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Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
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Reviews (2,298)
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Reviewed September 18, 2013

An absolutely wonderful experience. We were given a voucher for a stay at Bab Al Shams as a gift. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left it was utter bliss. We were given a fantastic welcome by Mr Mohab at reception. Throughout our stay he checked up many times with us to ensure that we were happy and content. A true gem of a manager.

The setting is beautiful. The pools are fantastic. I loved the chilled pool next to the bar- essential on a hot September day. The attention to detail is really great- during the day by the pool, every hour one of the staff members would come to us offering cold towels, Evian mist, ice lollies or fruit skewers. Every staff member we encountered had a fantastic attitude and a wonderful sense of personal responsibility in terms of service. I ran out of suncream and one of the staff brought me a bottle of suncream (the same strength as my own) that had been left behind by another guest so I didn't have to go to the shop and buy some. I thought that was wonderful.

We ate at the Indian restaurant and the food was divine, with the perfect amount of attention and service from the extremely agreeable staff.

Our room was heaven- a true haven. It wasn't very bright which was just what we needed- a refuge from the strong sun outside. I loved the bath- lovely products, including bath salts, and the cutest bathtub ever!

I had a wonderful massage in the spa which left me completely blissed-out.

As usual with my reviews, I think it's helpful to comment if I think things could be improved:

One thing I really noticed was the piped music around the pool and in the spa- it all seems to come from the same central player. The music was just the same three tracks repeated over and over and over again! After 24 hours that got a bit annoying- especially after a full day by the pool! I think I was hearing that music in my head for hours after we left Bab al Shams.

On another musical note (no pun intended), the music in the restaurant at breakfast was absolutely terrible stuff- Arabic-ish renditions of popular tunes. You haven't lived until you've heard "Unforgettable" played out of tune on Arabic instruments at full volume at 8 a.m. (Not.)

I hope I don't offend anyone, but I was quite surprised that there was no pork option at breakfast. Of course, having lived in Dubai for many years, I understand the restrictions on pork, but this is the first five-star hotel I've been to in Dubai which didn't even offer the option. The vast majority of five-star hotels in Dubai do cater for their international guests in this way- with a separate area, clearly labelled. I only say this because I'm not a massive fan of breakfast anyway, but I would make an exception if there was a nice bit of bacon available! So the varied and copious breakfast at Bab al Shams was a bit wasted on me. (I did like the beetroot and carrot juice, though- lovely!)

But anyway, those are just small observations. Overall we had a wonderful, wonderful stay. The nicest part about leaving was when Mr Mohab walked us to our car, gave us some chilled bottles of water for the journey home, and wished us the best. I have never experienced such personal service in my life. It was truly memorable.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Eve H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2013

Dear guest,

I cannot thank you enough for your kind comments on tripadvisor with regards to your recent stay.

It feels great to learn that you had an enjoyable stay with us. Thank you for your appreciative comments on our rooms, friendliness and attentiveness of our staff, the facilities and the food variety and quality offered in our restaurant.

I will personally relay your feedback to the team who will be glad to know that his efforts contributed to your enjoyable stay. Your comments, as "fantastic staff", will give the team more motivation to do better.

Hopefully, we will have the pleasure to welcoming you back very soon.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you wish to make your next booking.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

Bab Al Shams is a truly incredible hotel break. If you are searching for a thoroughly relaxing stay, this is the hotel for you.

Positives:
It is designed in an old Arabesque style, reminiscent of a Lawrence of Arabia styled set. While having the appearance of simplicity of a basically designed 5 star hotel, Bab Al Shams has all the mod-cons that are expected of any new ‘shiny’ hotel. However no hotel can make you feel like you are in a 19th century Sheikh Palace while enjoying numerous 5 star quality hotels, cooling in one of the many infinity pools, distressing in its world class Spa or simply relaxing in the spacious, luxurious rooms.

We were greeted with exceptional hospitability by Bab Al Shams polite and professional staff – with a delicious mint & lime drink on arrival at reception. We were shown directly to our room by a courteous staff member who did not hesitate on departure in expectation of a tip like you would experience in so many other hotels.

The room was immaculate while still designed in an aged, rustic theme. The room was inclusive of an incredible expresso machine, spacious balcony, and all the luxuries you would want or need of a hotel. The bed was near impossible to get out of once you got into it – likewise the beautifully designed shower/bath.

After settling into our room, we wandered around the hotel. The architecture is truly amazing and we discovered little nooks and cranny’s with swings, serenity pools, cushioned sitting areas that are truly representative of an Arabic homes Majli. Even to stroll around the hotel’s grounds and arrive at the edges to be faced with a seemingly infinite desert landscape, can make you forget life’s problems. This hotel was created to induce absolute relaxation and it does just that!
We had a half-board package which entitled us to a buffet dinner, a buffet breakfast and a 50 minute couple’s massage. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the buffet – Usually, in any hotel regardless of how many stars, the buffet meals are bland and the hot foot below par. However, the buffet we experienced, for both dinner and breakfast, were fantastic. The quality of food was similar to what you would experience on an a-la-carte menu.

We relaxed by the large family pool on arrival, which was inclusive of an infinity pool that looked out into the desert abyss just 20 metres from the pool area. However, the second pool area was under construction and refurbishment while we were there. In lieu of this, the hotel offered us a day pass to Bab Al Shams itself for a day of our choosing, as well as a complementary day pass to their decedent Meydan Beach Resort, located in the central hub of Dubai Marina, on Jumierah Beach Road. Upon checking out of the resort, we informed the receptionist that we would be visiting the Meydan Beach Resort that day. The receptionist kindly phoned ahead to inform the resort of our arrival. The Beach Resort itself was fantastic! It was quiet, with maybe 5/6 other people there, the facilities (gym/spa/sauna/steam room/Jacuzzi/2 infinity pools) were spectacular, with views looking out on the Palm Jumierah itself.

