InterContinental Dubai Festival City
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"What can i say!!! We had a wonderful time, TOP CLASS!!
Fantastic, would stay again!!!
Downside is that this hotel could be classed as out of the way of main attractions, however great location for airport and taxis are so cheap this really does not cause any real problems."
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of February 2008
Good hotel, ok location
"Stayed here for two nights in Feb. Hotel is brand new and decorated in a modern contempoary style (not usual IC style). Rooms have ample storage and are cleaned to a high standard.
Hotel food is good and service is very efficient, staff are v friendly.
Didnt use spa or gym.
Only downside is the lack of taxis in festival city, therefore you often have to wait 15 mins+ for a taxi!
Location is far from city but v close to the airport.
Great business hotel even by Dubai's high standards."
- Travel date: Thu 21st of February 2008
"Stayed for 3 nights.
Brand new, high quality fixtures & fitting
Great Air Con
View of Sheikh Zayed Road
Staff - all keen and very pleasant
Drink - They sell Leffe
Food - Lamb Kofta by pool was very nice and not that expensive for a 5* hotel
Hotel taxis plentiful, expensive (see below) but drivers are not ratbags like a sizeable minority of local taxi drivers
Baths fill from ceiling - cool!!!
Pool - one end has a glass wall that juts out which is quite funky
Hotel was not showing the Man U v Arsenal FA Cup game - not a bad thing but the conceirges and guest services were wooly as to whether they'd have it on and where else might
Difficult to get local taxi as no passing traffic and the hotel taxi has a 30 dirham starting cost compared to 3 for local taxis. Taxi rank at mall can get busy.
Baths fill from ceiling - taps not within reaching distance and a pain to top-up
Location - old Interconti was right by the creek and Bur Dubai, this is futher out but probably better for beaches, sheik zayed road and airport. Handy for shops in malls and restaurants but no other bars (hotels) nearby apart from Crowne Plaza
Did not eat their apart from snack at pool, reflects restaurant should be good"
- Travel date: Thu 21st of February 2008
Poor management but was ok - not very good location
"This was my first trip to Dubai.
Location - not that good - close to the airport but not close to the action. I wouldnt stay here, unless it was a stopover.
Rooms - really nice and modern, but the distance to get to places is quite far and you have to catch a cab. from this hotel to the Burj Al Arab (we went one night for tea is AED40. which i think is alot.
Management - we got moved because electricity got shut down (they did NOT notify us till we got there). the Crowne Plaza Dubai was good location but old shabby and disgusting. they upgraded us, after forgetting to initially, took them half a day to get us in the right room, we had to move twice.
Restaraunts - didnt get a chance to look, but they were amazing
one good thing was that they gave us free car travel for the next 3 nights at the Crowne Plaza, because we were inconvenienced.
Car travel/taxi is very expensive in Dubai.
I also recommend the hop on / off tour and the safari was AMAZING. worth it."
- Travel date: Wed 6th of February 2008
A Great Experience
"Stayed for nine days over the New Year (think we were amongst the first guests) in this magnificent new hotel.Service,food,room,sleep etc. all superb - top marks on everything."
- Travel date: Wed 16th of January 2008
Very handy for airport
"We stayed at the hotel 29 December 07 for 2 nights.
Took a taxi from the airport - took 10 mins and cost AED25(Â£3).
We had booked a travel industry rate direct with the hotel - AED850 plus 20% taxes per night.
We arrived at 3am and were warmly welcomed. The lobby is huge - which sadly made it rather impersonal.
When checking in I asked for clarification as to whether my rate included breakfast - It was confirmed that breakfast was included - however when I checked out I was advised breakfast had not been included and that I had been given the 'wrong information'.
Our room was lovely - loved the bathroom/wetroom - views left a bit to be desired however as still a lot of building work going on.
Breakfast area was huge with a wide selection to suit all tastes.
On our day in Dubai we took a 10 min taxi to Gold Souk which cost AED35( Â£5) and from there took a 25 min taxi to Madinat Jumeirah which cost AED40(Â£7).
We had booked a taxi(not hotel transfer) back to the airport - despite checking 3 times that they had definitely booked us a taxi, and not a hotel transfer - when we got to the airport the driver wanted to charge us AED70(Â£10). So unfortunately there seems to have been some confusion over this!
All in all - we did enjoy our first stay in Dubai - location great for airport or business in Festival City area - and taxis very reasonable for seeing other areas of Dubai."
