It’s Finally Here! The Dubai Burj al Arab, A Hotel Review
Please welcome to the NoMasCoach! Family Alexis Miller, @BonvoyBabe on Instagram. As a recent addition to NoMasCoach!, she’ll be focusing heavily on Luxurious Hotel Redemptions in the Marriott Portfolio. Welcome to NoMasCoach, and let her know how you like her review in the comments below!
Over Easter, I decided to hit Dubai and the Maldives (traditional Easter, I know!). The trip was exclusively spent at Marriott Bonvoy properties, with one exception, an exception everyone who visits Dubai should make at least once! And by using points for the other 6 nights, I was able to splurge with cash on the Burj Al Arab – self proclaimed as being the only 7 star hotel in the world! And because of all the savings found with the rest of the nights, I did not feel guilty about the $2,330 room rate!
Unlike with most major chains, I’ve found that Jumeriah isn’t necessarily the best spot to book their properties, as there are often better deals through Virtuoso affiliated travel agencies or Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. I booked through my concierge service, at Velocity Black (DM me for 14 week trial if interested), which got us the following perks :
- Upgrade upon arrival, subject to availability
- A complimentary 50-minute massage for up to two people, per room, once during stay
- Daily buffet breakfast for up to two guests, served in restaurant (not room service)
- Early check in / late check out subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
I was upgraded to a Sky Suite, which carried a value of $410 per night, the two massages were worth $408, breakfast was $70 each, so before wifi and early check in, perks were valued at almost $900 USD – for a one night stay! Talk about an extra value!
This definitely made me feel good about my $2,500 a year Velocity Black membership! So by going the Personal American Express Platinum or the Business Platinum route, getting the same perks and 5x points more than covers your $550 membership! It’s a much better value, and gives you just that more of a reason to apply for the card.
I Arrived at DXB Airport and was greeted at the Jumeriah Arrival Lounge with a box of roses and transport in a 7-series BMW. The staff and car were both a 10/10. The BMW ran $130, and for another $200 you could splurge and get a signature Rolls Royce Phantom Transfer, but the experience in the 7-series could not have been better. I’d suggest doing that as we did and save $200 (unless you really need that Rolls Royce Instgram Game!)
The Jumeirah hotel group is owned by the crown, and Jumeirah beach is the best piece of real estate in the Emirates. As such, it represents the pride of Dubai. The group has built 5 hotels on Jumierah beach and the Burj is and always will be the top dog. As a guest at the Burj you have access to everything on the beach, including the Wild Wadi Beach club and the restaurants / canals / and pier chic (restaurant on a pier just north of the Burj).
Check In –
Upon Arrival we were kindly greeted at the valet by our butler and the manager on duty (with drinks awaiting us). We were escorted through a group of lobby tourists taking pictures of seemingly everything, and completed check-in from the comfort of our beautiful suite. If you like dates, you are in luck, because at least 3 times from airport to bedroom you will be offered a box of dates!
The Room –
All rooms at the Burj (or BAA as they call it on property), are two stories each and they number the floors by doors, so the 24th floor is actually closer to the 48th…
The decor was VERY over the top but if you are staying there for a night or two as I did, you will learn to fully embrace it. If staying for a week I think it may be a bit over the top. There were so many places to sit and relax that it seemed like I could have fit 20 friends with me. The views from the living room were to die for.
And in case you thought that the details stopped at the seating area, you would be mistaken. Just look at the bedroom with the full length mirror on the ceiling!
Having stayed in A LOT of nice suites, I can say that this is the first one that has ever had a fully equipped office with iMac, copier, FAX MACHINE, and lockable cabinets for my assistant’s use.
All that said, the room paled in comparison to the his and hers Hermes amenity kits found in the bathroom. Long story short, they are sold in the gift shop for over $600 USD. So if you add up the Hermes kit value plus the Velocity Black or Amex perks, you are at well over $1500+ a night… and the hotel goes for under $1200 a night in the summer…
Pool & Beach
Whether on a leisure trip or a business trip, I always find a way to work in some pool or beach time. The pool club at BAA will not disappoint – unless you want to drink before noon – then it will, because unfortunately that is not allowed in Dubai 🙁
Otherwise, you will find the best and most staffed pool I have ever been to. With just over 200 rooms, and from my people watching a belief that less than half would ever go to the pool, I can confidently say that there are more than twice as many chairs as there have ever been guests looking for chairs.
Food and Beverage
The hotel offers 9 eating and drinking venues, and I thought that it made sense to see them all in the 24 hours I spent at the Burj… but would advise otherwise now.
I did the Tasting menu which was a little bit much… lasted almost 4 hours and cost over $1200 USD for two. I wouldn’t recommend that. The onsite restaurants are just as good or better on their own. Maybe try Al Mantaha and Al Mahara at the bar for a drink…
This hotel is ridiculously expensive relative to hotels all around the world, but when I booked it was just over $2,000 USD a night, and other hotels on Jumeirah beach were over $1,000 which made it a no brainer at just twice as much. Staying at the BAA should be done one night if you can afford it as it will be something you remember 20 years from now, and the hotels that cost half as much will fall by the wayside.
In other words, a 4 day trip to Dubai with the Burj Al Arab being enjoyed for 1 of them is better than any week long itinerary spent elsewhere.
Have you stayed at the Burj al Arab? What do you think? Could you see yourself giving this a try for one night?