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“Very good, but has the potential to be truly great.”
Review of Raffles Dubai

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Raffles Dubai
Ranked #2 of 546 Hotels in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
“Very good, but has the potential to be truly great.”
Reviewed 19 April 2012

I stayed at the Raffles as part of a weekend getaway in February with members of my extended family. This was our first stay at a Raffles property and we were looking very forward to this trip after hearing a lot about this hotel and the storied background of the hotel chain.

LOCATION: The Raffles forms part of the Wafi City complex in the Al Hurair/Oud Metha districts. It is next to the massive Grand Hyatt hotel complex off Dubai Creek, within fifteen minutes of Dubai International Airport and downtown Dubai along Sheikh Zayed Road. Its location is convenient for guests who need proximity to the airport and downtown since it's roughly equidistant between the two. There is a mall that forms part of the Wafi City complex, but it is relatively dead compared to the intense foot traffic Dubai's other mega-malls see.

ENTRANCE/LOBBY: The Raffles is designed as a massive pyramid and is resplendent in ancient Egyptian motifs. Carved obelisks everywhere, beige sandstone, black marble and gold detailing make for a very refined and luxurious first impression; I expected to be a bit gaudy in typical Dubai fashion, but the design is sophisticated without being obnoxious. The lobby is large and airy, with water features, plenty of seating and a large reception area.

ROOMS: We initially booked a king room but requested an extra bed over the phone before we flew in to Dubai, which the hotel confirmed. When we arrived, however, we found out that our room wasn't ready despite our previous arrangements and no extra bed was allocated. We waited in the lobby for the better part of an hour, which was very inconvenient given one member of my family is advanced in age and needed rest and medication. After multiple visits to the reception, a demand to see the manager and many apologies later, we were given a room on the Raffles Club floor but interestingly, without access to the Raffles Club. We expected the management to at least make up for this but at this point, we brushed our inconveniences with the way we were dealt with aside and just wanted to settle in. An extra bed was finally sent to our room half an hour later.

That being said, the room was huge - the size of some apartments in Europe. They have walk-in closets, separate sleeping and living areas with a large furnished balcony and a very spacious bathroom with a double vanity, corner bathtub [with windows opening onto the room], a separate rain shower and a toilet and bidet housed in a dedicated alcove. The room was nicely maintained, luxurious and well laid-out without being fussy and allowed us to relax and unwind after our mishap with the front desk. The hotel's three-sided pyramid shape offers views over the downtown Dubai skyline, Wafi City or the Creek; our room overlooked Wafi and the gardens above the mall. Very calm and quiet and sufficiently away from the noise of traffic.

FOOD/BEVERAGE: We ordered room service twice during our stay and found the selection to be very good for the hotel's class, but were slightly irritated when some of the options we asked for were said to be unavailable at the time. That aside, the food we did order was made to a very high standard and delivered within a forty-five minute window. Granted, many five-star hotels in this day and age strive for delivery in under half an hour, something I hope the Raffles will be able to do.

LEISURE: The hotel has a Raffles-branded Amrita Spa with separate facilities for men and women [jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, showers and changing areas], a mixed gym and an outdoor pool deck with adjacent jacuzzi. The outdoor pool was beautiful, with the pool being of a large size and good depth, but the water was slightly too cold for my liking. The pool deck was well-staffed, has a sufficient number of deck chairs and loungers; I never saw more than six people there at a time. I was frequently offered complimentary ice tea; an awesome plus. One more gripe I had, though [and this is beyond the hotel's control], is the sound of traffic; the pool deck is built parallel to the highway, so all you hear is the sound of cars zooming by. The men's section of the spa, however, was very tranquil, clean and top-notch.

FACILITIES: As mentioned earlier, the hotel is connected to a mall that sees a negligible amount of people during the day and night. It makes for a good walk to explore the area, but the selection of shops and lack of people makes it rather dull. There are a few restaurants that offer alternatives to eating at the hotel, though.

