Dubai Properties Some of the Worst - Rant

 
Old Nov 16, 11, 1:33 pm
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Dubai Properties Some of the Worst - Rant

Recently had some business in Dubai and in need of stays tried a few properties. For easy access to meetings and because several properties in the area do not participate in SPG I chose the following The Dar Al Sondos Hotel Apartments by Le Meridien, The Al Sondos Suites by Le Meridien and the Sheraton Deira. All were terrible in my opinion.

1.) Dar Al Sondos Hotel Apartments by Le Meridien The condition of the hotel is atrocious. This hotel in no way represents a Starwood property and leaves much to be desired. I was appalled by the condition of the lobby and the rooms. This hotel which appears to have been converted from Apartments is in no way laid out or designed to be a hotel with transit visitors and should be mentioned. The room was dated without any of the standard amenities of what one expects when seeing the name Le Meridien attached, it resembled a hostel at best and did not even have in-room internet. This hotel would rank as the lowest property I have ever stayed in and I am being generous when I say this hotel would be a two star hotel by US standards if that. The only redeeming factor was the friendly from desk staff.

2.) The Al Sondos Suites by Le Meridien Do to meetings in the area I stayed at this property. I again found the rooms a bit off and in need of an upgrade. My concern here was with room service. I ordered room service only to be call back 20 minutes later and told my choice of the Oriental Breakfast was not available. I went with another choice that took over an hour to be delivered and it arrived cold. The front desk manager took the meal off my bill. However, as a business hotel this does not work when one is in a hurry. I was also disappointed at the lack of amenities offered as a Platinum and again no in room internet that functioned in this case.

3.) Sheraton Deira Again another property in the Starwood chain that needs a refresh. With so many choices in Dubai this hotel at best rivals a Motel 6 in the US. I had to call engineering to fix the TV, no hot water in the shower. My biggest concern was the amount of prostitutes that seemed to be wondering the hotel lobby, the Lindbergh Bar and the Night Club attached to the hotel. In a country that outlaws such activity the hotel staff did nothing. In fact I noticed while getting a new room key that several of the male staff were checking out the prostitutes in the lobby rather then asking them to leave. In the morning I ordered room service again this took more then the normal 45 minutes and arrived cold. I shared this with the front desk along with my other concern and nothing was done about it. This was the straw for me and as I needed to extend my stay in Dubai I went with Marriott. I shared my concern about the prostitues with a travel agent friend and was told that this property is one of the know pick up spots in Dubai, among a few other low brow properties in the area.


I will say I visited the Westin one night this property actually seemed very nice but upon checking with the Plat Concierge I was told this property does not participate in SPG.

I ended up staying at the Marriott which was a great hotel with easy access to the Metro and no need to bother with taxi's. Now, I know the Marriott Marina that I used is new but in the past I've stayed at a few different Marriott properties in the area and found them steps above the SPG properties.
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Old Nov 16, 11, 3:39 pm
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The Le Meridien Dar Los Sandos is a well known average at best property. The price point is ALWAYS cheap and makes for a great mattress run opportunity, which I have used it for many times. I usually stay here on a Wednesday night when I arrive after 10pm and check out after breakfast to move to another hotel. Plain and simply this hotel is not a Le Meridien in that sense of the word. It really is unlike any brand however I'm glad to have it as a mattress run option as it works for phantom stays as well.

There is in room internet too btw, just not wifi.
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Old Nov 16, 11, 6:04 pm
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Originally Posted by schley View Post
The Le Meridien Dar Los Sandos is a well known average at best property. The price point is ALWAYS cheap and makes for a great mattress run opportunity, which I have used it for many times. I usually stay here on a Wednesday night when I arrive after 10pm and check out after breakfast to move to another hotel. Plain and simply this hotel is not a Le Meridien in that sense of the word. It really is unlike any brand however I'm glad to have it as a mattress run option as it works for phantom stays as well.

There is in room internet too btw, just not wifi.

