I decided to stay at the Doubletree Hilton Jumeirah Beach during my last week in Dubai whilst I wrapped up the last portion of my relocation. So, after packing up the belongings I planned to take back to the UK and handing over the keys to my landlord, I found myself sitting in about two hours of traffic between Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residences, the latter being where the hotel is situated.
I have stayed in a fair few hotels in Dubai, especially when I first arrived and realised that a lot of companies in the UAE offer very little support to newcomers looking for accommodation. Doubletree by Hilton Jumeirah Beach is for sure the best I have stayed at. The others were mostly budget (albeit very decent) properties. The hotel is actually a collection of hotel apartments that look out directly over the Arabian Gulf. There are no deluxe or standard rooms, just a choice of One Bedroom and Two Bedroom apartments. I happened to be using my family’s Hilton Points and since we are Diamond Members, I was upgraded from a One-Bedroom apartment to a Two-Bedroom (yay!!!!). Checking in was a breeze, made all the more delightful by the yummy Hilton Cookie given to me upon my arrival. Their cookies are amazing and always taste as though they are fresh out of the oven. Soft and warm with just the right amount of moisture. Whilst going through formalities, I joked with the receptionists asking if I could check-in again just to have another.
I was taken up to the spacious apartment – two bedrooms as promised in the upgrade-, with the master room featuring a massive king-size bed, a walk-in closet and its own bathroom. I was a bit disappointed that the bathroom in the twin bedroom, where my sister stayed when she joined me in Dubai a few days later, looked like it needed some attention. A bit of crumbling paint in the corners where I guess moisture had collected, but other than that small issue, the rest of the apartment was pretty impressive. A large kitchen with a real cooker not a hot plate, a utility room with washing machine, living room and a guest bathroom as well.
Breakfast came with as part of the package and each morning, NC MP and I would idle for an hour over everything at the buffet. There’s a pretty decent menu: pancakes, cereal, bacon, sausages, eggs, fruit, yoghurt, the whole nine yards. However, I found it to be a little repetitive after four days. There is a nice pool on the grounds, (but it gets crowded very quickly so you need to get down early to grab a sun bed) and beyond that, access to the beach. There are two private stretches of beach owned by this hotel. One is for hotel guests and the other for residents, who have their own tower of apartments directly opposite the hotel tower. As far as beach hotels in Dubai go, this is a nice place to stay. It is not as fancy as Atlantis the Palm or Jumeirah Beach Hotel, but the amenities are good. I had free Internet connection for my devices, which was needed because I was on a high floor and my mobile signal including data was spotty.
The spa and health centre was by far the main attraction for us. Even if you check out and you still have hours to kill before your flight, (in our case 12), the hotel will store your luggage for you and you can use their health centre to take a shower and freshen up.
So let’s talk about the location. I mentioned in the first paragraph that I sat in traffic for hours. Unfortunately, this is the downside of Jumeirah Beach Residences. Like most areas in the emirate, JBR is constantly under construction, and happens to be one of the most popular areas to live in if you can afford it. It’s on par with the Marina, The Palm Jumeirah, and Downtown Dubai. Getting in and out of the hotel is a bit of a nightmare, no matter the time of day or night. Concierge will call a taxi for you, however, there were two occasions that I waited well over an hour for a taxi to arrive. If you are staying in the hotel for a vacation that may not be a problem, but if you are in Dubai for business, it could be an issue.
Aesthetically though JBR is gorgeous and the hotel is pretty much right on the Walk. When I first moved to the UAE, the Walk was just a short street with a handful of shops and café. Since then, it has been further developed into an impressive walk stretching several kilometres with an inspiring variety of shops. There is also a little market area with stallholders selling handicrafts. Think Spitafields in London, but on a very small scale. Restaurant wise you will find large selections of chains such as The Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Changs, and independent eateries with Mediterranean, Asian and European dishes.
The location has several hotels, three of which are by the Hilton (including Doubletree). If you’re using taxis to commute during your stay, you will need to keep an eye out because most drivers were not too familiar with Doubletree. 95% of the time they would turn in the opposite direction, heading to one of the other Hiltons, so make sure when you get to JBR you point out which hotel you’re staying at. You really cannot miss it; it’s the huge black building.
As far as Hilton goes, this is the second best I have stayed at (the first being the Hilton, St Julian, Malta). After a stressful final month in the UAE, I was quite happy to spend a few days at the hotel and would probably stay there again if I ever visit Dubai for a holiday.
You can view the hotel’s photo gallery here.