Stayed at this Sheraton resort twice; once in October and another time in December. Both times my stay was for several days using free resort nights awards from Starwood’s summer promotion. Sheraton was the only participating resort when it came to redeeming the free nights in Dubai.
Overall this is a fine resort but doesn’t quite live up to the official five star rating. It is a solid four star hotel, however. Apparently, they do quite a bit of business through tour companies. There were lots of Russians and quite a few Swedes and Finns. At least TUI has this property sold through various “package” travel agencies in Europe.
The hotel is located on the far end of the Jumeirah Beach Walk. This rather long street is full of restaurants and has some shops as well. On the other side of the road from the Sheraton is a Starbucks, which doesn’t offer free wireless, and a Thai restaurant.
As a Starwood Preferred Guests Platinum member, I decided to check in both times at the Towers Lounge reception. There is absolutely no need to deal with the front desk. The checking in process is more civilized in the lounge, and you can sit down and have a beverage when they sort everything out.
Both times I wasn’t initially upgraded to a junior suite. These suites normally come with a city view. If you prefer to have a sea view and a suite, it is probably going to be an uphill battle, unless you book and pay for one. At check in I just told that I would prefer a suite even if no sea view available. Then, I just had a soda or two in the lounge while they were dealing with the rooms controller.
Junior Suite – City View
Please note that this video is from a suite 532 and the photos are from a suite 632. They should be identical.
As you can see from the video and the photos, these junior suites aren’t the most modern ones. They are not bad by any means, but comparing to other hotels in the area, refurbishment is needed at some not so distant future.
As I already pointed out earlier, you can come and do the check in here. I did my check outs in the lounge as well. You can choose whether to have the breakfast in the lounge or in the main restaurant on the ground floor. Not sure if this is a Platinum or Towers benefit. The breakfast in the lounge is adequate but choices in the restaurant are far greater. I always had the breakfast downstairs.
The lounge has some snacks and beverages available throughout the day. There are plenty of places to sit down. Two computers with all-in-one printers (can do scanning as well) are available. I had to scan some documents and was able to hook up the printer to my laptop without a problem.
The evening service consists of some food items, that are almost identical to the afternoon service, plus two basic hot items. They do not have liquor on display but it is an open bar from 6PM to 8PM. The lounge attendant can bring you a list of alcohol they have and mixed drinks they can do. The problem with the evening cocktail hours was that often there was only one attendant working. It must be quite a challenge to replenish the food, clear the tables, take drink orders and do all the other work as well. This wasn’t a problem on a quiet nights but the service was rather slowish when the lounge was busier. All the employees working in the lounge were really nice.
Palm Garden Restaurant – Breakfast
My suggestion would be to go to have the breakfast before all the masses flock there. It can be a challenge to get a table inside after 9AM. I preferred to have the breakfast outside but it can be uncomfortable when the weather is too cold or hot. Also occasionally there were some ants around.
The buffet breakfast is good but not great. They had some hot items available like poached eggs, pancakes, French toast etc. Cook was working on the eggs station preparing omelets. Not sure if he was doing some other dishes as well.
Pool – Palm Garden
There is one pool on the property but the hotel, unlike some others, has direct beach access, so the sea is always nearby. There are plenty of chairs around the pool. Didn’t go to the pool but used the pool bar couple of times. You can order adult beverages and some basic bar food as well. I wasn’t overly satisfied with the pool bar, however. This was partly due to the constant noise from the nearby construction site. The Palm Garden looked wonderful. It was truly a garden like setting.
One of the better fitness centers. When you sign in remember to request any towels that you might need. The locker room area doesn’t have any. Supposedly there had been few taken as the fitness center is open for paid visits as well. They have headphones available if you want to watch TV while working on the cardio machines.
Remember that in the United Arab Emirates you are supposed to wear a towel all the time when in the locker room and in the sauna. This is due to the local customs.
Taxis are very cheap in Dubai and the drivers normally know their way around. Just make sure that you are using a public taxi.
I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again if the price is right. If you are looking for the most modern hotel and a great pool area, this hotel isn’t probably for you. It is great if you like hanging around in the palm garden and by the real beach. The area around the hotel is very pedestrian friendly, unlike some other surroundings in Dubai.