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“Perfect Desert Hideaway”

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Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
Ranked #49 of 554 Hotels in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 1, 2013

This was our second visit after 4 years and almost all staff seemed to have been informed by the hotel management that we were back. We enjoyed outstanding hospitality. Staff is always very friendly and you feel really welcome here. The hotel is very well maintained and offers a perfect environment to relax in luxury out in the desert. Rooms are nicely designed and this ambiente takes you away from the daily hectic immediately. Watching the sun set on one of the terraces while drinking a cup of tea (with or without shisha) or sit around the wonderful pools are unforgettable memories. The very rich buffets (included in half board) offer a nice variety of food largely from the wider area. Dining outside in the arena of the Al Hadeerah restaurant (extra cost) and watching the show are a must while being at BAS. WiFi works well in the restaurant and pool areas.

Room Tip: We had rooms with desert view but rooms with a view to the various courts are equally nice.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank SorinaJB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,143 - 1,149 of 2,051 reviews

Reviewed December 31, 2012

Stayed for 4 days over Christmas following a recommendation from a previous repeat guest and colleague. The hotel is somewhat quirky, with lots of nooks and crannies to discover away from the pools - making a change from the usual formulaic hotel box. The pool and room services were great and made for a relaxing stay. One minor quibble was the service in the Al Forsan buffet restaurant that was somewhat hit and miss - a couple of extra staff at peak times would be beneficial as they struggled to keep up at times. Otherwise, a great place to relax and enjoy the Dubai weather.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Sue_ChrisBracknell_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2012

We stayed only 1 night with my husband in Bab Al Shams, we absolutely loved the Arabic styled hotel. It was nice and lovely, staff were friendly and very helpful, food was delicious, room service was quick and accurate. We had a huge room with the garden view, our room was 2 minutes away from the reception. The POOL ......I can talk and talk about the pool, all I will say is AMAZING pool and lovely view of the desert. It is a great place to spend a great time and have fun. Thank you JI team for making our stay unforgettable.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Emma M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2012 via mobile

Dining in the open air Al Hadheerah restaurant was truly spectacular. The food (a buffet incorporating traditional Arabian dishes) was excellent and cooked fresh infront of you with a good variety and quantity. The staff were attentive and the entertainment was marvellous. There were even camel rides and a horse back sword fight (to view they don't allow guest participation unfortunately). It is a bit out of the way from the main part of Dubai but being in the Desert it is quiet, dark (the stars were astounding) and peaceful. Well worth a visit.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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2  Thank Andy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2012

The famous Scottish architect "Mac van der Rhoe" was purported to have said that god (small g) was in the details and could you put a wee dram in my pint of heavy, barman.

At this level of hospitality it is all about the details. As a guest who is paying to stay in a five star resort like the "Bab Al Shams" - excellence is taken for granted. What sets the great ones apart from the ordinary five star hotel is the attention to details.

Starting with an upgrade.
Why don't more establishments do this?
If the space is available - listen up Etihad - for the few pennies extra it costs to clean a slightly bigger room or provide a slightly better plate of slop - the goodwill that is generated with the "regular" customer is priceless.

An "ordinary" room at BAS is far from ordinary, the Junior Suite is like something from a movie set. But that was not enough...

12.12.12 was spelled out on the crisp white bed linens in red rose petals - the same petals were floating in the bath along with romantic candles placed around the edge of the giant tub. I challenge you not to fall back in love - even with yourself - if you stay in this hotel.

I tried to fathom how they had made the bath towel into a giant scorpion but there were 1001 folds in this Arabian nights little piece of magic.

A few minutes after arriving a fresh bowl of fruit was delivered as was an enormous box of delicious pistachio-stuffed dates.

A personal thank you to Mr. Thomas Renton our man from Mitchum on the front desk who made us feel very special upon arriving and I feel had a hand in the upgrade...

But finally I must shame the Bab Al Shams because god really is in the details. We are ferocious anti-smokers. A vile and disgusting habit at best. Unfortunately the previous occupants of the suite must have been lazy smokers as they discarded their dog-ends on the outside deck and unfortunately they had been "missed" by the cleaning crew.