I thought the Dubai hotels do not participate in SPG? How can you do a mattress run?
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Old Nov 16, 11, 6:44 pm
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Originally Posted by aa767flyer View Post
1.) Dar Al Sondos Hotel Apartments by Le Meridien The condition of the hotel is atrocious. This hotel in no way represents a Starwood property and leaves much to be desired. I was appalled by the condition of the lobby and the rooms. This hotel which appears to have been converted from Apartments is in no way laid out or designed to be a hotel with transit visitors and should be mentioned. The room was dated without any of the standard amenities of what one expects when seeing the name Le Meridien attached, it resembled a hostel at best and did not even have in-room internet. This hotel would rank as the lowest property I have ever stayed in and I am being generous when I say this hotel would be a two star hotel by US standards if that. The only redeeming factor was the friendly from desk staff.
For 60-70 USD per night, I think it's perfect. I stayed there several times (one nighters) and had in-room internet for free.

The staff is the best I have ever encountered, 5 star hotels should be ashamed of themselves.

Originally Posted by OliverM View Post
I thought the Dubai hotels do not participate in SPG? How can you do a mattress run?
Not all of them.
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Old Nov 16, 11, 8:11 pm
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You obviously did these stays on the cheap. I too have stayed at the Dar El Sondos for a very low rate and found it to be adequate and very reasonably priced for UAE. The rooms do have internet, platinum amenity was no problem and the suite was huge. It is certainly way above a typical 2 star US hotel.

Shell out a bit, the Four Points is very nice and the Sheraton Dubai Creek has a great lounge.
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Old Nov 16, 11, 8:30 pm
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next time try staying at the Sheraton Creek or the Grosvenor House and let us know how they compare to the Marriott .
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Old Nov 16, 11, 9:21 pm
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Originally Posted by OliverM View Post
I thought the Dubai hotels do not participate in SPG? How can you do a mattress run?
By my understanding there are (currently) 15 Starwood properties in Dubai, of these 5 (the Westin, Royal Meridien, LM Airport, LM Fairway, & LM Mina Seyahi) don't participate in SPG. Al Maha Desert Resort has limited participation due to its all suite design. All of these are owned by the same group of companies that control Emirates (or by the key individuals involved in these). The same parties also own the LM Al Aqah in Fujairah, which also does not participate in SPG.

That leaves 3xSheraton, 3x Four Points, 2x Al Sondos LM, and Grosvenor House still participating.



Agree with the OP that the Al Sondos properties are far from stellar and not good representatives of the LM brand, but would argue that this is reflected in the rate. I have never had an issue with Sheraton Deira, and it certainly isn't even close to the worst Sheratons I've stayed in. The "party planners" in the hotel bars are unfortunately a feature of the area, and are just as bad in the JW Marriott hotel around the corner.

Even setting aside the properties with the SPG issue, I still think that Dubai has some great Starwood properties, I enjoy the Sheraton Creek, think that Four Points SZR is one of the best FPs in the network, and would rate Grosvenor House as one of my favourite properties anywhere in the world.
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Old Nov 16, 11, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by LovetoTravel83 View Post
For 60-70 USD per night, I think it's perfect. I stayed there several times (one nighters) and had in-room internet for free.

The staff is the best I have ever encountered,
I wish the hotels earlier this week were close to this price. As mentioned staff made the difference, I would have left otherwise.


Originally Posted by worldtrav View Post
You obviously did these stays on the cheap. I too have stayed at the Dar El Sondos for a very low rate and found it to be adequate and very reasonably priced for UAE. The rooms do have internet, platinum amenity was no problem and the suite was huge. It is certainly way above a typical 2 star US hotel.

Shell out a bit, the Four Points is very nice and the Sheraton Dubai Creek has a great lounge.
I booked them on being Le Meridien properties, not price. I needed the Le Meridien Airport or Fairway which would have been perfect being right where I needed to be.

I've stayed at several FP in the Middle East and they are usually top notch. I should have gone with this versus thinking Le Meridien would have made a difference.

