My wife and I were recently on honeymoon and as part of our honeymoon spent some time in Dubai. As we were on honeymoon we decided to treat ourselves to Afternoon Tea at the 7 star Burj Al Arab hotel. The cost was 425 Dirhams per person, which is around £75. Granted this isn't cheap, but the experience was fantastic and worth every penny in my view.
On arrival we took some pictures of the lobby and fountains which greeted you through the revolving front door before taking the lift to the 27th floor where the Sky View Bar is situated. On arrival we were greeted and seated and given a glass of champagne. Additional glasses are charged at 150 Dirhams (£26). We made do with 1 glass and set about trying some of the many tea's that were on offer. There were tea's for all occasions and from all round the world and tea, coffee and water were all included in the price.
We were seated by the window and had great views out to the sea and the Palm. We thought it was a great setting. The staff couldn't do more for you and we set about making our way through the various courses of sandwiches, scones, buns and chocolates all washed down with our lovely tea.
My wife also got a rose as we had stated on booking that we were on our honeymoon. I also noticed some people were presented with a small cake, I am presuming they were celebrating a birthday. I thought this was a nice touch.
The hotel itself is out of this world. I have never seen such a lavish, grand interior before. It was almost worth paying the money to get to look round the hotel.
It's an experience that I would highly recommend to anyone who is visiting Dubai and perhaps looking to do something a little special to mark a special occasion.
I stayed for 4 nights in the Burj al Arab Dubai back in August /September 08. The hotel is made up of suites only and the reception area really is a breathtaking sight with gold leaf every where you turn, the hotel itself is not huge, therefore allowing the staff to spend time and attention on every guest. the suite we stayed in was one of the smaller ones however I would say it was probably larger than the average uk family home. It was totally immaculate with a winding marble Staircase, seperate office area, huge living room with ceiling to floor windows looking out to sea and of course gold everywhere. Upstairs the bathroom was huge with double shower and jacuzzi bath and a dressing room area on the landing, however the bedroom has to be the peice de reistance, huge again with out of this world beds and a mirror on the ceiling above. As far as the accomadation goes there is not a bad word to be said and the freebies were constant every night something special on the pillow for the ladies and men alike, also the toiletries were full size hermes, cream, shower gel and perfume which you can keep as well as beach bag slippers and flip flops, all these are positives, although it is a very expensive place to stay, if you can do it once in your life it is a truely worth while experiance. The food and restaurants were top class but ridiculously priced ( I have eaten in just as top quality in the Uk for a quarter of the price). We travelled (Un beknown to us) just at the start of Ramadam, this made it a bit strange at certain times but as we pretty much stayed at the hotel not a real problem and I think this made the stay slightly less money. The Water park that you get complimentry tickets for is well worth a visit it was by far the best I have ever been too and is walking distance too, the aquarium Restaurant was very relaxing and good food and on the whole it was a fantastic trip especially if you are a true sunseeker it is extremely HOT hot hot!
Burj Al Arab afternoon tea - Dubai
The exchange rate when we were there was AED 5.6 to £1
While we were in Dubai we decided to splash out and booked to go and have afternoon tea at the Burj Al Arab.
The World's first 7 star hotel:
The Burj Al Arab which means Arabian Tower is a stunning hotel in the shape of a dhows' sail. It sits on its own artificial island just off Jumeirah beach and is connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway. Not sure if it still is but it was the second tallest hotel building in the world but despite its size it only has 202 rooms on 28 hotel floors. It is one of Dubai's iconic images and because of this we felt we had to go inside to have a look. It is known as 'The world's first 7* hotel 'despite the fact that it is actually 5* but the prices to stay at the hotel are pretty high so we were going to have to get in there by some other method.
Opportunities to see inside:
Stay at the hotel. Looking in line this was not an option Bed and Breakfast Prices: Low Season 2011 £3,151 per person, per week. No chance as that is the price of a full holiday for two weeks somewhere else.
Options for the Skyview bar:
At 200 meters above sea level the "Skyview Bar" was where we wanted to go and the options were for pre- and post- dinner drinks or afternoon teas.
According to law in Dubai, children below 21yrs old are not permitted in the bar and the dress code is strictly smart casual so no beach clothes, T shirts or flip flops allowed. It is also vital to make an early reservation. You can enjoy afternoon tea daily except Fridays. You can enjoy :
Regular Afternoon Tea: AED 250.00 per person (Subject to changes) between 15.00hrs-17.00hrs
Indulgent Afternoon Tea: AED 395.00 per person (Subject to changes) between 15.00hrs-17.00hrs
Cocktail packages daily except Fridays from 19.00hrs to 22.30hrs - Cover charge AED 250.00 per person before you spend any money on actual drinks
Options for Sahn Eddar:
There were other options for afternoon tea in the Sahn Eddar which is located on the First Floor. This did not appeal nearly so much as there was no view and not the opportunity to see beyond the front door of the hotel either.
