My husband and I recently went on our honeymoon. We spent a week in Dubai and a week in Mauritius. As both were places we’d wanted to visit for a long time, this trip was quite the dream come true! We saw a lifetime’s worth of sights, which I’ll write about in full travel guides on each location soon. But first, I wanted to recap our stay at one of the hotels in Dubai that made our honeymoon extra special: Fairmont Dubai.
With over 600 hotels offering a total of more than 100,000 rooms, Dubai is ranked as one of the top 10 cities in the world for the highest number of hotel rooms (and that doesn’t take into account all the hotels under construction)! In Dubai, there truly is a hotel or accommodation for every budget and style. So, with all those options, how do you know which hotel in Dubai is the right one for you? When it was time to select which hotel to stay at for our honeymoon, we considered a few key factors, like: location, rooms, price, and brand reputation.
The Hotel & Location
Fairmont Dubai is on Sheikh Zayed Road, the major artery in Dubai that runs parallel to the coast and connects Dubai to Abu Dhabi. The hotel is in the heart of downtown – close to major sights, like the Dubai Mall (the largest mall in the world), the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world), and the beach/coastline. It’s also directly connected to the metro, which makes getting around pretty easy. Apart from location, Fairmont is a name we know and trust.
The first thing you notice when you enter is the massive and impressive lobby! In fact, the hotel recently got a facelift (apparently to the tune of close to $10 million USD!) – rooms and lobby included. Futuristic-looking glass elevators carry you up to the floors. So, if fresh and modern are your thing, you will absolutely love Fairmont Dubai! It’s suitable for the luxury traveller, honeymooners, or the young elite! Had it not been Ramadan when we were there, my husband and I definitely would have had a few drinks at Bagatelle and Cavalli Club at night (both of which are on-site, but closed during Ramadan).
We stayed for 3 nights in a 1-bedroom suite. At close to 900 sq. ft., the suite was about the size of our loft in Toronto! The suite had a large living room with couch and TV, dining room with windows overlooking downtown, a separate office area with desk, spacious bedroom with floor-to-ceiling corner window and en-suite bath, and another half bath near the suite entrance. Needless to say, we had plenty of room to spread out and get comfortable during our stay at Fairmont Dubai! The en-suite bathroom had a tub and separate shower with rainfall showerhead and was well-stocked with my favourite Le Labo bath amenities, while the rest of the suite had all of the amenities you’d expect of a 5-star hotel (including free WiFi and high-speed internet, coffeemaker, safe etc.).
The Service & Amenities
The most outstanding part of our stay at Fairmont Dubai was the service (okay, and the Kobe beef steak dinner at The Exchange Grill, but more on that below!). From the time we checked in to the hotel until the time we checked out, the service was exceptional. The staff was friendly and there was a lot of attention to detail throughout. On arrival, our bed was sprinkled with red rose petals and there was a platter of fresh fruit waiting for us, which really set the tone for our honeymoon stay.
Fairmont Gold Lounge
While at Fairmont Dubai, we had Gold Club benefits, which included:
- Expedited check-in on the 33rd floor
- Early check-in at 12 p.m. and late check-out at 4 p.m.
- Access to the Fairmont Gold Lounge, including
- breakfast in the lounge (not available during Ramadan)
- afternoon tea from 1-5 p.m.
- evening happy hour
The Fairmont Gold Lounge became a bit of a second home for us! It was really, realllly nice to relax there with a drink, after a long (hot and sweaty) day of sightseeing in Dubai. Between 6-9 p.m., a selection of hot and cold finger foods and desserts were served, and between 8-10 p.m., there was complimentary alcohol (even during Ramadan).
The Spa at Fairmont Dubai
The Spa deserves a special mention because it also set the tone for our honeymoon. We each had a 1-hr. spa treatment on the evening we arrived, which ensured we had a really good sleep that night! The Spa occupies about 40,000 sq. ft. in the hotel, there are a variety of treatments available, and service is top-notch. There is also a steam room, sauna and whirlpool. On the same floor, guests have access to Fairmont Dubai’s sunset and sunrise pools – so-named because they’re mirror images of each other on opposite sides of the building, with separate hours to accommodate sunrise and sunset.
As a food blogger, I really appreciate a hotel that has great food and that makes dining in your room easy (and photogenic)! Fairmont Dubai has a total of 13 dining and entertainment facilities on-site, all of which can be found here.
Breakfast (from 6:30-11:30 a.m. daily) was included with our stay and served at Cascades on the ground level, since we were visiting during Ramadan. The spread was absolutely incredible! There was so much variety, including: a donut section, breads, pastries, hot breakfast section, meats and cheeses, and my favourite part – the middle eastern breakfast section. I loved being able to ‘build my own’ foule (ful madammas), by adding sprinkles of fresh parsley, tomatoes and other accoutrements! One morning, staff were kind enough to bring our breakfast up to the room, so we could eat feast at a table next to the window with a view of downtown Dubai!
Dinner at The Exchange Grill
We had a beyond remarkable dinner at The Exchange Grill one evening! Our waiter knew more about Kobe beef (the main attraction) than most waiters know about an entire menu!
We had bread service, crab cakes, green salad, and a couple of glasses of wine to start. For our mains, we ordered the 10 oz. Kobe beef filet and 12 oz. Kobe beef rib eye, with sides of potato, garlic broccoli, and grilled asparagus. Is your mouth watering yet? I’ve never had such an exquisite cut of steak in my life, and I’m pretty sure we had a hard time moving from our chairs after all that food! Even if you don’t stay at Fairmont Dubai, a visit to The Exchange Grill is recommended on any trip to Dubai (but be prepared for a big dent in your wallet!). FYI – it was named by TimeOut Dubai magazine as the best steakhouse in Dubai, if my word alone isn’t enough to convince you!
Staying During Ramadan
If you plan to visit Dubai during Ramadan, it’s always best to plan ahead and do your research. This includes making inquiries with hotels about how Ramadan will affect your stay. Since eating between sunrise and sunset is generally prohibited during Ramadan, many hotel restaurants close or have limited hours during the day. Out of respect for the local culture, some restaurants will erect a tent or curtains, so eating is not visible to the outside. At Fairmont Dubai, the entire main lobby was decked out with beautiful decorations for Ramadan and Cascades was transformed into an iftar tent. We didn’t get to experience the iftar buffet (which we heard is a fun experience). Apart from eating breakfast in an enclosed area, Ramadan didn’t affect our stay. A couple restaurants and bars remained open during the day, but we spent most of our time exploring Dubai during those hours anyway.
Thank you so much to the wonderful team at Fairmont Dubai for making our honeymoon stay as special and comfortable as it was!
*Fairmont Dubai hosted us for our stay. However, all opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.