10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Top rate hotel in Dubai
"We travel to Dubai often for business and always enjoy the hotels. The staff (mostly Asian) is super friendly and the facilities are new and designer. The Raffles is no exception. This particular property has a very different look from the original property in Singapore, but the quality of service measures equally high. The lobby of the hotel looks like an Egyptian temple, beautiful lighting and marble everywhere. The room is very large (every room in the hotel is a suite I believe) and the bathroom is also big, with jacuzzi size bathtub and separate shower. The toiletiries are from Raffle's own brand.
The bed is extremely comfortable and there is complimentary coffee making facilities (no tea), though we couldn't figure out how to use it ourselves, but a quick phone call solved that problem. My only criticism is the flat screen television is located above the bar area, so if you're watching TV from your bed, the view is not the most optimal, and it's not possible to watch from the bath tub.
The buffet breakfast was a highlight--- a huge assortiment of Western, Asian and Middle Eastern samplings. I like eating Asian all the time, so I really enjoyed the spicy nasi goreng that was available. You can also order omeletes or pancakes.
The laundry service was very efficient. I gave them our dry cleaning late morning and it came back in the same evening even though we did not request express service.
We also ate at the Chinese restaurant at the hotel--- voted the best restaurant of Dubai in 2008. Excellent food and great view, though pricey (relative to the cost of the hotel, which was very reasonable)."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of August 2008
Brand Identiy Crisis: Heaven and Hell in Dubai
"We stayed there for part of our honeymoon.
Whoever decorated this monstrosity should be fired. Period. I understand that the hotel is in an Egyptian themed mall and that the shape had to be a pyramid, but there is no reason that the Raffles image of refined luxury has to be tarnished with Dubai gaudiness and lack of taste and tired ancient Egyptian theme. The comparisons to the Luxur are inevitable, with the fake hieroglyphics and all among many other poor decisions.
The staff was amazing every step of the way and they went out of their way to make our trip amazing. The rooms were very nice, but the bed was unusually hard for such a nice hotel. The room also felt much smaller than the standard rooms at the Beverly Hills Raffles.
I am not sure if the Raffles Brand will be able to survive this huge mistake."
- Travel date: Thu 10th of July 2008
"We wanted a Christmas to New Year break and was booking very late. The Burj Al Arab was fully booked and I wanted Luxury! I then saw The Raffles had just been completed (November 2007), so we booked for 8 nights from 23rd December. We had an overnight flight and when we arrived we had a courtesy limousine pick us up from the airport (about 10 minutes away) and immediately gave us bottles of cold water to refresh ourselves. On arrival at the hotel, as we had booked a Club suite, we were immediately taken up to the 10th floor for executive check in where we could sit at a desk and were given tea whilst we checked in! Once the formalities were done, we were shown to our room by our butler and our luggage was already there. The room was fabulous! The hotel is set back from the sea and therefore, the views are of the city which is a bit urban but during the night is beautiful with all the lights. Dubai is so VERY CLEAN and the the hotel was spotless! The whole ambience is brethtaking. There were still a few finishing touches being put to the hotel and one or two areas were unopened but this was minor. We worked out every day in the gym and the personal trainer was excellent. I enjoyed the fabulous spa a couple of times and the treatments were out of this world! ALL the staff (95% non Arab) were friendly, curteous, non intrusive, very helpful and always seemed to be there when we wanted someone! Now the restaurants were something else! The food in even the standard restaurant was out of this world. Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinners with indoor and outdoor tables. We ate a couple of times on 19th floor with breathtaking views in the Chinese restaurant and I can honestly say that we had never tasted food like it. It was not cheap but sooooo good, we went for a second night! We were so impressed with the quality and choice of the restaurants available in the hotel, we never ventured out to eat! I would recommend this hotel for sheer luxury, pure indulgence, quality and 100% being spoilt!"
- Travel date: Sun 8th of June 2008
Substance over form: no style/super service/super dining
"Who: me and my husband
When: May 2nd-4th 2008 (2nights)
Room: Raffles Suite 1005, 10th floor
Occasion: trip of Oman and Dubai
Other hotels in this trip: Six Senses Zighy Bay, The Chedi Muscat
Ok, it's Dubai, ok I knew it was linked to the Wafi mall, had a pyramid shape and an ancient egypt theme, but considering Raffles Singapore - and right after a suite at The Chedi Muscat - we had a bit of a style-shock when we arrived. First comment: it's Las Vegas in the 80's!