SERVICE: This is where the hotel falters and cost this review two stars. Being a seasoned traveller, I heard a lot about Raffles hotels' signature service and their quest for ultimate luxury and was looking forward to experiencing this, but I didn't feel like the majority of the staff at the Dubai property delivered. Service at the reception was spotty at best, with the staff seeming a bit cold, lost and overly apologetic rather than proactive. We strongly disliked waiting almost an hour for an unready room despite our prior arrangements and how the management didn't make it up to us in any way [a Four Seasons, for example, would see a personalized note from the general manager, plate of chocolates or an altogether upgrade offered to us as an apology]. It took nearly two hours and four phone calls to the concierge to deliver our bags to our room ["The bags are on their way."], and I eventually had to go down to the lobby only to see our bags sitting in a pile in the corner of the lobby without anyone attending to them. Only after lugging them halfway across the lobby alone did an attendant offer to take them up. I also arranged a pick-up from and drop-off to the airport in the hotel's Range Rover. The car was available on arrival and we were offered cool towels and water; a nice touch. For our departure, however, the car wasn't ready, the hotel lost my reservation for it despite my pre-booking and payment for the car and then kept us waiting half an hour for the car to come around. At 250 AED a ride, we expected a lot more readiness and delivery on their part.

I would, however, like to point out that our floor butler and two male pool attendants were readily available when needed and enthusiastic to help. If only the other staff followed their credo.

OVERALL: The property itself is very beautiful and well-maintained, with a good location that places it within close proximity of Dubai's sightseeing and transportation hotspots. Unfortunately, the service was a complete letdown and marred what could have otherwise been a very ideal stay. We will be exploring other venues for our next visit to Dubai.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on a higher floor and facing the Botanical Gardens for extra peace and quiet.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Khaled B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RafflesDubai, General Manager at Raffles Dubai, responded to this review, 26 April 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share such comprehensive feedback on TripAdvisor.

I was very disappointed to read that you had a few issues and that you felt that the service was a let down. Firstly, please let me sincerely apologise for any inconvenience that you faced - this is certainly not the experience we wish our residents to have.

I have gone through all your comments and discussed them with my executive team. It seems that a couple of the issues were the result of an internal communication error and this has been addressed accordingly with those involved. Thank you for bringing them to my attention.

With regard to the room not being ready I regret that due to the hotel being fully occupied the evening before we were unable to allocate all our mid morning and lunchtime arrivals a room upon their arrival. As I have highlighted before we do all we can to accommodate special requests however sometimes matters out of our control dictate otherwise. That said; if you felt that we did not do enough in a way of an apology then I would like to express regret. You are correct that we should do all we can to ensure that our residents are comfortable and I am disappointed that this does not seem to be the case on this occasion.

Please let me assure you that all feedback is essential to ensure we constantly upgrade our service standards, so that we can try exceed the requirements of the seasoned traveller.

On a final note I understand that you would prefer not to stay with us again. However if you do allow us the opportunity of a return visit please contact me directly so that I can personally look after the reservation details.

Sincerely yours,

Peter French
General Manager
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2012

I stayed at raffles for just one night but it exceeded our expectations. The standard room was huge and beautifully presented with excellent facilities. All the staff we dealt with were charming and couldn't do enough to make our stay a memorable one. At turn down in theevening, they even lit some candles by our bath which was a nice touch. The hotel in near to the city centre so there is some inevitable road noise but we couldn't really hear it if the balcony door was shut.

Room Tip: We went for a club room which is not that much more expensive than adding breakfast for 2 people and...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rhian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RafflesDubai, General Manager at Raffles Dubai, responded to this review, 26 April 2012
Thank you for taking the time to post your review on TripAdvisor.

We were delighted to read that you found the hotel brilliant and that the staff did all they could to ensure that your stay was memorable.

Furthermore, it was pleasing to read that you had enjoyed the club lounge facilities and that overall we exceeded your expectations.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Raffles Dubai.

Sincerely yours,

Peter French
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essex
1 review
Reviewed 16 April 2012

After much research we chose Raffles for our holiday in Dubai. The hotel itself is excellent but it is the service that sets Raffles apart from other hotels. The staff cannot do enough for the guests. Amazingly within a day the staff knew our names and welcomed us by name each time we returned to the hotel or entered the restaurant, breakfast, the lobby bar etc. Amazing.
We had a very minor issue with the children with the pool but the way the staff handled this was truly exceptional. Special mention to the assistant manager Gijs Velema for really making our children's day!
We visited various other hotels in Dubai during our stay but it was always a pleasure to return to the Raffles hotel.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Andy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RafflesDubai, General Manager at Raffles Dubai, responded to this review, 18 April 2012
Thank you for posting your review on TripAdvisor.

