Introduction: Flying With Royalty (Or Not)
Review: Air Canada Premium Rouge 767 Tampa To Toronto
Review: Sheraton Gateway Toronto Airport
Review: EgyptAir Business Class 777 Toronto To Cairo
Review: Cairo Airport Lounge Terminal 2
Review: Royal Jordanian Business Class Embraer 175 Cairo To Amman
Review: Grand Hyatt Amman
Review: Royal Jordanian Lounge Amman Airport
Review: Royal Jordanian Business Class 787 Amman To Kuala Lumpur
Review: St. Regis Kuala Lumpur
Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Kuala Lumpur
Review: Royal Brunei Business Class A320 Kuala Lumpur To Bandar Seri Begawan
Review: Radisson Bandar Seri Begawan Brunei
Review: Royal Brunei Lounge Bandar Seri Begawan
Review: Royal Brunei Business Class 787 Bandar Seri Begawan To Dubai
Review: W Dubai Al Habtoor City
Review: St. Regis Dubai
Review: Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai
Review: Emirates Business Class A380 Dubai To Los Angeles
I was arriving in Dubai at around 2AM, and was departing back to the U.S. about 37 hours later, at 3PM. So I needed hotels for two nights. In the past my “go to” hotel in Dubai has been the Park Hyatt, given how close it is to the airport.
I was most excited about the St. Regis, so figured I’d save that for my second day, so I’d have more time to enjoy it. For the first night I decided to book the W Al Habtoor City. I had Ford book this for me through Starwood Luxury Privileges (which costs the same as the best available rate), and it came with the following perks:
- One 100 USD food and beverage credit per room, per stay
- Daily full breakfast for two guests
- Complimentary standard in-room internet access
- Upgrade on arrival, early check-in and late check-out which are all subject to availability
My rate for the one night stay was ~250USD. Of course ideally I would have arrived earlier so I could enjoy the hotel more, but that’s the nature of my crazy trips…
A taxi from Dubai Airport to Al Habtoor City took a bit over 20 minutes in the middle of the night. Entering the Al Habtoor City area from Sheikh Zayed Road can be a bit complicated, as the driver made a couple of wrong turns trying to find the way to the hotel.
As you can see from the outside, the entire Al Habtoor City area is a massive construction zone, as several high rises are being built around the hotels. Below you can see the St. Regis in the front (which looks like a palace), the W on the left, and then the Westin on the right.
Despite arriving around 3AM, I was welcomed by a bellman and pointed towards the elevators, as the hotel’s lobby is located on the 30th floor.
The hotel’s entryway is… hypnotic and disorienting. There’s simply no other way to describe it. This hotel is the W brand on steroids.
While not quite as drastic, the 30th floor had quite a bedazzled design as well.
Before checking in I first walked around the lobby a bit to appreciate the design.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a couch like the one below in a hotel lobby…
There was also the W Lounge right there, though it was closed at this hour.
Reception consisted of a few individual podiums, where I was assisted by a friendly associate. She was both professional and efficient. She commented that I had been upgraded to one of their biggest suites, the W Suite, and within a couple of minutes I had a key for my room.
I took the elevator down to the 20th floor, where my room was located.
I also quite liked the hallway design, though it wasn’t nearly as crazy as the ground level or lobby design.
I was assigned room 2019, located at the end of the hallway and on the left.
The suite was massive, and possibly the most W-esque room I’ve ever had.
Upon entering I found myself in the living room, which had a massive “U” shaped couch that could probably easily seat a dozen people. Behind the couch was a TV, which seemed rather oddly placed to me. #WDesignLogic
Back near the entrance was the minibar setup.
There was a coffee machine and a kettle, and then below that was the mini-fridge with drinks.
Even closer to the door was a half bathroom.
Then there was a door connecting the living room to the bedroom. The bedroom had a circular bed, and then a bench at the bottom of it.
Both of these sort of awkwardly faced a TV on the far wall.
The bed was circular, which is certainly stylish, though I’m never really able to properly “cuddle” with the sheets in these types of beds.
In the far corner was a big desk. Unfortunately the office chair wasn’t comfortable, not that I expect it to be at a W.
On the plus side, the room had very conveniently placed outlets all over the room, including several next to the bed.
Past the bedroom was the master bathroom, which was huge. The master bathroom featured double sinks, a toilet and bidet, and a huge shower & bathtub compound.
There was a beautiful soaking tub, as well as two showerheads in the shower area.
As is often the case in W suites, there were full size Bliss amenities, which I love.
I managed to sleep from about 4AM until 8AM (I slept a bit on the Royal Brunei flight, so that was the perfect amount of sleep for me), and when I woke up could finally see the view surrounding the hotel.
My room had a view of the top of the St. Regis. In the picture below you can see the rooftop pool at the St. Regis, as well as the courtyard.
It also had a view of the W pool, which is located in the below picture at the bottom right.
In the other direction I had a view of Sheikh Zayed Road.
And then in the other direction I had a view of construction of the nearby buildings. Even though Al Habtoor City is an active construction zone, I didn’t find the noise to be an issue at all.
The hotel’s gym is located on the seventh floor, and is beautiful. It has modern equipment, and plenty of it. The W is connected directly to the Westin through a hallway just outside the gym.
I then checked out the pool area. The pool deck was nice, and featured a few pools, a DJ-booth setup, and plenty of seating.
It also had a great view of the hotel as such.
After that I had breakfast at Level Seven, which is the hotel’s all day dining restaurant, and where breakfast is served from 6:30AM until 10:30AM. The restaurant is well designed, and has a very understated design compared to the rest of the hotel.
I had a cappuccino to drink, which tasted as good as it looks.
As far as the food goes, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
I worked for most of the morning, and then in the early afternoon realized that I still had a $100 food & beverage credit I needed to use. While I knew I couldn’t spend all of it, I figured I’d have lunch at Namu, which is the hotel’s Japanese & Korean restaurant on the 31st floor. As seems to be the norm all too often in the UAE, I was the only guest.
The restaurant had nice views of the Dubai Creek.
I decided to have a bottle of sparkling water and the “business lunch,” which was a set three course lunch for 99AED (~$27). It started with miso soup (which didn’t count as one of the courses).
I forgot exactly what the other courses were, but they were all excellent.
I’m a sucker for mochi, so when I saw they had mochi on the dessert menu, I couldn’t help myself.
The food was exceptional, and the service was even better. The servers were dressed in what can only be described as really cool jump suits, and they mostly seemed to be from Japan or Korea, based on what I overheard. There was also an awesome server from Zimbabwe who had a great sense of humor.
At around 2PM I checked out of the W and made my way over to the St. Regis.
W Hotel Dubai bottom line
To me this felt like a W hotel on steroids. Aesthetically I loved the public areas. My breakfast and lunch were great, and the staff were friendly and professional across the board. I also got an incredible suite upgrade.
At the same time, in general I couldn’t help but feel like the room had the same issues found at many Ws, with a focus on design over comfort. Circular beds aren’t especially comfortable, none of the furniture was well padded, etc. Then again, you could throw a crazy party in that suite.
As far as Al Habtoor City goes, it’s still very much under construction. There’s nothing within walking distance. However, it’s convenient in the sense that it’s not far from the Dubai Marina, the Dubai Mall, the Burj Al Arab, etc. So it’s centrally located, there’s just nothing in the immediate area.
So to sum it up, if you like the W brand, then you’re going to love this hotel. If you’re not a fan of the W brand, you’re probably not going to love this hotel.