This is my first post after two months of hiatus due to heavy involvement at work and at home. I do apologize for that. I’m writing today about my experience at Crowne Plaza Hotel on Sheik Zayed Road in Dubai, UAE. I’ve stayed there for two nights during my last visit and since I’m a platinum member of Priority Club, I felt like giving it a try and see what’s it like down there. I’ve stored the location of the hotel on my Garmin manually in advance since it wouldn’t show on it and it was very easy to locate. I was surprised that the hotel is located within a shopping complex. Subway, McDonald’s and TGI Friday’s could easily be accessed since they were on the hotel’s perimeter. I was told by the valet parking staff that I could either surrender in the car or park it in the back lot. I went and parked it there and it’s to be noted that the parking space was limited since it was shared with other establishments as well. And no one was available to take in your luggage since the hotel is in the mezzanine level, and most of its staff are either there or on the front entrance only.
The regular check-in counters were packed. So I decided to flash my Priority Club Platinum card to get the needed attention and a nice lady greeted me and my buddy on a separate desk space. Me and my buddy were immediately upgraded from standard to club floor rooms. I have to advise that you should request a room away from the elevator because mine was like two doors down and the elevator rings are very audible at my room all day long.
I have to admit that the furniture was a bit old and the seats/TV cabinet were a bit inadequate for the hotel’s style of furnishing. The bathroom was OK, but not up to the typical club floor room standards. The hotel needs some improvement. The entrance light could not be switched off, since it didn’t have any switch and I had to spend the night annoyed by such a pale light. In the morning, I asked two staff members of the home keeping and none could resolve the issue, till a bright one showed up and asked me to remove the card from the electric slot. It went like this:
Me: If I remove the card from the slot, doesn’t that turn off the electricity?
Staff: Yes, but you want to turn off the lights and sleep, right?
Me: Yes, but what if I want to get up for a cup of water or decided to watch TV?
Staff: Then, you have to put it back! Don’t worry, AC will be still on!
Me: It’s not the AC, it’s the issue of getting up in the dark and finding the card to put it in so I can see around.
Staff: (no clue).
Anyway, I hope that this issue would be addressed as I left it in my remarks to the hotel survey card.
We didn’t try the room service since we went mall hopping all day long and then at night, decided to check out Vic’s Trader which is located in a very remote place inside the hotel, where you have to go through indoors and outdoors to reach it. Very inconvenient to reach. The place was packed and small. Upon ordering, we tried out hardest to get any attention for service but none was available. That’s when we decided to leave this place. And there’s a dance club called Zinc which is located at the ground floor of the building. Upon checking it out, we were notified it had a strict policy of ”Couples only”. That was very disappointing. We hit Harvester’s Pub, which was a nice place to watch sports and cool it down a bit. There was this fine girl playing Jazz on a karaoke program off her laptop and it sounded great.
I have to add in that the complex is frequented by escorts and such, and I wouldn’t recommend it for families or those who might be offended by such crowds.
I have two majors issues which I addressed the hotel via e-mail and it was disturbing for me. On Friday night, the taxis in the back of hotel created such a traffic jam picking up off patrons of Zinc and Vic’s trader, I swear there more than 50 taxis cars in total, all honking at the same time at 3 AM!! My room faced that parking lot and it was one hell of annoyance. The cops came in and started diverting traffic and working things out and it was one hell of a mess at early morning.
The 2nd issue was the parking lot. During our car trips in Dubai, I acquired a parking space voucher and placed it on the front shield as requested by the Dubai Police. I’ve forgotten about it and left it on there till the next day, where’s still valid until 12 PM. Me and my buddy check out and drag out luggage to the parking lot just to find a parking ticket placed on my car. The idiot cops of Dubai thought that this ticket belonged to this parking lot and according to the time, he ticketed me after the expiration time. He waiting for it to expire so he can ticket me. I was furious. This parking lot is designated for hotel and other establishments as well, what the hell I get a ticket for? Of course, I had to submit and pay the ticket for Avis plus processing charges (stupid shit). The hotel’s reply in e-mail was that this parking lot is a public one and you have to get a parking voucher to park in. So I should thank God that the past two days I wasn’t ticketed as well. I replied back that because of the excellent services offered by your hotel, no one cared or offered to inquire about transpiration or any of that sort. So be advised, don’t get ticketed over there. Their cops are like predators, they would fish for extra charges on tourists and such.