I have just returned from my second stay at the Jebel Ali, the first being in 2000. I stayed there with my 84 year old mum who has walking difficulties and my 11 year old daughter (who I was pregnant with during my last stay there) on a girls trip. We had an amazing holiday. The only reason for the 12 year gap before returning is the fact that we prefer to stay all-inclusive on holiday. When we saw that the Jebel Ali now does an all-inclusive package, we couldn't wait to go back to try it. The hotel is just as good as we remembered it (and better!). This time we stayed in a garden view room rather than paying extra for a sea view. The room was lovely and well insulated for noise. You get sun on the balconies on the garden view side, which you don't tend to get on the sea view side. It was a bit of a tight squeeze with the extra bed in there for my daughter, in that her bed had to be placed against mine to avoid blocking the door to the balcony. However we managed perfectly well. The rooms have all been refurbished and there is plenty of storage space for your clothes etc. The rooms are kept beautifully clean by the housekeeping team, who provide a fantastic service. The beds are very comfortable and towels/face cloths are replaced daily. Elemis Shampoo, Conditioner, Shower Gel, Body Lotion and hand soap are provided and regularly replenished, along with useful things like nail files, shower caps, cleansing pads and cotton buds. Dressing gowns and slippers are also provided. The rooms also have TV/DVD players, tea and coffee making facilities, hair driers and a washing line above the bath. The plug sockets are the same as in the UK, so you don't need travel adaptors. We were given a code at the Reception desk to get free wi-fi in the room which was really useful for us, as my daughter had her laptop with her. Another bonus is that free bottled water is provided in the rooms and replenished nightly or as required.
Pool towels are provided and you collect them as you walk out from the Lower Ground floor into the gardens at the rear of the hotel. The pools are climate controlled (which they weren't in 2000), and were always at a perfect temperature. The gardens are vast and even though the hotel was quite busy when we were there, you have no difficulty finding a sun lounger (and parasol if you require one). We spent most of our time at the Palmito Pool outside the main hotel, which is a fresh water pool with a swim up bar. A very special mention must go to Eranga the bar man there, who together with Denis looked after us all really well and made my daughter feel really welcome, so she felt confident to play in the pool whilst I sunbathed.
We had our lunches at Captain's open air restaurant on the beach in front of the hotel. The food and service was excellent there and all the staff were really pleasant and friendly. Lunch is served until 5pm, so there is no rush of people all wanting to eat at the same time.
We primarily used the Ibn Majed restaurant for breakfast and most evening meals. The buffets there are amazing and the choice at breakfast (which is served until 11am) is overwhelming. Again all the staff were lovely and special mention must go to Sabreena and Chinchu who made our stay all the more pleasurable and looked after my mother really well in the restaurant. The managers there Natalia and Jake, also did a fantastic job, including at times dealing professionally with some very demanding customers!
We also had lovely meals at La Traviata (Italian Restaurant), Shooters (Steak House/Grill) at the Shooting Club, the White Orchid (Asian) at the Palm Tree Court and Spa and the Sports Cafe. If you get to the Sports Cafe before around 7.30pm, you can generally get a table outside with views of the Marina, which was lovely, This is where the all-inclusive package really excels, as you can dine in any of the hotel's restaurants, including those at the Palm Tree Court and Spa. There are one or two things on some of the menus that you cannot have on all inclusive (e.g. Lobster), but if you do want them, they credit you 50% of the price. This hardly applied to any items though and I had gorgeous fillet steak in two of the restaurants on the all-inclusive. The drinks options on the all inclusive were also very good, e.g. some really nice wines, Bombay Sapphire Gin and lots of cocktails were available. If you ask what you can have on the all inclusive before ordering (we were provided with a sheet explaining it on arrival), you shouldn't get any nasty surprises and you soon get used to what you can and cannot have. You can't take drinks back to your room, but there is a mini bar in the room (although you will be charged for any items from it).
We went riding twice at the hotel stables with Nadine and her team. The horses are lovely and If you want to ride I would recommend booking before you stay, as it was already quite booked up when we arrived. The same goes for trips. We travelled with Virgin and by the time we saw our rep, two days after arrival, the trip we wanted to do was already booked up and we ended up having to go up the Khalifa Tower on our last day there, which wasn't ideal. It was well worth doing though, with amazing views, despite the somewhat hazy weather we experienced whilst we were there (as a result of sandstorms the previous week).
My daughter enjoyed the rides on the golf buggies to the stables and also trying to film all the Peacocks that wander around the grounds. Timothy on the front door did a great job of organising transport to assist my mother and Georgina at the front desk helped us on a number of occasions with different requests. We also played the mini-golf in the gardens, which was great fun and went kayaking. There are so many facilities at this hotel that you would have to stay a month to use everything!
The beach is stunning and it made my holiday to be able to walk along it without being pestered by beach sellers (we stayed in Kenya last August and hardly dare venture on the beaches as the beach sellers were so intimidating). I had a regular saunter along it on my own each afternoon, which I wouldn't feel able to do in some other parts of the world.
The whole area is a lot more built up than it was in 2000, but the Jebel Ali is still in a much quieter location than other hotels in Dubai, which is exactly what we like in a holiday. We were not disturbed at all by the building work going on at the side of the Palm Tree Court and only noticed it on our last day, when walking at the far end of the beach. Also although there are signs of the building work going on out at sea, nothing appeared to be actually happening whilst we were there, or at least if it was, we couldn't hear it.
We didn't use the shuttle buses on this occasion, but know from our last stay that they are a great way of seeing the sights in the city centre. I am told by friends that the Big Bus Tours are also a great way of getting around.
The hotel has several lifts and the grounds are flat in the gardens and beach area, so it was great for my mother. The only very slight criticism is that there don't appear to be any toilets close to the beach or Captain's and as the grounds are large, it was quite a long walk for her to the closest toilets at the back of the pool.
The staff all provided a high quality service and the management should be proud of them. We generally stay in small intimate and unpretentious hotels and enjoy getting to know the staff. Despite it's size, this hotel still manages to give an intimate feel to it and it certainly ticks all the boxes for us.
As long as the hotel continues with it's all-inclusive package, we will definitely be back in the very near future and I can't recommend this hotel highly enough.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated on the golden shores of the Arabian Gulf, the Jebel Ali Beach Hotel at the award-winning Jebel Ali Golf Resort features 231 standard rooms and suites over 5 floors. In addition to the palm-lined private beach and temperature-controlled swimming pools, the resort also features a 9-hole golf course with golf academy, 80-berth marina, horse riding stables, a variety of different restaurants and bars and The Spa, a purpose-built wellness facility overlooking the beach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jebel Ali Golf Hotel Dubai
- Jebel Ali Golf Resort And Spa
- Jebel Ali Hotel Dubai
- Jebel Ali Golf Resort Spa