- Travel date: Mon 14th of January 2008
Great Pool, Quirky Bathrooms, But Give It Time to Sort Construction Issues
"I booked a few nights at this hotel over Christmas, getting a rate of 725 AED/night. Note all quoted rates have 20% additional taxes and fees on top. I was not informed during the booking process that this hotel is in soft opening mode until the January 2008, though was aware of this through other industry sources.
A fortnight before my stay I emailed the address on the website, to ask some questions, but received no reply. Unacceptable from a five star hotel.
Booked for five nights; was emailed one week before that the hotel is still in soft opening and due to an unscheduled two day power down, was unable to accommodate me on the last two days of my stay, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, offering the Crowne Plaza (CP) on Sheikh Zayed Road as an alternative, for the same price.
This was an entirely unacceptable offer, especially to an IC Royal Ambassador (RA), the top tier of their loyalty scheme, as that CP is tired,old and has a grotty pool. I declined this offer, luckily having friends in Dubai with whom I could stay, and received a free airport pick up as measly compensation, but this was poorly handled. I am still waiting for the promised refund nearly two weeks later;my two follow up emails remain unanswered.
I was picked up in the hotel car, a 4x4, meeting the hotel representative at the meet and greet area after customs. Ten minute drive from the airport to Festival City, still a bit of a building site. On the Airport side of the Creek, though no view or noise from the airport from the rooms.
Situated right next door (and sharing the pool complex with) a brand new Crowne Plaza, which has not yet opened, and opposite the Festival City Mall which features and M&S, IKEA and the usual shop brands, though not especially high end stores. Some cheap open air eating options (eg Chilis) outside this Mall, which was a brief and pleasant promenade along the Marina from the IC.
As I got out of the car, the assistant greeted me by name, so they are on the button here. The doorman is about seven foot five tall; quite impressive!!
I was welcomed into a large, impersonal lobby and checked in at the main desk; usually RAâs get in room or in lounge check in, but the lounge is not open until early 2008. RAs will receive upgrade to a Water View Exec Room, no Club Lounge access unless you have booked that category. View of the Creek was impressive, with the SZR and Burj Dubai (worldâs tallest building) framing stunning sunsets every evening.
Entered the room, which had a high degree of finish, but seemed smaller compared to my experiences in other Dubai hotels. The large private entrance wastes about 10% of the floor space.
Bed had some impressive touch on/off directional reading lights. Air conditioning was superb. A full integral international plug socket is featured in every room, so my US laptop worked fine, though no WiFi in the rooms; broadband wired net access is currently free, but will be chargeable soon.
I received a nice freebie IC beach bag and washbag as a welcome gift, as well as a fruit plate.
The bathrooms were the real reason I stayed here, as they looked very impressive on the website form the artistâs impressions.
Curious modular sliding door arrangement closes off the bathroom from the rest of the room, but no real privacy as there is an open architectural grille which cannot be closed, about eight feet tall by two feet wide which means any sounds in the bathroom/toilet can be heard in the main room, so make sure if you are sharing with a partner that you are comfortable with that.
Toilet is in its own small room with the bidet, with a thin smoked glass door. Flush is operated by pushing your finger into a hole in the wall behind the toilet; not hugely sanitaryâ¦..
The main reason I chose this hotel was because of the baths, which are free standing tubs, situated in a wet room, overlooking their own windows out onto my terrific view of Dubai. Well, it will be terrific once they finally get round to cleaning off months of construction dirt; I could see them doing this during my stay but sadly they never reached my room. Rather handy electric blind in the bathroom, but annoyingly the three blinds you need to close in the main bedroom before you retire for the evening are not electric. Shame.
The baths fill from a hole in the ceiling. Yes you heard right. Nice idea, but in practice this means there is a LOT of noise and splashing when you run a bath, so listening to relaxing music as you get ready is not an option, the wet room is very wet even before you start bathing, and if you add bubble bath when you start the tap going, an eruption of Vesuvian proportions ensues. Nice being able to fill the bath to the brim, and not worry about the water sploshing over the sides.
One powerful rose shower is next to the bath and another more directional one were handy for topping up the hot water mid soak, as launching the ceiling tap again would have been a real hassle.
I would imagine these bathrooms will be a nightmare to clean as everything gets drenched even if you take a quick post swim showerâ¦.obviously the designer never considered this. I pity the housekeeping staff who have to clean up this mess twice a day.
Towards the end of my stay the hot water was only lukewarm, annoying as I was heading out with friends the last night of my stay. This was fixed after waiting an hour, but was lukewarm again the morning of my departure.