Originally Posted by KSA_USA View Post
next time try staying at the Sheraton Creek or the Grosvenor House and let us know how they compare to the Marriott .
Dubai Creek was sold out off and on when I was booking. Grosvenor House was a thought but by that point I went to Marriott and was too late. Next time perhaps, price seems reasonable for location.
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Old Nov 17, 11, 12:58 am
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Originally Posted by LovetoTravel83 View Post
For 60-70 USD per night, I think it's perfect. I stayed there several times (one nighters) and had in-room internet for free.

The staff is the best I have ever encountered, 5 star hotels should be ashamed of themselves.



Not all of them.
I have gotten it for $53 USD a.i. great for phantom stays where you are on your way to the airport and simply check in and continue on during a good stay promo period.

Originally Posted by worldtrav View Post
You obviously did these stays on the cheap. I too have stayed at the Dar El Sondos for a very low rate and found it to be adequate and very reasonably priced for UAE. The rooms do have internet, platinum amenity was no problem and the suite was huge. It is certainly way above a typical 2 star US hotel.

Shell out a bit, the Four Points is very nice and the Sheraton Dubai Creek has a great lounge.
I think these are the cheapest properties in Dubai for spg. Really OP should have checked the master threads before booking.

Originally Posted by aa767flyer View Post
I wish the hotels earlier this week were close to this price. As mentioned staff made the difference, I would have left otherwise.




I booked them on being Le Meridien properties, not price. I needed the Le Meridien Airport or Fairway which would have been perfect being right where I needed to be.

I've stayed at several FP in the Middle East and they are usually top notch. I should have gone with this versus thinking Le Meridien would have made a difference.



Dubai Creek was sold out off and on when I was booking. Grosvenor House was a thought but by that point I went to Marriott and was too late. Next time perhaps, price seems reasonable for location.
I think you should check the master threads of these properties as it would have given you a good clue. Start to do so as it would really give you some good info before booking.
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Old Nov 17, 11, 3:30 am
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Originally Posted by schley View Post
I have gotten it for $53 USD a.i. great for phantom stays where you are on your way to the airport and simply check in and continue on during a good stay promo period.



I think these are the cheapest properties in Dubai for spg. Really OP should have checked the master threads before booking.



I think you should check the master threads of these properties as it would have given you a good clue. Start to do so as it would really give you some good info before booking.
Honestly, I should not have checked. Not my responsibility really. When one see's a name or brand you just expect consistency. This was not the case.

Besides last week was busy and on the road and didn't really have the time. And a quick search didn't reveal much. I
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Old Nov 17, 11, 4:50 am
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Originally Posted by aa767flyer View Post
Honestly, I should not have checked. Not my responsibility really. When one see's a name or brand you just expect consistency. This was not the case.

Besides last week was busy and on the road and didn't really have the time. And a quick search didn't reveal much. I
It doesn't matter to me if you do or don't, but if you don't then expect similar disappointment. Don't rely on brand names meaning certain standards; didn't you think something was amiss when the Le Meridien Dar Los Sondos is going for 175 AED whereas the 4 points SZR is going for 750 or more? This should point out that in Dubai and other international destinations, the brand name can and does mean different quality.

I exhaustively research wherever I'am going to stay and as a result I'm usually happy with my selection. I put the time in and gain the knowledge, this just is a case in point that if you don't expect similar results. Learn from it and I'm sorry it happened.
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Old Nov 17, 11, 4:53 am
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Originally Posted by aa767flyer View Post
Honestly, I should not have checked. Not my responsibility really. When one see's a name or brand you just expect consistency. This was not the case.

Besides last week was busy and on the road and didn't really have the time. And a quick search didn't reveal much. I
I find this a rather naive approach. In my experience Meridien and particularly Sheraton have some of the most variable quality properties of any major hotel chain (and I would probably include Best Western as a chain here too).

The Meridien Heliopolis in Cairo and Sheraton Sharm el Sheikh are particularly shocking but by no means isolated examples. I NEVER stay at either Meridiens or Sheratons without prior "due diligence" and am reluctant to stay at other Starwood brands without knowing in advance what I am likely to get.
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