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Le Meridien Al Aqah, UAE [Master Thread]

Le Meridien Al Aqah, UAE [Master Thread]

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Old Feb 11, 03, 6:48 am
  #1  
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Le Meridien Al Aqah, UAE [Master Thread]

Any opinions on this new property near Fujairah in the U.A.E.? Any rooms to request?

Thanks in advance for yourt tips!

Muerz

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Old Apr 9, 06, 10:52 am
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I was in that area during January 2006 and stayed at the Hilton Fujairah, where I never ever would go again, even not for free.

Regarding the Le Meridien: Its a new high rise building in a quite remote area, about 2 hours drive from Dubai, therefore it would be advisable to have a rental car. All rooms have sea view and they have an executive floor but I can't tell anything about the lounge.
I did not like the interior design of the hotel, a little bit too much las vegas style for my taste. (and I guess you wouldn't like it as well as your preferred chain seems to be Hyatt)

I also would expect the pool area being crowded during high occupancy, as the total area of the hotel compared to the number of rooms is critical.
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Old May 4, 06, 4:24 am
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Fabulous hotel if you enjoy solitude (nothing within walking or even driving distance !).

Great rooms (enormous), superb beach and pool facilities.

The Royal Club lounge is the best I have seen in ANY hotel anywhere and well worth the extra cost, which can easily be recouped in free drinks, snacks etc. Not to mention the lavish Hermes toileteries

Only possible downside is adjacent building work. Only on the left side of the hotel at the moment and you definitely want a room on the right side so as not to be disturbed early morning. Cureently no disturbance by the pool or on the beach. this may / will change. Best to ask the position before booking.
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Old May 4, 06, 11:25 am
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Just an FYI...this hotel does not participate in Starwood Preferred Guest.

Sincerely,


William R. Sanders
Customer Service Coordinator
Starwood Preferred Services

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Old May 5, 06, 2:02 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker
Just an FYI...this hotel does not participate in Starwood Preferred Guest.
Now, that you gotta explain us William. I have been to it when it was just opened and I got Meridien Moments points. Why won't I get SPG points now, 3 years later?
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Old May 5, 06, 2:28 am
  #6  
 
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no in-room internet!

This property also does not have in-room broadband, despite displaying this as a feature of the property.

I made a booking here, expecting in-room internet, and confirmed this at the desk on checkin. When I got in, I couldn't find it, and went back down to ask "where is it? wireless?" and was told that indeed they didn't have it.

I checked out immediately, and spoke with the manager and was not charged. He mentioned that this particular issue had come up several times in the past as well. (I checked my credit card bill for the next few months to make sure I was not charged)

I slept in my car instead, as I could at least get a decent satellite shot from the hood. (and my main reason for going was wanting to drive a borrowed M3 through the mountains, anyway)

This property is physically nice, but seems really geared toward Russian/German package tourists, more than the other hotels in FUJ or the Le Meridiens elsewhere in UAE. i.e. the "no outside food" rule, and f&b promotions geared at this market. Also, make sure you get a fairly high floor, as they play amplified music on the beach, PA announcements, etc., and while the windows were fairly thick, it's loud enough on the first 10 floors to be annoying.
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Old May 5, 06, 9:36 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Muerz
Now, that you gotta explain us William. I have been to it when it was just opened and I got Meridien Moments points. Why won't I get SPG points now, 3 years later?
Things change, I guess. This is on the hotel's Overview page:

This hotel does not participate in Starwood Preferred Guest. For more details, please see Starwood Preferred Guest Terms & Conditions.

Sure enough. There they are in the SPG Terms and Conditions as a non-participating property:

The following properties are not Participating Properties. We reserve the right to change this list from time to time without notice. We endeavor to keep this list up to date, but you should contact your regional Customer Contact Center for the most current information.

