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“Good Option in Khobar”

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Le Meridien Al Khobar
Ranked #3 of 82 Hotels in Al Khobar
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 8, 2012

I stayed at Meridien on March/12 and it seems the rooms were just renovated. Everything inthe room looks brand new with a cool decoration. The breaksfat, lunch and dinner are really good, with wide variety and good quality. You pay average USD50 per person. The hotel is very close to the Corniche which has many restaurants and some places to shop. For who goes with family this hotel is a better option than others in Khobar because ladies have excclusive sauna area and they can also use the gym in some specific times. The pool area is large and they have 2 tennis courts. The only thing I did not like in this hotel is the always busy front desk. If you have a problem with you room card for example it takes long time to be served.

Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
Thank RodSalgado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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321 - 327 of 450 reviews

Reviewed July 30, 2012

Overall good location by the sea, 45min away from Dammam airport. Large hotel with a big lobby where you can meet, have drinks and enjoy air conditioning. Inside gym is large and modern, outside pool is nice but not chilled in sumer time (last temperature was 37C/99F, too warm to enjoy a refreshing dive).
Rooms are comfortable, modern, well air-conditionned. Confortable bed, desk is wide but the chair height cannot be adjusted and makes it difficult to work with a computer.
Hotel restaurant is nice, either for morning breakfast buffet or for lunch/diner. Evening buffet is nice. The gastronomic restaurant was closed for renovation during my last stay. Room service is very good.
Overall great hotel experience, but business, as there is very little to do outside.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Thierry67200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2012

You would expect more of this hotel but the reality remains that its average.. i have stayed there few times and the reception isnt as nice as you would expect from such hotel.. the restaurant staff are nice and friendly. the lobby is nice to sit and have coffee.. i will stay go there but i hope they will look at some training for their reception staff attitude..

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Sallious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
han_de_windt, General Manager at Le Meridien Al Khobar, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2012

Dear Sir,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I am sorry to read about your disappointing reception experience during your last stay with us. We will definitely use your review in our next training session in order to improve on our services. On the other hand I am pleased that you liked our F&B services and our lobby.
Thank you for your review and hope to welcome you soon again with us.

sincerely yours,
Han de Windt

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2012

There are some good things to say about this hotel:
- Great breakfast buffet selection
- Spacious gym with friendly and helpful instructor and cold towels
- Nice large outdoor swimming pool
- Taxi service with reasonable rates (sounds better than it is, read the part below)
- Upstairs seafood restaurant is very good
- Personnel is generally very friendly
- Free nespresso type coffee and fresh fruit in the room

But as a business guest I was very disappointed considering the 5 stars and a 1200+ SAR (350 USD) single person room rate. I will not go back here if I have the choice. My reasons:
- Breakfast starts at 6:30am. This is ridiculously late in a country where many businesses start at 7am due to the climate and there is often traveling required to get there. So regularly I had to skip breakfast even though I paid for it.
- I had to go to a customer every day, 30-40 min single way. Unfortunately 50% of the hotels taxi drivers smell. And not just a bit. My colleague got sick and wanted to open the window but the driver refused. When we managed to explain why, he got angry and drove so aggressively we had to make an emergency stop at a traffic jam. Shrieking tires type of thing. Really unacceptable. Some of these guys are rude as well and when they arrive early at the pickup they call you every minute (literally) while you are still in a meeting because waiting costs them. I complained with the manager of the taxi service but got little more than a wry smile back. My advice, write down the names of a few of the good guys, demand them with the taxi manager and give them a good tip (these guys make 1000 SAR a month, they need it)
- This hotel charges you whopping 25 SAR (7 USD) for one hour of internet or 350SAR (100USD) for a week (included in the 1200SAR though). I thought this was not of these times anymore.
- The dinner in the restaurant downstairs is very expensive and below standard. I did not know there were professional cooks that could mess up a rack of lamb.
- Once they forgot to pick me up at the airport (error of reservations) and after waiting for 30 minutes I found myself negotiating for another 20 minutes with the aggressive crowd of taxi drivers outside to get the price down from 400 SAR to something reasonable (like 130 SAR). Must say that I did get an apology for it from the hotel (well, technically my travel agent got it and forwarded it to me)
- Room thermostat did not work. It was either on or off, so either 22 degrees or 28 degrees C. After complaining nothing happened. Just gave up.
- Some of the gym equipment does not work (the left one of the two cross-trainers, just so you know). Other guests were complaining that this was already the case for some time.
- Checkout takes around 20 minutes. Really no idea what these guys are doing sorting through heaps of papers and printing stuff 3 times (general problem with most hotels here, no idea why it cannot be done in 15 seconds like in hotels in other parts of the world).
- It takes a while at breakfast to explain that you want a cappuccino with an extra shot of espresso. As said, staff is friendly but most speak only 2 words of English. I ended up making it myself, with a very satisfying result. No harm done, but a bit weird for a 5 star place.
- The hotel boasts a 24 hr music program in the common areas compiled by some musical genius. I worked a lot with a colleague in the coffee shop downstairs (good cakes, should put that in the pros) and I can tell you, when Richard Kleidermann and Barbara Streisand passed by for the 4th time in 2 hours I was ready to hurt someone.

