A large, low-lying, two-storey hotel situated near the airport, but away from the flight path, the Meridien caters mainly to shotgun visitors in Dubai for a quick shop or on an en-route layover. Rooms could be described as ‘grandma chic’, with dated decor and ageing white sofas. However, peer through the nets and you’ll be greeted with some surprisingly pleasant views of the gardens and pool area; add the health club, terrace balcony rooms and swim-up bar, and this hotel is a popular choice with older American and European tourists and businessmen.
The grounds house Le Meridien Village, a culinary tour de force with a throng of eateries set in their own walkwayed gardens. The place comes alive at night, with people eating and drinking alfresco into the early hours. The steep room rates are a turn-off, although depending on the month of your visit, you might be able to secure yourself a special deal.