Conrad Dubai for Eid al-Fitr: Bottom Line Review

10

Eid al-Fitr was an interesting time to visit the Conrad Dubai. Ignorant of the timing of our quick stopover, Drew and I hopped into a cab on the evening of Eid al-Fitr and headed toward the Burj just a few minutes away. When the cab driver dropped us off at the already-crowded Dubai Mall he made a quick comment that getting a cab back might be difficult “because of the fireworks”. This tipped us off that we were not going to be doing the leisurely downtown site-seeing we’d expected.

Over the next hour the mall went from “Christmas-Eve Busy” to “Black-Friday Busy” with traffic control officers separating the crowd into women, children and families, and single men. We caught a nice light show at the fountains outside of the Burj, but the crowds started getting even more overwhelming so we spent the next hour trying to go back to our hotel. There were hundreds of people standing in a single-file line to simply enter the metro so we gave up on that instantly and instead joined the dozens of others dashing across lanes of traffic to make it to a part of town where we could get a cab. (Sidenote: this is when I noticed there were no other women in sight – not even amongst the several-hundred folks waiting in line for the metro.) After maybe half an hour of this, we managed to find a cab. It felt hectic, but when Drew caught a glimpse of someone’s footage the next day, he said the fireworks show would have been worth weathering the crowds. I for one was satisfied to spend the rest of the evening in the beautiful Conrad Dubai instead.

Conrad Dubai: Bottom Line Review

The Conrad Dubai felt extremely luxurious. We had a great view of the Museum of the Future right from our room and great food in both the lounge and at the breakfast buffet. I should disclaimer that I can’t speak to how this hotel compares to other premium hotels since this was my first time in Dubai. But for our stopover, it was perfect.

  • Points Price: Typically ~70,000 per night for a standard room, but as low as 39,000 points per night during off-peak (hot) season.
  • Location: Great location – walking distance from the Museum of the Future.
  • On-Site Dining: I have the bad habit of using lounge access to help mitigate dining costs…so aside from the breakfast buffet in Ballaro included with our Diamond status, we didn’t try any of these restaurants. (For what it’s worth, the food in the lounge was delicious and had plenty of variety.)
    • Anása – greek restaurant
    • Ballaró – international cuisine with a buffet and à la carte menu. This is where we had breakfast. There was a lot of variety with local dishes, Indian dishes, and western dishes.
    • Bliss 6 – pool bar and cafe
    • Cave – wine bar
    • Isla – lobby cafe (coffee, pastries, and sandwiches)
    • Kimpo – Korean bar and restaurant
  • Bedroom: We stayed in the King Executive Room – City View and it was great.
  • Service: Excellent.
  • Resort fee: None
  • Parking: Free parking
  • Club Lounge: The club lounge is comfortable and spacious with a view of the sea (not as nice as the city view). There are afternoon snacks as well as warm dishes, desserts, and salads in the evening. For us it was plenty for a full meal.
  • Hilton Elite Benefits: As Diamond members, we got a room upgrade (from a standard king room to the King Executive Room), free breakfast at Ballaro, and club lounge access. We also got a little welcome gift of dates.
  • Would I stay again? I know there are plenty of fabulous points hotels in Dubai, but I would definitely stay again!

Conrad Dubai Images and Captions

We loved our King Executive Room at the Conrad Dubai.
King Executive Room Conrad Dubai
Even the bathroom has a view.

Our room was a “city view” room, which is more preferred than the “sea view”. (The lounge had a sea view, which I’ll show later.)
Welcome gift of dates.
Lounge at the Conrad Dubai.
Afternoon snacks at the lounge.
Food at the lounge. Plenty for a meal – not pictured were more hot dishes, pastas, etc.

Here you can see the “sea view” from the lounge (and you can see why it’s less preferred than the “city view.”)
Breakfast buffet at the Conrad Dubai
Local dishes at the breakfast buffet. The bread-pudding-looking dish was some kind of pumpkin pudding. If anyone out there on the internet is familiar with a pumpkin breakfast pudding and has a recipe for me, I can’t find any!
Conrad Dubai Pool
We didn’t have the stamina to hang out in the crowds for hours until the fireworks, but we did catch a nice light show at the fountains by the Burj.
Me and a few dozen fellows waiting to dash across lanes of traffic in hopes of finding a cab further from the main attractions.
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Byron

We stayed there prior to our visit to Al Maha and then the Maldives. We loved the Conrad and every point you made was spot on.

