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“Bliss in the Desert”

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Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
Ranked #49 of 549 Hotels in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Bliss in the Desert”
Reviewed 12 September 2013

Bab Al Shams is a truly incredible hotel break. If you are searching for a thoroughly relaxing stay, this is the hotel for you.

Positives:
It is designed in an old Arabesque style, reminiscent of a Lawrence of Arabia styled set. While having the appearance of simplicity of a basically designed 5 star hotel, Bab Al Shams has all the mod-cons that are expected of any new ‘shiny’ hotel. However no hotel can make you feel like you are in a 19th century Sheikh Palace while enjoying numerous 5 star quality hotels, cooling in one of the many infinity pools, distressing in its world class Spa or simply relaxing in the spacious, luxurious rooms.

We were greeted with exceptional hospitability by Bab Al Shams polite and professional staff – with a delicious mint & lime drink on arrival at reception. We were shown directly to our room by a courteous staff member who did not hesitate on departure in expectation of a tip like you would experience in so many other hotels.

The room was immaculate while still designed in an aged, rustic theme. The room was inclusive of an incredible expresso machine, spacious balcony, and all the luxuries you would want or need of a hotel. The bed was near impossible to get out of once you got into it – likewise the beautifully designed shower/bath.

After settling into our room, we wandered around the hotel. The architecture is truly amazing and we discovered little nooks and cranny’s with swings, serenity pools, cushioned sitting areas that are truly representative of an Arabic homes Majli. Even to stroll around the hotel’s grounds and arrive at the edges to be faced with a seemingly infinite desert landscape, can make you forget life’s problems. This hotel was created to induce absolute relaxation and it does just that!
We had a half-board package which entitled us to a buffet dinner, a buffet breakfast and a 50 minute couple’s massage. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the buffet – Usually, in any hotel regardless of how many stars, the buffet meals are bland and the hot foot below par. However, the buffet we experienced, for both dinner and breakfast, were fantastic. The quality of food was similar to what you would experience on an a-la-carte menu.

We relaxed by the large family pool on arrival, which was inclusive of an infinity pool that looked out into the desert abyss just 20 metres from the pool area. However, the second pool area was under construction and refurbishment while we were there. In lieu of this, the hotel offered us a day pass to Bab Al Shams itself for a day of our choosing, as well as a complementary day pass to their decedent Meydan Beach Resort, located in the central hub of Dubai Marina, on Jumierah Beach Road. Upon checking out of the resort, we informed the receptionist that we would be visiting the Meydan Beach Resort that day. The receptionist kindly phoned ahead to inform the resort of our arrival. The Beach Resort itself was fantastic! It was quiet, with maybe 5/6 other people there, the facilities (gym/spa/sauna/steam room/Jacuzzi/2 infinity pools) were spectacular, with views looking out on the Palm Jumierah itself.

It was an incredible stay – amazing setting, friendly and polite staff, accommodating hotel policy – a thoroughly relaxing stay! I would recommend to anyone!

Negatives:
It can’t be considered ‘far’ from Dubai but due to the selection of hotels within a stone’s throw of each other in Dubai, this 30 minute drive is a bit farther away than most hotels in Dubai, with a boring drive along a straight road to get to it. However, its location only serves to add to the specifically created relaxing vibe and atmosphere.
For any ‘active’ gym-goers, who might like to work out in a fancy gym while staying at a hotel, might be disappointed as there is no gym in the hotel! Again, this is purposely done to create a mellow ambiance.
The quality of the hotel is above repute so naturally you should be expecting to pay top dollar for a stay here – and naturally you do!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank garda_shayhen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 23 October 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for sharing this thorough review about your recent experience at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa here in TripAdvisor.

We are delighted that you extremely enjoyed each and every amenity we offer.

Our sole focus is to provide a flawless and excellent service to our valued guests, and to contribute towards a memorable stay at the resort. Therefore we are thrilled to learn that you have enjoyed every minute with us.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and we look forward to welcoming you to our hotel again soon.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Hildenborough, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2013

We spent 3 nights at Bab Al Shams, incorporating my partners birthday into the stay.

Previously having spent 3 nights in Dubai centre at the Melia hotel and having a wonderful experience, we were not expecting this to be beaten. How wrong we're we!

The drive took about 45 minutes. Upon arrival we were greeted by someone to take our bags. Reception were friendly and very accommodating for every wish we had. And given i had emailed and phoned the hotel on numerous occasions to arrange a birthday cake for my partner and neither had been answered they arranged a complimentary small cake with hand written message immediately.

We were shown our room which and our bags followed. The rooms and grounds are just beautiful. Rustic in design, with low lighting and everything you could possibly need. Great views of the desert and just stunning. The bed was ENORMOUS and extremely comfortable.

Fresh dates and plums were provided in our room in arrival and a fruit basket on our second to last day.

Rooms were cleaned once a day with an extra clean if needed with a turn down service. We felt this was not needed so turned the cleaners away several times.

Pools are amazing, so many to choose from and the pool bar with seats in the water was great - we enjoyed many a drink here! Much cooler than the other pools, so be warned!

Breakfast was outstanding with a great selection of all foods. I very much enjoyed fresh waffles and pancakes most mornings : )

Okay, so onto the bad points and there are only a couple...

Drinks are ridiculously expensive, even for soft drinks. Apple juice £6, beer £10, milkshake £6!

Given we were half board we were very thankful that drinks were included with breakfast. However, they were not with lunch or dinner (we could choose either on half board) and this added a lot onto our bill.