We were delighted to read that you found us excellent and that despite visiting other hotels it was always a pleasure to return back to Raffles.

Furthermore, I am pleased that the feedback about your issue by the pool was handled quickly and professionally by Gijs and the team.

Thank you for choosing to stay with us - we look forward to welcoming you and your family back on another occasion.

Sincerely yours,

Peter French
General Manager
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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
77 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2012

The raffles Dubai : An Atrocity.
- The Good = Nice big Balcony
Good Afternoon tea and Evening Canapes
- The Bad = Firstly they give us a room with no balcony
After great struggle we get the correct room
The service from Raffles Club was terrible.
The Lifts stank (especially the 15th floor ones)
Breakfast in Azur was horrid.
The Staff were not pleasant.
Wafi mall Was petite
We asked for something and they took several hours to find and bring it to us
Pool and faciltes where not five star



WOULD NEVER STAY AGAIN

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank adamt123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RafflesDubai, General Manager at Raffles Dubai, responded to this review, 26 April 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on TripAdvisor.

I was very disappointed to read that despite staying just one night, you left feeling that the hotel was a disaster and that you would not choose to stay with us again.

I have noted all your comments and I have shared and discussed them with my management team. From their feedback I understand that you were allocated one of the very few rooms without a balcony; however I was glad that we were able to move you quickly to a different room – that said I sincerely apologise if you did not feel that this was handled professionally or efficiently.

Regarding your remarks about the service and Raffles Club I have asked my Hotel Manager to speak to the people involved to ensure we are following the correct standards. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

In offering again my sincere apologies I would like to assure you that all feedback – whether positive or negative – is essential to ensure we constantly upgrade our policies and procedures.

Sincerely yours,

Peter French
General Manager
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Rockdale, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
559 reviews
101 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 394 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2012

During my recent holiday in Dubai & staying for one week from the 6th Feb 2012, & on one of my busy days sightseeing around Dubai & during my half day visit to the WAFI area I decided to take the 5 min's walk around to Raffles Hotel, the hotel looks very elegant & stylish with it's ultra modern look & sophistication, with a few Rolls Royces parked outside & porters smartly dressed in their starched uniforms & hats I thought i had just won millions!, I explained to the staff I was a tourist & would it be possible to take a look inside & ask the reception staff on the room rates; basically an excuse to take a look inside, the lobby area is very spacious & modern with comfy seating & a fabulous water feature. The staff approached me with a warm & professional smile, surprise surprise I suddenly bumped into a employee who I remembered from working in a different hotel during my visit in Dubai in 2010, we chatted for a few min's & he appeared very happy with his new employer! I then asked the reception staff if I could take some pics inside the lobby area! no problem sir, there after many clicks with my camera I was so pleased to have called in & made so welcome considering I wasn't a paying guest.......... I never did get to ask what the room rates were, may be I'll ask again in the future when I win the lottery.......... who's dreaming!..... well done Raffles

Room Tip: If the hotel looks impressive still ask to view your booked room before handing over your passport...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Stephen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RafflesDubai, General Manager at Raffles Dubai, responded to this review, 26 April 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on TripAdvisor despite only being a brief visitor to the hotel.

I was pleased to read that you were given a warm welcome by the team and that you left the hotel with a positive impression.

We do hope to be able to have the pleasure of welcoming you back as an guest one day in the future.

Sincerely yours,

Peter French
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2012

Stayed there for 8 days in April. Hotel was fantastic, service was amazing and the nightclub at the top was a lot of fun. Would definitely stay there again, that said I was eating off site every day do never got to try the food there, but food everywhere in Dubai is high quality so I'm sure it was the same.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank calemoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RafflesDubai, General Manager at Raffles Dubai, responded to this review, 18 April 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on TripAdvisor.