JohnB

My family went to Dubai in March. Our goals were seeing the Dubai Expo 2020 and to burn off a Future Cruise Credit. The Dubai Expo was over the top incredible. Best of the 4 Expos that I have attended.

We stayed in the Marriott Delta hotel that has apartments. It was nice for a 4 star, but would not stay there again. All the bathrooms had shower over tubs, with the tubs raised up 8 inches. Otherwise everything else was okay, but not overwhelmingly nice. The hotel’s staff were excellent though. My choice for properties was this Conrad or the Intercontinental Marina, but getting people to stay in places other than where they have top elite status is like pulling teeth.

Thank you for the review. Overall I am not swayed by up to date décor. Cleanliness, location, and amenities are far more important to me.

DubaiGuy

Hi from Dubai, expat living here 8 years now. Many, many hotels offer the experience you write about. We stayed at quite a few as staycations. Heading to StR Abu Dhabi next weekend to burn off some expiring free nights. Next time in Dubai try to catch a show at the Dubai Opera, take a desert safari, try the gyrocopter at skydive Dubai, kite surf or watch the kite surfing at kite beach while lunching at Salt. Lots to do for those who want to do it. Friendly, clean, safe.

Euro

I just finished a 2-night stay here around a week ago and it was my first time in Dubai as well. My impressions overall are that it greatly exceeded expectations (which were lowered because FT users did not have nice things to say about it) and that it is much in line with the other Conrads I have stayed at (Seoul and Hong Kong). I also stayed at the Grand Hyatt as a point of comparison. Would recommend both. Impressions:

  • Staff at both hotels wanted to make a good impression for service and their property and were very professional.
  • Breakfast was excellent at both, though GH’s arrangement was much more disorganized, spread out maze-like over at least 6 different tables. “Where did you get ____?” and “Where is _____” was said more than once by me at the GH.
  • Room at Conrad (was upgraded to larger room with a view partially looking south on SZR and partially looking towards Jumeirah) was starting to feel a little dated especially with the dark wood and with only 1 USB port by the desk but overall could still go a bit longer before feeling too dated. GH’s room was fresher and more modern (was upgraded to a larger room). GH’s bathroom had fully enclosed toilet area unlike Conrad’s. Also Conrad’s hot temp setting for the bathtub faucet was more “warm.”
  • GH’s lobby was gaudy and outdated, decorated like a casino circa early-to-mid 1990s. Also GH is combined with a convention center. Conrad’s lobby is more restrained in style, more successful in trying to project grandeur.
  • The best part of the Conrad is its location since the metro station is right in front of the lobby. GH’s closest metro station is a 10-minute walk away.
whocares

first time in Dubai? after all your travels? what the hell?

😐

i’m waiting for a hotel to market a SKY view room.

Dubai lost it’s charm in the late 2000s I think. First time I went in 2004 (Also made it to Sharjah), then in 2010…markedly different. From slightly sleepy and emerging (relatively speaking – Burj was still kind of newish) to megalopolis.

Per Wiki

50% increase in 5-star hotels (90ish to 140ish) in 5 years to 2021
80% increase in 4-star hotels. 100ish to 180ish.

Wiki – on Dubai airport – shows the passenger growth. From 21 million in 2004 to 86 million in 2019!

Population shows 1.2 million to nearly 3 million now, Some older travelers probably wish for the 1990s Dubai.

Have no interest in ever returning, overgrown concrete/steel jungle now…albeit if I was on a stopover I would stay at a swanky hotel with a cert or points outside the main core…I stayed at the Youth Hostel mostly the first time, with a night or two at a 3-star place. Some 3/4 star local joint in 2010.

Christian

Thanks for the relatable review. Did the lounge serve alcohol?