The dress code is the same smart casual no trainers or jeans and once again reservations are essential.
Mid-morning Breakfast: AED 220.00 per person from 09.00hrs-10.30hrs
Regular Afternoon Tea: AED 250.00 per person (Subject to changes) between 15.00hrs-18.00hrs
Indulgent Afternoon Tea: AED 375.00 per person (Subject to changes) between 15.00hrs-18.00hrs.
If you had children then this would be the only option for Afternoon tea as children are not allowed in the Skyview Bar but in this restaurant they are welcomed and for children between 3- 11 years it is Half Price, younger than 3 are free.
We booked for the AED 395 Ultimate Afternoon tea in the Skyview Bar as we wanted the view and the experience of being in the suspended skyview bar to enjoy our sumptuous meal. So on the day we turned up in our smart casual clothes in a taxi from the Dubai Mall. As we approached the hotel we were stopped at the gate at the land end of the causeway and asked to show our reservation confirmation. Once they had confirmed that we were booked in the taxi the drive us across the causeway to just in front of the hotel. We only had our basic taxi but there were some very small Rolls Royces and Mercedes parked on either side. We hopped out and were welcomed by the doorman who opened the door for us.
Inside the Burj:
The lobby was the oddest place as it was swarming with visitors like us and was decorated in the most lurid blue and gold. The hotel is hollow up the middle and as you look up the gaudiness continues in the same blue red and gold colours. It was really totally over the top and not actually that attractive in my view. However we went over the reception desk and explained that we were booked into the Skyview bar for 4pm. The gentleman politely explained that we would not be allowed up there until that time but we were welcome to go and look around the gift shop or go up to the first floor area to sit and wait.
The Gift Shop:
This visit didn't take long as there was nothing there of any interest. Postcards of the hotel were £5 each and little Burj Al Arab models were £30 plus. Other than that there were really expensive clothes and some books. That used about five minutes so we decided to venture up the escalator to the first floor.
Up we go:
As we went up the escalator we looked down at the fountain or large waterfall which flowed into the reception area. On the right of the hotel there was a very tall aquarium going from below ground level up to the first floor with beautiful tropical fish swimming calmly around.
Once up on the first floor we were able to see the Sahn Eddar and people enjoying their afternoon teas in there. I am so pleased we opted for the Skyview Bar because this was a bit like being in a bird cage with everyone looking in at you. There were a lot of low tables with comfortable sofas around so we settled ourselves in one while I managed to use my iphone to log on and check in on line for our flight the next day which was free in the hotel, an added bonus as internet on the ship was really expensive.
Once we had waited the ten minutes, checked in for our flight and had a good look around on this floor. We spent some time observing some children playing near the fountains having enjoyed their meal. We were able to enjoy this as we had no children of our own to keep an eye on so we were not worried if they did something naughty! We then made our way along the highly gilded central area towards the very gold lift doors at the end of the corridor.
Up we go yet again:
This lift was glass on the outside so we had an excellent view of the palm island as we went up. Once we arrived at the Skyview bar floor we were greeted by some girls at the reception desk who asked us our name and then explained that we were a little early so would have to wait until our table was ready and then we would be escorted in. This area was also very heavily gold and ornately decorated with strange, almost tube like corridors leading from two sides.
The Skyview Bar:
When our name was called we were greeted by our waitress who escorted us down one of these 'tubes' into the skyview bar. Our table was right by the window with a view of the Jumeirah Beach hotel and then onto the city of Dubai. At the time we were there i do believe we had the best view because the sun was starting to go down and this meant people on the other side had a very hazy view of the Palm. We could just about see 'The World' islands but it was difficult to know which was which from here.
The bar was very modern with glass and black predominating. It was very light as all the exterior walls were glass in order to fully appreciate the splendid view. We were handed a menu and had the various courses explained to us. We could choose either Bucks Fizz or champagne which was poured out in a very unusual way with the waitresses arm extended up high.
The tea experience:
We started with a tiny bowl with a few select berries and a blob of cream. This was followed by a slice of roast lamb with a lentil and chutney sort of mix on top. A palette cleanser followed this which was strange but I am not a fan of palette cleansers they always taste a little odd to me. At this stage were each brought our pot of tea, I had a smoky one similar to Lapsang Souchong, while my husband selected a date tea. The date tea was actually delicious, not sweet but with a creamy hint of sweetness which was lovely.
