Keeping in style with Marriotts the world over, this is an elegant and grand hotel attached to the Hamarain shopping centre. Huge sofas and lush cushions all but engulf guests at the lobby, and the enormous staircase is straight out of Cinderella. Strange, then, that the classy ambience is undermined somewhat by an assemblage of plastic palm trees.
Rooms are comfortable and offer an old-world formality that’s rare in Dubai hotels. As with most hotels in the downtown area, vistas are limited and there’s little to please the eye in the neighbouring buildings or the busy main road. The pool and health facilities, aside from the massive gym and training area, are average at best. Where the hotel’s attention to detail really comes to the fore is in the daily beach-bound shuttle buses. Before they leave, passengers are presented with a beach bag that provides towels, iced water and sun lotion and on return iced face towels to calm the sunburn.
It’s a relaxing option that may go some way to compensating for the trek across town, although business travellers would do well to check out the Courtyard by Marriott (885 2222). Positioned in the Green Community, its location is handy for those sealing deals over at Media City.