Shortly before returning to the UK for our summer vacation, we treated ourselves to a quick two night staycation at the luxurious Habtoor Grand hotel, located at the far end of Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR). Our reasons for picking this specific hotel were the location and the reasonable price (there are some great bargains to be had during Dubai’s hot summer months).
Tucked away at the far end of JBR, sandwiched between the SkyDive Dubai campus and the Le Royal Meridien, The Habtoor Grand is difficult to miss with it’s two towers stretching from the desert floor ever-skywards. Ascending the ramp to the valet, ensure to look up to the stained glass dome depicting scenes of traditional bedouin life, with forts, sand dunes and of course… camels.
Reception is a serene white space of fountains, canopies, marble and a glass central fountain, depicting the opening of a lotus flower. The space is both glamorous and serene and works as a beautiful introduction to the hotel’s exquisite interiors and the delightful rooms soon to be discovered, hidden behind ornate wooden doors. Despite no welcome drinks or cold towels to combat the intense summer heat, the check-in experience was speedy and efficient, with the polite and helpful staff upgrading our room to a sea view, due to low occupancy.
Fresh flowers fill the light and spacious communal areas and there are plenty of spaces to relax with majlis style seating under neutral coloured canopies, that perfectly reflect Dubai’s desert location. Best of all, the hotel feels welcoming and homely which is enhanced by the ever-smiling, hospitable staff.
The hotel’s numerous rooms are spread between two towers which are connected via either the lobby or the adults only infinity pool. Our room was located on the tenth floor of the sunset tower (he other is named sun rise) and the wide, open hallways that lead to the rooms continue the hotel’s sense of tranquility with neutral tones and bold carpeting in distinctly Arabian designs. Hallways are punctuated by small alcoves splashed with vibrant colours, that showcase Arabic urns and each room is situated behind large wooden shutters that immediayelty provides a sense of seclusion and privacy.
Each room is compact and comprises a large (and very comfortable) bed, a chaise longue, armchair, mini bar, flat screen television, tea and coffee making facilities and a wardrobe. All rooms are furnished in neutral colours with splashes of gold and plush ivory furnishings, that feel luxurious and palatial. Arabic architecture is used sparingly as a transition between living and bathing area.
The bathroom is superior to the room itself, in both design and functionality. Taking on the appearance of a Moroccan Hammam with gold and amber mosaic tiles, a delightfully deep bath and powerful walk-in rainfall shower. Most striking in the sink, that is made completely from clear glass and is something that we have not seen before. The bathroom feels exquisite with its intricate mosaics and distinctly Arabian flavour.
Being a five star beachfront property, what sells that Habtoor Grand are the spectacular views. If you have an ocean facing room, prepare to be astounded as the small balcony provides a vantage point to one of the most beautiful views in Dubai! Gaze across the pool, through gardens of lush vegetation and palm trees, to the white sands of the Arabian Gulf and finally the ocean. Watch as the tone of the sea turns from a bright turquoise to a richer and somewhat deeper blue.
No matter the time of the day, there is always something to see from the balcony. Early morning is the time for skydivers taking off from the runway at SkyDive Dubai and slowly cascading back down towards earth. Afternoon’s bring jet skies, that buzz around the ocean waves out towards the iconic structure of Atlantis, which is clearly visible on the horizon.Watch a spectacular sunset, as the skyline illuminates with the neon glow from the forthcoming Dubai Eye (the world’s largest ferris wheel), located out to sea on BlueWaters island.
The views from the balcony are simply stunning, its just a shame that the balcony itself is so small with no room for any sort of furniture.
From a family perspective, the Habtoor Grand is a fantastic resort, not only because it boasts three swimming pools, a private beach and extensive gardens. Children are welcome to participate it a number of free activities that includes squash, football, circuit training and yoga – all under the supervision of the health club team. For younger guests, bottle sterilising fascilites are available on request – something that not many hotels offer and certainly makes your hotel stay much easier, if you have a baby.
As we previously mentioned, there are not one, not two, but three swimming pool!. On the upper levels of the hotel building itself, is the adults only infinity pool (strictly over 21s only). In the gardens, you will find the family pool, with enticing waters and a large swim up bar (fully shaded). What’s more, the pool contains a bubbling jacuzzi ledge which is exactly where you would find us during our two day stay at the resort.
Children will be completely enamoured with the kiddies pool, built around the facade of a rocky mountain. Complete with two slides that spiral around the mountain-side, descending into tiered plunge pools on the way. There is also a selection of small fountains and a cave system to explore, that is likely to keep the little ones occupied for hours on end.
The private beach is accessible via the hotels manicured gardens of green lawns, palm groves and narrow rivers, running through mangrove trees and tropical plants, before eventually leading guests to the idillic beach. The beach at JBR is arguably the most popular in Dubai and it’s great to find a stretch of secluded sand, scattered with wooden umbrellas, sun loungers and complementary cool towels.
To have the clear ocean juxtaposed against the metropolis of glitzy skyscrapers that make up Dubai Marina, is a strange sight to behold – where natural meets the future – with the twisting Cayan Tower marking the pinnacle of everything that Dubai has achieved in such a short time span.
Whole staying at the Habtoor Grand, we only dined in the Al Dhiyafa all-day-dining restuarant. A space of light wood and dark leather couches that felt very modern. Despite predominantly offering a buffet, we ordered a la carte and sampled the fresh pizza of the day, wood fired before our very eyes and containing juicy slices of grilled chicken. The Angus flamed beef burger was also good with its caramelised onions and generous offerings of mozzarella cheese.
Al Dhiyafa is one of sixteen food and beverage outlets found within the hotel, where you can also sample the South African cuisine at The Grand Grill, Italian staples for Luciano’s, or Cuban delights at Salamar. Guests are quite simply spoiled for choice, no matter your culinary preference.
Breakfast can be taken in either Al Dhifaya or in the comfort of the room (for no extra cost), so we’re sure you can guess what we opted for? Who doesn’t love breakfast in bed? Especially when pancakes and French Toast are involved! The fact that the Habtoor Grand allows you to transfer your breakfast experience to the room, shows that they are putting guests first in allowing them to customise their stay to make the experience unique.
The room service that we ordered was also good and the prices are fully inclusive, meaning no hidden taxes or fees. Staff are courteous, which really does make all the difference and with a delightful turndown service each night, we most definitely slept like babies.
Other than the small balcony and spotty wifi (that comes and goes at a moments notice and is extremely frustrating), we could find little fault with a stay at this beach resort. With the ocean right at your doorstep, and a fantastic beach, the Habtoor Grand is the perfect spot for a staycation in which you can completely unwind and relax.
What’s more, being at JBR, the hotel is just a few minutes from The Walk and The Beach Mall, home to some of Dubai’s finest restaurants (including Out & About UAE favourite, Seven Sands)! Even better is the fact that MilkCow, the Korean organic ice cream spot is located right at the hotels entrance – so you have no excuse not to try it. All in all we thoroughly recommend a stay at the Habtoor Grand and are likely to return to the property again in the future.
Location: Al Falea Street, Jumeirah Beach Dubai United Arab Emirates
Phone: 04 399 5000
All views within this blog are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE, unless otherwise stated.