Grosvenor House Dubai: perfection in a hotel

There is no shortage of high-end or luxury hotels in Dubai. But there can be a gap between the promise and the experience. During my first trip there I was tempted by the famous Atlantis: if the excessiveness was there it smelled of fake and lack of taste at all levels. In short, an average hotel, without charm, and a fake experience. To be avoided. Today, however, we’re going to talk about a sure thing: the Grosvenor House, located in Dubai Marina.

An iconic hotel in the heart of Dubai Marina

The hotel is therefore located in the middle of Dubai Marina. This doesn’t mean much in terms of travel in a city where everything is done by car anyway, but it does mean that it offers a nice view of this lively neighborhood. Moreover, in the periods of the year when the heat allows it, we are at 50 m of the Promenade to walk or run in the morning, and at a stone’s throw from Marina Beach.

 

Dubai Marina Promenade
Dubai Marina Promenade

For those on business trips, Media City and Internet City are only a few minutes away by cab.

This is where the two 45-story towers of one of the most famous hotels in Dubai stand, a hotel that has the reputation of being one of the very best luxury hotels in Dubai and the Middle East.

Grosvenor House Dubai

It is always said that you can get an idea of a hotel just by entering the lobby. Here everything exudes good taste, sober and discreet luxury. From the lobby to the restrooms to the corridors, everything is in unison and gives a sense of calm and exclusivity.

Grosvenor House Dubai

 

Grosvenor House Dubai

IMG_6019

Grosvenor House Dubai

Grosvenor House Dubai

 

Arrived early, lunch offered to wait

The check in goes admirably well. The staff is efficient and attentive. Unfortunately I arrived a little early and my room is not ready. I was offered an equivalent one but with two beds and a different view. I prefer to keep mine even if I have to wait, knowing that it will be ready in 45 minutes.

To make me wait I will be proposed to have lunch, offered by the hotel. I am thus directed towards the “Sloanes”, the restaurant “buffet” of the hotel. But we will talk about it later in the section dedicated to the catering. In the meantime, by the time I get there, the staff is notified and calls me by name without me even having to identify myself. A good point.

So it’s time to go to my room. Same causes, same punishment as in Abu-Dhabi. Last minute booking in the middle of the Dubai Air Show, the “standard” rooms are very much in demand and see their prices soar. I then prefer a suite on special offer for a few dozen euros more, including Club access. I got a Premier Suite, one of the smallest in the hotel (57 m2) for less than 500 euros a night.

A First Suite without any taste mistakes

The room is bright, furnished with sobriety and taste.

The entrance and the day room.

Premier Suite - Grosvenor House Dubai

Premier Suite - Grosvenor House Dubai

The corner bedroom.

Premier Suite - Grosvenor House Dubai

The bathroom has a very large shower and an equally large bathtub.

Premier Suite - Grosvenor House Dubai

At Grosvenor House from the Suite level up, all bath products are by Bulgari.

Premier Suite - Grosvenor House Dubai

Premier Suite - Grosvenor House Dubai

Video tour.

A quality and abundant food service offer

L’hôtel ne compte pas moins d’une quinzaine de bars et restaurants dont, si mon souvenir est bon, deux étoilés. For my part, I only tried two due to time constraints and booking requirements for some.

First of all, the Sloanes that I mentioned earlier. In general, the buffet restaurant is the poor relation of the hotels and you should not expect much. Ici c’est tout l’inverse. The offer is very rich and the quality comparable or even superior to many “real” restaurants. Whether you eat French, Indian, Italian, grill, fish, Japanese … from salad to dessert through the main course the offer is of a rare richness and really excellent.

Sloanes - Grosvenor House Dubai

Sloanes - Grosvenor House Dubai

I also tested the Toro Toro, specialized in South American cuisine. Very good experience too even if the bill is not on the same level and the “nightlife” side will annoy those who want to concentrate on what’s in the plate. I would have liked to try the Indego by Vineet (one of the few if not the only Indian starred restaurant) as well as the restaurant of starred chef Gary Rhodes. It may be for another time but I was too late to get a reservation.

The Level 5 Club: more than an excellent surprise

Another excellent surprise: the Club, here named Level 5. You probably know the principle of “club” rooms in hotels: some customers, depending on their room or their status in the loyalty program, have access to a place where they find work spaces and a lounge where drinks and light snacks are available for free. It is very pleasant and practical even if often quite basic.

