I think the Apartments at WTC attracts two types of visitor – both of which are on a tight budget. It seems to attract a mixture of long term residents (including families) and short term stayers who are there for a trade show next door. If you accept the fact that this is a budget property, you won’t be too disappointed. If you were hoping for something more “Dubai” – glitzy and glamorous – forget it.
Location is incredible. It is immediately next to the WTC train station and attached to the big exhibition centre. You really can’t beat it if you’re in town for a trade show. The proximity of the train is also pretty good and rather unique in Dubai. However, the three dark concrete towers which make up the property look very dated from the outside, with tiny windows and a rather ugly architectural style. They were obviously built in a different era and the stark contrast between this hotel and the glass-fronted towers around it is quite stark.
The taxi driver had no idea where to take me so I ended up being dropped off at Tower C. Wrong. Tower A is where hotel guests check in and it’s quite a walk from one to the other. However, the first thing I noticed was that the inside of the buildings isn’t that bad – it’s obviously had an internal makeover recently. A nice surprise.
I arrived at 4am due to a delayed flight and the receptionist told me “you’re not booked in until tomorrow. Check in is at 2pm. Your room is occupied.” I panicked a little but then checked my Expedia email which confirmed I was in fact on time. The chap looked confused, tutted a lot, looked at his screen and then a few printed out room confirmations etc. “I don’t know what’s happened.” Was all he said. After a little steaming from me and a few random calls he suddenly gave me a room card with no explanation or apology. Very strange. An awful first impression.
I arrive in my room to find nothing in the mini bar and not even a bottle of water for me. It may be a budget hotel but come on, in Dubai they should at least have provided one bottle of water. There were no options to buy any either so I was stuck with tap water! The room itself was large and spacious. The bed was comfortable – very much so actually. There was a room service menu, available from early morning until 11:30pm. There were also tea & coffee facilities. Wifi was free and there was an iron in the room – two things I insist on wherever I stay so I was made a little less put off by the place. I went to sleep easily and woke up wanting to give the place another chance.
The hotel was a different place in the morning. The reception area was buzzing and the staff there seemed a little more friendly, but not much. I headed out to the gym (in block C) and was very surprised by what I found. There’s a large pool area with a bar/restaurant which had loads of people in it (mainly long term residents). The gym was large too – surprisingly so – and well equipped. Alright, so the buildings itself are rather old, as are some of the facilities inside, but this made me very happy. I spent ages in the gym and it wasn’t busy at all.
The second day I wanted to extend my check-out as I had a 2:30am flight. They charged me 450 Dhs for an extended check-out – to 6pm. There was no negotiating this and I was surprised they didn’t say 7 would be alright – they said they weren’t at full capacity. When I ended up checking out the receptionist asked me what I’d been told to pay. I could’ve said anything apparently but was honest. I think the reception staff need a little bit of training if this hotel wants to come up to a better standard. Saying that, staff at the recreation centre and the housekeeping team were very good. I'm not at all surprised to see that the hotel manager doesn't reply to reviews here!
I would stay here again if I had to, but would investigate spending a little more to stay in a newer property. As with everything like this, you get what you pay for so I’ll end by saying it was actually good value for money.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- When you choose an apartment with us, you’ll enjoy real space and freedom that a hotel room simply cannot match. Yet your stay comes with everything you would expect from a hotel. Our fully furnished and spacious hotel apartments are available in 4 different unit types and in 3 separate apartment blocks, ranging from studios to 3 bedroom apartments. They are all fully furnished and serviced for your comfort and convenience. Whether you are staying for one night, or several months, The Apartments Dubai World Trade Centre will happily accommodate all your needs. ... more less
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