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Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
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Reviews (4,811)
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Reviewed February 15, 2009

I recently had a two night stay at the Burj Al Arab (BAA) and was thoroughly impressed. Though I agree with other reviewers that perhaps this was just a one time visit to try it and move on. My greatest fear was that I would expect too much, and I think I walked away more satisfied than anything, with very few disappointments.

My friend and I determined to book at the BAA based on it’s reputation—seeing it non-stop on television travel programs. I booked a two night stay on the hotel’s website for two nights, all-in a Panoramic Suite for 8100Dhms (roughly $3kUSD). We arrived early at the hotel and check-in was a delight. No front desk, no lines. Simply sit in the lobby, enjoy juices, dates and hot towels, as a guest service rep met us to check-in. Despite checking in early, where most hotels make it problematic, the BAA offered three options. First offer was an upgraded suite. Next they offered a different suite with an added bed. Or, simply wait for the originally reserved suite to become available. Thankfully we took the upgrade, which ended up retailing at 12000Dhms/night.

The suite itself was nothing short of amazing. It redefines any hotel’s notion of a suite. I refer to it more as a mini-mansion. I was thoroughly impressed with the half hour tour of all the inner workings of the suite from our butler. The suite featured one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept on, and one of the finest showers I’ve ever stepped into. Simply amazing. The technology added to the room’s lightning, temperature, security and other controls is second to none. I was impressed to have in-room wired or wifi internet, with the additional use of a computer printer. Though shocked they did not offer high definition television, despite having HD lcd monitors.

The butler staff kept the room well stocked with fresh flowers, fruits and still water. The moment you leave the room, the staff is in there cleaning it and prepping for your return.

I couldn’t get confirmation, but the smell and taste of the regular tap water indicated to me that the hotel possibly treats their water further after receiving it from Dubai’s desalination plant. Water which had a noticeable bad taste at other hotels in Dubai.

One great aspect of the suite at the Burj Al Arab is the scent. They’ve managed to give the room a very neutral scent. No overpowering fragrances.

The only problem encountered during the stay was with the concierge service. Twice they managed to mess up boating reservations at the Jumeirah Beach resort’s marina. Our butler service tried to cover for them, but the damage had already been done. Two days of boating were ruined.

Otherwise the concierge and butler were very thorough in arranging for any other needs throughout the stay--especially when it came to transportation. The hotel operates their own car service which is comparable, if not more affordable, than one of the local taxis. BAA extensively promotes their high end luxury vehicles, but they also had a fleet of more low key, unmarked vehicles which were great to take around town without causing unneeded attention.

Being that the hotel has become the national symbol for the UAE, they tend to draw a lot of amateur photographers and tourists at the gates. Security was very good about keeping a guest list at the motor gate and foot gate, and keeping the hotel free from many gawkers. They really offered a quiet, enjoyable hotel experience without having to navigate a lobby full of non-guest tourists.

I would definitely like to return, but quite honestly don’t see value for the dollar for the price paid. It’s wonderful to try it, and maybe return years down the road, but I definitely won’t make this my first choice. Especially as Dubai begins to open even more first class luxury hotel offerings as it grows. I left with some amazing photos, and wonderful memories.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled with friends
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9  Thank IntegrityTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2009

We stayed for three nights in a panoramic suite, on the 12th floor of the Burj Al Arab.
Check-in was efficient, then we were welcomed in our suite by out personal butler, which did a perfect service during our wholhe stay.

The suite is big, very big. And I recommend a panoramic suite, because of the excellent view you get. All the amenities are available in the suite and the entertainment system is probably the best you can get. (e.g. when somebody rings the door bell you even see the video on the big flat screen tv inside the suite!)

Food was good, we ate at the steak house in the Jumeirah Beach hotel and also in the Al Mahara "underwater" restaurant. This experience was fascinating but also a bit frustrating. The setting is spectacular, although it is not underwater (just one big aquarium), the food on the other hand was a bit disappointing. We had a whole fish in a salt crust. They prepared it in front of us, served it on two cold plates and by the time the second plate was ready, my small piece of fish was already cold. And the fish was not cheap. Maybe they got better now, as they call themselves one of the top ten restaurants worldwide!

Otherwise the "Burj Experience" was great fun, decadence anywhere you look. On the beach we were served Evian water sprays....

Stay here if you need to have seen it. In summer you can afford it....

  • Stayed: July 2006
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5  Thank philaveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2008

Yes, it's a lot of money. However, it's one of those things that you just have to do it once in your life time. Of course going in, we knew that Burj had exceptional service, but they were defintely a few notches above most hotels.

