If there’s one thing to know about travelling to Dubai, it’ll be that there’s no shortage of options when it comes to accommodation. Every major hotel chain is represented and the city is even home to the first Armani Hotel.
But if you’re looking to be comfortable and well looked after without burning a hole in your pocket, check in to Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City.
Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City Exterior
Located a mere 15-minute drive from Dubai International Airport, this glittering waterfront property is, in our opinion, perfect for business travellers and couples who want a quiet, cosy nest to return to after a long day of exploring the old souks and glitzy malls of Dubai.
From the moment I walked into my Executive Room – the second category after the lead in Deluxe Room – I was comfortable and at ease, especially after my eight hour flight (crying children included) left me tired and jittery. Overlooking the Dubai Creek and downtown Dubai, the room was furnished in safe, neutral tones and the walls were rather bare. Nevertheless, it was bright and airy. No problems with the in-room wifi either.
Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City Deluxe Room
The spaciousness extended to the bathroom as well, with a hydrotherapy bathtub, shower, sink, and toilet. Bathroom amenities are by award-winning British spa and skincare brand Elemis. A small, considerate touch I appreciated was the hotel management attaching a map of running routes to a bottle of water in the bathroom.
Speaking of keeping fit, their small but well-curated gym – includes rowers, treadmills, elliptical machines, free weights, and stationary bikes – is open 24/7. Another highlight is the temperature controlled swimming pool and three Jacuzzis, which provide a panoramic view of the creek and the city skyline. For spa treatments, guests would have to cross over to sister hotel InterContinental Dubai as both properties share a spa.
New to Arabic food? Then I highly suggest heading to their all-day dining restaurant, Zaytoun, for dinner. Zaytoun’s Mashawi Nights (AED195 including soft beverages, 295 including house beverages). Alongside a delicious spread of Mediterranean and Arabic salads, starters, and desserts – do have the comforting lentil soup and special house bread – you’ll be served a huge tray of grilled meat and seafood, Arabic style. I could not finish mine, so if you’re a small eater, be sure to try the kofta and prawns first as those were my favourites.
Mashawi Nights at Zaytoun
Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City is also home to Belgian Café Dubai, which boasts a decent selection of bier on tap and a cosy atmosphere to chill out, and Skyline Lounge, a communal space by the pool that serves up cocktails and shisha.
Would I stay there again if I ever find myself back in Dubai? The answer is a hell, yeah. Though it might not be near the Metro or the Burj Khalifa, taxis are inexpensive and readily available. And it means you can take refuge from the city, which can get a little overwhelming sometimes.