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“Dubai Desert Oasis”

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Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
Ranked #48 of 550 Hotels in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Dubai Desert Oasis”
Reviewed April 22, 2014

We enjoyed a brief stay at Bab Al Shams Resort & Spa following a week in Dubai. Although our stay was limited, we did experience the resort sufficiently to merit a review. The greeting and check-in were thankfully efficient and understanding following an unacceptable ordeal transferring from Dubai (no fault or connection with the Bab Al Shams resort). Our experiences at the resort were mainly fine. The dining choices were many, including indoor and outdoor options and full cultural experiences. We enjoyed a wonderful buffet of international fare at the Al Forsan restaurant. We can also recommend enjoying the sunset over the desert on the rooftop accompanied by quality entertainment. Our afternoon included quality time at the pools, camel riding and viewing a trained falcon show. Archery, dune bashing and other activities were also available. The layout of the property aims to recall an Arabic village, including meandering passages, hidden nooks and crannies, along with many secret peaceful and romantic hideaways. The room was wonderful, generous in size, dark and cozy-comfortable. One thing I always find objectionable at any property is the absence of a top sheet, as was found here. Does the resort dry clean the comforter covering the guest following each stay? I think not. That's very disturbing, and this practice has no place in a five star property. We had to check out for our flight prior to breakfast hour, and the property sent us off with a very complete take-away breakfast -- very much appreciated. This was a very charming and easy to love desert property which will not disappoint. We wish we had more time at Bab Al Shams -- although only with the addition of a top sheet placed under the comforter.

Room Tip: Good hygiene dictates a top sheet between your body and the comforter. We toured the full resort, a...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rpm25
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 review, April 30, 2014
Dear Guest,

I am extremely delighted to read that you consider us a "Dubai Desert Oasis". Your satisfaction with the services and food we offer even for only limited time helped to motivate the team to continue deliver the quality service that all our guests deserve.

I have shared your comment with our bed covers to our Housekeeping Department and is currently working on the evaluation and rectification.

Thank you very much for sharing your comments on TripAdvisor and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Best regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (307)
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English first
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2014 via mobile

we stayed there for one night only. overall a decent place. staff very friendly. everything well kept and clean. nice pool area. but overall not what you would typically expect from a 5 star location in dubai. breakfast choice not that impressive either. room ok but again not 5 star feel to it.

the exception was the restaurant al hadheera in a separate fort near the hotel where we had dinner. very well organised, great food and different shows. all that happening right in the desert, was a good experience.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank cosmopolitoswiss
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 review, April 26, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for your review on TripAdvisor regarding your recent stay at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa.

We appreciate your time taken to advise us and the positive feedback and recommendations you have given. We are glad that we could contribute to making your trip to the Bab Al Shams a great experience.

It is most encouraging for us to receive such praise and we look forward to welcoming you on a return visit to Bab Al Shams.


Best regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed April 19, 2014 via mobile

There were complementary romantic setup in my room, One of the a mazing place to celebrate with, the guys are friendly and proactive.
The amazing view while you are swimming and watching the Sunset and the Falcons and Camels front of you.
I like the place.

Stayed April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Ahmed A
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 review, April 26, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your experience in TripAdvisor on your recent stay at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa.

I am delighted to read that you had a memorable Wedding Anniversary with us.

It was indeed a pleasure having you at the resort and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.


Best regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2014

From the beginning (no one to greet us at valet) to the end (one person on duty at check out on a busy weekend), I found much to fault with this property. Given the cost of the room, one would expect better quality and customer service all around. Sketchy wifi at the pool and none in the rooms (!). Finding a spare chair at the pool required intense patience. While we requested early check in, we weren't able to move into our room until 4:15PM.

The worst of these grievances is Al Hadeerah - nothing short of a cash grab from the property. 545AED per person (with no alcohol) for a too busy, not well staffed venue with blaring music and obvious entertainment. We left early and hungry - not bothering to wait for food to become available.

Needless to say, we didn't cough up the 130AED for breakfast and left early - ready to go home. Not one staff member we interacted with asked us about our stay (if there were any to be found!).

Would not recommend and will spend my dirhams elsewhere. Stay on the Palm or at a Jumeirah property instead.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CBrandtWright
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 review, April 26, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience regarding your recent stay at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

I appreciate your valuable feedback but obviously, I am disappointed to read that you experienced certain shortcomings during your stay which, therefore, has not been up to “Bab Al Shams standard”. For that, I would like to apologize. I will discuss with my team on how we can prevent these things to happen in the future.

We appreciate your valuable insights and suggestions on how we can improve.

Nonetheless I hope that we may welcome you again in the near future.


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.
England
Level 6 Contributor
83 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2014

At the beginning of March we stayed four nights at the Bab Al Shams. We arrived at about 10pm after a transfer from the airport of 1hr 10mins. Apparently it should take 50 minutes but our driver had not been there before and got lost! Check-in was swift and efficient and, as requested, were shown to a first floor room. We had chosen this because we expected good desert views from a higher floor …. we were wrong! This room and, from what we could see, most others on this level were up in the fronds of the surrounding palm trees and these blocked the views. The room had been specially prepared for us, as we were celebrating an anniversary during our holiday, and there were flowers in the bath and wine and a small chocolate cake on a table. I expressed my disappointment at the small palm tree shrouded balcony and we were instantly offered a lower floor room with open views, it cost slightly more and the room was exactly the same but instead of a small balcony we had a larger patio/terrace with unobstructed views; it was worth paying the extra.

