Wednesday newsletters always feature a hotel and/or flight review.
Today (11 January, 2017): Grand Hyatt Dubai (United Arab Emirates).
Location: Google Maps
Address: Sheikh Rashid Road, Oud metha Road – Dubai
Hotel website: Grand Hyatt Dubai
One of the famous hotels in Dubai, Grand Hyatt Dubai towers majestically over the edge of Dubai’s historic creek, not far from the airport. It’s one of the 5 star hotels in Dubai which is closely located to the financial and entertainment districts such as Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. Set within 37 acres of landscaped gardens, the resort features a colossal 674 luxury hotel rooms & suites and 186 residential hotel apartments, most with views of the skyline and the stunning Dubai creek. The Grand Hyatt Dubai also has 13 excellent restaurants and bars under its roof.
In this review (more info below the slideshow):
Pros & things I like
Cons & things to know
Tips for future guests & save money
Best time to visit
How to get there
HOTEL AT DUSK
VIEW FROM HOTEL’S UPPER FLOORS
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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
The Grand Hyatt Dubai enjoys a convenient location close to Dubai International Airport, appealing to both leisure and business travelers, and to those in need of a quick overnight stopover. The airport is easily accessible via limousine or taxi in around 10 minutes. Although the airport is close by (8 km or 5 miles), you don’t hear any aircraft noise. The resort is also close to the World Trade and Financial Centers, and within walking distance of the metro and world-class shopping.
The hotel’s exterior is a famous landmark on the Dubai skyline. It comprises three, massive, beige to dark coloured, wavy buildings, with the windows creating striking horizontal lines on the facade. All buildings are connected via the inside or via the gardens which surround them.
The stunning, multi-level atrium is located in the center of the main hotel structure and has palatial dimensions. There is a huge reception area on the right after entering the lobby, with plenty of seating in the atrium’s center. To the rear, the atrium transforms into a tropical garden, full of fountains, streams, fishes, date palms and other lush vegetation. Four hand-crafted dhows (boats) are built into the atrium’s ceiling, a testimony to the role of water in the growth and success of Dubai’s seafaring history.
A spectacular pineapple & palm tree chandelier is the focus of the lobby as one enters the hotel, with strings of hexagonal crystals hanging from the ceiling like strings of pearls, reflecting Dubai’s history in the pearl trade. I was told that the chandelier features an amazing 150,000 crystals on 1,950 strings, all from Swarovski.
The hotel offers 674 luxurious and very spacious guest rooms including exquisitely designed suites. During my visit, I stayed in a Grand Deluxe King room, while my friends stayed with their two children in a Grand Suite on the 12th floor. Both rooms types featured Arabian touches and offered stunning views of Dubai’s historic creek and parklands. Luxury amenities included one king bed, marble bathroom with bathtub, shower, bidet and a work area with minibar; the suite also had a separate dining area and living room.
Wireless internet is complimentary for all guests.
Hyatt Gold Passport holders and guest staying in a Grand Club room or suite are offered the conveniences of the excellent Grand Club Lounge with an exclusive check-in and checkout area, daily continental breakfast, and a cocktail hour every evening with canapés and drinks. This space is located on the hotel’s 14th floor, and offers stunning views on the Burj Khalifa. Since I was traveling with a family, I particularly liked the separate family area in Club lounge.
Like one would expect from the Grand Hyatt brand, service is superb (despite the colossal size of the property). During my short stay, I witnessed premium class check-in, concierge service and dedicated, multilingual staff, all eager to assist me. I was escorted to my room with a friendly smile even at 2 AM when I arrived at the hotel.
The resort grounds are spread out and immaculately manicured, and represent one of the largest green oasis in the Dubai area. Winding pathways crisscross the gardens and run around the tropical lagoons. There is even a jogging track on the premises. Although there are major roads around the property, you cannot hear (nor see) the traffic. You pretty much forget you are in the middle of a city when you are down here.
The highlight of the 37 acres of perfectly landscaped gardens is the hotel’s spectacular pool area. There are three outdoor temperature controlled swimming pools in total, comprising one of the largest leisure pools in the city. There are hundreds of chaises and multiple cabanas (at no extra charge) surrounding these pools. Two separate pools are dedicated to the young VIP guests: a toddler splash pool and a slide pool for the older kids. There is also a 20 meter (66 feet) indoor temperature –controlled pool with underwater music speakers.
The children in my travel party loved the exclusive Kidz club, a world of fun, learning and exploration for children aged 5 to 12. From imaginative arts and crafts to interactive story telling sessions, music to cooking or feeding ducks, the Kidz club presents children with an endless variety of kids’ activities. The best part was the mermaid swimming lesson.
The hotel’s CHIC Club Dubai is UAE’s newest nightlife destination. It has one of the Dubai’s best Resident DJ “DJ ASEEL”, playing his own style of house and Arabic mix’s. The drinks menu is one of the most extensive (and probably also most expensive) in Dubai.