On my partners birthday we booked onto the Al Hadheerah restaurant entertainment evening. At £100 a head it was very expensive but we deemed worthwhile for such an important day. We were not disappointed, but wish we could have eaten more to make it more worthwhile.

Foods such as steak, prawns, whole fish, crab, etc were all in abundance, it was stunning.

Entertainment was 'interesting' but fun all the same.

Again, no drinks included in the £100 a head fee, blimey!

We experienced noisy neighbours about 1am on one evening, phoned reception and it was quiet within 15 minutes.

I very much enjoyed the free taster sessions of camel riding and falconry laid on every evening at 5 and 6pm.

Overall a great relaxing stay, although I think 3 days was just about right as we would have run out of things to do. There is nothing in the surrounding area at all.

Manager helpfully allowed us a 5pm check out and use of the pool all day due to our 1am flight the day after check out - amazingly generous at no cost.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LucyMTaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 23 October 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to post a personal detailed review here at TripAdvisor following your recent stay in our resort. We truly appreciate any feedback as it is comments from our valued guests that enable us to improve our services and facilities.

We are delighted to learn that you and your partner have enjoyed your overall stay with us however, we have noted your comments with regards to inclusions of drinks on meals and our existing beverage prices.

I will definitely discuss this matter to our Head of Food & Beverage to see the possibilities and ensure our prices are on the same range as the market.

One again, thank you for your feedback to help us excel.

We all can’t wait to see you on your next visit.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 4 September 2013

Everything was fantastic. The service, the staff, the room, the pool, the food.. I could go on. Spent the entire day at the pool bar and it was incredible. The mojitos are some of the best we have ever had. It wasn't crowded which was perfect as well. Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dino S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 23 October 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for sharing this very kind review about your recent experience at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

As we read, you really enjoyed each and every amenity we offer.

Our sole focus is to provide a flawless and excellent service to our valued guests, and to contribute towards a memorable stay at the resort. Therefore we are thrilled to learn that you have enjoyed every minute with us.

Your kind review has been shared with everyone here and we are looking forward to welcoming you back to Bab Al Shams.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Delhi, India
Level 6 Contributor
34 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2013

It is the best Dessert resort middle of nowhere. It is a piece of Gem in the Dessert. Excellent property with typical Arabic ambiance, it gives you a feeling that you are staying in a Luxurious Arabic Castle. Everything is so perfect in the resort, be it spacious rooms, rich breakfast, relaxing spa, fun filled pool, camel ride etc. There are many restaurant serving world cuisine but we chose Roof Top Restaurant with an excellent view of dessert and live band playing soothing Arabic Music a Pizza with Sheesha and some Romantic breeze is enough for a wonderful evening. It is a bit far from Dubai City Center but if you have a package including the transportation then it is good. Worth every penny spent. A must visit thing in Dubai.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PiyushSengar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 23 October 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for sharing this very kind review about your recent experience at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa in TripAdvisor.

We are glad that you appreciate the entire place from our rooms, facilities, food and music at the Rooftop.

Your kind words have been shared with the team here and we all look forward to welcoming you back to our resort in the future.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Spent a wonderful night here wish we could have stayed longer! The staff was so attentive from the minute we arrived. We arrived early but nothing was too much trouble and our room was available very quickly. We tried every restaurant and were happy with all. The ould player on the roof top restaurant was world class ( and my husband is a musician and fussy) . The pool was a welcome relief, we couldn't fault it. Thank you.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kerryls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 23 October 2013
Dear guest,

I cannot thank you enough for your kind comments on Tripadvisor with regards to your recent stay with us.

It feels great to learn that you had an enjoyable stay with us. Thank you for your appreciative comments on our pool, attentiveness of our staff, the music at the rooftop and the food variety and quality offered in all our restaurants.

I will personally relay your feedback to the team who will be glad to know that their efforts contributed to your enjoyable stay. Your appreciation will give the team more motivation to do better always.

We really hope that you will visit us again in the not so distant future.

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013 via mobile

I've stayed this wonderful hotel on december 2011 and everything was simply wonderful.
Every little corner has a special decoration, the staff is very polite and kind. Don't miss to have a sunset at the terrace bar...
Lot of options to eat, and breakfast had a lot of varieties.

Definitely the best way to enjoy the Arabian scape-away.

Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Day R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 23 October 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts with the Tripadvisor.

Our sole focus is to provide a flawless and excellent service to our valued guests, and to contribute towards a memorable stay at the resort. Therefore, we are thrilled to learn that you have enjoyed every minute with us.

Your kind review has been shared with everyone here and we are looking forward to welcoming you for your next visit

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Falkirk, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 September 2013

Just back from this amazing hotel. We stayed eight nights, and upgraded to a lovely room close to the pool.The staff are welcoming, helpful and very friendly, they certainly make your stay very special. The food at breakfast and dinner is wonderful, something for everyone, even the very fusy.The hotel was very quiet ,but that is how we like it ,so it suited us.This was our forth visit to this hotel and it will not be our last.We absolutely love this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Watt32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 23 October 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa on TripAdvisor.

We feel truly blessed with action-oriented team members, who are the key to the success of your stay. We will definitely share your feedback with them to continue displaying this great service focus. I’m sure they will all feel proud of having been a positive part of your vacation experience.

We all look forward to welcoming you again at Bab Al Shams in the near future..

Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa

Property: Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
Address: International Endurance City, 308th Rd, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Phone Number:
Region: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Dubai > Dubai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Dubai
#37 Spa Hotel in Dubai
#40 Business Hotel in Dubai
#45 Luxury Hotel in Dubai
#47 Family Hotel in Dubai
#53 Romantic Hotel in Dubai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 113
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

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