Advantages good location, nice food lovely hotel
|Value for Money|
|Quality of Rooms|
|Standard of Service|
|Quality of Food & Drink|
|Quality of Facilities|
We picked Le Meridien Mina Seyahi hotel as it was one of the few hotels in Dubai which actually offers an All Inclusive option. Most only offer B&B with some others offering half board and occasionally full board. We liked the idea of All Inclusive because we had heard that Dubai was fairly expensive and with only booking twelve weeks before departure we didn’t have that much time to save up loads of money with some other things we had going on at the time.On arrival at the hotel we were helped out of our car by the doormen and our cases were whisked away so we could check in. This process was very easy and especially quick as we had not arrived with a load of other people on a coach like you do in Spain, we had private transfers so there were just us booking in. Reception staff was very polite and efficient. They gave us a welcome pack with all the details we needed for our stay at the Mina, room keys (the credit card type) and explained about the all inclusive option we were staying on. While we were going through this we had cold drinks brought out for us with some sweets and dates, oh and not forgetting the cold flannels, which was just bliss after a seven hour flight and walking out into the intense heat of Dubai. We also have to give in our credit card for any extras like mini bar room service etc. This seems to be standard practise in most hotels now as we had to do the same in America and Canada.
We were then taken to our room and had the cases brought up for us. We were showed everything in our room and explained about the safe in the wardrobe, that there was a hairdryer in the draw etc.We un packed our cases and then headed out to have a look around. Bearing in mind it was now about 10.30pm walked around by the pool area and one of the bars near the beach which looked busy and lively, I knew straight away we were going to enjoy our stay here. First impressions really do count.
We were feeling a little hungry so we decided to go to the Waves restaurant which is open 24 hours a day, which was handy for us at this time of night just arriving. We ordered from the menu and waited while our meal was cooked for us. We were brought bread and water and we ordered a beer and cocktail! Our waiter was so friendly, asked us if we had just arrived and how was our flight. He checked with us if our meal was okay and asked again as we left (yes it was a wonderful meal!) the service was excellent.This really was just the start of a wonderful holiday and set the tone for what the rest of the week was like. All of my concerns about going to Dubai just left me there and then; I wonder know what the heck I was worrying about.
The hotel itself is just amazing. It may not be one of the largest but it certainly has a friendly, homely feel which probably helps because it is not huge. It has 154 deluxe Rooms which are both Sea and Land view rooms. Two of which are accessible for people with disabilities. 34 Royal Club rooms (sea and land view), 16 Royal club superior rooms and 3 large Royal Club executive rooms which have panoramic views and 2 deluxe suits. All very nice if you can afford it but we had a deluxe land view room and if that’s the lowest room you can get you just can’t complain.The room was large, with sofa, chairs and table, TV with lots of channels both in English and Arabic, large dressing table and mirror, hairdryer, large wardrobe area with plenty of hangers, plenty of drawer space a massive bed, electronic safe (which you didn’t have to pay to use),a basket which you could put you shoes out in if you wanted them shined, dry cleaning bags, complimentary bottled water (which was replenished every day if you had used them), a kettle with complimentary tea and coffee and biscuits, mini bar (which you had to pay for but was always full incase you ever wanted anything with snacks, soft drinks, alcohol and fruit juices), two chocolates left for you each day, extra pillows, a hotel directory, dressing gowns and slippers. The bathroom was of a reasonable size with a large sink area, toilet and shower over bath. Everywhere was tiled and we were left plenty of toiletries which were again replenished every day.
The room was spotless, you couldn’t fault it. You had maid service everyday, everything was always spotless. Towels got changed every evening too. The sea view rooms were exactly the same but with a balcony and table and chairs. I did miss not having a balcony the first day but after that I realised we didn’t really need one, and of course we had a lovely view of some of the skyscrapers from our room even though we were only on the second floor. You also had a complimentary paper delivered to your room each day. You could also check your bill online on your TV if necessary.The reception area was a large open space which was bright and airy. There are plenty of comfy chairs and sofas around too if you were waiting to be picked up for a trip or just wanted to sit and watch the world go by. From here you could access the lifts to all floors, Ciro’s promodo which is an Italian restaurant/nightclub which is open to 3am. This is the only restaurant which is not included in the all inclusive option, a jewellery shop, gift shop and swimwear shop, business centre with fax/internet etc which we used during our stay to email home. From the reception there is also a guest services desk, tour information office where you can book trips, lobby lounge where you can have drinks (and most nights live music), concierge and also the Waves restaurant. Again everywhere is spotlessly clean.
Outside is a large grassy area with palm trees and sun beds, a large swimming pool with swim up bar, plenty of sun beds and a children’s pool. The pool bar also serves lunch during the day. There is an ice cream kiosk with lots of different kinds of ice cream delights that can be made up for you.The beach area is private just for hotel guests and is very large and sun beds and shades are not all crammed together which is nice so you don’t feel like your sitting on top of the person next to you. Water sports are also available, dount rides, sail boats, windsurfing etc but we just didn’t have time to do any of these. There are lifeguards both on the private beach and by the pools. Towels for the pool and the beach can be collected from the hut near the main pool and returned at the end of the day for fresh ones the following day.
