6 January 2010 by Alison Nicolle
Alison Nicolle, an Indian Ocean and Middle East travel expert, recently returned from a trip to Dubai and the Seychelles, where she checked out all the top hotels and enjoyed a few of the best holiday experiences on offer. Here, she shares her thoughts about what she discovered in Dubai.
It was an extremely enjoyable trip, tiring at times but hugely beneficial as we managed to see so much in the time. I now know both destinations and all the properties very well and am in a great position to let you know all about them.
The Emirates flights were, as to be expected, a very good service, especially when upgraded! All flights were punctual, comfortable, with good entertainment systems and a great food and drink service.
In Dubai, the highlight was a 30-minute scenic floatplane ride over the city. We took off from Jebel Ali for a truly breathtaking flight over the city. At first we were treated to fabulous views over the blue seas of the gulf and the newly constructed Palm Island and then, as we flew towards downtown, great views of the Burj Al Arab hotel. An amazing turn right around the newly completed tallest building in the world, the new Burj Dubai tower, followed. The views were simply awesome.
Hilton Dubai Creek: Fabulous location, close to the airport but in the heart of the city. Wonderful views over the creek. Trendy and modern with fabulous dining. Would suit a younger clientele.
The Atlantis, Palm Island: Big bold and brash and everything one would expect it to be. Very over the top but rooms are very comfortable and we had a great time at the Aquapark. Would definitely recommend this property for a family holiday, lots going on.
The Address, Downtown Burj Dubai: This is a fabulous new property, ultra-modern, a great location with amazing views of the new Burj Dubai tower. Great location for business and leisure travellers alike.
The Palace, The Old Town: Another beautiful property, in the same great location. Fabulous cuisine.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel: Very impressive property, facilities and beach are excellent - a great alternative to the Atlantis for families.
Madinat Jumeirah: I love this whole complex. Great position by best part of the beach. All properties within the complex are of a very high standard and I loved the souk in the centre, which is great for dining out in the evenings, while the little boats that run around between the properties are super. The Mina A Salam has a fabulous health club and I love the Arabian designs and feel to the whole complex, which you really don’t need to leave!
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah: Everything you would expect from a Hilton, clean, modern good quality, but nothing exceptional. Good position on the busier end of the beach. A good family or business option.
The Westin: A beautiful new property, very luxurious, spacious rooms. Excellent quality cuisine. A very nice feel to this property.
Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa: Exceeded all expectation. Very high standard of accommodation. Great beach, good for swimming, excellent leisure facilities, good gym and fantastic spa. Would highly recommend to families and those looking for a reasonably priced property on the beach.
The One and Only Royal Mirage: Beautiful beach, great for swimming, gardens are delightful with peacocks on the lawn. Rooms are lovely and Arabic in design and very comfortable. Very high quality breakfast. Pools are beautiful but a bit cold ¬- it’s warmer to swim in the sea!
Park Hyatt Dubai: A beautiful location with a lovely view on the creek overlooking a Marina, which makes a very nice alternative to the beach. Food is very good and rooms are of a very high standard. Very modern, stylish and peaceful retreat within the city.
Grand Hyatt Dubai: A very large hotel in a good central location. Not a bad option for business or leisure if you want to be located in the city centre. Lots of dining choices around a central courtyard area. Rooms fairly standard.
Raffles Dubai: A stunning new property. The rooms are large and spacious and the ones with balconies often have fabulous views over towards the city. The view of the city from the bars and restaurant on the top floor is amazing. This hotel has a real wow factor. Loved it!
Desert Palm Resort: A great alternative to staying in the city or the beach. Further enough out to have a quiet relaxing location by a polo pitch, but near enough to be able to get a taxi into the city for business or sightseeing. Rooms are ultra-modern, high tech and very spacious. The pool is really long and the cuisine is fabulous. Would love to go back to spend a few days chilling out here!