We stayed one night at Bab Al Shams at the halfway point in our Dubai holiday and we were disappointed with the experience.
The overall review is no doubt tainted by the nightmarish check in procedure we had to endure. The customer service we received was really terrible, definitely not what you expect from a 'luxury resort'. The problem seemed to be that they had no record of our booking. Despite us showing them a confirmation evidencing the fact that we had a booking for the relevant night and that it had been paid in full upfront, they made us sit and wait in reception for around an hour while they apparently called their reservations team elsewhere and tried to work out what on earth to do. None of the staff at reception would take responsibility for the issue and despite our request to speak to the manager, she only made an appearance after we had already been waiting around an hour. Thankfully, she did give us an apology and a room (an upgrade, apparently), but no explanation as to why we had been treated so badly. Surely they could have sorted out their internal reservations issues separately, on the basis that we clearly had a booking and they clearly had rooms available. During most of the waiting time, we were simply ignored and not given any explanation as to why everything was taking so long. Needless to say, we were very angry about this ridiculous process, and also disappointed that we had to miss an hour of our afternoon in the desert. We would like to think that this was a 'one off' mistake but unfortunately there was another guest in reception having exactly the same issue (except we overheard him saying he had been waiting 2.5 hours) therefore I'm not sure we can give them the benefit of the doubt...
Apart from the issue above, our stay was fine, and obviously the desert location was special and relaxing. Generally though, the resort was a bit too rustic for our liking - we had expected it to feel like a really premium desert hideaway but it seemed a little tired. Our room was ok, not particularly luxurious and we definitely weren't wowed by the bathroom. The pool area was nice enough but nothing special.
Watching the sunset from the rooftop lounge was great; the highlight of our day. The service here was also excellent; the waiter was friendly and attentive and we enjoyed some cocktails and snacks as the sun went down. Once it was dark, it was great to look at the stars - there's also a telescope to help you see a bit more!
We ate in the pizzeria, where the food and service was also good. We also enjoyed breakfast on the terrace.
All in all, we had an ok stay but we definitely wouldn't rush back if we visit Dubai again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Translated from Arabic as "Gateway to the sun", the *award-winning 5-star Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is designed to resemble a fortified rural Arab village amidst the desert landscape. Featuring low-rise architecture, this sandy coloured style fort boasts the main tower with Reception area and lobby and clusters of two-storey buildings housing guest accommodation, restaurants, spa and meeting facilities interconnected by seemingly endless little walkways. The charm of Arabia is personified in every corner of the property with small lanes running through the hotel, scattered around ponds and secluded seating areas, shaded courtyards, water fountains and trickling streams bestowing the feel of cool tranquillity. The abundance of green garden areas and manicured lawns adds to the quiet and soothing environment of the resort. The rustic Arabian theme of exterior design continues to flow in the carefully selected interior decorations and settings featuring uncovered natural stone floors, bare plastered walls, dark wood and iron fixtures, warm dimmed lighting and an abundance of artefacts showcased throughout the property. The resort boasts 113 rooms and suites offering cosy accommodation in an authentic Arabian style with majority of the rooms having a private terrace. All guest rooms and public areas have complimentary Wi-Fi access. *World's Leading Desert Resort, World Travel Awards. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bab Al Shams Desert Resort And Spa
- Bab Al Shams Desert Hotel Dubai