Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
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TravelPod Member ReviewsBab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
This is the perfect desert oasis. Ask and you shall receive. Friendly staff and gorgeous location. a great place to pamper yourself.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
Fantastic Resort Truly a Magical Experience
We travelled to Dubai for the first time, the trip was a 7th Wedding Anniversary present from my Husband. The whole holiday was a surprise, when he told me that we were going to Dubai I knew that It didn't matter where we were staying as the standard of hotels there are pretty high. As we were driving to the hotel through the desert I was not quite sure what to expect. It just felt so serial and out of this World the location was perfect away from all the hustle & bustles of Dubai a place you could really unwind & relax.
During our stay we noticed that there had been great attention to detail, the staff was always happy and couldn't do more for you. Dining at the Resort was also good, as there was plenty of choice, however, if there was something is particular that you wanted to eat then the chef's will be more than happy to make you an alternative. The Roof Top bar was the place we found to conclude our evenings but we found that it was not open long enough. One recommendation would be that this area stays open longer than 12 midnight.
The Desert Restaurant was also a great concept, but we found that it was not very well lit and there was very little to eat if you were a vegetarian.
We stayed at the Bab Al Sham for 4 nights it is definitely a must but combined with a city centre hotel.
We would definitely recommend the hotel and would return again with our children.
Disappointed by Bab Al Shams
Very disappointed. Lots of upset experienced by guests at check in when every individual occupant of each room was required to produce passports - or go home! "Did we not read the confirmation advice??"
Hotel feels small and confined. No privacy around pool I am vegetarian..lunch on arrival and dinner on first night had the same contents and very expensive (especially for a vegetarian) £40 GBP for a self service buffet.
Lots of very pleasant staff but SO poorly trained. Why..why why...?
(It took an hour for bath salts to be delivered to our room and we gave up asking for directions within the hotel.}
UAE hotels have a lot to learn.
The Magical desert Resort
This Resort is a dream comes true. Niched in the desert about 30 mins away from Dubai city, Bab Al Shams is an oasis in the desert. A fantastic resort built in old traditional Bedouin Arabic style, it entails mazes , patio with fountains, roof tops for shisha samplings, pools etc; the rooms are perfected in true Bedouin style and decors and attention to details take you out of this world.With its spa facilities, the resort is a unique experience.
The outdoor restaurant is fabulous and the dancers (male and female), food are all so perfect.
I cannot recommend enough this place for Travellers to Dubai who wish to be transported to a unique and sumptours experience.
Amazing desert resort
What a place! Situated about 50 Klm directly West of Dubai City in the middle of the desert. You see very few other cars as you drive out - just sand blowing over the road. Then you arrive at this glorious oasis. Arabic style resort. Beautiful rooms. Great meals. The chilled infinity pool looking out over the dunes is amazing, and sundowners at the rooftop bar should not be missed. Our young kids loved it too.
We couldn't leave
What a fantastic hotel. Well, not a hotel really, more like a little town out in the desert.
We've stayed at a few hotels in Dubai, and dined in even more. None of them come close.
From the moment we arrived, to the moment we left we enjoyed every single minute. The staff are so friendly, and will go out of their way to help. Even in the blistering heat, they seemed to want to do anything to help.
The setting is perfect. From driving up to the hotel, through the winding torch light road, to the way the pool is lit up at night and the sand dunes rise up in the distance. There's waterways, and small pools with plenty of place to sit and take it all in. Bathing in the pool, and watching a couple of camels wander by is something I'll never forget.
We originally chose the hotel, as my partner used to be a keen horse rider, but she hasn't had chance to get out on a horse recently. Close by is the Endurance village, and the hotel can arrange for riding in the morning, evening or even both. What we didn't realise is that the horses are real arab race horses. Where else in the world are you given the chance to jump one an arab horse and gallop across miles of sand?
We planned to stay for 3 nights, but we loved the place so much, we extended and stayed for another three days.
We've never felt so sad about leaving somewhere so beautiful.
We stayed here after a disastrous trip to Hatta Fort, and it was exactly what we were looking for - a place to relax and unwind that was peaceful and comfortable.
