Dubai is a city with an incredibly high density of high class properties. There’s no second destination on earth that features so many first class hotel brands on such small territory. As A and I are fortunate to be in Dubai very often, we decided to try a different experience this time and opted for the Taj Dubai during a short two day stopover. The hotel has a very high ranking on Tripadvisor and we thought it might be a nice contrast to the desert after staying a few days at the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa. I always like to try new hotels and while the property of Taj is stunning, the rest didn’t wow me too much. Keep reading to find out more about our stay.
Location of the Taj Dubai hotel
The Taj Dubai is a luxury property of the India based Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. It opened in 2015 and is located in Business Bay, very close to Emaars’ “Downtown Dubai” district. The Taj is very convenient to get to from the airport (20 minutes drive) and well located considering the crossroads between Downtown Dubai and the Sheikh Zayed Road which you can reach quickly. Pro-tipp: Most taxi drivers understood “Torch” and would try to drive to the such-named building in Marina 😉 The Taj offers a roughly hourly shuttle service to and from the Dubai mall which is a nice plus. Stepping in from the heat of the street, the marble lobby is impressive and huge. The check-in was quick and efficient though not overly welcoming. There was not much to do as I had booked directly through their website. We received a cold drink, Indian welcome ritual and the associate escorted us to our room.
A touch of India in Dubai
The hotel features many elements that remind you of the Indian heritage, like paintings, pillows and artefacts from India. Blended with a nice bright and modern touch most areas feel pleasant and up to date. The Taj Dubai features several room categories of which we opted for a “Luxury Room – City View” which is their lowest double. Being Taj Inner Circle Gold members due to their cooperation with Shangri-La Hotels we appreciated to receive an upgrade to a Burj View Room which was on floor 21 offering great views of the Burj Khalifa and even partial view of the fountain. As the hotel is rather new, the room was in good shape and made use of high class interior.
Upon entering the room I noticed the rather large entry and corridor part. The bathroom is spacious and has a walk-in shower, double sink, bathtub and a separate toilet. It also features daylight through a large in-room window. The main room features floor to ceiling windows, a sofa, desk, TV and a king size bed which is on the smaller end of the spectrum, especially considering length. A bar area with complimentary coffee and tea facilities is a nice touch and tucked away in a cool closet. The rooms’ lighting can be steered through touch panels throughout the room.
I felt the otherwise nice room is lacking storage space. The cupboards were rather narrow and there was little space to put away clothes. What has been a surprising letdown however was the housekeeping during our stay. The room was OK-clean but considering five stars it was not up to standard. The bedhead was not clean, dust was on several surfaces such as on top the bar closet or the upper shelving of the cupboard. The turndown service would either not happen or put the used (wet!) towels from the floor back to the towel racks. There is certainly some room for improvement here, especially compared to other Dubai properties in the same category.
City hotel with a pool
As we have been on a short stopover, we did not use many of the hotels’ facilities other than the pool on level 3. The outdoor/pool area spawns over two floors (lower/higher) and while the pool is located near the bar in the higher level, some couches and sun-loungers are available in the lower terrace-like part. The pool service has been really caring and friendly although we did not even use their happy hour. The bar (with swim-up seats!) seems to stay below its potential – maybe because occupancy was too low.
Other than the pool, the Taj Dubai has “The Treehouse” which is a cool lounge/bar with views over Downtown but unfortunately was closed during our visit due to remodeling for the winter. Several restaurants and bars as well as the “Jiva Spa” round up the offering but I can’t really tell as I did not even had breakfast there.
Passport & Palmtree conclusion
Given the rate we paid, the Taj Dubai offers an incredibly good price/value ratio. The location is very good and caters to both business as well as leisure guests. The standard of all facilities is on the upper end though the housekeeping was clearly not up to 5* standard during our stay. The pool area is nice but it’s a city hotel in the end. Most of the associates really tried to render a pleasant experience, service was solid though not exceptional. Even if it is not the most luxurious Dubai experience you can get, I would return when being in Dubai and looking for a central location at an affordable rate. I would also recommend the Taj Dubai if you are in town for business.