We were pleased to read that you found the hotel fantastic and that the service was amazing. It was also good to note that you had enjoyed the nightclub facilities at the top of the hotel.

Thank you for recommending us - we look forward to welcoming you back on another occasion.

Sincerely yours,

Peter French
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2012

Our second family trip to Dubai involved a deal of reseacrh, we thought about the marina hotels before settling on Raffles based on the good price quoted for ana advance room rate (beware the hotel web site only adds the two 10% tax levys for room & city tax at the end of the transaction - this should be clearer). Plus my wife had had meetings there in the past and said it looked wonderful.

We booked two club rooms for my wife & myself and 3 teaanage kids. The rooms are very big we stayed onthe 8th & 5th floors, with large beds and good lounge areas added to which you have the bonus of the private balcony.

The club rooms included breakfast - excellent in the main restaurant, plus afternoon tea and evening drinks/snacks in the club room. Overall with this we didn't need to buy much additional food for the kids. Having said that the cost of pizza's etc is very reasonable in the hotel.

The pool area is nice (if slightly noisy due to the road but that soon blends in) andthe pool staff are very attentive without being pushy, bring complimentary iced tea and water as you arrive. Arrive early if you want a good spot as beds are limited and you get those how grab the beds without using them!!

The spa area looks good although we only used the gym which is a good size and a good range of equipment.

So far all the same as other hotels? The difference is with the staff all of whom were polite friendly and looked happy to be there and to help with making your stay perfect. We had no complaints with any one and the management of the pool area was complimented with the managers engaging with you about the weather or your stay.

Finally it was my wife's birthday while staying ther. The butler of the floor noticed her cards and wrote one for her himself and supplied a pefect sized chocolate birthday cake. In the Raffles club we had champagne - none of which was preempted or requested. That's the difference to the others.

We left on 12 April and none of us wanted to leave we will definitely be back and throughly recommend Raffles Dubai to anyone wanting to stay in a quality hotel.

Remember to visit Al Karama, the Gold and Spice Souks (using the commuter ferry), Madinat Souck is touristy but good for outdoor dining overlooking the Burj Al Arab.

Room Tip: Room choice depnds on what you want - you can ask for a view of the Burj Kalifa across the pool and...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MartinDG61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RafflesDubai, General Manager at Raffles Dubai, responded to this review, 18 April 2012
Thank you for posting your comments from your recent stay on TripAdvisor.

We were delighted to read that you had an enjoyable stay and that you found the rooms of a good size. Furthermore, it was pleasing to read that you had time to relax by the pool and that the colleagues in this area were attentive.

Thank you also for your kind words about the staff and that it was here that set us apart from other hotels. We work hard to try and always deliver a positive resident experience and we were very pleased to note that we had been successful on this occasion.

We do hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you and your family back in the future.

Sincerely yours,

Peter French
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 Raffles Dubai

Property: Raffles Dubai
Address: Sheikh Rashid Road | Wafi, 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Dubai
#1 Romantic Hotel in Dubai
#1 Spa Hotel in Dubai
#2 Luxury Hotel in Dubai
#4 Family Hotel in Dubai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Raffles Dubai 5*
Number of rooms: 252
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A stunning landmark hotel in a distinctive pyramid shape merges Asian style with an Egyptian aesthetic. Ideally located in the city center with a shopping adventure lies around the corner as Raffles Dubai adjoins Wafi mall, one of Dubai's most exclusive shopping and leisure destinations, home to hundreds of boutiques offering an extensive selection of international haute couture, jewelries and gifts in addition to nearby authentic souks, including the impressive Khan Murjan, offering traditional crafts by artisans from the region. Featuring 252 luxurious rooms and suites, this award-winning Dubai hotel offers some of the most spacious rooms in the city, each with generously-sized private balconies. Brilliant contemporary interiors, faultless service and 7 superb restaurants and bars offering an extensive array of dining, entertainment and clubbing options, while Raffles Spa beckons with a pampering menu to emerge transformed, like a lotus that journey from bud to the radiance of full bloom. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Raffles Dubai Hotel Dubai
Raffles Hotel Dubai
Dubai Raffles Hotel

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