The resort looks organic - that it's grown and developed over the years, despite the fact that it's less than a year old. As it's part of the Jumeirah International group, you get the level of service you'd expect at Jumeirah beach, Madinat, Burj etc etc
We arrived the day following our booking, and had a room with its own garden. Food was excellent, but I'd recommend an extended menu if they want to encourage guests to stay for longer than a few days.
The highlight of the resort for me was the rooftop bar where you can relax with a shisha under the stars beside a fire pit - absolute heaven.
We don't have kids, but the kids club looked brilliant (I was very jealous!)
The pool is gorgeous - beautiful temperature, loads of places to sit with a book in sun or shade.
Activities are limited, but it is supposed to be a getaway from it all destination, and it certainly fits that bill.
Best Hotel we stayed in Dubai
This hotel is our favorite in Dubai. We stayed Madinat Jumeirah resort also for few days, but Bab Al Shams offered more arabian feels and experiences. As previous review, our children (8 and 3 years old) enjoyed free camel ride and touching a falcon. You must not miss a dinner at the Arabian Restaurant. Most enjoyable experience. My 8 years old daughter enjoyed filling many different colors of sand in a glass bottle to create a picture of camels in the desert and her name which she displays in her bedroom (from DH50) and also Indian Tattoo (from DH90) while we were having wonderful dinner. Our 3 years old daughter enjoyed touching a falcon and riding camel few times (free) and most of all she was treated like a princess by very friendly restaurant staff, waiters and chefs. It was very hot (over 40C) when we stayed since it is in the middle of desert, so It is best to avoid summer. I would suggest to stay few days here and few days in Jumeirah Beach area or City Centre hotels for shopping/beach etc. Most enjoyable stay. Highly recommended!
A true oasis - away from the traffic and hubbub of greater Dubai
Context: As expats in Azerbaijan we get away from Baku 3 or 4 times a year and once or twice to Dubai as it's only just over 2 hours' flight away. With 2 young kids (7 and 4) we normally stay in hotel on J. Beach somewhere. However, our benchmark would be Hilton, Meridien etc. rather than Burj al Arab. Wanting to try something different we had rented an apartment in Dubai Marina but, visiting friends who were already staying at B-a-S, we were sufficiently impressed to book in there for our last four nights from 30th March.
Opinion: After reserving the room I was still nervous that, away from the beach, restaurants and malls of Dubai, we might find ourselves getting bored. I shouldn't have worried. Firstly, for the kids there is an 8am to 8pm kids' club where you can safely leave children of most ages. It has very attentive staff and a good range of activities. That our kids usually only stayed a couple of hours at a time was more to do with us than them! There is a reasonable but not enormous infinity pool (max 1.3m deep) with swim-up bar, jacuzzi pool and shallow areas for younger children. Two or three lifeguards all the time. No need to claim sunbeds before breakfast either (oh joy!). Short camel and horse rides can be had as well as some falconry demonstrations - these all helped to keep the younger ones amused.
What hits you straight away is the originality of the ambiance, the quality of the staff and the attention to detail in the buildings and their decoration. From the moment you enter you are indeed transported into what feels like an Arabian fort. Our room was Deluxe with balcony - full of character with all the modern conveniences one expects from a decent hotel these days but slightly more discreet and with as much Arab touches as they can muster. A little Disneyland for some tastes (one or two guests have apparently commented) I didn't find it so - even though it was built from nothing (like most of Dubai) I found it sufficiently tasteful that it didn't seem to matter that it has only been there for 4 months!
OK - the good breakfast is fairly standard fare in Dubai these days - the usual cereals, pre-cooked scrambled eggs etc, fruit, meats, cheese but with the odd Arabian dish as well and served in a really nice atmosphere in small rooms, on the terrace or in the courtyard. Had buffet dinner in same restaurant one evening - generally high standard all round. But everyone should try the Arabian restaurant which sits a few hundred metres away on its own. The atmosphere here is great (if noisy!). There is a continuous cabaret of belly dancing, singing, whirling dervishes, stick-fighting (my words!). The falconer is there too. All types of spit-roasted and barbecued meat in the atmosphere of an old Arabian market with salads, rices and Middle Eastern starters and sweets. It's a real experience and is well worth the extra money.
