Park Hyatt Dubai Vs. Grand Hyatt Dubai — Which Is Better?

I get asked a lot about hotels in the UAE, in particular in Dubai. Out of habit I’ve often stayed at the Park Hyatt Dubai, which I like for a few reasons:

  • It’s really close to the airport, so is great for a quick overnight
  • It’s a bit removed from the city, so really feels more like a secluded resort than a city hotel
  • As is the case with most Park Hyatts, service is a bit more personalized and intimate than at a mega hotel

I recently stayed at the Grand Hyatt Dubai for the first time, and figured I’d write a brief comparison between the two properties, prior to writing my full review. The funny thing is that I get reader feedback all the time from people that both love and hate both properties, so I figured it would help to kind of set expectations properly.

Comparing rooms

Both hotels are a bit past their prime and in need of an update, in my opinion.

That being said, the Park Hyatt rooms have a clear edge. They’re more in line with the typical Park Hyatt minimalist and modern theme.

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Park Hyatt Dubai Park Suite living room

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Park Hyatt Dubai Park Suite bedroom

The Grand Hyatt rooms are spacious as well, though the hotel is even more past its prime. The hallways all have a bit of an odor as well. Nothing that can’t be tolerated, but you can smell that the hotel is past its prime, if that makes any sense.

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Grand Hyatt Dubai Grand Suite living room

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Grand Hyatt Dubai Grand Suite bedroom

Comparing locations

The two hotels are located on opposites sides of Dubai Creek. That means both hotels are very close to the airport, and about a 10-15 minute drive from Dubai Mall, and 20-25 minute drive to Dubai Marina.

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Grand Hyatt Dubai exterior

Maybe I’m weird, but I love being in the Dubai Creek area. It’s nice to be close to the airport, and I don’t mind the short drive to get into the center of the city given that the hotels feel so removed and private in comparison to some of the “city” hotels.

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Park Hyatt Dubai exterior

Club lounge vs. breakfast

The Park Hyatt Dubai doesn’t have a club lounge, meaning as a Diamond member you receive complimentary breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant, Cafe Arabesque. While the service in the restaurant isn’t great, the food spread itself is quite good, in my opinion.

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Park Hyatt Dubai Cafe Arabesque

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Park Hyatt Dubai Cafe Arabesque breakfast spread

Meanwhile the Grand Hyatt has a club lounge, which you receive access to as a Diamond member. As far as club lounges go, it’s a very nice one, with an extensive breakfast and evening spread.

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Grand Hyatt Grand Club

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Grand Hyatt Grand Club breakfast spread

Obviously restaurant breakfast is going to be better than lounge breakfast, but then again in the lounge you also get evening snacks and drinks (and given the price of alcohol in Dubai, that can be pretty valuable).

Comparing dining venues

As I mentioned above, both hotels are a bit removed from the city center, so if you want to eat off property you’ll have to take a taxi.

I do think it’s worth talking about dining venues, especially for hotels in the Middle East. Outside the Middle East you’d rarely go to a hotel restaurant unless you were staying there, though keep in mind that in the UAE hotel restaurants are the only ones that serve alcohol (for the most part), so many of them are “destination” restaurants.

While the Park Hyatt has a couple of fairly good but expensive restaurants, the Grand Hyatt has over a dozen restaurants, from Indian to Italian. So you can find great dining options there just about any hour of the day.

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Grand Hyatt Dubai lobby

Comparing service

The Grand Hyatt Dubai has three times as many rooms as the Park Hyatt Dubai, so as you’d expect, service reflects that. While I don’t think the Park Hyatt Dubai has amazing service, it’s certainly more attentive than at the Grand Hyatt.

That being said, service in the club lounge at the Grand Hyatt is excellent, so you don’t really get the mega-hotel feel there.

Bottom line

The two hotels are clearly intended to target different audiences, which is why Hyatt has two hotels so close to one another without really cannibalizing business:

  • If you’re looking for something that feels like a private, secluded resort, the Park Hyatt is your best bet
  • If you’re looking for a hotel with a lot of action, great restaurants, a club lounge, and more of a Vegas hotel feel, the Grand Hyatt is your best bet

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Park Hyatt Dubai pool

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Grand Hyatt Dubai pool

Even though I’ve done both hotels, I don’t write either of them off for future stays.

