This was our first trip to Dubai and as were taking our 2 & 5 year old with us I did a lot of research on what hotel would suit us, Al Qasar was my original choice but as they couldn't confirm interconnecting rooms at the time of booking we went with Arabian Court as they could. I heard a lot of positive things about the One & Only Brand so was looking forward to a relaxing stay, this was not to be.
My first feelings of unease began a few weeks before when I e-mailed the hotel to enquire about babysitting etc, I had a document sent back to me telling me what I couldn't ask off the hotel and their babysitters, it all felt very cold and clinical and indicated to me that they found children to be something that had to be tolerated!! My two are still young so they find it hard to stay up every night for dinner so at least three times we like to put them to bed early and go out on our own, I was so unimpressed with the "rules" that we decided to take our nanny with us for five days (we there for 10) so we could go relax whilst out at night!
We arrived at about 2 am Dubai time and on first impressions I was happy, all light up, impressive entrance and some nice drinks offerred to refresh us, check in however took far too long , approx 30 mins, the guy who checked us in wanted to give us a tour???!! I politely declined as at this time it was nearing 3 am and my children were so tired!
We had two double interconnecting rooms and they were okay, nothing special, a bit dark and cramped. The next morning when we woke we up got a wonderful view of the beach from our windows, it is a nice view.
After an early lunch we headed to the pool which for us is what the holiday is about, very hard to get seats but bearing in mind it was 1pm, there wasn't any staff around and I approached the towel hut I asked and was told we could sit in the garden, not ideal with two kids who want to be in the pool!!! The pool area is great, it's graduated so suits every level of swimmer, the temperature of the water was fantastic BUT there is no drinks service at all around the pool, every time we wanted a drink we had to go into Eau Zone which is the restaurant beside the pool, not ideal when you are hot and sweaty.
Breakfast is not five star!!!! We would arrive down at about 10 then at 10.15 would have a member of staff come over to our table to hurry us up and make our last choices as they were closing, they actually gated it closed so you couldn't get in, just stupid. The service was also very slow, one morning I had to ask for tea five times!!!
The service generally was very slow throughout the hotel and I found staff to be bordering on rude when I would enquire where drinks etc where, one morning we ordered room service for breakfast and I ended up having an argument with them on the phone when I tried to explain my order was wrong!! On the plus side the food was really good everywhere we ate. I do chill out on holiday and am not fussed about slow service but when we've ordered a bottle of red wine with our meal and we have finished starters and are on main courses yes I do get a bit uptight!!
I used the spa and the hairdressers and they were excellent except one afternoon when I turned up to have my hair done and they denied I had an appointment (even though I showed them the e-mail confirming the booking!) to be fair they did try to recity it!
There were two further incidents that left us with a bad taste and in the end we left the hotel early and went to the Burj Al Arab, these both involved car bookings. We had tickets for the Burj Khalfia one evening and had to leave at 5, at 4 I rang down and asked them to book us a taxi for 5, when we got downstairs no taxi was booked!! They then told me they couldn't book taxis in advance (why didn't they explain this and we would have allowed extra time for this??!), they then offerred us a private taxi for the same cost which we accepted, it took 20 minutes to arrive, we missed our time slot for the Khalfia and only through me begging where we let in!!! When I told the conceirge no apology was forthcoming.
The final straw was when we booked a car to take us to a dinner cruise, the driver couldn't find where we were meant to be dropped off, we arranged to meet him at 11 pm for pick up at a certain point, he didn't turn up and we walked up and down the port for 15 minutes, no idea where we were!! We eventually got a taxi back to the hotel, at this point I was very angry and went straight to the conceirge who apologised but then a younger member of staff starting shouting at me saying I didn't have my mobile on so the driver couldn't phone me!! I was stunned to say the least, I have never been treated like this in any hotel never mind one which claims to be five star!
In any event it was enough and the next morning we packed up and left, NO ONE asked us on checkout why we were leaving early and if everything was okay.
This hotel might be able to tick the boxes that make it five star but its staff let if down dreadfully and for me this is what it is all about. We complained to our tour operator on return and we received a refund for one night but they refused to accept that they may have been in the wrong, I wouldn't stay here again and it would put me off staying at any more of The One & Only Hotels, there are better hotels in Dubai for the money we paid (over 10K) who will actually have staff that are pleasent and make your holiday a relaxing experience!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Arabian Court is crafted in the spirit of the orient with dramatic architecture creating symmetry, amidst a landscape of fountains, walkways and lush gardens. The subtly angled entrance leads to the impressive grand gallery, the vertebrae of the hotel that links the two wings of the property and guides guests towards the 162 charismatic guest rooms and 10 elaborately styled suites, all of which are facing the sea, with private balcony or garden patio. The three restaurants and their lounges thrive on individuality. These include a journey from the grand kitchens of the past, to a modern voyage through the eclectics and vibrancy of the Near East and beyond. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Arabian Court At One And Only Royal Mirage Dubai
- Arabian Court At One&Only Royal Mirage Dubai Hotel Dubai