We arrived at Bab Al Shams at 6.30 a.m. after an overnight flight from Cape Town and a 60 km drive from Dubai feeling tired and rather jaded. We had a lacklustre welcome from the receptionist who told us that our room was not ready (we had not expected it to be) and that check in time was 3.00 p.m. but with no indication as to how long we might have to wait. She advised us to have breakfast and summoned another member of staff to take us to the restaurant. At this point we did not want breakfast, merely somewhere to sit outside, get some fresh air and rest until our room was ready. We tried to explain that we would like to sit by the pool but we were told that the pool hours were from 8.00 a.m. and that we could sit inside - not what we wanted. Fortunately very shortly one of the lifeguards appeared and he immediately fetched us towels to make up beds for us by the pool and then brought us water and a newpaper. We were very grateful for his help.
By 10.00 a.m. our room was ready thankfully and from then on all the staff we met were very helpful and friendly. The room had a small, shady balcony and was well equipped with an espresso coffee maker, kettle and a good supply of various teas. We had bathrobes and slippers and numerous towels and a king bed with a down duvet and pillows and excellent quality bed linen, plenty of hangers in the wardrobe and a plate of oranges and a box of dates, plus bottled water every day. The housekeeping was very good and we had an evening turndown service with fresh towels.
The breakfast buffet was excellent although the evening buffet was variable - our first night (Saturday) was superb with entertainment provided by a belly dancer, but Sunday was a much smaller and less interesting affair. Monday was better.
Although the hotel was full we were never aware of any pressure on the services and facilities and there was no shortage of poolside sunbeds and umbrellas. Throughout the day we had deliveries of fruit, cold washcloths and ice lollies and at 4.00 p.m. the camels arrived and we tried camel riding which was followed by a falconry display.
It was a very relaxing place to stay and in early November the daytime and evening temperatures were perfect. The only problem we had was finding our way around and counting the various ways we could arrive back at our room from the pool but it was always fun to discover new courtyards and pools inside the fort.
There is a small bar (when we found it) and a happy hour from 6.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. but it was never full at that time.
Apart from our arrival we enjoyed our three night stay here and would certainly return again when we have the opportunity.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- BAB AL SHAMS Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is an exclusive low rise resort, a unique retreat in the desert surrounded by natural desert landscape. The resort is an architectural wonder that seems to come to life in the middle of the shifting sands of ancient Arabia, providing a unique and traditional desert experience that is true to the culture and heritage of Dubai and the UAE.AL FORSAN RESTAURANT With its new location overlooking the Arabian Desert, Al Forsan Restaurant offers a refreshing and friendly ambiance to those who want to spend quality time with their families & friends and enjoy an exquisite buffet for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Featuring International Cuisine, the finest specialties of different cuisines to provide you with a variety of choices. AL HADHEERAH RESTAURANT: Experience the wide expanse of the desert and the magic of lively entertainment at Al Hadheerah, the region’s first open air traditional Arabic desert restaurant. As the resort’s signature restaurant, Al Hadheerah offers diners a unique experience with scenes straight out of an Arabian legend featuring belly dancers, live bands & a falcon display. LE DUNE PIZZERIA: With its vivid colors and earthly tones, Le Dune boasts a magical fusion of Arabic and Italian decor that offers a delightfully warm ambiance. The magical combination is vibrant at any angle, from the aged wooden furniture shipped from Italy, the traditional terracotta flooring, to Arabic lanterns add to the rustic ambiance. MASALA RESTAURANT: The exotic flavors of India have arrived in the deserts of Arabia in the form of Masala. Located in the heart of the hotel, Masala’s exquisite menu of Indian dishes slow-cooked in traditional style, with the ambiance of traditional Indian background music, is an enchanting compliment to Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa. AL SARAB ROOFTOP LOUNGEA: Sarab rooftop lounge overlooking the Arabian desert, this two story rooftop bar embraces a breathtaking view that boasts amazing vistas during sunset. The rich Arabian design in soft earth colors, dimmed lanterns for a cozy ambiance and comfortable chairs and cushions, provide a friendly setting for a night to remember. AL SHUROUQ LOUNGE: Shurouq Lounge is an ideal place to relax in the majlis seating areas while admiring the stunning views of the boundless desert. Indulge your taste buds with a delicious mix of light bites, bar snacks, pizzas and lots more while enjoying the cocktail of your choice. POOL BAR: Pool bar with a view of the rolling desert is an ideal place to unwind during the day. Pool bar serves an a la carte menu offering a wide variety of snacks, cocktails, light meals and beverages. A spectacular panoramic view of the desert ensure total tranquility for both the guests. YA HALA BARY: a Hala reflects the traditional Arabian culture of comfort, charm and hospitality. Afternoon tea, as well as a variety of other drinks and snacks for the a la carte menu, can be enjoyed amidst the saddles and charming wooden furniture of the lounge, on the intimate terrace overlooking the water well. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bab Al Shams Desert Hotel Dubai
- Bab Al Shams Desert Resort And Spa