The sandwiches and cakes arrived on a cake stand in the shape of the Burj al Arab. On the top level was a plate of multi coloured sandwiches, white, brown, yellow (saffron?) and a sort of orange/red ( tomato?) with different fillings from egg to crab and cucumber. The next level down had tiny brioches and mini French breads with fillings. Going down another level you find tiny squares of fruit cake and carrot cake, four fingers of shortbread and two crème brules. The very bottom plate had a selection of tiny but perfect cakes including one with gold leaf. My only gripe was that there was only one of each of these so I had to cut them all in half! Another separate plate arrived with scones, jam and cream before finally the waitress came around with a huge tray of petit fours from which you could choose only one which was disappointing.
The food was delicious, beautifully presented and there was more than enough for us. We did notice that there was a lady sitting alone next to us and she had the same amount of food as e had on our cake stand all to herself which seems a bit stupid as there was no way she would be able to eat it all and so it would be wasted.
Sadly all good things come to an end:
After we had finished there was absolutely no pressure to leave. We did get up and take some photos from other parts of the room as did other people. The staff were very pleasant and efficient but not overly friendly but that was probably because they were pretty busy.
We went out down the tube to the reception area when I decided I needed the toilet which was back down the tube and just near where we were sitting. The toilet area was luxurious, clean, and neat, smelled lovely and had nice soap, real tiny towels and hand cream too. It was well worth the visit to experience.
Down to earth again:
So down we went in the left with the golden doors and as we went down we enjoyed our last views of the palm island. We walked back through the main hotel down the escalator beside the giant aquarium and into the lobby.
Back to reality:
Once we were back outside we took the opportunity to take a few more photos around the outside and then we just started to walk across the causeway when we noticed a taxi leaving the hotel so we hailed it and that was the end of our Birj al Arab experience.
Would I recommend this afternoon tea experience? Yes, whole heartedly it was quite expensive but as it is the kind of thing you only do once in your life. This was our anniversary and Valentine treat to each other so a nice romantic tea for two and well worth every dirham.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.
Before anyone stops reading this becuase they think I'm a snob, I DID NOT STAY AT THE BURJ AL ARAB, I ONLY ATE HERE!
For me, the Burj Al Arab, with its distinctive windsail design, was the ultimate icon and image of Dubai before I got here. Seeing it in person lived up to the hype and it truly is an impressive building. For the first few days I was in Dubai, I couldn't stop taking photographs of it from any and every angle, particularly when it was lit up at night.
On our final day in Dubai, we decided to have one last "blow out" and have afternoon tea at the seven star hotel. Our firends phoned through a reservation and we were aware that the privilege was going to cost us around £80 a head! What a bargain I thought!
One thing I was overtly aware of before I attended was the strict dress code and the expectation is that you dress in your finery! To be fair, one gentleman that did attend wearing a football shirt (oh dear!) was given an oversized blazer to wear as opposed to being chucked out. I suppose that we were suffering a worldwide recession at the time though and not even the Burj Al Arab coule afford to turn away paying customers!
The hotel itself inside is as opulent and grandiose as you would imagine. Most cars parked outside were well over the £100,000 mark so I was glad we had caught a taxi there as opposed to going in my friends Honda! In the entrance is a huge waterfall and aquarium and everything is brightly coloured in expensive looking tiles. There are a number of restaurants and exhibitions that can be visited once you have climed the gold escalators to the next floor. If you look straight up from the reception, you are given an impressive view of the hotels many floors which taper off at the top.
We were allowed to look around the hotel and got the glass escalator up to the top floor where there is another restaurant and sky bar. You get a great view from up here of the man made "Palm" along with the "World Islands" that were being developed on our visit.
We returned back downstairs for our afternoon tea and were seated with a nice view of the entrance. I should warn you here that although afternoon tea consists of eight courses, you will leave here hungry and looking for where you can go for some food! The courses are tiny - think mini sandwiches, pastries, sorbets, glass of champagne and unlimited tea (although I tried, I don't think I got my £80 worth out of the unlimited tea!)
I guess you go here not to have a stomach full of food but to enjoy the experience which we certainly did. Our friends lied and said it was their anniversary and got a free cake and flowers! The staff there are extremely keen to help and all spoke perfectly good English. They doted on our friends young daughter and provided her colouring books to entertain her.
Overall, this is an extremely pricey experience, but one I'm glad I did.
This review is about my time at the magnificent and luxury hotel the Burj Al Arab. I was lucky enough to spend two nights at this hotel during New Years Eve and New Years day 2008/2009. I had a friend who's dad did a tone of import export business and thus I even managed to stay their for free, yes that's right for free, under the condition that I paid for all my own food, and drink, which I was more than happy to at the time.