Sheraton Casino & Hotel, Robinsonville

Sheraton Lagos Hotel & Towers, Lagos, Nigeria

The Lanesborough, A St. Regis Hotel, London, United Kingdom

St. Regis Temenos Villas, Anguilla

Martineau Bay Resort, Puerto Rico

Le Parker Méridien Palm Springs

Le Parker Méridien New York

Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa - Dubai

Le Méridien Dubai

Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina - Dubai

Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort – Fujairah, UAE

Grosvenor House Dubai

Le Gulf Méridien Al Khobar – Saudi Arabia

Le Méridien Fairway - Dubai

Le Méridien Baniyas Square - Dubai

Le Méridien Residence Deira - Dubai

Dar Al Sondos Hotel Apartments By Le Méridien - Dubai

Vistana's Beach Club, Jensen Beach, Florida

Le Meridien Moscow Country Club, Moscow, Russian Federation


Sincerely,


William R. Sanders
Customer Service Coordinator
Starwood Preferred Services

[email protected]
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Old Mar 29, 11, 3:46 am
  #8  
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Perhaps a reason not to visit this property - http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-...328-1cd7p.html
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Old Apr 7, 11, 3:41 am
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker View Post
Things change, I guess. This is on the hotel's Overview page:

This hotel does not participate in Starwood Preferred Guest. For more details, please see Starwood Preferred Guest Terms & Conditions.

Sure enough. There they are in the SPG Terms and Conditions as a non-participating property:

The following properties are not Participating Properties. We reserve the right to change this list from time to time without notice. We endeavor to keep this list up to date, but you should contact your regional Customer Contact Center for the most current information.

Sheraton Casino & Hotel, Robinsonville

Sheraton Lagos Hotel & Towers, Lagos, Nigeria

The Lanesborough, A St. Regis Hotel, London, United Kingdom

St. Regis Temenos Villas, Anguilla

Martineau Bay Resort, Puerto Rico

Le Parker Méridien Palm Springs

Le Parker Méridien New York

Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa - Dubai

Le Méridien Dubai

Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina - Dubai

Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort – Fujairah, UAE

Grosvenor House Dubai

Le Gulf Méridien Al Khobar – Saudi Arabia

Le Méridien Fairway - Dubai

Le Méridien Baniyas Square - Dubai

Le Méridien Residence Deira - Dubai

Dar Al Sondos Hotel Apartments By Le Méridien - Dubai

Vistana's Beach Club, Jensen Beach, Florida

Le Meridien Moscow Country Club, Moscow, Russian Federation


Sincerely,


William R. Sanders
Customer Service Coordinator
Starwood Preferred Services

[email protected]
This list is not up to date anymore. Many Meridiens in Dubai are participating meanwhile. And probalbly the best, the Grosvenor House Dubai is very generous regarding PLT treatment.

Despite of that, the new Westin in Dubai is not participating. I still dont get it, why starwood is allowing those exceptions. (Extrawürste)
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Old Apr 7, 11, 3:43 am
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Originally Posted by m0hamed View Post
Perhaps a reason not to visit this property - http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-...328-1cd7p.html
This hotel is very frequently sold by german last minute provider L'tur together with cheap condor charter flights.

I would expect loads of package tourists there.
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Old Apr 7, 11, 4:19 am
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Originally Posted by Olip View Post
This list is not up to date anymore. Many Meridiens in Dubai are participating meanwhile. And probalbly the best, the Grosvenor House Dubai is very generous regarding PLT treatment.

Despite of that, the new Westin in Dubai is not participating. I still dont get it, why starwood is allowing those exceptions. (Extrawürste)
I believe the previous list that William has provided is more than 5 years old. The list has been constantly updated via spg.com.

[email protected]

Thyetus Lee | Social Media Specialist
Starwood Customer Contact Centre (AP) Pte Ltd
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Old Apr 7, 11, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by Olip View Post
This list is not up to date anymore...
Well, in my defense, it was accurate on May 5, 2006.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

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Old Feb 23, 16, 12:27 am
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Apologies for digging up an old thread -- but have any FlyerTalkers stayed at this property in the past 5 years? I am considering checking it out in May.
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Old Mar 24, 17, 3:14 pm
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Being curious, I just took a short stay at this hotel. It's 90min in a fast car from DXB, closer to 2 hours during busy times and incidentally involves transit through every Emirate with the exception of Abu Dhabi to get there.

