Before we even arrived at the hotel, we emailed both the Spa and the Concierge in order to secure treatments, transfers and a restaurant reservation. The Spa didn't bother to mail back and the turn around time with the concierge was about 3 days! In which time we had made the restaurant booking ourselves! We did manage to arrange the airport transfer, but sadly no car turned up on arrival. We are IC Ambassador Members (both of us), so we were very suprised even at the outset of the low service level at the front of house. Still, we tried to keep an open mind.
When we arrived at 545am, I knew we couldn't check in THAT early, so I requested a half day rate/reservation to enable us to check in immediately and get some sleep and to avoid hanging around in reception for half a day! The front desk assistant, when he eventually understood what we were requesting told us to sit down for 30minutes to allow the computer to adjust to the right day (appparently the system was half a day behind the rest of Dubai). So we waited........ and we asked the Concierge what time the restauarnt opened for breakfast, he said 6am, so we thought great we can go there! Only to be told on arrival at the restaurant that it was 630am. Ho hum......so after the 30 minutes, back to the desk we went to get our room! Only to be asked to wait another 10 minutes as the computer was still behind! I was getting cheesed off at this point and I was thinking that the place was more Fawlty Towers than IC. Anyway after 10 minutes back we went and computer was still "saying no", by which point I threw my toys out of the pram and complained. Funny how a hissy can make the computer say Yes!! Anyway at last we were on our way!
The room was lovely, albeit so many gismo's such as ill placed light switches, flushes and blind controls that it took us a while to get settled. One cannot fault the cleanliness of the rooms nor the size. But for all this, the view out of the window is awful. Its like overlooking a disused, decomissioned Industrial Estate. You can see, in the distance, the Dubai Creek highrise. But the view can't help but make you wonder why your not staying downtown Dubai and Why the IC is in no man's land!!! Its a great location for an airport hotel and if your travelling to Dubai just to shop, Festival City Mall is attached......but we didn't go to Dubai to go to IKEA, the Body Shop, Marks and Spencer or Yo Sushi!!!
The rest of our stay was average, the breakfast was OK, the IC lounge was OK, a very limited selection of canapes when we visited.
The front of house continued to amaze me still. There were alwasy about 10 porters but getting a cab was always a giggle and the staff didn't know who was first! In fact one night after a 10 minute wait at the concierge desk my husand was VERY unhappy as the concierge eventually put the phone down and addressed a man who barged in front of my husband a moment before!
During our stay, we also visited Reflets, the food was very good, we paid about £350 for the two of us. We have eaten in several Michelin restaurants and this was in our Top 10 but not our Top 5, we both thought the food was delicious but it didn't Wow us. Which was a shame. By the way, Friday Brunch at the Fairmount was OUTSTANDING, we do recommend this!!
All in all, I love IC's, I try and stay in IC's where I can because i have always had fabulous service, for instance the IC Amsterdam is truely amazing as is Geneva, New York and Mumbai. But Dubai didn't do it today. The front of house and the location really lets it down.
If your off to Dubai for pleasure, stay in the heart of the action, it's more fun and its prettier. If you looking for an airport hotel or a conference this will tick your boxes.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Inspired by a graceful sailboat, InterContinental Dubai Festival City stands tall amid the business and shopping districts. The hotel is home to 6 dynamic bars and restaurants, including the award-winning Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire, has wifi throughout rooms and public areas and its own 18-hole championship golf course. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Dubai Festival City Hotel Dubai