Gym a little small (three machines only) but I never saw anyone else there so maybe they're just catering to the demand! Lots of sitting areas all around the hotel - most of them outside - so great place for peace and quiet.
The new highway (two way traffic) accessing the location from the Emirates Road is high quality (and disturbingly fast for some taxi drivers - 165kph was our maximum!). Eg to Wild Wadi/Burj/Jumeirah Beach took about 45 mins and cost about DH100 on average. City centre, airport etc a little longer and more expensive but you do generally avoid most of the traffic jams on the Sheikh Zayed road. Remember to allow the 45 mins to book a taxi which normally comes from town. Comfortable hotel transport is available but costs more eg. DH350 to the airport. There is daily free shuttle bus to/from Wild Wadi and general Burj area leaving at 10am and returning at 5pm.
So, if you want a quality place with loads of atmosphere, good food, great service where you can chill out (or, more accurately, fry - it was 40c when we left) in comfort for a few days at not too high prices then this is the place. If you crave the sea, the shops, a range of eating places and nightlife then this may not be for you - at least not for the duration of your holiday. Some guests were there for two weeks and loved the tranquility of it all. Others (like below) have suggested maybe a few nights here with a few on the beach or even downtown (if shopping is on the agenda).
Either way I think there's something for everyone here whether it's for a shorter or longer stay. The prospect of an expanded hotel (as mentioned by another correspondent) is a little worrying as it might lose some of its current charm. But for now all of us - kids included - would return in a flash - even though we might mix it with the beach and/or downtown.
Enjoy - we certainly did!
Would Definitely Return.
After happily leaving the Palm Tree Courts (Jebel Ali Hotel), my wife and I raced through the desert to get to the Bab Al Shams. (stayed from 8 - 12 March 05) At the moment, this hotel is made up of 115 rooms, 1 pool (infinity pool overlooking sand dunes in the desert), 1 main restaurant and 1 desert restaurant.
The hotel rooms are very nice indeed - morrocan theme, nice little balconies overlooking the desert, and a very nice bathroom with incredible extras and power shower. The service couldn't be faulted - if you asked for something that they didn't have on offer - they certainly tried their hardest to appease you. As this is a very new hotel (opened in Dec 04), I was surprised how "on the ball" the staff were. Many were transplanted from the Burj Al Arab or Jumeirah hotels, and are extremely well trained. They are always asking how they might improve their service.
If there are any downsides - it is that they plan to expand the hotel to 200 rooms over the summer. I fear, they might lose the "boutiquey" feel. I welcome their expanding the pool, shopping facilities and adding restaurants, but i was hoping they might max the rooms to 150. But as this is the only desert hotel, (aside from Al Maha at £750+ a night) there is a captive audience for the desert theme. I would highly recommend this hotel. I might mix the beach & desert during your stay in Dubai. ie 4 nights on the beach and 3 in the desert. We stayed for 4 nights in the desert and still thorougly enjoyed the incredible service, views, and days by the pool reading books. - You might also consider booking online at their website as they might have promotional rates..
Enjoy your holidays
Rose in the desert
Bab Al Shams : Jumeirah Group's new hotel in the desert.
If you are looking for something different and a total chill out, then this may be what you are looking for.
Only openeded early December and still having the odd teething trouble, but nothing that wasn't fixed within minutes of mentioning it.
Jumeirah have tried to provide an authentic arabic boutique hotel, no glass or stainess steel monuments here, just a fort style 115 room rustic charm hideaway.
Some 45 minutes from the city, make sure your transport knows where he's going. I took the map from their web site but the taxi still got lost.
The hotel will run you into town if requested but I see this place as a 2 or 3 day chill out mixed with a beach stay. Remember it is miles from anywhere with the biggest beach I've ever seen
Their signature desert Al Hadheerah restaurant doesn't open till 25/12/04 and is approached by walking through the desert following a torch lit path or a short camel ride or take the road. It looks fabulous and will be well worth a visit for an evening under the stars.
Some of the staff are new and still learning the Jumeirah hospitality, but within a very short time they will be up to speed.
Full spa and a small gym if thats what you want.
TripAdvisor Reviews Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
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