This Easter, we visited the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, a family-friendly 5 star hotel, as part of our visit to Dubai with Dubai Tourism.
The hotel certainly makes a first impression! You’ll see it several minutes before you arrive, a huge wave-shaped building on the waterfront that’s lit up at night.
Now, just to set the scene: we arrived late in the evening, after an epic delay, tired, hot and (honestly) a bit fed up. Scheduled to arrive in Dubai around 7am, we instead arrived closer to 9pm – my mood was not especially chirpy, and poor Flea was barely able to stand up.
But arriving at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel was perfect. Check-in was fast and seamless, and we were in our room within 10 minutes of walking into the lobby.
My first impression was of a very grand lobby that was mobbed with kids. I mean this as a compliment – there’s nothing nicer than a fancy hotel where you don’t immediately feel the need to clutch the kids in case they break something or annoy someone.
As we headed towards the lifts, children around us were playing football, milling in the lobby while their parents chatted, and staff didn’t bat an eyelid.
We ditched our bags and freshened up, then headed to dinner via the beach. It was lovely to get some fresh air after a long flight, and the views were pretty cool. Although it should be said Flea fell over about 20 seconds after the photo above was taken, and I couldn’t help her, because I was laughing too much. TOP parenting.
Fortunately, the hotel’s buffet restaurant, Latitude, is pretty relaxed. Wearing our slightly damp airport clothes, we headed to dinner. Now, it has to be said we’ve visited our share of buffets over the years, but this buffet is – WOW.
On the night we visited, the theme was Chinese food, which meant a buffet of meat, fish and vegetable dishes, freshly rolled duck pancakes, steamed dumplings and more. A lot of dishes were made fresh on the spot, and everything I tried was piping hot and really tasty.
It was so lovely to sit outside and enjoy the warmth, even at 10pm. The atmosphere here is relaxed but very much Dubai – most of the families were definitely dressed at the smart end of ‘smart casual’.
What blew Flea’s mind though, was the choice – alongside Chinese food there were roast meats, pasta, a noodle station, and a whole little room devoted to bread. Perhaps Flea’s favourite element was the dessert station where she could choose ice creams and sorbets, marshmallows and more, doused with sauce from a chocolate fountain. What more could your average 10-year-old wish for?
Dining at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel can be paid for on a per-meal basis – our buffet for two came in at around 500 dirham (£100), plus drinks – but most families opt for the hotel’s dining package, which gives guests one voucher per day which can be used in any of the hotel’s restaurants for lunch or dinner. The vouchers can also be used at other Jumeirah hotels, although a supplement may be payable at some of the more upscale eateries.
Our room was a double room on the 12th floor, with a corner-style sofa bed that could accommodate two additional guests. It was very spacious with plenty of storage – you can check out the room tour below to see it in more detail.
Of course, you’re in Dubai so our Ocean Superior room came with lots of lux touches – electronic touch pads on both sides of the bed which control the lighting, air-con and curtains; coffee machine, a widescreen HD TV, free, fast WiFi and an iPod docking station.
We also loved some of the extra touches left by hotel staff in our room each day – LOADS of complimentary bottles of water (I hate, hate, hate when hotels don’t do this), and complimentary Elemis toiletries one night, followed by a Jumeirah soft toy and chocolates the next. Fresh fruit was in our room on arrival, although it wasn’t refreshed, so was a bit soft by the end of two days.
I also appreciated that there is a really nice, complimentary beach bag in the wardrobe, and after our first breakfast, we found hats had been left in our room – thoughtful little touches that do make you feel exceedingly well looked after.
Our very favourite thing though, was seeing the ocean view as we opened the curtains in the morning and looked through the floor to ceiling windows – our room had a view across the private beach below, the Burj al Arab, and the ocean beyond. It was ridiculously beautiful.
Breakfast at the hotel is also served buffet style, and there are plenty of other options available. It was a bit chaotic and busy, so we grabbed a quick bite and then took a walk along the beach, to check out the sea and visit the hotel’s six swimming pools. To Flea’s great disappointment, we didn’t have any free time at this hotel on our short trip – with all the pools, and a huge variety of water sports lessons available on the beach, this place is certainly set up to keep families entertained.
Perhaps most excitingly, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel is right next to the Wild Wadi water park, and guests at the hotel have free, unlimited access to the water park.
I’ve written about our visit to the water park here already, so won’t go into too much detail here. Suffice to say it’s a fab, clean, safe water park with plenty to do for the whole family. We loved it, and I can imagine that if we stayed at the hotel for longer, we’d spend half our week at the water park!
Overall, I thought the Jumeirah Beach Hotel was a very impressive, family-friendly hotel.
For my tastes, it was probably a little bit on the loud and hectic side. When you’re travelling with small children, though, that’s not a bad thing – it’s lovely to see that children are genuinely welcomed here, and not simply tolerated.
Travelling with older children, I’d opt to stay at the Madinat Jumeirah, just a little way down the beach, which has a slightly calmer, more laid-back feel. I’ll be reviewing that hotel later this week in a separate post. Be sure to come back and check it out!
We stayed at Jumeirah Beach Hotel as guests of Visit Dubai. An Ocean Superior Room at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in summer 2016 costs 1900 dirham (£350) per night, including free access to the private beach and the adjoining Wild Wadi water park. For further information see the Jumeirah website.