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Old May 14, 08, 10:51 pm   #1
 
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Burj al-Arab: worth it?

I have been to Dubai several times and I have stayed at the Jumeirah Beach Resort. Absolutely nothing wrong with this hotel, but I always find myself looking at the Burj and wondering if it is worth the splurge.

So, those who have stayed in the hallowed sail, is it worth it?
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Old May 14, 08, 10:57 pm   #2
 
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I haven't stayed in the sail, but I've been inside. We went for High Tea, and that was worth every penny. After having tea there, I would say it has to be worth it. The inside is wonderful, the setting is classy, and the place is immaculate. We had friends who stayed one night during the summer and raved about it- the butler, the robes, the service, everything. I'm hoping to stay there at least once when we move to Dubai.
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Old May 14, 08, 11:06 pm   #3
 
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Deleted. Darn FT. Couldn't see how to edit due to pop up ad.
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Old May 14, 08, 11:07 pm   #4
 
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The Burj is a place you need to try out at least once. My wife and I stayed there in 2004 during the DSF and were amazed beyond words at the level of service, opulence, garishness, and superiority. I highly recommend the experience.

We have been back to Dubai several times since and have stayed at several other locations but we always look at the Burj with a sense of longing.
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Old May 15, 08, 3:03 am   #5
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If you simply want a step up in quality, stay at Madinat Jumeirah next door. A proper luxury resort which knocks spots off Jumeirah Beach.

Burj is generally for people who like mirrors above their beds ... because that is what you get. Honestly. If you have a mirror above your bed at home you'll fit right in!
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Old May 15, 08, 3:17 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
If you simply want a step up in quality, stay at Madinat Jumeirah next door. A proper luxury resort which knocks spots off Jumeirah Beach.

Burj is generally for people who like mirrors above their beds ... because that is what you get. Honestly. If you have a mirror above your bed at home you'll fit right in!

Yep, that's all there is in this 7 star hotel.

Seriously, the mirrors kind of shocked me too but I would not recommend against the hotel simply because of this one thing.
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Old May 15, 08, 3:23 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoranjerseygirl View Post
We went for High Tea, and that was worth every penny.
Whats the deal with going for a drink or high tea to the Burj? Someone was telling me that you need to pre-book and pay a entrance fee? I don't mind the entrance fee as apparently that is deductable from the bill but how do you go about booking a time slot?
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Old May 15, 08, 4:07 am   #8
 
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is BAA worth it? depends, there are places where you can get much better service for much less, but BAA is a lot more value for the money than places like Grand Hyatt in Dubai.

I think it's worth the visit at least once. It's a landmark building with stunning features and architecture. The interior is pretty tasteless. The service is not in the "is everything ok?" -class but in the "if there's anything you want us to do, please let us know" -class. You can let them know what newspapers you'd like, what kind of pillow, what fruits, etc. You'll get full-size Hermes toiletries for both him and her. Ask for a room as high as possible for the view.

On the downsize, Dubai isn't very beautiful location as such. The Rolls Royce and helicopter transfers are very expensive. The restaurants are average and expensive, UAE's alcohol tax is a pity. The pool are is quite small and mainly for children, the beach are is quite packed. The service is excellent everywhere and the staff is very friendly. Like everywhere, the spa infinity pool looks much bigger in the brochure.

For the best experience, book at least 2 nights. Arrive early, don't leave the property during the stay and depart late. Visiting BAA for tea or dinner is waste of money compared to actually staying at the place.


If you want real value for money, check out Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Their Rolls Royce transfer from Dubai is about the same as too BAA -- but it's 1.5 hour drive. The rooms are a bit more standard but everything is top notch and high quality, the interior is less tasteless. The hotel surroundings, beaches, pool areas, etc. are much nicer than BAA. The restaurants are expensive as well but I think I found them higher in quality than at BAA and the breakfast was better. The service is friendly.

