Dubai is a big city so choosing the area that you want to base yourself in is the first decision you must make. As it was our first visit to Dubai we chose to stay in the City area of Dubai at the Taj Dubai hotel, a 5 Star hotel located on Burj Khalifia Street in Business Bay.
Business Bay is the most exclusive area of Dubai with the cost per square meter of real estate being the most expensive in the city. There are a number of 5 star hotels in the vicinity and the Taj Dubai certainly is on par with them. It is conveniently located, a mere10 minute drive from the Dubai Mall and free return shuttles are available throughout the day. There is also a convenience store and ATM located next door if you need a snack or some cash.
The Taj Dubai is a 296 (including 31 suites) room hotel in the Taj Indian chain of hotels, meaning the main areas of the hotel are decorated in a subtle modern Indian Style. It is not one of the most extravagant buildings from the outside but the second you walk inside the air of luxury and decadence hits you. Everyone we came into contact with was friendly and polite and we certainly got the impression that no request would be too much trouble. The hotel is spotless with staff working tirelessly to ensure that it is kept to an extremely high standard.
We arrived at the Taj Dubai at 9.30am in the morning after an overnight flight from Heathrow. Even though it had only been a 6 and ½ hour flight we had lost a night’s sleep so were both ready for some hardcore snoozing. Luckily for us the hotel was not at capacity and our room was ready (yeah!). As we walked through the door we were greeted by the sight of one of the most beautiful chandeliers I have ever seen. We were greeted at reception by the lovely Luna and offered a cold towel and refreshing welcome drink. Check in was swift, Mr ESLT’s credit card was swiped for any charges we may accrue during our stay and with that we were being shown to our room, our bags followed shortly after.
We were allocated a Luxury King Room with City View on the 14th floor which offered us fantastic views over the city and hotel’s pool area. Our room had a lovely comfortable king sized bed with loads of pillows (just the way I like it). The room came complete with welcome area with plenty of room for our cases and hanging space for our clothes. The bathroom was fantastic including a toilet cubicle, shower cubicle, twin sinks and big tub which when the blind through to the sleeping area was open allowed us to marvel at the view whilst taking a soak. With complimentary Molton Brown toiletries, Nespresso coffee machine, bottled water and daily newspaper, we instantly felt at home.
The pool area was a lot smaller than I thought it would be but by all accounts that’s the case with most hotels in Dubai. People are usually out sightseeing or hotfooting it to the beach to soak up the rays. So needless to say we never struggled to get a sun lounger (and a parasol for me). In fact some days we were the only people round the pool. There is also a children’s pool if you are travelling with little ones. Complete with a pool bar, complementary towels, bottled water and cold towels it is a great area to catch some rays, read a book, take a swim or generally chill out.
Restaurants and Bars
Tesoro – we spent a lot of time in this restaurant as it is the hotel’s main restaurant where the breakfast buffet was served every morning. With more choices than I ever could have imagined available. That being said we stuck with poached eggs on toast every morning which really set us up for whatever activity we were doing that day. We also had lunch here on our first day on the balcony overlooking the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifia.
The Treehouse – this is a new addition to the Taj Dubai, it is a decadent rooftop bar offering views over the city in a chic environment. I’ll be honest we spent a lot of time here, most evenings in fact, including Tuesday night’s Ladies Night. We also had a Friday a la carte Treehouse Brunch, although it was too hot to eat outside so we were moved in to the air conditioned heaven of Tesoro. The food though was delicious!
The Taj Dubai is also home to a number of other bars and restaurants including:
Bombay Brasserie – on the 3rd floor serving sights, sounds and flavours of authentic Indian cuisine.
Byzantium Lounge – on the 1st floor serving afternoon tea. On more than one occasion there was a pianist tinkling the ivories which could be heard throughout the floor and reception area.
The Eloquent Elephant – on the ground floor serving international gastro food. We only went in once but it seemed to be styled as a British pub – complete with numerous expats propping up the bar.
I genuinely didn’t think that we would need to use the Business Centre during our stay. However, we needed to print off a number of booking confirmations for some of the trips we were taking so in fact we used it twice. A reasonable sized room on the 1st floor of the hotel and open 24 hours a day, complete with seating area and three desks, each with a computer. The room is unmanned however I simply rang the reception for the password to log on as of course all the computers were locked. Printing was done at the click of a button and we were on our way. On both occasions we were the only people in the Business Centre meaning we did not have to wait to use a machine.
Check out was quite a slow process and luckily we had settled our bill the evening prior to our departure. I personally would allow at least 30 minutes to complete the checkout process as your bill needs to be printed, you need to check it and then obviously make payment. On our actual day of departure there were only two receptionists each dealing with customers and at least 4 other people waiting to be seen. As we had a flight to catch (and we were already running late) it left us no option but to simply leave our key card and run. However, as we had paid up and had not charged anything else to our room we knew that this would not be a problem.
- Complimentary wi-fi throughout (perfect for business guests and social media addicts)
- 24 hour in-room dining (with a great choice of dishes may I add)
- Jiva Spa (I am still kicking myself that I never tried it out)
- 24 hour fitness centre
- 24 hour on-call doctor & nurse
- Indoor parking
- Travel desk, car rental service, currency exchange
- 24 hour laundry
In summary we loved the Taj Dubai in fact we didn’t actually leave for the first 48 hours. It is easy to see why it is a 5 Star hotel, it certainly had everything that we needed (and more) for our week long stay. If we were to stay here again, I would certainly take the hit and upgrade to a Burj Khalifa view, I would never get sick of it.
Prices start from approximately £145 per night for a Luxury King Room with City View.
- We were hosted by the Taj Dubai as Press in exchange for honest review.