Now everyone has either heard about this hotel, been their or at least seen the pictures of what it looks like, and let me tell you its even more breathtaking in real life. This review will hopefully give you an insight into the hotel, information regarding all the rooms in particular the one I stayed in, what the facilities are like, what the food and bar is like as well as the service provided by the hotel concierge. Now most people will probably think what is the need for me to read this review when I have no hope in ever going their, will I beg to differ, you never no, and its always worth doing a big of reading just in case you get that once in a life time chance of staying their.
So The Burj Al Arab is located in Dubai, which is in the United Arab of Emirates, about a 7 hour flight from London. The hotel is the second tallest building in the World, which is used as a hotel. The hotel itself is built around an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) out from Jumeirah beach, and is connected to the main land via a private bridge. The hotel started construction in 1994, and took only four years for the construction to finish, making it not only a constructional success but also a good investment for the owner's. The architect, Tom Wright a British Architect was given the task of designing the iconic hotel. The owners wanted the hotel to be iconic to Dubai, much like the Eifel Tower is to Paris, or the Sydney Opera House is to Sydney. They wanted it to be a centrefold of Dubai, a building that would stand out from the skyline.
The owners had decided to build the hotel on an artificial island and thus wanted the shape and design to reflect this; hence the shape resembles that of a boat, or a boat sail.
Here is an interesting fact, the reason the Burj Al Arab was built on an artificial island was primarily down to strict Alcohol agreements in place at the time. Due to the strict Islamic rules still applied the alcohol agreements meant that they could not serve alcohol so close to the sea, don't know why. So the owners decided that by creating the hotel on the sea per say, these laws would not effect the current licensing requirements. This was actually a very clever concept if you ask me.
The hotel cost a total of $650 million dollars, and created over 45,000 jobs, which ranged from building and construction work, sanitation, and the future hotel work, such as hotel maids, chefs, cleaners, drivers and so on. The construction was also seen as an economic success, as it helped create all these jobs, whilst also enticing millions of tourists to visit every year, whom in turn would help contribute towards the economy.
The hotel is classified as a 7 star hotel, and is sort out to be the top of the cream in terms of style, food, luxury and service. However, by definition the maximum numbers of stars a hotel can get is 5, so the new more luxurious hotels seem to be adding their own stars. I would call it a seven star hotel for its superb customer service, the luxury they provide and the shear magnitude of just how brilliant it is, but what would you expect from a hotel that charges ridiculous amounts for their rooms.
The island on which the Burj Al Arab rests on consists of 70,000 cubic metres of concrete. The interior of the Burj Al Arab consists of 8,000 square meters of 22 carat cold leaf and 24,000 square meters of 30 different types of marble (Company Website) and the hotel has a number of bars, nightclubs, shopping areas, leisure centres and 7 types of suites. These include the:
1. Deluxe Suite 1 bedroom
2. Panoramic Suite 1 bedroom
3. Club Suite 1 bedroom
4. 2 bedroom Suite
5. 3 bedroom Suite
6. Presidential Suite
7. Royal Suite
Ok so enough info about the hotel, and more about the hotel per say. We landed at the International airport in the early hours, I would say about 02:00. As I had said before, I was lucky enough to be staying at the hotel for free and so I was going to make the most of it. The hotel offers a five star concierge service, which also included a limo ride to the hotel upon arriving at the airport. This service is expensive, I think it set my mates dad back about £200, but it is some way to arrive at the hotel. I really felt like a VIP at this stage, I had never been in a limo before, and the though of someone opening the door for me to get into a luxuries car was something special. So we got into the limo and drove towards to iconic hotel. Even at 2 am in the morning, you can see the magnitude of the Dubai skyline, lightly lit buildings, and construction workers making their way to a construction site. All of a sudden, once we had reached some open space, we begin to see this magnificent, bold, energetic and glowing hotel. We passed the main city centre, and we approached the private bridge that would lead us to the hotel.
The security is dead tight, the armed guards simply ask if we have reservations, as to show our passports and then gently nod as if they welcome us. A short drive from the bridge to the entrance and we get out of the limo. First impressions are just how big this hotel is when your right next to it, you see yourself tilting your head back just to see how big this hotel really is.
Upon entering the hotel it soon hits you that you're in a dream world, the doormen kindly open the door, and we make our way to the check in desk. The first thing that hits you is the atrium, its weird shape, design and luxuries colour make you seem as if your in a cruise ship, with rooms, and floors spiralling upwards, like that of a ship, you can even see the top of the tip. The majestic royal blue colours, along with gold incused statues, doors, window frames and designer sofas at the reception really make this the top of luxury.