Lots of shelving for storing toiletries which was good, and plenty of Elemis toiletries regularly replenished, though just the basic soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and moisturiser, no mouthwash and I didnât feel they were of high enough quality to want to take a few home with me.
OTHER HOTEL FACILITIES
Only two F&B options were open; I mostly ate by the pool which provided excellent burgers and club sandwiches with extremely attentive staff, though I was constantly approached asking if I needed anything every time I got up from my sunbed to stretch my legs.
The IC pool is open at the moment with the upper deck where the CP pool is still cordoned off. There is a great play area for kids with a splashy fountain and other interactive water features, which looked fun, though could get noisy once the hotel gets busy, especially with the more family oriented CP clientele.
Some construction was still ongoing by the IC pool, so a small part of the decking was closed off, but I didnât really notice this. The pool was very warm, with plenty of different areas to cool off in and a decent lap length pool, with the already mentioned see through glass floor, about 100 feet above ground, which was pretty cool actually, though a shame you only look down onto a pavement below.
Gym was well provisioned, with free water and high quality machinery, and a decent view.
I went up to sample the Club Lounge, but it was very much still being constructed with the smell of glue heavy in the air, and lots of construction workers so I was ushered away by security. The Spa was not yet open during my visit.
I had breakfast at Anise, which features six live cooking stations. The triple height space was huge and impersonal, with stone floors and felt a bit canteenish, though the art work is impressive. Tea/coffee was served in earthenware cups, which I hate.
My handmade scrambled eggs tasted bland and uninviting; hardly any seasoning. Not good. For double the price of a burger by the pool, I did not think this very good value for money, despite the wide range of choices, especially if you were feeding a whole family. I did not return as I did not feel comfortable in the space, and was sure this would be even more pronounced at night.
Several new venues are on the cusp of opening, so check those out, particularly the bar which has a great view of the stunning sunsets over Dubai.
SUMMARY: I am usually very positive in most of my reviews, and maybe my experience was coloured by having my stay involuntarily curtailed. Perhaps I was more willing to find fault.
Even though I appreciated being able to try out this hotel for about half the usual price, the cancellation of part of my stay, poor food, and issues with the hot water would have ruined my vacation had I not had alternatives available.
IMHO a five star hotel should not have a soft opening when such a great deal of construction was still ongoing (and remember my stay was two months after the first guests were welcomed in November 2007, so I figured most of these sorts of issues would be dealt with by now).
I know this will be a great place for those on business to stay once the construction is over, and there are lots of great features to be recommended, and many will be coming online very shortly.
However my advice would be to hang back a few months until at least mid 2008 and give it a try when the rough edges have been sorted out; otherwise you are staying in a work in progress, and risk disappointment."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of January 2008
"Stayed in hotel within a week of opening. The customer service was outstanding. From the front desk to the restaurant and bar staff, I was made to feel at home, with all of my needs met. No request made appeared to be too great for the hotel staff as they were always accommodating. As customer service appears to be a thing of the past in the USA, this hotel was a refreshing experience.
- Travel date: Sun 30th of December 2007
Brand spanking new
"Just open 2 weeks we were in the first wave of guests. It was all settling down well. Some facilities were not yet open but those that were rated highly. If anything we were over serviced - a flunky every 12 metres saying good morning got exhausting to reply to!! The only restaurant open when I was there was the main one - the range of cuisine was terrific and al very high quaity - a good 5 night stay and only downside is location excpet good for airport - otherwise on a remote and underdeveloped part of the Dubai creek with only a shopping centre next door for some wandering around in."
- Travel date: Sat 29th of December 2007
Great New Intercon
"I recently completed a 1 night stay at this hotel. I arrived at about 0930am after arriving on the excellent Silverjet flight from London. I was able to check in due to my Priority Card and was upgraded to a fantastic suite, with 2 bathrooms, large lounge, large bathroom and excellent gadgets.
Pool area is very nice, and the service around the pool was top notch. Service in all parts of the hotel are at an excellent level. The hotel has only been open a month, so is still in "soft" opening phase. This meant the Champagne bar on the 26th floor was not open, and neither was the spa (which was a bit disappointing). However the bar on the lobby level is great, with a lovely little outside terrace.
Everything about this hotel is impressive and great (including the pool which has a perspex overhang allowing you to see 4 stories down and the road below!).
The main downside for me is the location. If you have meetings on SZR or in the marina development it is quite a trek from festival city. As is Mall of the Emirates. It is very handy for the airport though."
- Travel date: Sun 16th of December 2007