God is in the details dog-ends are in the details...

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Leslie T P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2012

The hotel itself iththe pools is very nice. Rooms are small and very dark and there is no seperate bath/shower which is a bit disappointing. Thereis no dune bashing, only a very mild desert safari. No quad bikes or dune buggies but they do have bicycles. Only male to male massages in the spa which I personally dont like. l Hadeera was very nice and def worth it, but other restaurants are very average with bland menus.

No private desert dining options like Al Maha, although they can arrange a private dinner atthe poolside for AED 7500 per couple ??

Overall a disappointign experience and would definitely encourage guests to try AL Maha.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Jacques_Blignaut001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2012

For an expensive 5 star hotel Bab Al Shams needs to make a lot of changes! I certainly expected much more. Left this hotel for our last day in Dubai expecting to relax and enjoy a romantic evening with my husband and here I am sitting in front of my laptop writing this review.

Upon arrival, the receptionist was simply plain and dull. She advised us they were fully booked for king standard rooms but we could pay an extra 40€ to get an upgrade (in addition to the 335€ we were already paying). I said I was not interested in upgrading and had been told by phone that although the web sold twin beds there would not be a problem getting 1 king bed. After 15 minutes waiting the manager came out to talk to us and found the king bedroom we had requested... Hmmmm!

As a young lady showed us around the hotel my smile faded away. The pictures we had seen on the web were certainly not very recent or had been retouched. The pool and common areas were average and many areas needed urgent refurbishing.

The buffet presentation, variety and quality at lunch was the worst I have seen in years. The personnel is not well uniformed and their presence needs to be improved.

I must agree with Ema L regarding her review of the 'ultimate Arabian experience' at Al Hadeera. A total let down! At 100€ per person you expect a good production with entertainment professionals. The belly dancer was wearing a New Years Eve gown instead of the typical attire and the lights were never on the entertainers. The horse show ... I don´t think you can call it a show - 6 men on horses riding from one side to another with no coordination and plastic saddles. Not one of the numerous acts deserves a 3/10. The show was empty and the only applauses came from the waiters.

Service is friendly and tries hard, always with a big smile but I believe they are not trained to work in a 5 star hotel. I expressed my disappointment and 5 minutes later the on duty manager was sitting with me listening to all my complaints. He was very receptive, hopefully he will take my constructive criticism and that of others to make sure they better all these aspects.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank TITINA69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa

Address: International Endurance City, 308th Rd, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Phone Number:
Location: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Dubai > Dubai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Dubai
#36 Spa Hotel in Dubai
#40 Business Hotel in Dubai
#44 Luxury Hotel in Dubai
#47 Family Hotel in Dubai
#53 Romantic Hotel in Dubai
Price Range: $214 - $905 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 113
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Translated from Arabic as "Gateway to the sun", the *award-winning 5-star Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is designed to resemble a fortified rural Arab village amidst the desert landscape. Featuring low-rise architecture, this sandy coloured style fort boasts the main tower with Reception area and lobby and clusters of two-storey buildings housing guest accommodation, restaurants, spa and meeting facilities interconnected by seemingly endless little walkways. The charm of Arabia is personified in every corner of the property with small lanes running through the hotel, scattered around ponds and secluded seating areas, shaded courtyards, water fountains and trickling streams bestowing the feel of cool tranquillity. The abundance of green garden areas and manicured lawns adds to the quiet and soothing environment of the resort. The rustic Arabian theme of exterior design continues to flow in the carefully selected interior decorations and settings featuring uncovered natural stone floors, bare plastered walls, dark wood and iron fixtures, warm dimmed lighting and an abundance of artefacts showcased throughout the property. The resort boasts 113 rooms and suites offering cosy accommodation in an authentic Arabian style with majority of the rooms having a private terrace. All guest rooms and public areas have complimentary Wi-Fi access. *World's Leading Desert Resort, World Travel Awards. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort And Spa
Bab Al Shams Desert Hotel Dubai

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