It was an incredible stay – amazing setting, friendly and polite staff, accommodating hotel policy – a thoroughly relaxing stay! I would recommend to anyone!

Negatives:
It can’t be considered ‘far’ from Dubai but due to the selection of hotels within a stone’s throw of each other in Dubai, this 30 minute drive is a bit farther away than most hotels in Dubai, with a boring drive along a straight road to get to it. However, its location only serves to add to the specifically created relaxing vibe and atmosphere.
For any ‘active’ gym-goers, who might like to work out in a fancy gym while staying at a hotel, might be disappointed as there is no gym in the hotel! Again, this is purposely done to create a mellow ambiance.
The quality of the hotel is above repute so naturally you should be expecting to pay top dollar for a stay here – and naturally you do!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank garda_shayhen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for sharing this thorough review about your recent experience at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa here in TripAdvisor.

We are delighted that you extremely enjoyed each and every amenity we offer.

Our sole focus is to provide a flawless and excellent service to our valued guests, and to contribute towards a memorable stay at the resort. Therefore we are thrilled to learn that you have enjoyed every minute with us.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and we look forward to welcoming you to our hotel again soon.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2013

We spent 3 nights at Bab Al Shams, incorporating my partners birthday into the stay.

Previously having spent 3 nights in Dubai centre at the Melia hotel and having a wonderful experience, we were not expecting this to be beaten. How wrong we're we!

The drive took about 45 minutes. Upon arrival we were greeted by someone to take our bags. Reception were friendly and very accommodating for every wish we had. And given i had emailed and phoned the hotel on numerous occasions to arrange a birthday cake for my partner and neither had been answered they arranged a complimentary small cake with hand written message immediately.

We were shown our room which and our bags followed. The rooms and grounds are just beautiful. Rustic in design, with low lighting and everything you could possibly need. Great views of the desert and just stunning. The bed was ENORMOUS and extremely comfortable.

Fresh dates and plums were provided in our room in arrival and a fruit basket on our second to last day.

Rooms were cleaned once a day with an extra clean if needed with a turn down service. We felt this was not needed so turned the cleaners away several times.

Pools are amazing, so many to choose from and the pool bar with seats in the water was great - we enjoyed many a drink here! Much cooler than the other pools, so be warned!

Breakfast was outstanding with a great selection of all foods. I very much enjoyed fresh waffles and pancakes most mornings : )

Okay, so onto the bad points and there are only a couple...

Drinks are ridiculously expensive, even for soft drinks. Apple juice £6, beer £10, milkshake £6!

Given we were half board we were very thankful that drinks were included with breakfast. However, they were not with lunch or dinner (we could choose either on half board) and this added a lot onto our bill.

On my partners birthday we booked onto the Al Hadheerah restaurant entertainment evening. At £100 a head it was very expensive but we deemed worthwhile for such an important day. We were not disappointed, but wish we could have eaten more to make it more worthwhile.

Foods such as steak, prawns, whole fish, crab, etc were all in abundance, it was stunning.

Entertainment was 'interesting' but fun all the same.

Again, no drinks included in the £100 a head fee, blimey!

We experienced noisy neighbours about 1am on one evening, phoned reception and it was quiet within 15 minutes.

I very much enjoyed the free taster sessions of camel riding and falconry laid on every evening at 5 and 6pm.

Overall a great relaxing stay, although I think 3 days was just about right as we would have run out of things to do. There is nothing in the surrounding area at all.

Manager helpfully allowed us a 5pm check out and use of the pool all day due to our 1am flight the day after check out - amazingly generous at no cost.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LucyMTaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to post a personal detailed review here at TripAdvisor following your recent stay in our resort. We truly appreciate any feedback as it is comments from our valued guests that enable us to improve our services and facilities.

We are delighted to learn that you and your partner have enjoyed your overall stay with us however, we have noted your comments with regards to inclusions of drinks on meals and our existing beverage prices.

I will definitely discuss this matter to our Head of Food & Beverage to see the possibilities and ensure our prices are on the same range as the market.

One again, thank you for your feedback to help us excel.

We all can’t wait to see you on your next visit.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2013

Everything was fantastic. The service, the staff, the room, the pool, the food.. I could go on. Spent the entire day at the pool bar and it was incredible. The mojitos are some of the best we have ever had. It wasn't crowded which was perfect as well. Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dino S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for sharing this very kind review about your recent experience at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

As we read, you really enjoyed each and every amenity we offer.

Our sole focus is to provide a flawless and excellent service to our valued guests, and to contribute towards a memorable stay at the resort. Therefore we are thrilled to learn that you have enjoyed every minute with us.

Your kind review has been shared with everyone here and we are looking forward to welcoming you back to Bab Al Shams.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2013

It is the best Dessert resort middle of nowhere. It is a piece of Gem in the Dessert. Excellent property with typical Arabic ambiance, it gives you a feeling that you are staying in a Luxurious Arabic Castle. Everything is so perfect in the resort, be it spacious rooms, rich breakfast, relaxing spa, fun filled pool, camel ride etc. There are many restaurant serving world cuisine but we chose Roof Top Restaurant with an excellent view of dessert and live band playing soothing Arabic Music a Pizza with Sheesha and some Romantic breeze is enough for a wonderful evening. It is a bit far from Dubai City Center but if you have a package including the transportation then it is good. Worth every penny spent. A must visit thing in Dubai.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank PiyushSengar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for sharing this very kind review about your recent experience at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa in TripAdvisor.

We are glad that you appreciate the entire place from our rooms, facilities, food and music at the Rooftop.

Your kind words have been shared with the team here and we all look forward to welcoming you back to our resort in the future.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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