There are other things that I can complain about but are not so relevant for others and perhaps a bit too demanding. When there is a big sports event going on most hotels in this category (and also below) make an effort to allow their guest to enjoy it. Not so in this hotel during the 2012 European soccer cup. Reception could not even indicate if there were other venues where we could watch it. After some searching we ended up having a great time in a coffee shop across the road in the middle of a crowd of Saudi soccer fans.

Clearly this hotel cares more about its bottom line than about the experience of its business guests. Other hotels where I stayed in this area are Sofitel and Intercon which I can both recommend. If you are on a bit lower budget, Park-Inn has a star less but is still pretty good (and no smelly aggressive drivers).

Room Tip: Check the airco
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank Steven-Nicoletta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
han_de_windt, General Manager at Le Meridien Al Khobar, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2012

Dear Sir,

Thank you very much in taking the time to write such an extensive review about your experience in our hotel. I am very sorry that we have disappointed you on so many issues during your stay. It was good, however, that we could speak over the phone and that we could clear some misunderstandings. Please rest assured that we will work hard in order to communicate better at check-in all our services and opening times. We also spoke in person with the rent a car managers about your remarks.

Thank you again for your review and trust that after our phonecall we will be able to welcome you back at our hotel and show you the Le Meridien Al Khobar service we are known for.

sincerely yours,
Han de Windt

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Reviewed July 11, 2012

Stayed here for 8 nights recently for work in the area. From the road you pass through a security point which scans all vehicles for bombs and has a guard or two with assault rifles, you then drive up to the parking area to the front entrance area, which is next to some form of military vehicle covered with netting – it is a little bit off-putting the first time you do it, but it quickly feels normal. Inside the hotel is very slick and open. There are lots of seats in the wide lobby area and there always seems to be people hanging around giving it a busy feel. The service at the desk is good and soon I was off to the room.
On the third floor I had been given a “preferred guest” room (not sure why – although all my colleagues got them too); not sure what this meant as I didn’t see any other types of room, plus I had booked the cheapest room available. It tells you a lot that this room was still £160 per night, which I suppose is what a nice business hotel in this area can charge. The room was very good though with nice bathroom, comfy (if a bit soft) bed, a view of the sea and plenty of space.
What the room lacked though was breakfast and the internet included, which for £160 in a business hotel surprised me. The internet was pricey but the longer you paid for the less it cost per hour, although I do believe that a hotel selling itself mainly for business use should be including this in the price. A tip for those that do need the internet and are travelling with colleagues – when you buy the internet, up to 3 separate devices can be connected to it at any one time with the same login. I’ll leave that information with you and you can make use of it however you want!
As I eat light in the mornings, the breakfast was excessively priced for what I would eat, but the room had several pieces of fruit each day and these did the job for me. Bottled water is free and there are usually 5 or 6 bottles in the room.
The room service offers a good menu but it is equally pricey with most of the main dishes being around £15-£20 (although everything comes with bread and the potions are quite large).
The hotel gym is great – very open, lots of equipment and even when it is busy it doesn’t feel busy. I made great use of it in downtime as well as the sauna and steam room. The outdoor pool looked good but didn’t appeal to me due to the strength of the sun; there is also a tennis court too.
Overall Le Meridien is a lovely hotel but doesn’t offer enough to justify the cost – it is as nice as some very good places I have stayed for closer to £100 per night. The lack of complimentary internet in a business-orientated hotel is annoying though and the generally high prices for most things doesn’t tend to give the impression that this is a place where if “value for money” is something you want then you should go somewhere else (an impression added to by the brief stay of a Prince and his many armed guards while I was there and also the prices in the Fusion restaurant upstairs).

