For a seaside vacation under the eternal sun of Dubaï, the Royal Méridien is an excellent choice. It enjoys a pleasant location on Jumeirah beach, its rooms are large and comfortable and its buffets are excellent!
This hotel review is a translation from the French published on our French site Easyvoyage.com.
On Jumeirah beach, 12 miles from the city center and 15 miles from the airport. Allow around 30 minutes for the transfer to the city as well as to reach the airport.
The Royal Méridien provides a free shuttle service to the city center four times per day. Children aged 2 to 12 are welcomed at the Penguin Club. Besides the club, a small private pool is reserved for kids next to the lagoon pool. For sportsmen and women, there is a very nice fitness center available free of charge. The facility is air-conditioned and has a bay window overlooking the sea, and provides a wide range of high-tech equipments. The "Caracalla" health club offers free facilities (sauna, Turkish bath, indoor pool, jacuzzi) and also some extra services (massages, beauty care) for which there is an extra fee.
A huge roughcast brown building with balconies of smoked glass, the Royal Méridien has a functional appearance which is not very pleasant-looking. Built in 1994, the original 10-storey main building has had a 16 floor tower added since then. The last renovation was done in 2000. The lobby has a high ceiling spreading in an S-shape around the reception area and the small lounges. The beige colored walls are decorated with gilts and colourful pictures. You have to walk through the main restaurant to reach the gardens where there is a very nice lagoon pool (3,200 square feet) with a pool-bar. A small pool for the kids is next to it. Sunshades, deckchairs, mattresses and towels are available. You can reach the relaxation areas facing the beach through a footbridge that crosses the swimming-pool. Embellished with lawns and shaded by palmtrees, they enable you not to be too exposed to the sun.
75% of the 500 rooms of the Royal Méridien have a seaview. All are equipped with a balcony. Large and well-planned, the rooms have a garden lounge (a table and 2 armchairs on the balcony) as well as a lounge area. The latter enables to watch TV in the best conditions (33 channels). The blue carpeting and the laminated light-colored wood furniture make a peaceful decor. The bathroom is large and very well equipped: bathtub, a separated shower cabin, hair-dryer, bathrobes, slippers, dressing closet, as well as a complete selection of toiletry products. Toothbrushes and shaving set have not been forgotten! In the room, the rest of the facilities include air-conditioning, a minibar, a safe and a direct telephone line for international calls.
For breakfast and dinner, the main restaurant buffets are delicious. The setting is very pleasant as well: we advise you to eat on the terrace to enjoy the elegant wrought-iron furniture and the pool view. If you prefer to eat inside, a large air-conditioned room with varnished wooden tables is waiting for you. The choices of food are numerous: pasta, grilled meat, biryani rice, Arabic rice, Chinese noodlles, fish, seafood... You won't know where to start! Areas for "show cooking" will enable you to watch your meal being prepared by the chef under your eyes. For lunch, the options are more limited. You can have a sandwich or a salad at the pool-bar or get something from the attached restaurant. In both cases, the snacks are expensive. Expect to pay around ?12 (£9) for a sandwich with french fries and around ?4 (£3) for a large bottle of mineral water.
The beach is one of the major assets of the Royal Méridien. The beach is large (1,900 feet), immaculate and impeccably maintained, and opens onto an emerald and sapphire blue sea. Water temperature is at least 28°C, you will easily get into the water! However, it is quite difficult to swim as the difference in height is very low and that you cannot bathe outside the delimited area (650 feet X 160 feet). The beach is supervised from 8.00am to 6.00pm. A beach attendant will install your deckchair and arrange your sunshade. Water sports are available (for a fee) and include: water skiing, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, diving, and sea fishing.
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