It is very much a package tourist resort like you'd find in Cancun or Egypt, but it seems to be relatively well run. I get the impression that I was a rarity as an independent Plat, as when I arrived the Night Duty Manager was summoned to show me to my room who had been keeping an eye on my 2 hour delayed flight which explained why I was arriving after midnight.

As Platinum I was upgraded to a Club room on one of the upper floors, with access to the Club Lounge. You also get Thai style happy hour, and breakfast wherever you want, including room service (first time I've seen that at SPG - Hyatt memories!). The room is huge and reasonably well equipped. The entire resort looks slightly dated, but seemed to be well maintained. I did have some issues with the in-room Wifi where I don't think the router had been properly setup to do multi-band connectivity. My iPhone had no problems, but my old laptop (with built in aerial and dual connections) had a few hours where it wasn't able to connect.

Fujeirah is apparently not the strictest of Emirates. Plenty of alcohol around and even a "pork station" at breakfast with bacon and sausages.

Lots of resort style special offers, events, sports and a large multi-section pool and a long beach, as you'd all expect. It was raining the whole time I was there, so I didn't see it at its best, but I think it looked a pleasant option for a family who wanted a reasonably priced sand and sea break for a week.
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Old Apr 10, 18, 11:50 pm
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Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort

Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort

Map| 1 Review | 100% Recommended

Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort

Dibba Road  Al Aqah Fujairah, United Arab Emirates AE

Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort (28 Photos)

Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort

I recently completed a good 5-night stay at this property.  I usually stay in Dubai when I travel to the UAE but for a change this time I wanted to split my time between Dubai and another area of the country.  I made a points redemption at 10k per night with 5th night free so 40k pts total.  Cash rates at this property seem to vary quite a bit depending on season so while it made sense in April to use points in a period of high occupancy due to the UK school holiday, in other times of the year it might be better to pay cash. 

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Location

Before talking about the location of the hotel and its surroundings, a few words about getting there from Dubai.  We rented a car and I brought some Google Maps printouts with me.  We did not have wifi or a GPS.  How foolish!  While Google Maps instructions in Europe, North America, Australia, and some other parts of the world are great, once you step out of major areas of the UAE then Google Maps instructions are missing steps, occasionally have incorrect instructions, etc.  Let’s just say that I struggled quite a bit to find the way.  Signs on the road in the middle of the desert and at round-abouts are not always clear and sometimes just missing.  So if you will drive to Meridien Al Aqah, don’t be stupid like me, and make sure you have a GPS.  Maybe some will think I am just stating the obvious, LOL.  Once we arrived at the hotel I found out from the welcome information that they actually have a free shuttle bus to and from Dubai a couple of times per week that you can book in advance.  The days of the week would not have worked out for me, but it might be useful for some.  The location of the hotel itself if very nice.  There is a long walkable beach where you can find the Intercontinental hotel, Rotana hotel, and the Miramar hotel next door to the Meridien.  The beach is also quite wide and well maintained with no trash.  In that respect I found the beach nicer than in Dubai, and overall the atmosphere is more holiday and relaxing than beach hotels in Dubai as one might expect.  If you keep walking on the beach beyond hotels, then you reach beach camping grounds.  The beach is not as clean there, but still better than in many parts of Dubai.  The main drawback of this beach is that there is tar washing ashore.  The Meridien provides tar removal supplies but it is not so nice swimming in water that you suspect is not that clean.  There are a few dead fish on the camping part of the beach, which left me wondering if it was because of pollution.  If it was not for the tar issue, it’s a nice beach but I appreciate it can be a deal killer to some.  Make no mistake: there are several people who swim in the sea here so it’s not like the water is black.  I do not want to exaggerate the issue; the truth is that it’s minor and from the pictures you can see it’s not even visible.  But it’s there nonetheless and if you walk on the beach you will have tar spots to remove. 

