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Posts Tagged ‘Grand Hyatt Dubai’

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt hotel for our holiday. There are lots of hotels in Dubai, and choosing one is a bit of a task. Popular locations are in the Downtown Dubai area along Sheikh Zayed Road; by Dubai Marina; and near the Creek. The Grand Hyatt is close to the Creek (and also therefore close to the airport).

It also stands in its own grounds. There’s a garden with an outdoor pool, and this are unusual; the hotels in Downtown Dubai and by the Marina are generally enclosed within a big tower. They may have a pool, but it will most likely be inside, and they won’t have grounds. I think that that the Grand Hyatt is different because it’s a bit older than most other hotels – it dates from 2003 (and would have been designed before that) whereas the tower hotels, in any location, were built later. At the time of its opening the Grand Hyatt was in fact the largest hotel in Dubai – 682 rooms, a huge lobby with its own rainforest (see pictures below) and a big convention centre. It’s certainly built on a lavish scale.

I have a feeling, however, that the intervening 20 years (almost) have changed its position in the market. I think that when it was opened it was at the top of the market, but not so now. It’s far from being a budget hotel, but it seems that to some extent at least it has dropped into the package market. We saw very few guests who looked as if they were there on business but many leisure-seekers, including significant numbers of families with young children. There’s a cocktail bar, for example, which we patronised but there were never more than half-a-dozen other people in there, despite the hotel’s 682 rooms. (Of course, it’s possible that the bar only got busy after we were tucked up in bed.) Physically the hotel is still exceptional – indeed, the lobby and atrium areas had a feeling of spaciousness that’s very impressive – but I got the feeling that they have changed their operating policies to match their changing market.

We chose this hotel for a number of reasons. First, we wanted somewhere with grounds so that we could walk around outside and still be in the hotel. Secondly, it was close to a public park, the Creek Park, and to a Metro station. And finally we chose it because it was close to the airport. I’ve mentioned before that Dubai is very spread out, and given that we weren’t due to land until after midnight we didn’t want to be faced then with a half-hour taxi ride. Given that we were in fact two hours late landing, that was a good decision – the drive from the airport to the hotel was less than 10 minutes. But the other reasons turned out to be less important. We walked around the grounds just once, to look at them, but apart from that we didn’t use them. We didn’t get to the park because it was on the other side of a very busy road and it was a long detour to a pedestrian crossing. We did find the Metro, however, and used it several times in the second half of the holiday. In contrast to the difficult walking route to the park, we were able to stroll to the Metro station (‘Dubai Healthcare City’) in just under 10 minutes. However, we were almost always alone in doing so. Our experience on the Metro (which works very well, btw) suggested to us that very few tourists use it, it seems to be predominantly for locals. Visitors generally use taxis, it seems, as did we at the beginning of the week. So overall we might have done better to have stayed in one of the tower hotels in the Downtown area – not much further from the airport, close to the centre of things, and even handier for the Metro which runs along that road.

I ought to say that we weren’t disappointed in the hotel, but on reflection we could perhaps have done better. We’ll know for next time. Anyway, here are some images.

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