Huge suite at an amazing value with spectacular views that are hard to beat
Location, Location, Location
On our way back from India, I decided to finally cross Dubai off my travel list and stop there for a short two day layover. Normally, I would look to use my points and stay in a traditional chain hotel to maximise my benefits (free breakfasts and the like). But all of the traditional hotel benefits that matter to other frequent flyers don’t matter as much to me as the one thing I value most in a hotel: the view.
I don’t know if my predilection for photography has anything to do with my love of views (I fear this may be a chicken and the egg problem) but having a great view from my room is the top requirement for me when I’m hunting for a hotel in a new place (especially one as stunning as Dubai). Of course in most cases, I can’t afford to shell out for the best views so I usually settle for a happy compromise. In this particular case, that compromise hotel was going to be Radisson Blu Dubai Downtown (now M Hotel Downtown). I had some points that were expiring and the hotel rooms looked like they had some really nice views – so I was hoping I could confirm an upgrade to a nicer room if necessary. However, the foreboding reviews on TripAdvisor made me a bit wary about the condition of the hotel: my wife has fairly high standards and I couldn’t ask her to adjust too much with a toddler in tow.
So, in my hunt to find a better hotel, I found myself looking at a Thai hotel chain that I hadn’t heard of before: Dusit Thani. Dusit Thani is a fairly small hotel chain with hotels scattered across Asia and Egypt. Its hotels have generally received extremely favourable reviews on TripAdvisor and I am always inclined to pick chains over boutique hotels since I feel that they have some established standards which are more in line with what we would expect in the West. And, to top it all off, I was able to snag the Burj Khalifa Suite in Dusit Thani Dubai for only (taxes incl.) $130 per night!! At that rate and those amazing views (which are guaranteed with the suite I found), it was an absolute no-brainer. Moreover, it is only 5 mins away from the Dubai Mall and Souks which made it extremely convenient given the hectic nature of our stay.
The hotel itself is located around 13 km (12 min drive) from the Dubai International Airport on Sheikh Zayed Road – the main artery of Dubai. We were going to get an Uber but it seemed convenient and cheaper to take a taxi so we ended up taking a Pink Taxi to the hotel for around (30 AED) 8 USD. You can also get an Uber Select as well (there is no UberX in Dubai) but it is around twice the price.
Pro tip: Don’t bother using Uber Black if you want a nice car as there seem to be an unusually high number of Lexus 350’s in Dubai’s Uber Select fleet. I was 4/4 in getting one.
The hotel is situated on a highway access road to the Sheikh Zayed road. You are welcomed into the hotel through a large, airy atrium-style lobby with plenty of comfortable seating. The decor of the hotel keeps with its Thai brand and, in the evenings, they even host some classical Thai music and dances in the lobby. The hotel has a ‘rooftop’ pool and a gym on the top floor. And although it is technically a rooftop pool, the pool has a closed roof with no real views of the city. This is really a missed opportunity: I really hope they open it up and put an infinity pool up there at some point.
The check-in process was smooth but protracted . We got a quick bite to eat at Jones the Grocer, a cafe that is located right in the lobby, while the reception staff finished our check-in.
Our room was a very large corner suite that boasted plenty of large windows with spectacular views of the Burj Khalifa and the Sheikh Zayed Road. The hotel manager had even noticed that we had a baby and proactively sent up a crib which was a nice touch. I could describe the room in greater detail but I’ll let the pictures do the talking:
Dining and Service
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try the breakfast which is served in the club lounge. Besides the club lounge, the hotel has 3 restaurants (Italian, Thai, and International – whatever that means) – disappointingly none of them feature local cuisine. We dined at the Italian restaurant on the first night and the food was pretty good. Although we didn’t stay on a Friday, from what I heard, the Friday brunch at Dusit Thani is supposed to be fantastic.
Service at the Dusit Thani is absolutely phenomenal. We ordered in-room-dining a few times and the chef went out of his way to cater to our vegetarian needs. The staff was also extremely helpful in helping us to make our early morning flight by arranging our taxi and travel so that we made it to the airport with plenty of time. As always, it’s the small gestures that really elevate a good hotel stay into an absolutely great one.
View from our Room
Even though it was my first stay here, I honestly don’t think you can really go wrong with Dusit Thani Dubai. It has everything from spacious rooms, good food, exceptional service, and absolutely phenomenal views. I would definitely recommend it to anyone.