Recently I was fortunate to win a competition for an overnight stay and dinner at the Le Meridien Dubai Hotel.
The hotel is close to the airport and if you live in Dubai, no doubt you will have passed it many a time as you are on your way to or from the airport. I must admit I often ‘staycation’ in the UAE, but usually leave Dubai and head towards Oman, Ras al Khaimah or Fujairah – so a local stay actually in Dubai was a new experience.
Check in was done very efficiently in the Royal Club Lounge over a lovely cappuccino which was a great relaxing start to the break. Once checked in it was time to check out the Executive Club room which was overlooking one of the hotels many swimming pools. The bedroom was spacious and came with the added bonus of a coffee machine (I love a decent coffee so was pleased with this) and all mod cons in terms of a flat screen TV and DVD and motion activated lights which was a nice touch. As for the bathroom, it came equipped with a lovely spa shower and separate bath and lots of fluffy white pillows and dressing gowns – all the things that I love about staying in a hotel.
Lots of hotels offer the above, but Le Meridien also offer lots of little touches which add to your experience. For example shortly after checking into the room a beautiful fruit basket was delivered. In addition to the usual room service breakfast menu, there was also a service menu so that you could request additional towels and other supplies as well as a bedtime menu allowing you to request a nightcap and small desert to be placed in the room for a late night indulgence.
After a relaxing afternoon, it was soon time to check out the Royal Club Lounge for afternoon tea which comprised of a selection of teas and coffees, a selection of finger sandwiches and a choice of beautiful cakes and pastries. There was plenty of choice and the staff were constantly on hand to ensure that there was plenty to eat and drink. I sampled quite a few little cakes and pastries and found the cakes very moist and delicious and they tasted as beautiful as they looked.
The afternoon soon merged into the early evening and having found myself unable to move from the comfortable sofa where I had snuggled up reading my kindle, it was soon 6pm and time for the complementary pre dinner drinks service to start. Relaxing over a couple of glasses of beautifully chilled white wine and some delicious Canapes for an hour or so, it was soon time to retreat to the room, test out the spa shower (it was great) and to get ready for dinner.
There are many options to chose for dining, but I had chosen Long Yin which serves Cantonese & Szechwan Cuisine. Le Meridien have a fantastic on-line facility which allows you to research restaurant options and menus prior to check in which is extremely useful particularly if you have never visited before. The restaurant is a nice size and although reasonably empty at 9pm it soon filled up with a variety of different nationalities, many who were repeat visitors which is always a good sign.
The chef came to the table to offer suggestions for menu selection and his suggestion of a mixed platter of starters was great, in particular the Fried Prawns with Wasabi Cream were fantastic, just the right warmth of wasabi without overpowering the prawns. The rest of the platter contained various steamed dumplings, spring roll and of course prawn toast. For main course, I sampled Sauteed sliced barbecued pork in garlic and chili sauce as well as rack of Lamb rack with chili “Singaporean style” accompanied by beautifully crisp Sauteed fresh pakchoy with garlic sauce and Fried noodles with mixed vegetables. For desert the chef made the most delicious banana fritters which were crunchy on the outside and warm and gooey in the inside and accompanied by a creamy vanilla ice-cream. All of this was washed down with a great bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. Service was efficient and attentive throughout.
On returning to the room, I had left enough space to partake in a nightcap of a glass of Baileys before sinking into a beautiful comfortable bed.
Having consumed my body weight in additional calories the day before ! – I decided to try out the gym facilities the next morning. I was pleased to find a really well equipped gym with very modern equipment. A quick run on the treadmill, was followed by a workout on some lovely high tech weights equipment as well as a very energising experience on a powerplate.
Having worked up a healthy appetite for breakfast, I selected Salmon Benedict from the menu and accompanied this with some items from the buffet, a beautiful pastry basket and a few skinny lattes. The plan was to spend the rest of the day lounging beside one of the pools, however, the powers that be decided against this & I unfortunately received a call about a leak at home which needed attention – so unfortunately had to cut my day short and dash home to sort this out (if you live in Dubai – you know this is just one of those things you have to attend to from time to time!).
I had a fabulous stay at Le Meridien. The staff really went out of their way to make the stay enjoyable, the facilities were great and my first Dubai ‘staycation’ was a revelation. I feel sure that I’ll be heading back to LeMeridien shortly, and if not for a stay, then at least to partake in some more delicious food at one of it’s many restaurants.