The Roda brand is forging ahead with subverting the expectations of mid-range hotels in Dubai. Having initially taken over two of Rotana’s flagship properties (Al Murooj and Al Bustan), Roda now successfully operate seven hotels in an expanding repertoire focusing on premium locations including JBR, Jumeirah, Downtown and Oud Metha.
Roda Links Al Nasr is the latest venture in the Roda family, situated in Bur Dubai’s thriving Oud Metha district and just ten minutes from Oud Metha Metro Station. The four-star property opened on May 1st 2018 and is conveniently located close to Dubai International Airport, The Dubai Creek (and its burgeoning Al Seef district), Wafi Mall, and new tourist attraction The Dubai Frame.
The diverse neighborhood is representative of a more ‘real Dubai’ than other Roda properties, with Roda Links Al Nasr situated on a busy street close to Lamcy Plaza and wedged between a Mandi shop and small seafood restaurant. The external facade is unexpectedly modern considering the area and provides an adequate reflection of what you’ll find inside.
The reception area is small and welcoming with soft furnishings upholstered in a vibrant red, filling the gap between the two glass fronted elevators. An impressive atrium rises skywards, passing rows of neat foliage and an interesting architectural curve, before culminating in a stained glass window allowing for ample natural light to flood the space. As expected from the Roda brand, staff are more than helpful and display genuine empathy in ensuring guests make the most of their stay.
The Room: Each of Roda Links Al Nasr’s 114 guest rooms are comfortable and stylish, taking on a modern business feel that’s entirely new for the Roda Brand. A colour scheme of grey, turquoise and teal is offset by the brilliant white bed linen and some audacious electric blue lighting, yet the overall effect works.
Rooms are simply furnished but don’t offer quite the same level of luxury as Dubai’s five-star properties. Featuring a large bed, small living area, a sleek writing desk and a touch controlled lighting and speaker system. Unfortunately, the bathrooms are perhaps a little too compact with the doors opening onto the WC, making for entry/exit into the bathroom somewhat cumbersome.
Despite this design error it’s pleasing to see what the Roda brand can do when given full reign of a new property and the design successfully balances minimalism and modernity. These specific rooms may lack the coffee machine, pillow menu or touch screen controls of more upmarket properties, yet the room remains functional, though perhaps not as spacious as we’ve become accustomed to from the Roda chain.
A mini bar, ironing board, safety deposit box, and 42″ multi-channel television (with a good selection of English stations) round out the features of a room adorned with chunky mirrors and vibrant artworks of camels and date palms, perfectly reflective of our Middle Eastern location. A consistently strong Wifi connection in addition to soft robes, slippers and towels (likely due to their newness) are likely to be the factors we’ll remember most in regard to our stay.
Recreation: Roda Links Al Nasr is predominantly a business hotel and with such a budget conscious market and a high turnover of guests, it’s understandable the hotel isn’t particularly ostentatious. All things considered the property manages to provide suitable recreational activities in the form of an outdoor pool and fitness centre.
Our favourite part of the hotel was the swimming pool, situated on the rooftop and offering views overlooking the football fields and tennis courts of Al Nasr with brief glimpses of the Dubai Creek. While neither the largest or prettiest pool you’re likely to encounter in Dubai, it does the job and is nicely positioned as a sun trap for much of the day. The compact pool is temperature controlled and we really enjoyed the ambiance poolside, with chaise longues for relaxing and excellent pool attendants who take pride in ensuring guests are well looked after.
It does seem like a missed opportunity that the building hasn’t been designed to fully embrace the views of the Burj Khalifa which remain obstructed, even on the rooftop.
Adjacent to the pool is the Flow Health Club which is one of the best equipped we’ve seen for some time with free-weights and cardiovascular machines. All the equipment is new and (as expected) towels and water are provided.
F&B: Unlike the properties at Al Murooj or Al Bustan, this specific property follows the template of the Roda Beach Resort and doesn’t involve a large number of food and beverage options. During the time of our Ramadan stay, only the all-day dining restaurant 1971 was open. While the lobby lounge was understandably closed, PJ1’s the soon-to-open sports bar still awaits its liquor license.
While 1971 may not be the most atmospheric of dining destinations, the restaurant is functional and offers a small breakfast buffet with live egg station. The quality of the food is on par with other Roda properties and while not the most extensive of breakfast buffets, what’s on offer is more than sufficient.
Roda’s newest property is a deviation from the five-star luxury found in their flagship location (Roda Al Murooj) but offers something different for the brand at a time when the hospitality industry is looking to adapt. With visitors to Dubai becoming more budget conscious, it’s nice too see Roda assessing guests needs and offering a service and amenities to suit.
Roda Links Al Nasr represents a good all-rounder. Granted it may not be the most luxurious property in the city, Roda’s strengths have always revolved around strong customer service and the overall guest experience.
With three new developments on the way – Roda Jumeirah Beach, Roda Jewel of the Creek and Roda Garhoud – all of which look to be sprawling resort-style properties – we’re genuinely excited to see what a luxury property conceived by the dependable Roda brand will encompass.
Out & About UAE were guests of Roda Al Nasr Links. All views are our own and photographs are © Out & About UAE.