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Room

We checked in on a Thursday (= beginning of weekend in UAE) and were upgraded to a Club room on a high floor.  Suites were not available since the hotel was full for the weekend.  The Club room is very nice, spacious and has a balcony.  The views of the Gulf of Oman are great and in fact all rooms in this hotel are facing the sea.  The bathroom has a stand-alone shower in addition to a separate bathtub.  The room was in great condition so even though the hotel is not as new as the Intercontinental next door, I had absolutely no complaints and I suspect rooms were renovated recently. 

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For some stays I do not mind the basic room and I do not ask for a suite, but for this stay I checked spg.com after 2 nights and I saw that a suite was available, once locals returned to work after the weekend.  The hotel was clearly less busy starting on Sunday.  Once guests with late check-out left, the hotel let me move to a suite at around 6pm which was a good gesture.  In some hotels, the suite is only marginally more expensive than the base room, but not here - the suite was 3-4x times the price of the base room.  While the base room was already quite nice (or Club room, which is the same size), the suite is considerably better.  You have about 100 square meters of space in the room so everything is roomy.  The living room and bedroom are both large.  There is a small kitchen which unfortunately cannot be used.  They might have allowed guests to cook themselves in the past but not anymore.  At least there is a mini-fridge.  The suite also has two full bathrooms which is great.  One has only a shower, the other has shower and a separate bathtub like in the Club room.  Amenities are also better in the suite: the Club room did not have mouthwash, toothbrush, razor, and face cloths, but the suite did.  The suite also has an enormous balcony over 50 square meters – actually two balconies.  The first is accessed from the bedroom and is similar to the one in the Club room.  The second is accessed from the living room and has an L-shaped and is wrapping around the room.  There is a table with chairs for dining outdoors, and the side of the balcony has two lounge chairs to relax.  The entire experience is quite different in the suite than the base room and getting the upgrade for 3 nights out of 5 was great.  It is clear that that Platinum members are treated well and upgraded if space is available. 

 

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Dining

The hotel has breakfast buffet until 11am in the restaurant every day.  The quality was good but not at the same luxury level than many Dubai hotels.  Also I found it more European-oriented and not as many Asian, Arabic, or Indian options as in Dubai.  Last year in this thread EuropeanPete mentioned having the choice of breakfast anywhere at this hotel, old Hyatt-style.  Perhaps this was discontinued – there was no mention of breakfast other than at the Views restaurant.  There is also no breakfast in the Club Lounge, simply because the Club Lounge does not open until 11am.  Actually the Club Lounge is not a full-fledged lounge as we know it.  First off, there used to be a Lounge reception right outside the elevator doors on the 15th floor, but now the desk is unmanned, therefore there is no Lounge check-in at all so you must check-in downstairs.  You do not need key card access to the 15th floor.  There is one staff there but is occasionally in the kitchen or somewhere else; that person will ask for the room number and whether a guest wants a drink such as coffee or a bottle of water, which are only available in the back kitchen.  The happy hours at this hotel are a bit odd.  While snacks are limited in the lounge during the day, from 4:30pm to 5:30pm they offer 4 types of sandwiches, something which looks like hot chicken pie, and desserts.  It is not enough for dinner and anyway given the timing, it’s clearly an appetizer, although they are quite generous on the desserts front.  Interestingly, they have a chocolate fondue available which I had never seen in a lounge before.  The lounge “closes” at 7pm which is very early, but since it’s an open area then closure simply means is that they remove fruits and self-serve juice at 7pm and there is no more staff on site but you can still walk in and sit down if you would like.  The lounge has fantastic sea view and the ceiling of the lounge is actually the ceiling of the 18th floor so you have 4 floors worth of windows.  The open air space and water views make this lounge one of the most beautiful I have seen in the world. 

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Restaurants on the resort do not open until 7pm for dinner, so while you can have your appetizer in the lounge until 5:30pm, then you need to wait 1.5 hour for something else.  Happy hour begins at the Astros bar on the 20th floor at 7pm and lasts until 9pm.  The platinum benefit in the bar is free wine, sparkling wine, beer, or spirits.  They also serve a small tray of bar food such as samosas, cheese, calamari rings, and nuts.  There are billiards tables in the bar so we enjoyed playing pool while having a drink.  However once again the timing is odd.  You can have your appetizer in the Club Lounge late afternoon then you wait and if you want happy hour in the bar then you won’t have dinner until late because you cannot eat dinner before going to happy hour because it is not the typical 5pm-7pm or 6pm-8pm.  Not a big deal but I felt a bit more constrained by timing at this hotel as a result.  First world problems. 