The Grosvenor Club sets the bar infinitely higher than I have ever seen before. A rich and varied buffet, beverage service at the table (complimentary alcohols at the aperitif), concierge service, an abundant and responsive staff, and a setting and ambiance that would make it a trendy place for executives in most major cities of the world. Composed of three rooms it is also one of the largest I have seen. The same goes for the buffet.

I had lunch and snacks there many times and used the services of the concierge to arrange a number of things. A place where we enjoy spending time and where we will always find staff available to take care of every detail of our stay in the hotel as well as outside it.

Some pictures to illustrate my point.

Level 5 lounge - Grosvenor House Dubai

Level 5 lounge - Grosvenor House Dubai

Level 5 lounge - Grosvenor House Dubai

Level 5 lounge - Grosvenor House Dubai

Level 5 lounge - Grosvenor House Dubai

And the buffet.

Level 5 lounge - Grosvenor House Dubai

Two great spas, no beach

The hotel has two outdoor pools, one per tower, around the 4th floor. Backed by a bar, they have plenty of space to sit and enjoy the sun without being crowded together.

It also has two spas, one per tower, each with its own style. One more like a laboratory, the other more Asian. The hotel’s guests of, of course, discounts, and the service is high quality and very professional. An experience to repeat with pleasure.

On the other hand, no beach at the Grosvenor, the hotel being on the Marina side and not on the beach side. This does not bother me at all, I am not a fan of “resorts” and for me Dubai is more a city than a beach spot. In addition, I think that the Grosvenor House clientele is looking for quality, service and experience rather than miles of sunbeds along the beach.

If you really want to, the Grosvenor House works in conjunction with the Royal Meridien located a hundred meters away. The latter is a real resort with one of the largest amount of sunbeds I have seen on a hotel beach. The whole without being tight at all, because the beach is very large.

Urban planning being what it is in Dubai and even if the hotels are close, a shuttle bus goes back and forth between the two hotels every 15 minutes. Grosvenor guests are dropped off at a special entrance that gives them direct access to the pools and beaches without having to cross the facility.

Photos taken one day when the wind was very present, lifting the sand a little and darkening the landscape.

 

Royal Méridien Dubai

Royal Méridien Dubai

Royal Méridien Dubai

Royal Méridien Dubai

If you are more a “beach and resort” person I would recommend the Royal Meridien where you can also use the Grosvenor facilities. If you’re more of an “attentive service and luxury experience” person, go for the Grosvenor and enjoy the Royal Meridien.

An impeccable service

One last word to talk about the service, taken in the broadest sense (reception, lounge, concierge, restaurant, spas, bellhop etc). One word to say that there is nothing to say: everything seems perfectly oiled and works with the greatest professionalism and sense of service. I never saw the slightest hesitation, failure or carelessness. Not the slightest flaw therefore, and an availability at any time whatever the request made or the question asked. All with politeness and a smile.

The Grosvenor House Dubai, one of the best luxury hotels

It is difficult to rate luxury hotels because each one has its own particularities and because you end up finding somewhere better than the one you said was the best. However, I have never seen so much consistency and quality at this level, without the slightest flaw or negative point unless you aim for the Palace category. And still…the Grosvenor House can compete with some of them on a lot of points.

So you guessed it, this is a hotel that I particularly recommend. I will go back there without any hesitation for a future stay in Dubai. At 450 euros for the Premier Suite, it’ s not something you can refuse.

The Grosvenor House: a hotel that is a destination in itself

And this will be my conclusion. There are hotels that you return to when you go to a city and there are those that you return to for themselves, regardless of the city. A bit like the Raffles in Singapore and the famous phrase “Since we are at the Raffles, let’s take the opportunity to visit Singapore“. Having heard many people talk about it in the past, and as one person at the hotel confirmed to me, the Grosvenor House is a destination hotel. “You go to the Grosvenor House and since it is in Dubai, let’s go to Dubai.

At most, one could criticize the lack of a beach “of its own” but as I said, I think that the subject is “out of scope” for this kind of hotel.

Grosvenor House embodies the difference, the subtle divide between high end, luxury and experience. For this reason alone it is worth a visit.

NB: as I’m about to put this online I learn that the Grosvenor has been elected “World Leading Business Hotel” and the Royal Meridien “World Leading Beach Resort” for 2015. This confirms what I think.

The full album is available here.

 

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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