Granted the status of 'Preferred hotels and resorts', this hotel, with its quirky vertical and horizontal layout, is made up of the old and the new making it a rather conspicuous building. The plethora of services and facilities, as well as the beach, are greatly appreciated, but the flashy and kitsch nature of the place quickly becomes irritating. Located in the new marina district, the Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa is particularly ideal for families.
This hotel review is a translation from the French published on our French site Easyvoyage.com.
The hotel is situated on Jumeirah beach, in the marina district, some 13 mi away from the city centre and the airport. You should expect a 40-minute drive to get into town or to the airport (the traffic can get quite dense).
The hotel is located right next to a gigantic construction site, that was started in 2008, on which seven sky-scrapers are being built. Obviously this creates many noise-related problems but luckily, after many negotiations, the hotel has managed to get the construction site to close after 9:00pm.
The hotel organises its own festivities for Easter, Christmas, Halloween, etc. A kid's club is open for children aged 4 to 12, from 8:30am till 6:30pm, (be aware that children under 6 are not allowed around or inside the infinity swimming pool). The Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa is a destination favoured by Russians, but there are also quite a few English and some European guests. There is a free shuttle service that takes you to the various shopping malls in the area. Accommodation tip:
On every floor, the rooms with a balcony include the number 7,8 or 9 and if you want a non-smoking room, ask for accommodation on an odd-numbered floor!
The Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa was built in 1989 and is the type of establishment that never stops expanding; in 2002,for example, a second high-rise building opened. The 25-floor and 19-floor building are interconnected by a smaller central building and are easily seen at night thanks to their colourful neon lighting. The three separate parts of the Habtoor are named Jumeirah, Abu Dhabi and Dubaï, which makes it easier to find your way around. The central structure is the lowest of the three and houses a low-ceiling reception from which you can access the resort's numerous facilities. Light marble furnishings are omnipresent here, and on the rooftop terrace (directly on top of the reception area), guests can enjoy the long infinity pool that faces the sea (at a distance). Well laid-out, the terrace could be the perfect place to relax, with its superb counter and deckchairs on wooden flooring, if it weren't for the noise from the surrounding construction sites. You will come across numerous bars throughout the hotel: don't miss a visit to the pub, for example, this long tube made of bricks is the perfect place for guests who don't want to miss the game. However, if you want to unwind and get fit, there is a spa with 9 treatment rooms and a large impeccably-kept gym with bay windows and several new machines. Outside, you will find a large-sized relaxation area with a lagoon swimming pool adorned with palm trees, little wooden bridges, an aquatic bar, little one-floor houses with terraces where you can enjoy the food of the country of your choice, and numerous deckchairs, which are sometimes set out on the lawn. Children and teenagers will have lots of fun on the water slide, with its many twists and turns, that runs through artificial rocks. There is also a lovely indoor and outdoor space for children, surrounded by colourful fences, with plenty of facilities. Great coloured concrete alleys highlight the artificial nature of the place, although it is attractively embellished with a small stream, a lawn and some vegetation, etc... Guests of the 'VIP' club can enjoy their breakfast on the 25th floor, in the spacious, classically decorated and comfortable area that is reserved for them.
There are many lifts providing access to most of the 446 rooms, all of which have a sea view. Although the majority of the rooms occupy the two high-rise buildings, there are 104 rooms in long two-floor buildings. The surface area of standard rooms is at least 380 sq ft, and the penthouse offers at the most 6,460 sq ft. The rooms are decorated in pastel tones and divided into various categories, depending on their location, the amount of sea-view they afford, their size... and the services they offer. There are VIP rooms with a full view of the sea, family rooms (540 sq ft), VIP suites (670 sq ft)... The high-rise rooms are comfortable, clean, very well equipped and stylishly furnished: beautiful bedding, a sofa, coves that highlight pretty objects, individual air-conditioning, a wide flat-screen television, a DVD player, a direct phone line, a safe, a mini-bar (stocked up on a daily basis), a fruit basket and tea and coffee-making facilities. Most of the accommodation offers communicating rooms, which is ideal for families. The tiled bathroom is comfortable and includes a large bathtub, an Italian shower with glass walls, a choice of hospitality products, dressing-gowns and slippers. The mosaic cladding looks great and even the towels are chosen to match the colour of the room. The rooms in the lower part of the resort, albeit slightly smaller and older, are very comfortable and have parquet floors. The colours of these rooms are also warmer thanks to the presence of leather and wood. Be aware that the bathroom doesn't offer enough space to have a separate shower. The uncontested advantage of these rooms is their proximity to the beach, swimming-pools and various themed restaurants. There is 24/7 room-service and a butler upon request.
All in all, the Habtoor has 12 restaurants, so naturally you have a choice, and nearly every restaurant is based on a specific theme. Each restaurant also has its own bar. The huge main restaurant extends from the reception area and has an open kitchen that offers a huge variety of international dishes in the form of a buffet. It caters for every meal (6:30am - 10:30am; 12:30pm - 2:45pm; 7:00pm - 10:45 pm), but stays open 24/7 for the a la carte option. Themed evenings are proposed every night (Indian, Spanish, barbecue, etc). On Fridays and Sundays, guests can also enjoy the brunch. Many of the themed restaurants are located in the hotel's gardens; built over one or two levels, they all have terraces and each one is run by a chef from the country of the food on offer. Decorated to varying degrees of success, depending on the available space and lack of greenery, the restaurant settings can sometimes be a little dull. Depending on what you feel like eating, there is Lebanese, Thai, or Italian food, as well as light meals and barbecues. The finer food is served at the '25th', the aptly-named restaurant on the 25th floor. An elegant restaurant which affords a superb view, it is pleasant, comfortable and particularly well kept (and its immaculate kitchens are only separated from the spacious restaurant hall by window panels. Row upon row of wine bottles will not fail to delight the keenest wine enthusiasts and wherever you are in the hotel, there is always a place to find something to drink or nibble close by.
As long, as it is wide (too wide maybe), the hotel's supervised beach can boast about its size. White plastic deckchairs in groups of four are set out under cream-coloured parasols, which offer the only protection from the sun there is on this white sandy beach. The crystal-clear water will delight all bathers, young and old, as well as the water sports centre which offer a wide range of activities. However, the construction work underway in the massive adjoining resort makes it impossible to completely relax in the ever-present sun.
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Mark out of 10 for geographical location
flights May : average price