There are a lot of 4 Star hotels in Dubai, but which ones are the best? Of course, there is no truly objective answer to that question as people have different reasons for staying in a hotel. What you expect when you are on holiday may be very different from what you need when you are in town to do business. With that in mind, I will do my best to put you on the right track.
Firstly, all hotels will have air-conditioners but in the older hotels, they may be noisy or less efficient. If yours does not reach the level of coolness you expect, ask for it to be serviced and keep asking politely but firmly until it is done. Service should not be slow in a four-star hotel, but it could be. Four-star hotels have free wifi in the public areas, but they have not made this seemingly essential service freely available in all rooms yet. For the business traveler this is a nuisance, so do ask before you book or check what the reviews say about the wifi service.
Compared to four-star hotels in Europe, these hotels are something special, but even a four-star hotel is not going to be on the beach front although it may be near as indicated on the map. It will have a good pool and if you choose carefully, it should have views although sometimes the views are reserved for the more expensive rooms. Some hotels do make it possible to book rooms with views if that is an essential for you, so do check that out. The one time I specified a room with a view in Rome, I was astounded to find I got it. I must admit it was in low season.
Dubai is a long thin city that has spread along the coast from both sides of the Dubai Creek, but that does not mean it is easy to get a sea view. A water view is possible, but a sea view is going to cost. Also, at peak times, it can be very frustrating getting around on the roads, though the Metro is a cheap and efficient alternative.
The newer developments are on the Bur Dubai side of the creek stretching down to the Dubai Marina. Also, there are a few new hotels on the Creek itself but they are the five-star hotels, mostly. To look at specific hotels, I will start with the Dubai Marina towards the Jebel Ali end of Dubai and work inward towards the Burj Dubai and Dubai Mall area.
JA Ocean View Hotel
At the Marina end of Dubai there are some fabulous hotels and one of the best four-star hotels is JA Ocean View Hotel. The name says it all. It does have ocean views. But, be warned, it is not right on the beach. There is a little walk and in some of the Marina areas, including near this hotel, there is still construction work. This can cause inconvenience and noise. But for the view-hungry or beach lovers, this is a great four-star option. The Marina area does suffer from road congestion at peak times, so factor this into your day.
The Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites
The Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites is also in the Dubai Marina area and offers you reasonably priced one and two bedroom suites in a tall building with views, and in the more expensive rooms, gorgeous views of the water. The décor is very modern and sleek. The rooms are spacious and the service is usually very good. Of course, this is not guaranteed as staff change and even the best of them have bad days just like the rest of us. If the view is important to you make that clear when you book. Some windows do include other buildings in the general view (a city view) and you may be disappointed. Specify an unclutter water view and enjoy it. Hopefully, you will be out enjoying Dubai’s many attractions or at the hotel pool some of the time.
The Al Manzil Hotel
The Al Manzil Hotel is worth considering if you want a four-star option near the Dubai Mall. The Burj Khalifa is right nearby if you feel like a trip to the top of the tallest building in the world. This is a really lovely part of Dubai and very central, which means you can branch out to different parts of Dubai without incurring undue expense. The metro is nearby but during the hot time of year, you might not be able to walk to it. The building itself incorporates design elements that relate to its setting in the Middle East unlike a lot of large hotels. There is a hotel courtyard that has a very Middle Eastern flavor. Although there is no sea or water view, there is a pool.
Vida Downtown Dubai
Vida Downtown Dubai is also in the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa area. Like a lot of what is known as the Downtown area it too has a distinct Arabian flavor in the architecture that makes it something special for a holiday. The pool is very beautiful and safe for children. Although this is a very new part of Dubai, it is not a part where you have to struggle with construction sites right outside the window. In fact, this area is very glamorously landscaped and a pleasure to walk around if you are just getting a taxi or walking to the mall.
The Rose Rayhaan
The Rose Rayhaan by Rotana Dubai is another good hotel and should suit the more modest budget. This hotel is situated on Sheik Zayed Rd and very near to a metro station making it a very central location for exploring the city. The rooms have a very classic look to them being neither too minimal nor overly opulent. Some rooms will have views of the Burj Khalifa which is quite nearby and others will have city views.
The best four-star hotels tend to cluster in the strip from the Dubai Marina to the Dubai Financial District and there are plenty to choose from.