I’m back from Dubai and missing the place already, especially my little oasis in the desert, the Shangri-La Hotel. You’ve all heard the phrase “Never judge a book by it’s cover”, well this really sums up my experience at the Shangri-La Dubai. On the surface it’s a mild mannered business traveler hotel, and to be honest if I was making the booking myself I may not have chosen to stay here because what the Shangri-La excels in cannot be shown with a few pictures on a website. In the days of style over substance, it was refreshing to stay in a hotel that felt like home when you walked through the door. So many little details that other hotels take for granted were well and truly covered at the Shangri-La.
Some of my favourite things about the Shangri-La Dubai:
Roof Top Pool
With a jam packed schedule I made a special effort to finish my work early so I could spend sometime in the pool. The views are spectacular and it even has a swim up bar! Always a bonus. I managed to sneak in a couple of laps and enjoy the sunshine on the pink towels and sun loungers. At night the poolside is transformed with pink lighting to a chilled out rooftop bar with amazing views of the Dubai skyline.
Not only are there spectacular views from the pool, my room had million dollar views too. At night I would sit and work at the desk facing the window and try not to get too distracted by the twinkling lights of Dubai. The Burj Khalifa shone like a beacon in the night sky and in the mornings the sun rise view from my room was so beautiful. Thanks to the time zone difference I was up before dawn most mornings, my gift in exchange for the lack of sleep was watching the sun rise over the horizon.
It’s well known amongst my friends and family that I am a huge fan of the breakfast buffet, you may even call me a connoisseur. I take my buffets very seriously and the breakfast buffet at the Dunes Cafe was one of the best I’ve had. I could have dedicated a whole post to it, it was so good. Apart from the usual breakfast fare, I really loved the fact that they had a big selection of local food offerings too. I always go for the local option in any country I’m traveling in because it’s the quickest way to immerse yourself in the local culture. The chefs were so friendly and they had a very clever numbered card system for ordering your eggs which meant you didn’t have to stand around waiting. Sometimes if it wasn’t too busy the chef would personally deliver your order to the table.
All the food was amazing! I recommend the hummus, kibbeh and mezze breakfast selection, the French toast with a brûlée crust (OMG sooo good), grilled haloumi cheese prepared to order, fresh juices to order, and a wide selection of tropical fruits (including my favourite, dragon fruit). Oh and did I mention pastries!
Attention to Detail
Of course the rooms were very comfortable, it’s to be expected in a five star luxury hotel, but the little details just blew me away. Fresh flowers and fruit are not essential items in a hotel room but there presence did not go un-noticed and transformed what could have been an ordinary hotel room into a welcoming environment. Normally I can never have enough coat hangers, but there were plenty to spare in the wardrobe and I didn’t even have to bother housekeeping.
In the past I’ve never really seen the point of a turn down service, but with our jam packed schedule coming back to a freshly turned down bed was bliss. It’s one of the little details I’m going to miss now that I’m back home.
Every thing was impeccably clean, the shower was hot and strong, and the bed was comfortable. I was happy.
This was what sold the Shangri-La for me – the service. I cannot even begin to explain how impressed I was by the service at this hotel. I’ve been lucky enough to stay at quite a few fancy hotels in my time but none have matched the EXCEPTIONAL levels of service of the Shangri-La Dubai.
All the staff were warm, friendly and genuinely happy to see me, and it wasn’t just because I was in the bloggers group, the staff were so nice to everyone. Every morning I’d be greeted by Joy the breakfast manager as ‘Miss Cintia’, it made me feel really special. Joy even gave me a hug to say goodbye on the last morning, we had a little moment. The Executive chef Darrell and I chatted every day and I was fascinated by his stories of life as an ex-pat in Dubai.
I’m now a little ashamed to admit that when I received my booking details for this hotel I was a little disappointed because the decor wasn’t trendy or flashy, but I was proven wrong and am so glad for it. I didn’t think I was someone that prejudges on appearances, but I did with this hotel and I’m here to tell you that if you do you are missing out. I’m a Shangri-La convert and I can now see why this international chain has huge brand loyalty. They won my heart and I’ll remember my stay fondly.