The difference between BAA and Emirates Palace is quite easy to explain; the BMW driver from BAA just told how many billions are being spent here and there. The Rolls Royce driver from Emirates Palace told about the landmarks, the people, the history of the emirates and was also interested where we came from.
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Old May 15, 08, 5:03 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lallyr View Post
... Someone was telling me that you need to pre-book and pay a entrance fee? I don't mind the entrance fee as apparently that is deductable from the bill but how do you go about booking a time slot?
I never had to pay an entrance fee as long as I was able to book a seat at Al Muntaha bar (made by phone through restaurant reservations)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ojala
is BAA worth it? depends, there are places where you can get much better service for much less, but BAA is a lot more value for the money than places like Grand Hyatt in Dubai.
BAA a lot more value for the money than GH Dubai ?? You must be kidding...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ojala
I think it's worth the visit at least once. It's a landmark building with stunning features and architecture. The interior is pretty tasteless.
Agreed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ojala View Post
On the downsize, Dubai isn't very beautiful location as such.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ojala View Post
...Visiting BAA for tea or dinner is waste of money compared to actually staying at the place.
Well, I think it's the other way round (for tea at least) that makes most sense to me.
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Old May 15, 08, 5:40 am   #10
 
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I'll side with ngfan's statements. We had a Boxing Day lunch and were quite pleased with every aspect of it. For some reason, the critics also like to take aim at the Al Muntaha Skyview restaurant, but we found it quite enjoyable.

As far as the interior being tasteless, it's all in the eye of the beholder. Some like sleek lines everywhere, others want country flowers and such. We found its interior simply unique in its own way and to be appreciated as such.
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Old May 15, 08, 11:04 am   #11
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for comparison purposes, summer rates from >

$300 (room) dar al masyaf @ madinat jumeirah
$440 (room) residence @ OO royal mirage
$1100 (duplex suite) burj al arab
$1235 (pool villa) beit al bahar @ jumeirah beach hotel
$2470 (grand ski chalet) kempinski mall of the emirates

$535 (club room) emirates palace (kempinski)
$610 (pool villa) six senses zighy bay
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Old May 16, 08, 7:32 pm   #12
 
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Stayed at the BAA in Aug 2006 for 2 nights, (takes 2 nights to work out how to operate the "do everything" remote control!!) we enjoyed the experience, and would say there is nowhere quite like it anywhere else in the world. The $64k questions is.....would we go back again....probably not. It is somewhere that it is nice to experience,and is pretty exclusive,but $ for $ there is better value to be had elsewhere in Dubai.
The pool lets this resort down,but to be fair it is built on a man made island which severely limits pool design. The restaurants/bars were pricey, although service was second to none.
If you want to rub shoulders with "A" list celebs this is the place to go, if you want "A" class sevice/rooms/food, then there are lots of other places in Dubai that will satisfy at 1/2 the price.
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Old May 16, 08, 8:18 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lallyr View Post
Whats the deal with going for a drink or high tea to the Burj? Someone was telling me that you need to pre-book and pay a entrance fee? I don't mind the entrance fee as apparently that is deductable from the bill but how do you go about booking a time slot?
Yeah, we booked in advance. As far as I know, there wasn't an entrance fee. Call the hotel. I can't remember if there was a special number for reservations or he just called the main number. They send you a confirmation code as a text message so you can get on the island.
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Old May 16, 08, 8:51 pm   #14
 
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....

Stayed there for one night in 2006, don't think it is worth the money.

The hotel is undoubtedly luxurious, but it is also tasteless. The whole decor looks and feels so much like a harem, I almost expect young girls to walk out the closet and start dancing naked.

This hotel to me is the epitome of flash over style. Gold plated faucets, gold leaf crown moldings, gold rimmed TV casings, lion statutes, psychedellic patterns and colors, mirrors over the bed, rotating beds, couple's jacuzzi tub with mood lighting.... you get the idea, it is a boy's fantasy make out spot.

The Rolls Royce limo is nice though.
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Old May 16, 08, 9:20 pm   #15
 
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many thanks for the helpful responses. they confirmed a hunch that the extravagence may not ultimately be worth the price. your suggestions as to better value are much appreciated.

cheers.
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