I do generally prefer Park Hyatt properties, and comparing the hotels head-to-head I think I prefer it, but at the same time there’s something to be said for the awesome club lounge and all the great dining venues at the Grand Hyatt.

Do you have a preference between the Grand Hyatt Dubai and Park Hyatt Dubai, or do you have another hotel preference in Dubai?

Comments

  1. My advice — stay at the InterContinental Festival City, which is vastly superior to these properties.

  2. Nice article, but you make the same mistake that I notice other bloggers do. Since y’all travel so much you tend to have top-tier status and assume that’s normal. For us without Diamond status, would you rather stay in a Grand Hyatt Club Room or Park Hyatt standard room? Points cost is pretty much equal.

  3. I have to agree with Gene. Intercontinental Dubai Festival City is my DXB hotel of choice. Followed by the PH of course.

  4. Since both properties look outdated and in need for a facelift which other hotels would you recommend in Dubai? I understand US bloggers like to focus on American chains of hotels to maximize earning points, benefits, etc… but when in Asia and ME I really think you can do much better by staying at Non-American chains such as Jumeirah, Peninsula, Raffles, Mandarin, TAJ, etc…

  5. If paid rates are similar, given that the PH is a Virtuoso hotel, this is a no brainer. But even without the Virtuoso benefits, based on the pool picture alone, I would pick the PH.

  6. @ Santastico — If looking to redeem points, there really aren’t that many “aspirational” properties. The Conrad looks reasonably nice as far as Hilton goes. Starwood has lots of options, though for the most part they’re not very luxurious (though the Westin and Le Meridien are VERY popular with local crews).

  7. @ Stannis — Not sure how that’s a “mistake,” exactly. I’m sharing my experience based on my stay, but am also making note of service in general, public facilities, and noting that the standard rooms at both hotels are large. I can only write about my experiences at the end of the day.

  8. My absolute favorite is The Palace Downtown! It really feels like a boutique hotel, it is not that big and it is so quiet, although you are in such a busy area. And the service is great too.

  9. Which Le Meridien are you referring to? Le Méridien Fairway, Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina,or Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa.

  10. I don’t like either. They are both in horrible locations in the middle of nowhere and the Grand Hyatt has the added negative of being a Vegas-sized mega hotel with 27 million rooms. Service is slow and you have to walk 15 miles to get anywhere. The Park Hyatt does have better service, but it also has very little charm or attachment to the host city. Not that the host city has much character to begin with, but if you consider it all about “bling,” then being in the center of it all must be worth something. Stay elsewhere.

  11. Last trip stayed at the Grand and was very happy. We stayed on the Club level and was one of the better Hyatt RC I have been in. And they served dinner at night with full table service. Really pleasant offering especially if you just got off a long flight from the US. If we had more time would have opted for the Park but the Grand is really good.

  12. I also agree the Intercontinental Festival City is fantastic! Great upgrade to a suite with lounge access as a Plat Ambassador with great views of the Dubai skyline. Last time there I stayed at the Waldorf and it was hands down the nicest room I have ever stayed at. I had just arrived from a week at the Park Hyatt Maldives and the deluxe ocean suite I received at the Waldorf blew the Park Hyatt’s villa away. The executive lounge was also phenomenal. All complimentary with the HHonors gold status from the reserve.

    Btw Ben, my Hyatt status still shows diamond more than a week after it should have expired, updating you on what we spoke about last week.

  13. Great and very useful post! Thanks!!

    Maybe something similar for Abu Dhabi (I.e. the best hotel near the airport on points)

  14. @ puckjeff — Hah, I’ll let you guess which they like the most based on the name of the hotel.

  15. The grand hyatt is terrible! There are tons of better hotels to choose from in dubai.
    It’s really dirty, smelly and uncomfortable. I didn’t stay in a suite though.
    And don’t get me started on the galleria residence! (part of grand hyatt) it’s just disgusting.
    In my opinion, the hotel should loose its hyatt flag.

  16. I have stayed at Park Hyatt twice with my wife and loved. I agree with an earlier comment though and this is a fault of many travel shows. You go high end e.g. diamond status an dmost people want to know about general level rooms etc.

    I am currently planning for a stay next year in Dubai and am having a hard time choosing between Conrad and Grand Hyatt, just in a standard room. Also a good rate with breakfast included is hard to find.
    Suggestion re these two hotels as to which is better?

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