Although this review is rather lengthy, we did our best to capture all the details and hope you find it useful. Bon Voyage!
We stayed at this treasure of a hotel with two small children (3 yrs and 15 mnths) for six blissful nights at the beginning of the New Year. After extensive research on the web, we decided to book on-line through Orbitz. This hotel offered the best value among the pricier hotels and it didn't disappoint in terms of service and amenities. After the confirmed reservation, we did call the hotel directly to arrange for a free pick from the airport and since you can't do this on-line, we also had them note that we had an infant and that no additional bedding was required.
Upon arrival in Dubai we were promptly greeted at the airport by a hotel representative. After a long flight, it was a great relief to have someone there to shuttle you to a nice car. Although we had requested a larger car to fit all our luggage and baby stroller, we managed to somehow fit things into a full-sized Toyota Camry. We knew from the start our service would be special the moment our driver popped open a little cooler with water bottles and little wet towels to refresh ourselves. Not expecting this, it was a pleasant and welcome surprise--talk about service in style! Since we arrived at around 6 AM, traffic was light, and we were able to get to the hotel relatively quickly (I think it took about 20 mins or so). it was beautiful to take in Dubai and the sights at the time of the day while the sun had just risen. Please note, you can pay for a hotel arranged service to the airport, but in our case, they showed up about 30 mins late. This caused quiet a bit of tension for us and the hotel staff who kept on apologizing for a mistake that was obviously not theirs. Once the driver finally showed up claiming to have gotten stuck in traffic (at 12.30 am???!!!) he acted all coy and didn't have the nerve to apologize--for the price you pay, and the car you get, it wasn't worth it. We would suggest you just grab a taxi from the lobby or if you need a larger taxi van, ask the bell boys to arrange one. The cost for pre-arranged was something like 100 AED vs. most likely 60-80 AED via local taxi.
Once we pulled up to the front of hotel, we were quickly shepherded in to the hotel lobby by very pleasant door men and front staff. We must compliment them all, as they were consistently pleasant and extremely helpful with the kids the entire time we stayed there. Same goes for the concierge and business center staff. From the moment we walked through the revolving doors into the lavish lobby we knew we had stumbled upon a hidden gem! The front desk receptionist (Farida) was very friendly and although our rooms were not ready so early (we also requested this months in advance), she was very professional and made every effort to ensure she expedited a room for us. Although closed until 9 or 10 am, we took the few hours to sit in the beautiful courtyard and even took a walk across the street to check out the fountain lake and Dubai mall. It was simply gorgeous and an easy and quick walk with a double stroller.
We ended up with a Jr suite (high recommend this for any family with small children) with the Burj view. It was very well appointed with all the amenities and taking in the view of the Burj day and night was simply breath taking. It was a bonus to have 2 bottles of complimentary water each day in our room and the turn down service at night in which they left little chocolate covered dates on our pillows. The large Queen bed, pillows and covers were also very comfortable. And even though they offered to bring a cot in for the infant, we highly doubt we would have had enough room to squeeze around. Besides, we were hardly in the room! Like other similar safety minded parents, we had reservations on the bath-tub being situated where it was in the room. However, this never seemed to be an issue with our little ones. The shower and toilet area never bothered us and we thought it was rather hip.
We were very lucky to be there during the opening ceremonies of the Burj Khalifa (formerly known as Burj Dubai), the fireworks and extravagance were definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity! We were also lucky enough to take a tour of the observation deck of the Burj that had some stunning views. Note: tix can be purchased in the Dubai Mall ground floor by the food court. As other reviewers have mentioned the close proximity of the Dubai mall (wow! and lots you can do with kids) and the fountains (absolutely gorgeous and entertaining for all) was really wonderful.
We got to use the temperature regulated pool daily, and yes the beds are limited but never once did we not have someplace (even a table) to put our stuff on while we swam. In fact a couple of times we had other hotel guests offer their beds for the kids to use--how nice! The hotel gym was new but rather small and did have a variety of free weights and stationary weight equipment. My preference was to use the Hayat gym across the way. This gym had all the equipment and even had an adult and kids pool. One downside was that you need to get passes on a daily basis from the front desk..no big deal! One other thing on the Hayat for parents...they actually had a daycare service on site...we didn't use it so can't remember what the costs or hours were.
The surrounding area of the Al-Manzil was extremely well maintained with beautiful old arabesque type architecture. They had various water fountains all around the area making the place seem very tranquil. There was also a Spinney's grocery store which we happened to stumble upon on the 2nd or third day that had just about everything you need. Great for parents like us with little ones when you need to grab some milk or quick snacks, fruits and veggies. From the hotels location it was a short trip to various places via taxi (and relatively inexpensive) and we even ventured one day on the free bus service to Jumerieh beach park (After you pay a small entrance fee, parents take note that if you take a stroller it will be challenging as there weren't any special ramps anywhere that we noticed. They did have change room facilities and for a small fee beach umbrellas, sun beds or lounge chairs can be rented).
We cannot comment on the hotel breakfast and such, but based on other reviews it sounds wonderful. We however never had issues getting some wonderful and tasty food (not all of it was fast "junk" food either) at nearby Dubai mall. There are some great restaurants in the mall too for those that can afford the time and relatively pricey option.
Overall this hotel is an excellent value for what you get. We would highly recommend it to all--especially parents, and when we visit Dubai in the near future we hope to stay here again!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Manzil Downtown is an upscale boutique hotel with a contemporary Arabesque design offering engaging service based on Arabic hospitality. Centrally located on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, the gourmet dining district of downtown Dubai, Manzil Downtown is within walking distance of The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. The hotel provides a stylised hub for today's social explorers, energised by being at the heart of things, combined with a unique and efficient meeting space for business guests looking to make an impression. Technology is embraced throughout the hotel to facilitate the efficiency, convenience and opportunities demanded by an active, modern life. Please note that all rooms are non-smoking. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Al Manzil Dubai
- Al Manzil Hotel Dubai
- Hotel Al Manzil