When we choose which hotels to book, we consider four main things: price, location, quality, and value for money. Not an exhaustive list but they cover our essentials, and definitely not always in that order. Ideally all four factors rate reasonably highly, but sometimes you want to or have no choice but to value one factor more than the others… Are you splashing out on a romantic weekend away where quality is everything and price matters less? Maybe you’re planning on sightseeing all day long and just need something clean and functional in the heart of the city?
Or what if you happen to be embarking on an over 30 hour journey to the other side of the world and want to sleep in a bed between your two very long flights? You book a room in the only hotel in the airport, that’s what! And that is how we ended up checking into the Dubai International Hotel for less than 10 hours. In any other situation, it would be absolutely ludicrous, but faced with that transit time sandwiched between two even longer flights, the lure of a comfortable bed and hot shower was just too great! Since location was the only factor that mattered, we had to trust that everything else would be just fine too…
Arrival and Check In
Once we had filed off the plane, we were greeted at the gate by one of the staff from the hotel. Shortly after making the booking, the hotel had contacted me to confirm our flight arrival details and mentioned that, pending availability, there would be someone to greet us. Given our arrival time, I sort of assumed there wouldn’t actually be any availability. In hindsight, I realise that was a silly assumption; Dubai International is one of the busiest, if not the busiest airport in the world, so our 1am arrival time was never going to be a problem.
The meet and greet service might seem like overkill, especially since the hotel has rooms in each of the airport’s concourses so you don’t have to venture too far. However, it was quite a godsend; we were able to fast track our way through security and having someone navigate us through the busy airport made the whole process quite painless. Check in was also very speedy and we were relaxing in our room with a cup of tea in a matter of minutes!
Room – Junior Suite
As we weren’t exactly hanging around in our room for long and the prices aren’t exactly cheap, we decided to just book the base-level Deluxe room. That would have been perfectly adequate for our needs, but Dubai International Hotel had other ideas and upgraded us to a massive and even more luxurious Junior Suite located on their Executive floor. All of the rooms here have access to free wifi, and complementary food and drink in the Executive Lounge at all hours of the day which is really handy if you’re feeling particularly peckish.
Our room was very well-equipped and actually had us wishing we had a longer transit time so we could enjoy all the amenities. It would have been nice to relax on the couch and watch something trashy on the telly, or have a long soak in the bath, but all we managed was a hilarious few minutes in the massage chair (it really works wonders) and a hot shower before hopping into the huge, comfy bed!
Breakfast and Check Out
Breakfast was also complementary with our room and served in the Executive Lounge. There was a buffet with all the usual cereals, breads, cold meats and cheeses, and fruit, and a cooked breakfast option which we hungrily took advantage of. The latter was definitely the better choice, and while it was hardly gourmet, it was cooked properly and tasty enough. They had a news channel playing onscreen, but I thought they could have had a better selection of newspapers and magazines, as well as a screen displaying the departure details – this would have been especially useful as we rushed through breakfast only to find out our flight had been delayed!
As we had prepaid the room, the check out process was again very fast. We handed back our keys, got directions to our gate and off we went! So how did it fare in each of our essential hotel factors? The location was of course perfect, the price was a little on the steep side, but the quality was good, and it served its purpose well so I suppose that makes it good value for money! Overall, I’d say our stay at the Dubai International Hotel was short and sweet – our room had everything we needed to ensure we were relaxed and refreshed!
Have you ever checked into an airport hotel during a long transit?
Thanks to Dubai International Hotel for the room upgrade, but as always, all opinions are mine and mine alone!