Back in March, I wrote about how to book partner award flights on Etihad Airways. We originally booked First Apartments both to Abu Dhabi from London and from Abu Dhabi back to London over the Thanksgiving holiday, but unfortunately, the airplane for our flight from London was switched from an A380 (which has First Apartments) to an A340 (which has Etihad's standard First Class). The airplane switch was somewhat devastating, but at least we will still experience the Apartments on our way home. We planned a whirlwind luxury long weekend in Dubai around these flights and I'll be covering all the details in upcoming posts.
Review: British Airways Club World SFO - LHR
Review: LHR Etihad Airways First & Business Class Lounge
Review: Etihad Airways First Class LHR - AUH
Review: Park Hyatt Dubai
Review: Afternoon Tea at At.mosphere Burj Khalifa
Review: Burj al Arab Part I: One Bedroom Suite
Review: Burj al Arab Part II: Grounds and Amenities
Review: AUH Etihad Airways Premium Lounge
Review: Etihad Airways First Apartments AUH - LHR
We arrived at the Park Hyatt Dubai at around 10 AM after a slightly disastrous chauffeur ride from Abu Dhabi following our Etihad First Class flight from London. The Park Hyatt Dubai is definitely tucked away and a bit tricky to find, since it's located in the Dubai Creek area, which is about 20-30 minutes away from downtown Dubai. However, it's very convenient if you fly in to DXB because it's located about 10 minutes away. I was ok with the fact that the hotel was located away from downtown because the area was very quiet (aside from an incident that I'll get into later and the fact that the Red Bull Flugtag was taking place across the creek on our second day) and beautiful. I can say without a doubt that the Park Hyatt Dubai is one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed. It's beautifully designed with amazing Arabian design accents throughout, which I was completely in love with. There is also beautiful tile work and wood accents throughout the hotel's design and it was really incredibly gorgeous.
We pulled up to the hotel and beelined straight for the front desk. It was definitely early in the morning and I didn't expect that our room was available, but I was so mad about our ridiculous chauffeur ride, I was hoping we could get in to our room ASAP since we had a lot we wanted to do that day. I had booked a Park King room, which came to 1,030 AED, (about $280) and was honestly a bit on the pricy side for me, but I applied one of my Diamond Suite Upgrades, so I figured it would be worth it. When we arrived, we were told we had been upgraded to a Park Terrace Suite, but the room would not be ready for another 15 minutes. One of the front desk associates escorted us down a hallway to The Lounge, which is a small cafe serving breakfast and light snacks throughout the day with a large seating area where we could wait for our room to be ready. They knew I was a bit upset upon our arrival and offered complimentary breakfast or drinks, but we weren't hungry or thirsty, so we just sat and waited. After about 30 minutes, someone came back and told us our room was available, so we were able to go to our room quite early, which was definitely appreciated.
The Park Hyatt Dubai is extremely spread out and honestly, very confusing to navigate. The hotel stretches across two wings which radiate out in opposite directions from the lobby. When walking to your room, you'll pass through multiple wings, which are connected by glass enclosed walkways and will likely either need to go up or down in the elevator to get to your floor. Because we had a Terrace Suite, our room was located on the ground floor, which meant we needed to take the elevator down to the ground floor from the lobby level. We found room 2108, which was located at the very end of the hallway at one of the farthest points of the hotel property.
The Park Terrace Suite was very large and decorated primarily in neutral colors, which is something I love most about Park Hyatt properties. The decor is generally minimalist and modern and fits my personal aesthetic so well, which really makes it like home away from home. Upon walking in the door, the living room was straight ahead and the bedroom and bathroom were off to the left.
The living room included a couch and two chairs, a desk and chair, a television, the minibar, and a small outdoor patio with a table and two chairs. The entire suite had high ceilings, which really gave a very airy, open feel.
The bedroom had a pocket door that could close it off with a small hallway leading to the bathroom on the left, a large closet space on the right, and the bedroom straight ahead. The bedroom was quite large with a king size bed, a television, a chair, and a door leading out to the terrace, which was at ground level facing the Dubai Creek with two lounge chairs. All told, the suite was beautiful and I really loved it.
fThe bathroom was my biggest issue with the entire suite. It was beautifully decorated with dual sinks, a free standing soaking tub, a large enclosed shower and separate enclosed toilet and bidet, but it was completely open to the bedroom. There was no door that could be closed, so it was impossible to use the bathroom to get ready without possibly waking someone sleeping in the bedroom. There were some beautiful wooden shutters that could be closed, which at least blocked someone's view from the bedroom, but aside from that, the bathroom was completely open to the hallway and bedroom.
I did appreciate the large toiletries offered in the shower, which were Park Hyatt Dubai branded, but the smell was not my favorite. They had a patchouli scent to them and I'm really not a fan. One thing that I thought was a really nice touch (and something I've never seen elsewhere) was a candle and matches included on the bath tub tray. The entire hotel lights what must be thousands of candles each night and lines walkways with them, so it absolutely made sense that you had one to light for yourself in the room.
We loved our room and were very happy with everything until we arrived back at the hotel around 9:00 PM that night. We were both exhausted from a full day of activities in addition to jet lag and needed to get some sleep to be ready to go the next morning. Unfortunately, there was an Indian wedding going on what felt like immediately outside our suite. I looked outside all of the windows and couldn't see anything, but I sure could hear it. It was incredibly loud between the music and the speakers who would get up to congratulate the bride and groom. I got ready for bed and put in some earplugs, but after about an hour, I decided to call the front desk to ask what time the event would be over. No matter what I did, I could still hear everything clear as day and was never going to be able to get to sleep.