Whilst my friends dad got us checked in the concierge kindly takes our belongings up to our room, whilst we are greeted by hosts who offer us a complimentary drink, at this point I was ready to die, fulfilling all I wanted to do in life, right at that pinnacle moment, but their was more too come. After about 10 minutes all the checking in was done, we were taking to the elevator towards the left of the reception area. The clear elevator is a iconic stand out in the hotel, upon boarding it, it slowly takes you to your floor, and you can see everything from the outside, all the palm trees, the different floors as you make your way up, it gives you a chance to get a birds eye view of your surroundings. One really hits you is how much gold is used in the hotel, real gold that is, everything from the window frames, desks, elevator deco, and so forth.
So we reached the middle of the hotel, I would way about half way up, and reached our floor, we were lucky enough to be staying in the Club Suite, which for me was just out of this world. It was probably bigger than my entire house, which gives you some indication of just how big the room was.
The room is about 330 sq metres in shape, which just goes to show you how big it is, it has both a upper and lower lever to the suite. The upper suite is a loft type fitting, which has the bed, or in our case 3 beds, which we had requested, this can cost extra but can be done. It also has a luxurious bathroom, which yes you guessed it, gold taps, gold showerhead, man I wish I could take these home with me.
The lower level is were the main living room area is, we also has a snooker table in the room, a dining table, a small cocktail bar, which was fully stocked, a small washroom and a storage closet, where you can put your clothes belonging etc. The room like all of them includes a state of the art safe, were you can place all your expensive belongings, money, passports and anything else I guess. The room also includes a plasma television in the living room/ dining room area as well as upstairs in the bedroom area, television comes with satellite capability. There is a phone line in both the levels as well as the main bathroom, which can be used to call the reception area or to make private external calls. The list of what you can see on the television is vast, all of which is free as you would expect for the price you're paying, anything ranging from Hindi, Bollywood, Hollywood and so much more.
The mini bar comes fully stocked, with the usual vodka, gin, soft drinks, sparkling Champaign, wine and bottled water.
The room itself is brilliant, everything from the gold and deep blue carpets, to the Greek style pillars placed around the room, or the oak tables, silk curtains, soft and gentle beds, ceramics tiles in the bathroom, gold taps in the washroom, all give you the sense that you are in a very special place.
What ever the room doesn't have, they hotel will try and provide. In all I was spectacle to ask my mates dad how much he had paid per nigh for the room, the guilt that I should some how offer some money got to me, he insisted that it only cost £850 per night, and I just said I can give you £50 for now, I need to pull out some cash. At £1700 for two nights this is not your average hotel room, and it's a luxury, something that you cannot do too often. However, there are other rooms which cost in the region of £350 upwards, bearing in mind that we stayed during the New Years season, so they probably charged us a substantial amount more.
The other rooms, within the Hotel are also brilliant, we had a chance to have a quick look at them and they were simply amazing, everything from the colour, the content, sheer size and magnitude and the amount of extras they have inside were just jaw dropping. The other suites were as followed;
1. DELUXE SUITE (1 BEDROOM)
These suites consist of beautiful views of the Arabian Gulf, the suite is 170 square meters in size, and consists of both a upper and lower level, much like our suite. The suite included a living room, king sized bed, private bare, washroom, and a bathroom which also includes a Jacuzzi.
2. PANORAMIC SUITE (1 BEDROOM)
Both levels of the Panoramic Suite offer you great views of the Arabian Gulf through floor to ceiling glass windows in an extremely luxurious setting. This room is slightly bigger with a size of 225 square meters, again with a top and lower level. It includes all that of a deluxe suite, with the exception of it being much bigger in terms of space.
2 BEDROOM SUITES:
These suites provide very good views of the sea, and consist of a large dining area with separate kitchen and two lounges.
- Area: 335 sq. mts.
- Lower level - Living room with large lounge area, dining table for 6, kitchen and separate butler entrance, small lounge, guest washroom, office with chess table
- Upper level - Master bedroom with king size bed and adjoining luxury bathroom and dressing room, second bedroom with twin beds and luxury bathroom.
3 BEDROOM SUITES:
The 3 bedroom suite, with large spaces for many forms of entertaining as well as living make it ideal for family purposes as well as entertaining purposes.
- Area: Area - 670 sq. mts.
- Lower level - 3 living areas, dining area with table for 8, kitchen and separate butler entrance, study area and library, private bar counter with seating for 4, bedroom with twin beds and attached luxury bathroom
- Upper level - 2 master bedrooms, each with king size bed and adjoining luxury bathroom
This is known as presidential for one reason and one reason only. It's due to the high level of luxury, space, décor and amenities.