The room itself was large and Arabic in design with dark furniture, bare plastered walls and quite dimly lit. I can see from older reviews that the low lighting bothered some people but we felt that it was in keeping with the ‘desert fort’ style of the hotel. During the day the rooms were also quite dark due to fairly small inset windows and patio/balcony doors but again we felt that this suited the place.

Every day a bowl of fresh fruit, a box of stuffed dates, a box of chocolates, plenty of water and a newspaper were brought to the room. A large flat screen TV was hidden in a wall cupboard and there were several channels showing UK/American films. The bed was huge but quite hard and we both had backache every morning (our only problem with the room). The bathroom was lovely, again the walls were dusky pink bare plaster but little stencilled decorations and alcoves made it most attractive.

In general the hotel was unlike any other that we have been to and at first it was hard to see how it could be classed as 5 star as it was not slick and polished in style as are most similar class hotels. However, the design grew on us; we loved the seemingly endless little walkways around the sandy coloured ‘fort’, during the day they were cool and shady and at night subdued lanterns lit very corner and alleyway with soft warm light. The walkways are interspersed with plenty of green well tended garden areas and these were lit by hidden lights at night time.

Dinner or lunch were included in our tariff and we ate at both the Al Forsan (buffet restaurant where breakfast is served) and Masala (Indian). Both were good but Masala was spoilt by very bright lighting; this was a shame as it deterred you from lingering over the meal and enjoying the otherwise excellent atmosphere.

We wanted to go the Al Hadheerah, which is set a ten minute walk into the desert from the hotel, but the night we planned to do this there was a thunderstorm threatening and as some of the seating is outside we decided it would not be a good choice! However, before the rain started we walked along the pathway to this small fort-like restaurant which is set in a hollow in the sand dunes; it certainly looked most appealing and on another visit to Bab Al Shams we would book an evening there.

Every evening we visited the roof top Al Sarab Bar; it was full of atmosphere, with live Arabic music, the smell of hookah pipe smoke and lovely subdued lighting. Snack meals were available here and the staff were very friendly and very attentive.

The pool at Bab Al Shams is huge and nearly always very quiet, although on Saturday it was busier with what we thought were day visitors from Dubai.

The daily falconry display was worth a visit, it’s not often that you can get to see such beautiful birds of prey at such close quarters and for those with children the short camel ride in the desert was a big hit.

Overall we loved Bab Al Shams and would return there tomorrow if we could! I can understand how some people who only visit for a one or two night break might feel disappointed, especially if they are comparing with the slick Dubai city hotels, but I am sure that for most people a longer stay will allow them to settle into the atmosphere and then they too will enjoy the charms of this lovely desert hotel.

Room Tip: It seems that most first floor rooms have little view as the fronds of the palm trees obstruct the o...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bethi
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 review, April 26, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback in TripAdvisor with regards to your recent stay with us at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

I truly appreciate your comments and am very glad to learn that you had a wonderful stay overall.

However your points with the initial room allocation, our bed quality and the lighting in Masala are noted and discussed with the team to ensure necessary actions will be taken.

On the other hand, we are delighted with your kind acknowledgements of our high level of customer service provided by our team of incredible colleagues especially in Al Sarab Rooftop.

Once again, thank you and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.


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.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
132 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2014

Stayed here for 4 nights after a week in Dubai. Love deserts and thought a short stay in 5* desert luxury would be different.

Bab feels like it’s built to remind you of an Arabic village, which it does, all shady passageways and little courtyards and no real logic to the layout – easy to get lost but that doesn’t last for long as Bab’s not that big. The rooms are a similar simple style which doesn’t work perfectly as they are a bit too dark and quite roughly finished inside – a design choice not shoddy work.

Rooms are comfortable enough and bathrooms have a large bath/shower which if full would be more of a small plunge pool.

Outside is spread out and the swimming pool area, magnificent! Noticed some comments about the pool temperature but have to be honest and say we didn’t really notice.

Restaurants were good especially the Indian Masala – worth a visit if you like Indian food but it’s not quite the same as experienced in the UK.

Does get busy during the weekend (esp Saturday) due to visitors from Dubai for the day so if you’re just visiting for a night or two try and arrange it for weekday(s).

Would have liked to wander into the desert more and although there’s nothing to stop you there are no paths, that we found, to point you in the right direction.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MushroomTraveller
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 review, April 26, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experiences at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa here in Tripadvisor!

We truly appreciate all your positive comments with regards to our great location, ambiance and facilities which were the key to the success of your stay.

At the same time, we have noted your recommendations and have discussed with the team for immediate rectifications.

Meanwhile, we look forward to welcoming you again, for another relaxing stay!


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.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
Reviewed April 15, 2014

We had a wonderfully relaxing 2 night stay. Staff were friendly and very helpful and the resort itself, beautiful. We loved the setting, the style and the decor of the buildings and rooms. There were numerous restaurants to choose from ( all the ones we ate in were excellent) and the roof top bar at sunset is sensational. A unique, luxurious desert get away just a short trip from the heart of Dubai ( only 120 dirham in a taxi). We can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julie 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 review, April 26, 2014
Dear guest,

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

Our sole focus is to provide a flawless and excellent service to our valued guests, and to contribute towards a memorable experience at the resort. Therefore we are delighted to learn that you had gained wonderful memories during your visit.

Your kind review has been shared with everyone here and we are all looking forward to welcoming you again on your next visit 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.
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Additional Information about Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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