I spoke with guest services and the girl on the other end explained that there were no events going on at the hotel that night and I must be mistaken. I told her what I was hearing and where in the hotel I was located and she said she would check and call me back. She called back a few minutes later and said the event was happening at the Dubai Country Club (which was right next door) and would be over at midnight. At this point, I was so tired and so frustrated that I asked if we could be moved. Nevermind that we had unpacked everything and had stuff strewn all about the suite - I needed to get some sleep since we had a very early morning the next day. She said she would find out and call back.
The next call I received was from the assistant manager. He explained that he had another room available as far as possible from the noise, but it was not a suite and offered to comp me 10,000 Gold Passport points if we moved to the other non-suite room. I was so distraught at this point that I was fine with anything as long as I didn't feel like I was sleeping on the floor of an Indian wedding, so I accepted and began throwing everything we owned into suitcases as quickly as possible. The manager arrived about 10 minutes later with a new key and escorted us to our new room. While we were walking, he explained that he did find a suite we could have if we would rather take that, but that it was closer to the noise than the standard room. I wasn't feeling too picky, but he offered to show us the suite first and have us check the noise and then we could decide.
We ended up at a Park Executive Suite on the 4th floor of the hotel and the noise seemed manageable, so we agreed to take that room for the night. Instead of the points, the manager said he would return my suite upgrade certificate so I could use it elsewhere, which was very much appreciated. The Park Executive Suite was a step up from our Park Terrace Suite and two steps up from the base Park Suite. It was quite nice, but I really liked our first room much better. At least we could sleep here though!
When walking in to the room, there was a small entryway with a half bathroom to the right and a doorway to the closet, then bathroom and bedroom on the left. Directly ahead was the living room with a couch, three chairs, a television, a desk and chair and the minibar. There was also a small deck located off the living room with the table and two chairs like our old room.
The bedroom was large with a huge bench/couch at the foot of the bed and a vanity table (which housed the hair dryer and took me ages to find). Additionally, the bedroom had sliding doors out to the large balcony with two lounge chairs overlooking the Dubai Creek. The view was definitely better since we were higher up and we had a nice view of the Dubai skyline. There was also a small closet and another large closet located just off the bathroom.
Once again, I had issues with the open bathroom to bedroom situation. This room was even worse because one could see directly in to the shower from the bed, which was just weird. Personally, I just really enjoy my privacy in the bathroom, so this is why I took such huge issue with the open concept.
Aside from the weird openness, it was a nice bathroom, although I did like our old bathroom better since at least it couldn't be seen from the bed and it was a bit larger.
The next morning, we had a very early start and wanted to grab breakfast at Cafe Arabesque, which is located just past The Lounge cafe and is included for two as a Diamond member. Breakfast is served from 6:30 AM to 11:00 AM, which made it a bit challenging for us since we were getting picked up for dune buggying at 7:00 AM. We were the first in the restaurant at 6:30 and the staff seemed quite surprised to see us. Since it was very nice outside, we decided to eat on the patio and ate quickly before we had to rush off. The buffet selection was quite large and had everything you would expect from fruit to yogurt, breads, pastries, cereals, meats, cheeses, plus a few hot items like eggs and waffles. We didn't have time to really order anything hot, so we just stuck with the buffet.
The Park Hyatt Dubai actually has about nine dining options throughout the hotel, including The Lounge which can be another breakfast option. The Lounge is situated just down a hallway from the lobby and offers plenty of seating. It's a small cafe which serves breakfast daily from 6:00 AM to 11:00 AM, all-day dining (salads, light snacks, grilled sandwiches, international desserts and signature Arabic sweets) from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and alcoholic drinks from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM and from 6:00 PM to 12:45 AM.
After we returned from dune buggying, we had a bit of time to sit by the pool. Although it was the end of November and was a near perfect 85 degrees (which should be prime 'visit Dubai and not die from heat stroke time'), there were very few people out by the pool. It seemed like the hotel was at pretty low occupancy in general since most people I saw around were there for weddings taking place (I saw at least 4 different Indian weddings being set up or in progress) and we had been able to get a new room so easily.
The pool was quite large and had a lot of seating available. There were lifeguards on duty and shortly after we sat down, we were brought some complimentary lemon and mint spa water, which was wonderful and much appreciated. I appreciated the unique layout of the pool and the palm trees spread throughout which would offer some nice shade.
As I mentioned earlier, the hotel and grounds were just absolutely stunning. Everywhere I looked was another amazing snapshot, so I wandered around throughout my stay and took a lot of photos. At night, the hotel also had hookah available on the terrace outside The Lounge, which would have been a beautiful place to relax.
All in all, the Park Hyatt Dubai is without a doubt one of my top three favorite hotels in the world. It is absolutely beautiful and the attention to detail in the decor is second to none. Everywhere I looked, I was just stunned by how beautiful it was and I was honestly sad to check out and have to leave.
I also very much appreciated the staff's willingness to accommodate us when we needed to be relocated due to the wedding noise. It was an unfortunate blemish on an otherwise excellent stay and I really hope we will be back!
Just a twenty-something with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.