- Area: 667 sq. mts
- Location: 24th floor
- Lower level - Spacious living area with private bar, large dining area with kitchen and separate butler entrance, study area and library, Majlis (reception) style lounge
- Upper level - Master bedroom and second bedroom, each with adjoining marble bathrooms with spa bath, walk-in shower, fine porcelain fittings, and full sized Hermes fragrances and body products
(We actually had a chance to visit this suite, this suite was so big, and I mean you could have so many families living inside their. The suite is so much different to the others, for one its sheer size, secondly the deco and style is so much more over the top, everything from the walk in shower, to the soft pillowed beds, free range of gifts which include fragrances, a library a spa and so much more. This was defiantly not in my price range, but boy can a man dream. The room as a blue and gold colour scheme everywhere, it's really eye catching. Even the room smells nice; it's as if you're in heaven
The stately and opulent Royal Suite on the 25th floor is the last word in luxury,
- Area: 780 sq. mts
- Location : 25th floor
- Exclusive privileges - Private elevator, private cinema
- Special features - Marble and gold staircase, leopard print tufted carpets, Carrarra marble flooring and mahogany furniture
- Lower level - Dining area, Arabic majlis (reception) style lounge and library
- Upper level - Master bedroom with rotating four-poster canopy bed and second bedroom, each with adjoining marble bathrooms with spa bath, walk-in shower, fine porcelain fittings and full sized Hermes 24 - Faubourg fragrances and body products
(All info regarding what the other suit's have was obtained from the hotel website)
Ok so now ill move onto the extra facilities the hotel offers to its guests, whilst staying that the hotel. Like the top hotels, the Burj Al Arab has a number of bars, restaurants, spa and health area's, children's area and so much more. We arrived on the early morning or New Years Eve, so we new that there would be some extravagant party, stylish settings, and all round good service offered. How my friend's dad managed to get a room this time of the year is beyond me, but we did see a lot of celebrities as you would expect, everyone from Sean Connery to Al Gore, yes that's right, the vice president, who would have been president. Obviously we didn't get to speak to him or even for that matter get anywhere near him, but the fact that we were in the same hotel as him, eating and drinking the same food, made us feel special.
Ok so as I was saying the hotel has a number of different restaurants, which cater from the average to the very rich clients, now I am not going to lie, the food is ever so expensive, our average dinner for the two nights set us back around £110 each, whilst breakfast and lunch was another story altogether.
In the morning of the Eve we decided to dine at Bab Al Yam, which is an informal café, which is used mainly for breakfast and or lunch. The best thing about this café is the magnificent views you see of the coastal area, and beyond, it's a place were you can relax, and just unwind, theirs is no busy chaotic noise of the streets of Dubai, its as if time has frozen and everything really is going in slow motion. The café, is located right outside the swimming pool, and thus gives you the chance to take in some sun, so simply sit by the pool, read the paper and have something to eat.
Breakfast is served from 7:00am till 10:30 am, whilst lunch is from 12:30 till 15:30; dinner is also served between the hours of 19:00 till 23:30.
The breakfast menu is wide and far, it can range from anything anywhere in the world, they have a nice fresh fruit deco in the middle of the lounge, were you can simply select what ever you want. They have a range of continental breakfasts, from the traditional English breakfast to an Asian theme, most of the chefs are from the areas in India, China and Malaysia, and I suppose they incorporate this into their menu. I seem to remember a cup of tea setting me back £5.00, whilst full English set me back £23.00, yes that's right, it was one hell of an expensive breakfast.
New Years Eve:
So the evening was in fact approaching, and as it was New Years Eve a number of the restaurants had offered a service, were all the drinks and food would be included in a reservation service. We decided to buy are ticket for two different places, a place were we could have something to eat and then a place where we could drink the night away. For dinner we opted for the cheap of the cheap, we had been told that the hotel did allow food to be delivered from outside, this being said we ordered some pizza from the local pizza hut, yes they do have one and they deliver, all in all two pizza's with garlic bread and chicken wings set us back about £25.00, which was the cheapest meal, almost the same as my breakfast in the morning.
Once we had eaten, we made our way into the Sky view bar; it set us back around £300.00 for the night but included all free drinks, which wasn't a bad thing I guess. The sky bar is located on the 27th floor of the Burj Al Arab, and it has some magnificent views or the night skyline. The cocktail list was far and wide, I mean they had anything and everything, and of course you didn't have to worry about the price, as you had already paid a hell of a lot on the ticket to get in. The bar is very futuristically shaped and set out, with shades of blue, with some techno theme. The best bit about the bar was the view, all that way up you can see just about everything, and the fireworks display they had at midnight was the best place to be, I suddenly felt a big feeling of guilt being in a place of such luxury, but then I thought why should I, I work pay my taxes, why shouldn't I have a night or two of absolute luxury.
