Arjaan Rotana Hotel, an apartment hotel, is the tall pink tower with an arabesque arch on the top opposite the One and Only Royal Mirage complex between the Dubai Marina and Jumeirah areas. The hotel is very simple, quiet and basic if not old fashioned with garish-looking furniture in the rooms. The restaurant on the ground floor however, is a pleasant area to spend time in. The highlight of the hotel is its roof-top pool, which is rarely crowded and therefore makes for a relaxing area to sunbathe. Otherwise, a shuttle takes guests to the beach just across the road. The clientele is mainly from the Middle East, so the hotel is therefore a ?dry' hotel, meaning that it does not serve alcohol. The nice thing about the hotel is that its owner has tried to maintain a Moorish architecture which can be assimilated to Islamic culture; guests are therefore reminded of their destination as opposed to staying at a formatted hotel that could be absolutely anywhere in the world. The hotel is ideal for families as it comprises suites with kitchenettes and the rooms are generally spacious.
The hotel is located just across the road from the One and Only Mirage hotel complex, which lines the beach in technically what is the Media City area. There isn't much going on in the immediate surroundings of the hotel, but the advantage is that guests can always book a table at the One and Only hotel restaurants for a change of scene. Arjaan is situated along the Sheikh Zayed Road but between the Dubai Marina and JBR (Jumeirah Beach Resort) areas. It is 30 minutes from the airport (with steady-moving traffic).
Rotana is one of the largest hotel chains in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa region), with over 70 properties in 26 different cities. In Dubai alone, the portfolio counts 13 hotels to date. The hotel is located in an area that was being built up when we visited (April 2011), and although construction doesn't go on at evenings, it is worth noting that work takes place and can be noisy from 11:00am to 3:00pm daily.
With regards to the internet, there is a wireless connection throughout the hotel, although there is a fee for using it. The entire hotel is non-smoking. The hotel has its own car park (650 spots), but this is not free.
The hotel opened its doors in 2008 although once up in the rooms, time appears to have stood still for the last twenty years as the decor is old fashioned and borders on tasteless for a twenty-first century hotel. You'll recognise the hotel as it is the only tower in the area (or least was when we last visited in April 2011). Pink exteriors in a Moorish style, the building is instantly recognisable. The lobby and Arabesque Lounge to the left off the reception area are sleek and colourful with a modern Arabic influence. This area, furnished with chairs upholstered in colourful velvet fabrics, matching veils hanging from the ceiling is a cosy area to spend time in. The honey-coloured marble floors give the hotel a contemporary aspect. To the back of the restaurant is the kids' zone; however children must be supervised by an adult as there is no full-time attendant here.
There are thirty floors in total, with a lovely roof-top pool with a children's pool, which is ideal for sunbathing (although as there is mainly a Muslim clientele, we wouldn't recommend you get into your polka dot bikini here). On a clear day the view from the pool area stretches all the way to the Palm. There is also a courtyard halfway up the hotel, which helps to break up the floors of rooms. Events often take place here in the cooler months. However, at other times, this area contributes to the hotel's Arabic architecture due to the terrace's nooks (pictured). In terms of other facilities, there is a small but compact Bodylines gym with new equipment. There are also a couple of shops and beauty parlours adjoining the hotel.
In total, there are 167 hotel apartments divided up into four main categories: classic, deluxe, duplex and premium. The rooms, it has to be said, are the disadvantage of the hotel due to the old and tasteless furniture which is a shame as the rest of the hotel isn't in bad shape. Although there is a pool on the roof, guests can pay a little extra for a premium category room, and they get a private plunge pool on a sealed off balcony for the utmost privacy away from prying eyes. All rooms have a kitchenette or fully-equipped kitchen with a washer/dryer, hob and refrigerator, making it easy for families to be completely independent when it comes to meals. The difference in the room categories is in the number of bedrooms (either one, two or three), but all rooms are spacious staring at 65m² for a classic one bedroom suite to 182m² for a three bedroom suite. Otherwise all amenities stay the same. All rooms have complimentary tea and coffee-making facilities for guests not wishing to brave the world first thing in the morning, an in-room safe (free), flat-screen televisions, bathrobes and hair dryers.
The bathrooms are well-appointed and stocked with Rotana own brand toiletries. Some rooms have bath tubs and others showers, so guests with a preference should specify this at the time of booking.
Arjaan isn' the place to go for dinner, although the food isn't too bad. But it lacks atmosphere. Most guests tend to eat on-site a couple times during their stay as it is practical, but Dubai has such a rich diversity in restaurants and cuisines prepared by chefs from all around the world that most people tend to drive to different places to explore the city via its hotel restaurants in the evenings. Back at the hotel though, unless the hotel is full, breakfast, lunch and dinner are à la carte. Outside of meal times the restaurant doubles up as a coffee lounge. It is worth remembering that the hotel is a 'dry' hotel and therefore is not licensed to sell alcohol. The lounge closes at midnight daily. For a little variety not too far from the hotel, there is also the One and Only Mirage hotel complex just across the street, which has a wide variety of high quality restaurants (book beforehand).
Although not visible from ground level at the hotel, the beach is just across the road. There is a complimentary shuttle bus that takes guests to the beach several times a day. The road is a busy road and although there is a zebra crossing, guests must still exercise caution as cars drive very fast along this area of the road. The beach across the road is like the rest of Dubai's beaches: long, flat and although sandy, the lack of vegetation gives Dubai's beaches a somewhat industrial look.
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