Nevertheless I must admit that the Raffles was able to make me forget its bad taste design thanks to a unique service and two unforgettable dining experiences.
- Service and staff: very helpful, always (even too much, sometimes you have the feeling they're too much 'there', probably the perfect service is attentive but 'invisible'). Anyway they make you feel like..Ramses The Great.
- Position for Dubai sightseeing: the big bus tourist service (never thought I would have used it but - again - it works!) starts in front of the Wafi, both red and blue lines. And of course for shopping at the Wafi.
- The Noble House, the fine Chinese restaurant on the 17th floor, simply amazing (calculate 100 euros/person)
- Fire and Ice - cellar and grill. Excellent gourmet restaurant, nice ambience (calculate 100 euros/person)
- Room size, or better suite size, in fact it's a allsuites hotel.
- Very close to the airport, 10'.
- Bad taste design, really kitch. Goes better in the monumental lobby where the Ancient Egypt theme finds its ideal place and at Fire and Ice restaurant, out of the theme.
- No beach (but this you know while booking..), no outside spaces except for the interesting botanical garden whose trees are too young now to appreciate.
- No superview, as it's not in a Dubai 'supertower', but a good compromise I guess compared to a 'flat' property. Nice view from the terrace next to the Noble House restaurant, 17th floor.
- Rates: minimum official rate is 2200 AED/room so in the upper price positioning of Dubai 5 stars hotels, being a allsuites hotel. Our rate was 2800 AED/room with breakfast and airport trasfer.
Unfortunately I haven't tried Amrita Spa.
Go if you wanna feel like Ramses II and have a dinner like a Chinese emperor, all in Dubai, Twenty-first century."
- Travel date: Thu 8th of May 2008
1st class service!!!
"We stayed at Raffles for 4 nights from the 25/3/08. The hotel lobby is absolutley stunning, even more impressive than the Burj. We stayed in a standard room, which was stylishly decorated, with a large flat screen TV and a lovely bathroom. For a standard room it was huge. The staff at the hotel were very friendly and were always willing to help. Whatever you wanted you could have. I think they would have even put my suncream on if I had asked!!! The only thing I would say is that eating and drinking at the hotel is very expensive. Overall an excellent hotel, superb rooms and first class service."
- Travel date: Sat 26th of April 2008
Raffles , great friendly place
"We stayed at Raffles dubai - April 5 to 16th 2008. The Hotel itself is great - very large and spacious. As with all hotels in Dubai - everywhere is air conditioned.
The room, although a standard room was very large with plenty of space - considering my partner needs use of wheelchair most of the time - we normally have problems within rooms maneuvering .... Raffles no problem, huge room. The bathroom had twin sinks , a corner bath and a separate walk-in shower. The shower had a seat - which really held for someone with mobility problems. The balcony overlooked the pool and had two wicker chairs , table and foot stools.
The room also had butler service to bring you anything you needed. They provided us with a daily free fruit bowl - with a huge range of fruit. They would also leave evening nibbles ranging from shrimp to arabic sweets. The room was cleaned once a day , but the towels etc were changed twice ( or more ).
The pool area - accessed from the 4th Floor via the Spa was fully wheelchair accessible - there were ramps and slopes accessing into the pool. The pool has a shallow end , with three slopes down to it - all had good handles. There is seating area in the pool around the bar and it is in the shade. The pool also has a "bubbly pool" area. Outside of the main pool are two swim pools where the water is pumped quickly - so when you swim you stay in the same place. There is also a spa pool outside. The pool area has a seating/restaurant area. There were plenty of sun beds and towels were provided. On amazing feature of the pool was the pavement around it - always cool ( refrigerated ), so even exposed pavement in the sun didn't burn your feet.
The hotels main "buffet" restaurant was on floor 3 - we mainly used it for breakfast. Very good selection of food and extremely friendly staff. The evening buffet , very good food but unless you plan to eat alot is a little expensive for every night ( 225 Dhs each ). Again no problems for wheelchairs. Just along from this was the cocktail bar and access to the gardens.
The lobby had the front desk but also the Raffles saloon bar - with sofa type seating and coffee tables. Towards the back are higher tables but no slopes for wheelchair access - but the staff were friendly and always willing to help get up the two small steps. Servers coffee , a 24hr food menu and CAKES !!! Also many arabic sweets and chocolates.
