Day 1 – Arrival
We arrived fairly late on the Friday evening and fortunately a car had been booked to take us directly to the JW Marriot Marquis Hotel, a 5* hotel in Dubai’s Business Bay district, As the world’s tallest hotel, it has over 1,600 guest rooms split between 2 towers and 72 floors, providing amazing views across the city. The view of the Burj Khalifa from the swimming pool is particularly spectacular. There are a multitude of restaurants boasting food from a range of nationalities, as well as a lounge area and sports bar. A luxurious and impressive hotel indeed.
|One tower of our hotel – JW Marriot Marquis|
When we arrived, we were shown to the reception desk and, after advising that we had a Marriot account (set up just prior to our trip) we were shown to the member’s desk and quickly checked in. After learning that we had not visited the hotel or the country before, we were given a complimentary upgrade to an absolutely lovely hotel room on the 47th floor meaning that we had some fantastic views! Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the lady and gentleman who attended to us at the reception desk, however I could not fault their customer service. In fact, we found every member of staff whom we dealt with at the hotel to be friendly, courteous and very helpful.
|View from our room|
After settling into our room, we nipped down to the hotel’s sports bar, Velocity, for a couple of cocktails. It was late and we were too tired to venture out, so we had a light but delicious dinner at the hotel’s Italian restaurant, Positano, where we had a pizza each and shared a carafe of wine.
|Photograph from the bar in the hotel lounge|
Day 2 – Bur Dubai, Aquarium & Burj Khalifa
Friday was our first full day in Dubai. We started with a buffet breakfast at the hotel’s Kitchen 6. Breakfast was included in our stay and it is a very impressive layout, being a huge buffet with approximately 6 different breakfast stations offering a range of food including US, Asian, bakery goods, salads, yoghurts, fruit, smoothies etc… You certainly won’t struggle to find something to eat, however fussy an eater you are.
We then took a walk to the nearest metro station, the Business Bay Metro Station on the red line. The heat hit us as soon as we left the building and it certainly took a bit of getting used to! The metro is very easy to use, although beware of the first class ‘gold’ carriages and the women & children carriages. My husband and I got ourselves into a bit of a muddle on our first trip!
Whilst visiting the Dubai Creek area was a very interesting experience, we soon found the heat to be a bit too much and jumped into the nearest metro station in order to head back to downtown Dubai.
|Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo|
|Diver’s Fountain – Dubai Mall|
Just before 5pm, we got in the queue for the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. I had deliberately booked our tickets for early evening so that we got the chance to watch the sunset from the observation deck. I would recommend pre-booking as the queues can be quite lengthy. The timing also ensured that we were up high at 6pm when the Dubai Fountains started their impressive show.
|View from the Burj Khalifa|
|Burj Khalifa at night|
Dinner on the Saturday night was at Tong Thai, the Thai restaurant in our hotel. Whilst we ideally would have headed out of the hotel, we were both feeling weary and agreed that the idea of being close to home was ideal. This turned out to be a good decision as our dinner was very nice. The restaurant itself was large and airy, but with low lighting that made for much more intimate surroundings. The waiting staff were fantastic and we thoroughly enjoyed out visit.
|Dark restaurant = menus with lights|
After dinner, we tried to visit Vault, a bar on the 71st floor of the hotel, as we had been advised that the views were fantastic. However on stepping out of the lift, we were advised that we could not go in because I was wearing flip flops. No matter that I was actually dressed up and the flip flops were silver sparkly things, the fact that there was no back/strap meant that we were unable to go into the bar. It was a shame, however the views would not have surpassed the ones that we experienced at the Burj Khalifa and I was more than happy to return to Velocity for some delicious cocktails before returning to the room for a relatively early night.
|I had to include one photo of myself & the husband!|
|Giant frozen cocktails – YUM!|
Day 3 – Ski Dubai & Palm Jumeirah
We awoke on the Sunday feeling refreshed and raring to go. Following a quick breakfast, we headed down to the hotel reception where we were picked up by a private taxi and transported to Mall of the Emirates, one of the world’s largest shopping malls, where we had been booked in for a morning in the Ski Dubai centre.
After suiting up, we did have a good look around, including a go on the chairlift and the skeleton/bobsled run. Whilst we enjoyed the experience for a short time, it unfortunately wasn’t for us. Whilst great for children and to keep cool, we found it a bit too chilly in our summer clothes and thin ski wear. We also noticed that we were pretty much the only adults in the park.
|The bumpy skeleton run!|
Feeling a little out of place, we decided to skip out early and head via metro to the Palm Jumeirah for a look around and a spot of lunch. After a change from the metro onto the Palm monorail, we quickly arrived at the Atlantis, one of Dubai’s most iconic and recognisable hotels. The Atlantis is an experience in itself, offering beaches, restaurants, boutiques and the huge Aquaventure waterpark. We had a bite to eat in the hotel and then took a quick wander around the lush, green island before having to jump back onto the monorail in order to make it back to the Mall of the Emirates in order to meet our car for the return journey to the hotel. As the monorail took us back to the mainland, we were able to get a good look at the approaching city, including the iconic sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel in the distance.
|Atlantis, the Palm|
|Ceiling inside the Atlantis|
|View from the monorail heading back into the city|
|Burj Al Arab|
The mall itself is quite impressive, with a huge range of shops and some tempting restaurants. We had a quick look around but it would have been nice to have another hour spare to really get stuck in!
|Spice selection in the mall|
On our return to the hotel, we visited the pool area briefly for the first time and spent a happy hour cooling down and relaxing. The views were incredible and the cocktails at the pool bar were delicious.
|Sunset view from the hotel pool|
After a quick change of clothes, we then grabbed a taxi (very good value!) over to Q43. Set on the 43rd floor of the Media One Hotel in Dubai’s Media City area, Q43 is a restaurant and bar boasting great décor, a large open floor space, great cocktails and fantastic views over the city. Our evening got off to a bit of an odd start. The lifts at the Media One Hotel are unusual. You have to use a keypad outside of the lift to programme where you want to go. There are no buttons inside the lift. After a few minutes of confusion, we jumped into a lift with another couple heading up to the restaurant. Unfortunately, she had programmed in the 42nd floor instead of the 43rd. No problem, right?? Wrong! When the doors opened on the 42nd floor we realised that we were unable to programme it to go up another floor. The only option was to return down to the lobby and start again. The couple suggested that we walk up the stairs to the next floor, which seemed a great idea until the four of us found ourselves locked in the stairwell on the 43rd floor of the tower block! It would appear that the stairwell doors only open one way. After a few moments of mild panic, we decided to start a trek back down 43 flights of stairs to the lobby. Fortunately, after a few floors we found one door that was unlocked. It took us into what effectively seemed to be a building site where one of the floors was being renovated, but at least we were able to jump in a lift back down to the lobby before going back up to the restaurant – 43 flights of stairs would have been a long walk otherwise! At least we had a funny story to tell and we still made it to the restaurant just in time for happy hour.
Day 4 – Departure
Our flight was late lunchtime on the Monday so we got up early and finished packing before treating ourselves to a lazy breakfast in Kitchen 6.
We then made our way to the garden area next to the swimming pool where we spent a couple of hours reading and enjoying the sun before checking out and heading to the airport for our trip home.
|View from the hotel pool – Burj Khalifa in the distance|
|Final goodbye photo of our amazing hotel!|