The other places to eat within the hotel include;
* Majlis Al Bahar
* Culinary Flight
* Al Muntaha
* Al Mahara
* Al Iwan
The hotel also includes an underwater restaurant, which is about 200 metres underwater; we were unable to get reservations to this restaurant as the waiting list was six weeks, which was way past my fly by date.
Assawan Spa & Health Club:
Like most hotels, this one includes one hell of a spa and health club for its guests to visit, relax and unwind in. Now Its go a gym, which was actually always packed both days I went into it. It always amazes me how many people use the gym even when they are on holiday, but this gym is most certainly a must. It had all the state of the art technology and equipment; I mean everything from a treadmill to a running machine that does everything. Gym access is free along with the basic hotel room rate; however it's the spa that can be pricey. Never really used the spa, because they this point I really needed to budget, but the spa service offered everything. Stylish mosaics adorn the spa, culminating in an atmosphere of tranquil escapism. Set on the 18th floor with views to make a poet sigh, the Spa is a haven of crystal clear pools, offering only the finest treatments. Choose from a range of pampering, weight loss, stress reduction or relaxation options, all delivered by our professional therapists, and enjoy an experience that is quite simply unparalleled.
The Assawan Spa & Health Club is situated on the 18th floor of Burj Al Arab and is open daily from 06.30am to 22:30pm. Treatments are reserved between 09:00am and 21:00pm.
Sinbad's Kid's Club:
The hotel also offers a dedicated service to the young children whom stay at the luxuries hotel. The Sinbad Kids Club is located on the 18th floor of the hotel, and is places were kids can go and unwind, and were parents taking their little ones when they go out in the evening. The club has the following features;
* Spacious playroom
* Soft toys
* Board games
* Bean bags
* Large plasma screen featuring the Disney Chanel
* Computer games
* Drawing and creative
* Children's TV channels
Overall I think this is perhaps one of the best hotels I will ever have the chance of staying in. The rooms are simply breathtaking and out of this world, the price is very expensive and there is no denying that, however for what you pay you get so much and more. The rooms as bright, energetic, luxurious and most of all very spacious, it's the sort of hotel everyone wishes they could stay in, the features inside the rooms and even more exceptional. The restaurants and bars are one a penny, with many to cater for the different cliental, they offer a wide variety of menu's and drinks again to cater for ones needs. The service within the hotel is one to nothing, everyone in the hotel is ever so polite, anything you want and need, and they are their hand and toe to help you get it. If you're lost, they'll help you, if you want to get food from outside, they will arrange it all for you.
This hotel is at the pinnacle of what luxury really is, it takes you into a whole new world, one were money is no object, were your treated like a king. Don't worry if you can't afford to stay their, the hotel offers a service, were visitors pay a one off fee of £50 per person, which will give them access to the hotel, and its bars and restaurants. It's not the same as actually staying their, but given the opportunity it a wonder just to look at the beautiful architecture, the silky curtains, the deco and gold incrusted everything's. The freshly laid flowers every morning make the hotel and individual rooms smell divine, the breathtaking views both inside and outside.
My husband and I visited Dubai in 2005 to attend our friend's wedding. I had already heard about the world famous hotel, the Burj Al Arab, the world's only 7 star hotel. Now don't be thinking that we stayed here because at 4000 dirham's per night for the cheapest room, which converts to £611, we really could not afford to, unless we won the lottery!!
However, after looking on the website I discovered that for the price of £25 per person we could book to have afternoon tea in the sky view bar, which is located on the 27th floor. I thought that this would be a once in a lifetime experience and as it was my birthday whilst in Dubai thought it would be a good treat to have on my birthday, so I managed to make a reservation online. Therefore the review you are about to read is about our experience of afternoon tea in the Burj al Arab.
The Burj al Arab has been built to look like the sail of a boat and is built on an island in the sea just off Jumeirah beach, it soars to a height of 321 metres so is a big part of the coastline in Dubai. I watched a programme about the building of this and the amount of work and money that it cost to build this structure was outstanding!
My birthday arrived and I was very excited about our visit to the Burj al Arab, we both got dressed up as I figured this wouldn't be the type of place to visit in your shorts and vest top!! We got there by taxi; you arrive at the gates of the Burj and have to show confirmation of booking before you are allowed entry. There is then a huge road that takes you onto the island itself, I looked around me and all I could see were expensive cars such as Rolls Royce's and Bentleys and I felt very much out of my depth!!
