so reasonable.

I'm starting to wonder about the sensibility of that myself, but yesterday I passed the point of no return on cancellation, and so I'm at that Marriott for sure. Still don't have an itinerary for while I'm in town, and I've now been told a few times that it might not be the right time of year to go to the desert for dinner. Well.. not much choice about timing!

Fair question. This is a three week trip, and my visit to Dubai is sandwiched between two conventions occurring in totally different climates. I've already burned nine changes of clothing at one, and no way that was going out to hotel laundry (cost: gold bars). Even with QF SG allowance, I couldn't justify packing three weeks of clothes. And no way I was going to get laundry to dry in Dublin. :-( (it was 11C last night in the middle of summer). So in another two days I plan to do the job properly.
Shame if there is no desert bash available. We found it amusing last time we did it at November - Dubai was a stinking hot 38 degrees, but the desert was a pleasant 26 degrees. I guess this time of year it may be 42 everywhere.

You may want to consider taking an umbrella for walking to the Metro from your hotel.

Also, when the train arrives, you can't just jump into the first uncrowded carriages you see, as the front or back ones are designated for women and children only - and you get a $40 or so fine for being in them. Note also that the trains are sardine-like in the peak times when people are going to and from.

To visit one of the major malls (the one with the snow skiing) - there is a long walk to it from the Metro station - but it's in an enclosed air-conditioned walkway all the way, so no problem.

Also, when wandering around the non-mall shops on the street, people will keep asking you if you want Rolex's and the like. I always tell them not interested. But when my brother was there with friends, they decided to check one out - figuring safety in numbers. They went up and elevator into a dingy building, walked along dingy corridors wondering if they were going to be jumped and robbed, then opened a door into what was a magnificent well-lit shopping area.
Cheers,
Renato
 
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themaiz

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Excellent, and your advice is appreciated. I'll check to see if I can do a desert bash then. I'm sure someone in the lounge will know.

I wonder if wearing a fake Rolex would be enough to stop people asking? All part of the experience, I guess. There's no way I'm going to look like anything other than a tourist, which make me think there will be plenty of opportunity to practice saying "no thank you". Maiz
 

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I would very much recommend one of the Rove Hotels. I stayed at the Rove City Centre (cheaper), but the Rove Downtown has rooms with a view of the Burj Khalifa. Both have self service laundromats and 24 hour convenience stores. Both have breakfast buffets at a very reasonable price. Well located (taxis are cheap), very spacious, new, and clean.
 

themaiz

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Well. I should report back.

Housing:
* the Marriott Executive Suites worked out very well. I had a room on level 13, sort of facing the airport. Despite being 2km from the runway, I never heard a thing. All the staff were wonderful, and even though I could have walked to the Metro in 12 minutes, there was a convenient mall shuttle at the right time. The room was huge, and looked exactly like the pictures. And the washer/dryer machine? Washed fine, with laundry detergent provided. Drying was more tricky, and I won't buy that model, but eventually everything was clean and dry. So: Tick.

Tourism:
* Day 1: my arrival plans fell apart a bit. But even though everyone had told me that it would be too hot in August to do the desert-dune-bashing/camel ride/belly-dancer-dinner thing, the temperature was just fine. The hotel booked me with their preferred company ("Planet") and I can recommend them. Based on his comments, I calculated that my driver-guide must have led the tour way around 4,000 times ("I do this 5-8 times a week for 15 years"). Somehow he sounded fresh, engaged with my questions, and was truly charming. He even spotted me 10 dihram so that I could buy lunch (having forgotten to get cash). We experienced pretty crazy driving, which is why you're on the tour. Good dinner. Plenty of food and soft drink. Not too much hard sell. Tick.

* Day 2:
- took a shuttlevan to Deira City Mall, cleverly avoiding the outdoor walk that everyone said would melt me. Walked the mall. Discovered that there are no seats anywhere in the public areas, and they ask you to move along if you sit on the floor.
- purchased the Dubai Metro all-zone Gold ticket that includes the front first class carriage (mostly so I could see where we were going). There's a fine for travelling with the wrong class of ticket - and wouldn't you know, two ticket checkers got on at the next stop.
- Walked around Dubai Mall, claimed to be the world's largest. Found at least two food courts, all selling my favourite US franchises.
- did an online purchase of a ticket to go up the Burj Khalifa, and opted for the 148th Floor experience, timed just before sunset. Wow. Spent three hours at the top (they don't tell you this, but there's no rush). It was wonderful, and the Sky Lounge is worth the extra money. Watched the fountain from 700m up.
- saw the fountains from ground level. Different show, beautiful piece of programming. Who knew water could be so enticing?
- walked back to the Metro, went to Mall of the Emirates and drank an expensive ice chocolate while watching people attempt to snow-ski. DId a bit more shopping and found the Metro again for the ride home.
- took a taxi from the Metro to the hotel. Easy, fast and cheap.

I did 26,000 steps according to my phone, and I think it's right. Would I go back? Absolutely. Tick!!
 

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