During our butler's "orientation", he mentioned that they could change the mattress if it was too soft/hard. Taking up the offer, we made the request. When we came back from dinner that night, the mattress had been replaced.

We had late check out as our flight was at mid-night. Even after the check out, we could still use all the amenities of the hotel. We kept a change of clothing in the locker room and went about exploring the city. After dinner, we were able to use the pool and shower before we head out to the airport.

I had a facial at the Spa. It was good but not outstanding. The lady behind the counter at the Spa (Qi/Qian?) was less than helpful when I was trying to make the appoitment and looked impatient. Also, you could hear people talking in the hallway outside the treatment rooms, which could be slightly irritating when you try to relax.

Defintely try Junsui ( the new Asian restaurant) if you have the opportunity. The Wagyu beef was absolutely delicious. MMMMM...

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank FoBMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2008

The concept and suites are wonderful, you have to be amazed by the grandeur of this hotel. Like other travelers we found the pool wonderful. the Al Mahara restaurant the food was first class but total overpriced with a glass of wine being GBP30 or 150 Dirham, the Friday brunch was a joke at GBP96 or 495 Dirham the cavier bar only served lump fish & Salmon roe, main dishes where rather dull, we saw most of the desserts going back half eaten and I followed the trend and returned most of mine uneaten. The services throughout the hotel is perfect and i was amazed that all the staff knew our name. The fact that they charge to allow visitors all over the hotel makes you feel like you are in a goldfish bowl and i agree with other visitors that this is very annoying when you have paid so much to stay here. All in all we enjoyed our stay but like most other people would not return to this hotel. Dubai has so many very good hotels and go to any of the golf clubs for a better Friday Brunch.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank Mebyon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2008

The 7* is self styled, although it has won several awards, a 7* category doesn't exist anywhere except in its promotional literature and PR.

The 5* standard of most Hotels in Dubai is 'better' than many other hotels that are ranked as 5* elsewhere in the world anyway.

Is it 50% - 100% better than the rest - that is almost impossible for anyone to quantify as it most surely is a matter of personal opinion.

The restaurants are over priced and there is better food to be had elsewhere in Dubai. So my advice if you do choose to stay there is to eat elsewhere.

If you feel that you will be disappointed or that your expectations would be let down then stay somewhere else.

Perhaps best summed up by saying that as long as I could afford to stay in the Burj for at least one night when I visit Dubai then I would. It is without doubt the best overall hotel proposition that I have ever experienced. And it gets better each time.

Is it value ? Questionable and depends on your definition of value.

Did I do a sharp intake of breath as I paid the bill this year - yes, I did.

Did I come away this year thinking it wasn't value for money - no, I didn't.

I will always remember the moment I surprised my best friend with our first one night stay in the Burj in 2006 - that memory is priceless regardless of cost. Her mum had recently passed away and I wanted to give her something beautiful that I knew she would always remember in what otherwise would have been a crap year.

Taking my sister there as a treat in 2007, when she had split up with her partner of 15 years and was in desperate need of some self esteem boosting 'guess where I've been and you haven't' news to tell.

Staying there this year has been a mixture of scrimping and saving, paying off credit card debt etc BUT being able to share it with friends has been the biggest part of it for me.

How do you put into words the 'value' of that?

Or the value of being greeted by name by staff you have never seen before.

Or sitting down to breakfast on our first day this year to find a waiter that you've never seen before holding 'the jam you like so much Ms xxxxxx' when you've not eaten breakfast there for over a year. Wild Blueberry and Cardamon jam by the way - not your run of the mill strawberry, although you can get that too.

Or 'we remembered that your sister liked strawberries, so we've put some in the fridge for her'

Or when the butler, on finding out that I was married but had left my husband at home to go on my annual girls holiday, brought a complete set of Hermes Terre Homme toiletries to the suite to say 'these are for your husband, please bring him to meet us too next time'

So do I go with high expectations - yes.

Have I ever been disappointed - no.

Do I pay too much - probably.

You only have to read the hotel reviews below mine to see that people go with very high expectations and people mark the Burj down because they found crumbs on the carpet or because the butler didn't walk them to the lift.

If you look for faults because you've paid top dollar then I'm sure you will find them.

If you go for the overall experience and thank whichever God you pray to that you can stay afford to stay there and share it with friends - then maybe there won’t be any faults to find.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with friends
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42  Thank Latimer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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