We walked in to the lobby and I have to say that what I saw took my breath away; it was so beautiful that I was speechless for a moment. You look up and see the very tip of the hotel, the inside is built to look like a honeycomb and you can see the balconies of all the suites tapering up to the ceiling. The walls are painted bright white but have blue lights shining on them to look like sky. There are two huge escalators up to the first floor and all the way up the escalators are glass fish tanks full of fish!! I would hate to be the one to clean in the Burj as all the surfaces were either glass or gold shiny metal and not one surface had a smudge on it, I imagined that there were people hiding so that once you had touched a surface they could jump out and immediately clean it!!
On the first floor there was a gorgeous water fountain in the centre that put on an amazing water show, where the water jumped about 20 metres high to fall back into the fountain! There were also a few jewellery shops, we looked in the windows just to marvel at the size of the diamonds on sale, needless to say we didn't purchase my engagement ring from here when my then boyfriend proposed to me!
We then took the lift to the 27th floor; I can only describe the lift to be like the glass lift in Charlie and the chocolate factory for those that have read it! The lift was glass all the way around and no sooner had we entered it we were at the 27th floor; it was so fast that I felt like I had left my tummy on the ground floor!!
We showed our confirmation at reception and were shown to our table in the sky view bar. Our table was located next to the window, where we had spectacular views of Dubai and the surrounding ocean. We could see the site where they were building the palm of Dubai, their next amazing structure. The sky view bar was decorated just like the rest of the hotel, very tastefully and expensive.
We were firstly brought a silver platter full of small sandwiches, they may have been small but they provided roughly 10 each!! They were a variety of flavours, from cream cheese to meat, but all very posh! The next course was tea and freshly made scones, they had every different tea I had ever heard of; I opted for a green tea, which was the only one I knew!! The scones were freshly made and still warm and they offered home made jams to accompany them. I was in heaven and I must say that by this point was extremely full as it was basically eat all you can! Whenever we finished a plate a member of staff immediately came upto us asking if we wanted anymore.
We were there for a good two hours and never felt rushed, we were made to feel very welcome and the service was impeccable, just what you would expect from a 7 star restaurant. Anyone that I hear is travelling to Dubai I tell them that they simply must have afternoon tea at the Burj al Arab, as it is a wonderful experience. It truly made my birthday one of the best I have ever had!
Spent one night in this hotel and found it to be both heaven and hell. You pinch yourself when you walk through the front door in case your dreaming. Own butler, two floors to every room accessed by a marble staircase, own jacquisi, beautiful views from both floors, absolute heaven.
The views from the Sky Restuarant of the Palm are to die for. Had a meal in the evening in their 'undersea' restuarant. It was expensive.
Then the hell - got food poisoning. Hadn't eaten anywhere else or drank anything other than bottled water, all day, well I was saving myself for this £150 meal wasn't I.
Spent most of the night in the toilet, couldn't sleep and couldn't even consider the breakfast. Their doctor diagnosed it as gastroentiritus but couldn't advise where it came from.
This was also the day I was flying home by Emirates. Phoned first and asked for a seat close to the toilet, reasserted by needs at the ticket desk and was told I was one row away.
They dont know their planes. I was 25 rows away which made my return journey absolute hell as well.
Complained to the \burj and Emirates, both went the same way as the contents of my stomach, - down the pan.
The Fab stuff.
Being an structural engineer, seeing the Burj el Arab in Dubia was a must for me. We arrange with our hotel to visit the 7* beast of a hotel for an evening meal, so we could take a good look at the structure, enjoy the views from the restaurant on the 27th floor and absorb the ambience of dinning in style. The cost of this pleasure was approx £90 each which included a chauffeur for the visit.
There is no doubt that this is the swankiest hotel I've ever been in, 3 meter high Aquariums on either flank as you enter, and a stepped water feature aligning the steps to the first floor complete with flowing water and laser display, truely amazing. The furnishings and fittings are as you'd expect beautiful and stylish. Gold plated faciars of the lifts greet you as you enter the glass lifts that propel you at amazing speeds up the side of the hotel (my ears popped).
The Not so fab stuff
We were told that we couldn't go into the observation deck on the 27th floor (only during the day)- ridiculous. The view from the lift was obscured as the humidity created a coating of moisture on the glass - just one of those things, but it meant we didn't get any decent photos. The food although superb, was only a buffet, and was served on the 1st floor in an almost US diner designed restaurant. But the single worse thing after stuffing myself silly was getting food poisoning. My flight on to Sri Lanka the following day was hell and when in Sri Lanka spent a few days unable to leave the hotel - not good when your on your honeymoon. Fortunately my wife didn't partake in the same foods i ate and was fine.