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
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Thank bob_the_moo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
han_de_windt, General Manager at Le Meridien Al Khobar, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2012

Dear Sir,

Thank you for you extensive reviews of your recent stay. I am glad to read that you enjoyed all our services as well as our rooms. Your review about the quality of the food and service in Fusion restaurant was appreciated. I am, however, sorry to see that you believe our prices are overall expensive. Concerning the internet charges we keep charging a nominal fee as bandwidth rates in Saudi Arabia are excessively more expensive than in Europe. We do however offer 1 hour free internet to all our guests in the lobby so everyone can get their mails done free of charge. Our Le Meridien club rooms do offer free internet throughout the stay as well as breakfast in our newly renovated Club Lounge on the 12th floor with spectacular sea views.
Thank you, once more, for your review and hope to welcome you back soon in our hotel.

Sincerely yours,
Han de Windt

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2012

Very comfortable hotel in a great location. Many rooms have a beautiful view of the Arabian Gulf. The rooms themselves are decorated in a modern style and are a good size with a great shower and bathroom. One of my favorite things was the compact and easy espresso maker - you can make a fantastic cup of coffee while still half asleep! They also have a beautiful pool. The only criticism I have is that the pool closes at 9PM, which is way too early for businessmen who rarely finish work and dinner by that time. I almost never get to use the pool because of the early closing (and I do not swim at 7am). They also have a few good choices for dining right at the hotel. If you want to take a walk along the Corniche, it is only 5 minutes away. The staff are very friendly and helpful with everything you need. The lobby atmosphere is great. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anybody. The only thing I would like to see differently is for breakfast to be included in more of the offered rates.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor water view.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Kalster65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 11, 2012

Dear Sir,

Thank you very much for your extensive review of our hotel. we are glad you like our new rooms and the Illy coffeemaker.
I am sorry to read that you did not like the pool opening times from 7 am to 9 pm. Should demand for later opening times change we will have a look at the schedule.
Good to read you liked the lobby atmosphere. We will start a renovation of the lobby after Ramadan in the same style as our rooms, I am sure you find the atmosphere even better when we are finished.
We do sometimes offer special packages including breakfast, however our club rooms all have breakfast and internet included in the room rate.

Thank you, once again, for your nice comments,
yours sincerely,

Han de Windt

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Reviewed July 9, 2012

Stayed on a business trip for 2 nights. Excellent rooms, service, food, TV, etc.... The only downside I can see is the internet, there is a notice from the hotel acknowledging this. It is because the local providers are so poor rather than the fault of the hotel, however, if on business you do need a decent connection.

Other than that I would definitely recommend this quality hotel, also the restaurant 'Fusion' is superb

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the Corniche
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Sinclair1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 11, 2012

Dear Sir,

Thank you very much for your nice review. We appreciate your comments and are happy you liked the rooms and moreover the Fusion Restaurant.
Indeed as mentioned in our rooms we continue to charge most rooms for internet due to the very expensive bandwidth charges in Saudi Arabia ( club rooms have free internet ) and connections are not always reliable, sorry for that.
We do have plans to increase our bandwidth further by Q4 this year.

thank you once again for your review and hope to welcome you back soon in our hotel.
yours sincerely
Han de Windt

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Le Meridien Al Khobar

Address: Corniche Blvd, Al Khobar 31952, Saudi Arabia
Location: Saudi Arabia > Eastern Province > Al Khobar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Al Khobar
#3 Luxury Hotel in Al Khobar
#3 Business Hotel in Al Khobar
Price Range: $162 - $433 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Le Meridien Al Khobar 5*
Number of rooms: 330
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Also Known As:
Le Meridien Al Khobar Hotel Al Khobar
Meridien Al Khobar

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