If you’re planning your wedding, you may consider celebrating your special day at Grand Hyatt Dubai in of the palatial ballrooms, which can host up to 3000 guests (start finding some new friends!)
The hotel offers complimentary use and easy reservation of the tennis courts for all guests.
A particular highlight is the resort’s award-winning and very tranquil Ahasees spa and Club, which allows you to retreat from the rush of Dubai’s city life with a soothing massage, facial, or body treatment. With an extensive outdoor swimming area, fully equipped fitness facility, and recreation space with a range of treatment rooms, every wellness and fitness need is met. Certainly try the thermal floatation bed for the ultimate body treatment.
The resort features 13 different dining options, which are all centered around the impressive lobby. There’s an impressive diversity of cuisines and dining experiences on offer, from authentic Lebanese cuisine at Awtar, Singapore-inspired seafood at Peppercrab, New York-style steakhouse at Manhattan Grill, Italian fare at Andiamo, Indian delicacies at iZ and an International variety of four distinct flavours at The Collective. Unfortunately we did not stay long enough to try them all.
Despite its luxury amenities and five-star resort experience in the heart of Dubai’s commercial city center, the Grand Hyatt Dubai is not as expensive as might be expected.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
If you’re looking for a hotel on a grand scale with a location close to the airport, a lot of action, a gorgeous pool area, and plenty of dining options, then Grand Hyatt Dubai is your best bet. But it does have some drawbacks that you need to know before considering a booking here.
This is by no means an intimate property, but you should know that going in. With more than 600 rooms this is a colossal property with a vibe somewhat similar to the larger Las Vegas hotels.
The hotel is a bit removed from Dubai city center and its main sights. It’s about 10 minutes by taxi to the Dubai Mall/Burj Kalifa and 20 minutes by taxi to the Mall of Emirates, but there are plenty of taxis awaiting you at the hotel entrance. And since the hotel is not located in the city center, it feels more like a resort than a city hotel hotel.
The hotel is not a beach front property, and the nearest beach club is 15 minutes by taxi. The grounds and pools at the hotel are quite good, so I’m not sure I’d bother going to all the way to a beach from here. If a beach is a must, then you should stay elsewhere.
Although the swimming pool area is very large and the hotel was not half occupied at the time we stayed, it was sometimes hard to find a free chair, as many of the hotel guests ‘reserved’ their seats by putting their towels early in the morning. Although this has more to do with guest behavior an not with hotel policy, this does not fit the regular 5* experience. I would recommend the hotel to remove towels and clear seats after they have not been used for an hour.
Children are not allowed in the jacuzzi next to the inside swimming pool.
Being the largest and most versatile hotel convention centre in the city, it involves a lot of walking to get around the resort grounds. Depending upon the location of your room, it can take 15 minutes to walk from the pool to your room, but who cares in this nice weather and impressive corridors.
I did enjoy the live jazz at the hotel’s Cooz bar, but regretted that this is a smoking area. Also keep in mind that the hotel has a choice of smoking and non-smoking rooms, so make sure to book the righ type of accommodation.
Although very classy, the guest rooms’ decor is a bit old-fashioned and in need of an update. The good news is that the hotel is addressing this problem, with some areas currently under renovation. The renovations did not really bother me, and I was informed prior to the booking. Once the refurbishment will be over, the people traveling in the future us will enjoy the re-enhanced rooms.
Quality has its price, but especially for families with children, the dining facilities were quite pricy.
Resort grounds: 7/10
Value for money: 8/10
Overall experience: very good: 8/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS
Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury resort like the Grand Hyatt Dubai (and receive many free perks).
Save money: Make use of Hyatt’s best rate guarantee to discount the cheapest room rate by a further 20%.
Platinum and Diamond members of Hyatt’s loyalty program, Hyatt Gold Passport, are well treated, with – amongst other benefits – complementary room upgrade (when available), early check-in or late check-out (when available), and free breakfast (Hyatt Diamond). Click here to read my review of the Hyatt Gold Passport program (with pros & cons).
Half of the hotel rooms looks out over the Dubai creek and the airport at the horizon; the other half enjoys spectacular views of the Dubai skyline. Be sure to request a room with a skyline view.
Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Dubai’s high season, November to April, offers balmy temperatures and mostly sunny days. This is the best time to spend a couple of days at the resort and exercise outdoor activities or simply relax near the pool. May to September can be uncomfortably hot, but if you can tolerate the heat and humidity, you can save on the room rate as this is low season.
HOW TO GET THERE
Grand Hyatt Dubai is located a 10-minute drive from Dubai and its International Airport (DXB), which is served by most major airlines. Check the Wikipedia page of Dubai International Airport for an updated list with airlines that serve the airport.
HOTEL EXTERIOR AT NIGHT
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