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We tried the Indian restaurant for dinner twice and the food was great and in fact better than most other Indian restaurants we have been outside of India.  The fish at the beach restaurant was good quality.  In general the food and drink prices at this hotel reflect the fact that guests are captive; there is nothing around walking distance, except a Subway.  On Monday evening they had their weekly guest cocktail on a terrace outside.  I was told they invite selected people (not the entire hotel) but it’s not limited to Platinums.  Some non-Platinum repeat guests were there.  In total we were about 30 people and staff could mingle with customers.

Pool

The swimming pool is a strong point of the resort and while minor pollution in the sea is a drawback, you can easily spend your entire time in the pool here.  Based on the view from above, the pool at the Intercontinental hotel next door seems quite subpar compared to the Meridien.  The Meridien pool has several sections, deep or shallow, a separate children pool, a swim-up bar, another separate bar area with chairs and sofas to relax, and huts on the beach.  There is a bit of everything for all tastes.  On the hotel grounds you can also find other activities such as badminton, table tennis, beach volleyball, chess, darts, etc.  The hotel caters well to families, either with young children, or with teenagers.  There is a teens club inside the hotel, with a movie room, billiards, etc.  While the pool was quite busy during the weekend when hotel was at full capacity, we could still find a couple of good chairs available at 10:30am. 

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Amenities

A few miscellaneous issues.  This hotel participates in the Make a Green Choice program.  After the first night I requested a fresh set of towels and I was informed that if you choose MAGC then you cannot have new towels, but that they would make an exception for this one time.  I was a bit surprised because in other hotels, my experience with MAGC was that there is no housekeeping work done, but that you could still request new towels.  Not here, perhaps for water preservation in this part of the world.  Regarding wifi, I thought a few days before arriving in Fujairah that my internet connection was quite subpar when in Dubai.  Well after staying here I should re-think this.  Meridien Al Aqah was bad, not my hotel in Dubai.  My VPN was barely usable.  The worst I have experienced recently outside China.

Overall

Overall this hotel is an interesting option for people who want to vacation in the UAE but not in Dubai.  The hotel will cost considerably less than beach hotels in Dubai.  In fact, near the entrance of the hotel they have on display some awards that the hotel won in the last few years and I noticed several prizes for “good value” hotel and I would tend to agree.  What you get for your money (or points) is excellent, and even more so for Platinums.  However if you go to the UAE in months where hotels are generally cheaper such as July, then the price difference between Al Aqah and Dubai would be far less and I would personally stick to Dubai for the convenience if you are flying long haul into DXB airport.  For high beach season, then Fujairah is a good option if you want to try something new, if you want to save money, and if you are not completely put off by the tar issue in the sea.  Other international hotel options in the area are the Radisson Blu, the Fairmont, and as mentioned above the Intercontinental.  The latter is ranked immediately ahead of Meridien on TripAdvisor, but given that the hotel is new, it has far fewer ratings.  The rooms at Meridien are fine or more than fine, plus the pool at Meridien seems much better than IC.  The IC is more expensive, and even if you have status at IC you won’t get lounge access.  The lounge at Meridien is not a standard lounge due to its hours, but at least you get snacks and in the evening you get drinks at the bar.  So in my mind, Meridien is better value than IC all around.  The Fairmont is a superior hotel, but also more expensive than Meridien.  I could have used a Fairmont suite upgrade cert but thought I had good chances of getting a suite at Meridien anyway, so I could keep my Fairmont suite upgrade for another stay, plus the Fairmont does not have a lounge (gold floor).  So in the end I picked Meridien on points and did not regret it.  My view is unlikely to change in the future once Fairmont is fully in the hands of Accor and that we no longer have suite upgrade certs.

Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort

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