Wonderful stay at Le Meridien Beach Resort and Spa. The public areas of the hotel really had the ‘Wow’ factor with lots of marble, impressive furnishings and amazing flower displays. As all other reviewers have commented, the staff was so helpful and attentive. We stayed in the tower and the rooms were very spacious and very well furnished. For me, what also makes this a special venue in Dubai is the fact that the hotel has large, beautifully kept grounds with lots of green space, 3 pools and an extensive beachfront area. Many other hotels, whilst impressive buildings, are crammed in together with a small, often rooftop pools and little other outside space to relax in.
We ate at the Rhodes TWENTY10 restaurant and it was fantastic. We ate really late, leaving just before midnight as our flight arrived late in the evening but never felt rushed by the staff who I am sure were desperate to close up for the night. Vincent, the front of house manager was brilliant, as was the waiter. Vincent offered advice on the food and was happy to combine the ingredients from a couple of different choices from one of the courses for me as I was undecided as to which to choose. He has worked in a couple of Gary Rhodes’s restaurants around the world and seems to be called in to oversee the start-up of new restaurants so is obviously good at his job, as was apparent.
I’m not really one for pampering and spa treatments usually but my husband and I decided that we’d give the spa a go as we had quite a few hours to spare after we’d checked out of the room and before our flight. Forgetting we were in an Arabic country, we went into our separate changing rooms with a view to meeting up in the communal spa area, but no……the facilities were separate. I used the Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna but apparently, the men’s facilities had 5 spa pools of different temperatures to use after the sauna (I’m sure there were the same in the ladies area but I never discovered them. My husband spoke to a local man who has spa membership at the hotel and he reckoned that it was the best in the area – better than the spa in the Burj Al Arab, reputably the only 7* hotel in the world!
Outside of the hotel:
The Indego Indian restaurant in the sister hotel, the Grovenor House, was also fantastic and you can see why it has rightfully earned a Michelin star. The food was beautiful and the waiter (Amitesh, I think) was delightful and had just the right balance between being attentive but not intrusive. This was the best meal we had in Dubai.
There is a free shuttle bus between Le Meridien and the Grosvenor which is worth using as although the hotels are very close together, the road system is a bit hectic and complicated for pedestrians. In general taxis are pretty cheap as long as you get the government run ones as they use standardised tariffs.
The Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world, is worth a visit. It’s next to the Dubai Mall. It’s pretty impressive if you just view it from the outside but if you want to go up it, buy your tickets online in advance as they are about a quarter of the price than if you buy them there. We’d heard stories of massive queues to go up the tower but we went at 3pm on a Saturday and it really wasn’t that bad – the whole experience from starting to queue, go up, wander round and get down, took about an hour.
The Dubai Mall next to the tower was vast with designer labelled shops as well as English High Street shops thrown in as well as an indoor waterfall and aquarium. Outside, there is a nightly fountain show lasting about 5 minutes every 30 minutes from 6 until 11 and each one is different and is staged to different music. Many people watch from the promenade and cafes outside of the mall and next to the Burj Khalifa lake. Instead, go up to the hotel The Address, Downtown Dubai, next to the lake and watch the show(s) whilst having a drink or meal. You’ll have a good view of the show and it’s great to look up at the Burj Kahlifa as it lights up for the evening. As my husband said “This has got to be in the top 30 views in the world to sit and have a drink”. Unbelievably, given the location, the prices of drinks were no different than anywhere else in Dubai (we didn’t eat there but I suspect that the food prices were comparable, too).
We visited the Madinat ‘complex’ too. Apparently, there are only two hotels there but 44 bars and restaurants. It was an experience as the area is serviced by waterways and when we went to a Thai restaurant, we had to catch a boat to get there. Nice experience and a very serene way to get to a meal. The food was good, but not exceptional. We also ate there another night at the Rivington Bar and Grill, a British themed restaurant, and it was quite good but again, not exceptional and I had the special starter – langoustines, some of which had absolutely NO meat in them. After two attempts to get some with some meat (or flesh as they’re seafood?), I gave up and asked for the cost to be removed from the bill.
We also visited the Atlantis on the outskirts of the Palm which our friends visit regularly but I was a bit underwhelmed! As with the Madinat, it very much caters for outside visitors with lots of restaurants you can use if you’re not staying there and lots of shops. We chose not to pay to look at the aquarium as other people I know have said you can go to the one in the Dubai Mall more cheaply and it’s just as good. There are areas that are for residents of the hotel only with security guards manning the doors, but we found out that if you want to eat at the Nashimi Beach restaurant, you can go into the ‘residents only ‘ areas. This is worth doing. There are white (faux) leather settees and chairs overlooking the beach and towards the main part of the Dubai mainland but you need to spend a certain amount of money there to use them, otherwise you had to sit at a standard beach table. Somehow we did manage to blag a seat on the settees without spending too much, as we didn’t know about the ‘rules’ until we paid the bill, so give it a go!
Stay at the Meridien if you can (although not cheap) at it’s brilliant, classy and pretty central.
Visit Burj Khalifia, if only from the outside, and maybe get at drink at The Address, Downtown Dubai
Eat at Rhodes TWENTY10 and Indego
TAKE LOTS OF MONEY OR GO ALL INCLUSIVE AS ITS VERY EXPENSIVE TO EAT AND DRINK! £8ish for a 150ml glass of Pinot Grigio and a bit less for a pint of beer.
Enjoy Dubai wherever you stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa Dubai is situated on a pristine stretch of private beach overlooking the Arabian Gulf and with 500 rooms, caters to every type of traveler. With 14 international restaurants and bars, the hotel offers guests the world on a plate. Caracalla, the hotel’s Spa & Health Club, is the ideal retreat for mind and body. The pool and beach facilities are heaven for sunbathers and joggers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Royal Meridien Dubai
- Royal Meridien Dubai
- Meridien Dubai
- Royal Meridian Dubai
- Royal Meridian Hotel Dubai
- Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort Dubai
- Royal Meridien Hotel Dubai
- Le Royal Meridien Hotel Dubai