There is a central area where all 4 lifts to the rooms are .... the lifts are very large and can easily take wheelchairs. They were relatively quick arriving - but then as we were on holiday we probably were not using them at peak business hours. There are another two lifts for access to the top restaurants - Chinese, Asian and Champaign bar.
Access to WAFI shopping center is directly from the Lobby onto level 1. We often used taxis to travel around Dubai - the staff managed to get us cabs really quickly from the front entrance.
Overall the hotel was excellent - all the staff greeted us as we passed and really could not do enough to help. For anyone with reduced mobility or wheelchair bound , this hotel should not give you any issues."
- Travel date: Tue 22nd of April 2008
"this is the best luxurious new hotel in dubai at the moment....and the service..the staff literarly would have picked me off the floor and carried me to my room if i requested.........
the smallest room in the hotel is as big as a suite in other hotels and the interiors r a work of art..beds r very comfy and the balcony r so spacious it can fit an elephant sitting down..
there is a easy access to wafi mall which is one of the luxurious malls in dubai that carries designer brands..
i simply loved it."
- Travel date: Sun 6th of April 2008
good but not great...
"This hotel opened in Nov 07 so was less than 6 months old at the time of my 2 night stay. Only 10 minutes cab ride from the airport in the wafi city complex, but a trek from the beach and the other big shopping malls.
The reception area is awe inspiring, more so than the burj I think, huge columns, massive glass wall, seating areas all in a luxurious egyptian theme. F.desk were speedy and we were soon on the way to our room on the 6th floor. Our bags were not so quick and had to call twice to urge them on. I think for such a large hotel there is a lack of lifts, the hotel was quiet during our stay but still had to wait long periods even during non peak hours, makes me wonder what it will be like when full....
Our standard room was superb, very quiet, balcony overlooking the gardens/pyramids, walk in closet, big bathroom, desk, nice seating area, good bed...and a butler not -that we have any need for one...can't imagine having someone unpack my case etc.
Although new I found the styling a little old fashioned but it has to be said great quality and service excellent, fruit replenished every day, room service food good and prompt.
We ate in 3 of the restaurants....
Azur for breakfast ( not included in rate) was very good, buffet style with hot dishes cooked to order and brought to table.
Asiana for lunch, asian dishes, short menu, starters were great but mains lacked flavour and punch for both of us...just ok.
Fire & Ice Grill for dinner...eclectic menu...some interesting amuse, I was craving red meat so had steak, perfectly ok, tiny side dishes, service average i thought...disappointing...ended up ordering room service as still hungry....!
Didn't use the spa, my wife used the pool and said it was fab and she is discerning !
I have only given a 3 because wasn't really blown away, you are paying big bucks to stay here so expect really good service in all aspects."
- Travel date: Mon 17th of March 2008
"Went to watch the ATP Dubai Tennis Championships with a friend and we decided to explore and stay here since it was a new hotel. We chose the hotel over the Grosvenor hotel and looking back; it was worth it! New hotel and totally luxurious! You even get a butler!
There was no breakfast with the package though which is strange for a Dubai hotel. Also, it's difficult getting taxis from the hotel - maybe because it's new. You could wait sometimes for up to 30 minutes to get a taxi!
The reception is beautiful, huge and very inviting. The lifts are a work of art esp. the one that runs with the garden in view. The rooms are big and so is the bathroom.
A little expensive for the time of the year but we decided to treat it as a splurge!"
- Travel date: Wed 12th of March 2008
"I travel to Dubai every new year almost with a bunch of friends and every year i try to stay at a different hotel, usually by the beach butI left it too late this time and couldn't find anywhere decent by the beach, i checked out the Raffles and having been to their legendary property in Singapore, I booked a grand stateroom (which is their standard room) over their website for a period of 4 nights. I requsted a room on a high floor, near the elevators and a check in as early as 7 am. I was given all the three as i checked in. The room was breathtaking, the furnishing, the bathroom and the generous balcony. The standard rooms are almost 70 sq meters if you include the balcony, that's bigger than an average one bedroom suite in a European 5 star. The service was wonderful, a bit too much at times. The housekeeping and that extra detail when making up the room was amazing. The quality of the room service was also wonderful. The pool was very nice but unfortunately very quiet as was the rest of the hotel, mainly because It's a new property. All in all, probably the best city hotel I've stayed at in Dubai and probably the most amazing standard rooms I've ever seen."
- Travel date: Sat 5th of January 2008