If your by the pool or on the beach and would like a drink, it’s no problem. The guys who work at the horizon bar come to you. They are around all day and check with you throughout the day if they can get you anything (without pestering you), you don’t have to do a thing or lift a finger!The hotel does actually have five pools all together (including a lap pool) but two of the pools were not open. I know one was down by the new hotel they are building and they are getting ready to do that and the landscaping but I am not sure why the other one was not open. This did not affect us anyway because we either swam in the main pool or in the sea. The pool is temperature controlled which is really nice so when you get in it’s not cold but refreshing unlike the sea which is like getting into the bath it was so warm (lovely though not refreshing!) From the beach you have a view of the ‘palm’. The Jumeriah Palm is the first of the three man made palm islands being worked on right now in Dubai.
Restaurants at the Mina – there’s certainly something for everyone.The Dhow – a floating restaurant awaits. A typical Arabian boat which has been transformed into a restaurant. This is a seafood restaurant and we didn’t eat here as we are not seafood eaters. We spoke to some other people who did go to the dhow and they said it was really nice. The Dhow is along the promenade but you don’t need to worry about getting there, the hotel runs buggys (like golfing buggys) down to the dhow and bussola restaurants at night so you can get picked up and dropped off you haven’t even got to walk anywhere!) Open until midnight.
Ciro’s Pomodoro - Italian restaurant with a nightclub feel open until 3am.Waves – We ate here on the first night as the restaurant is 24hours. It has a wide menu of international cuisine. Some evenings they have live music and some evenings they have buffet on up until 10pm. We did have this one night and even though it was buffet style it was lovely. It’s not like buffet in Spain; it was all done in an orderly fashion, lots of choice and not one bit of mess. There was plenty of choice of starter, main and dessert. The deserts are all individually made (I’ll add some pictures at the end); there was always a large selection of fresh fruit and not a chip in sight! This holiday is just bliss!
Lobby Lounge – This is mainly just a bar and snacks are available with entertainment most nights. It was nice to sit in here in the evening and relax. Open until 1amBarasti Bar – We had lunch here one day which was lovely and they done snacks and light meals in the evening. Then it turns into a bar with music and entertainment some evenings. Downstairs the bar continues but with a more outdoor nightclub feel with large sofas style chairs, bean bags and cushions. Music was played here and almost a nightclub on the beach atmosphere. We spent most evenings down here; we loved the atmosphere and being outside relaxing in the warmth of the Dubai evening. Open until 2am
Bussola – This is an Italian restaurant which we went to twice during our stay. There’s and upstairs and a downstairs. The first time we went upstairs and were quite surprised the main thing on the menu was pizza and salad. Nether less we ordered pizza and salad and it was a lovely meal with a lovely relaxing atmosphere looking our onto the Arabian sea. The next time we ate downstairs and the menu was a lot more varied. Still Italian themed but with a lot more choice and still with gorgeous views of the ocean. Again it was another wonderful meal which we say was one of the best of the holiday. Open until midnight.Horizon Bar – Swim up bar at the main pool and snacks and lunch are available throughout the day. The food we ate from here was also lovely. Open until 9pm
Tang – Open until 1am Tang is classed as contemporary but is actually French food. Neither of us are fans of French food so we didn’t eat here but we were also told it was nice.So whatever you fancy you can pretty much get what you want at the Mina, there is such a huge choice. We were quite sad as we missed the Arabian themed night in waves (it was the day we arrived but we were too late and again the day we left) which we would have loved to tried that. All restaurants (apart from when waves was doing buffet) you get given a menu and you order as you would in a restaurant over here and then your meal is cooked for you, it really is completely different to all inclusive in Spanish resorts. Instead of a wristband you just have to sign bill and put down your room number.
All inclusive drinks were good value as well and apart from at the pool and beach during the day there wasn’t a plastic cup or cheap beer and watered down drink in sight. All inclusive drinks were:
Soft drinks such as coke etc
Le Meridien Still Water
Perrier sparkling water
Heineken bottle and pint
Kilkenny can and pint
House Red, white and Rose wine (we were told these were nice too)
Bombay sapphire Gin
Dewars white label whiskey
Captain Morgan Rum
Jose Cuervo Tequila
So plenty to choose from! If you wanted anything else this can be ordered and added to you room bill if it wasn’t part of your all inclusive option.The hotel is also attached to the marina and has it’s own clarins spa which we didn’t use (again not enough time). There’s also a gym (again we didn’t use), sauna and steam room all available to the Mina’s guests.
At present there are building works going on next to the hotel as they are building another hotel (different name) but will all be a part of the mina. You could hear very minimal noise from the building works but only if you were listening for it. It did not disrupt out holiday one bit during the day or evening (work carries on 24hrs in Dubai but only minimal work over night) it did not restrict access anywhere in or around the hotel. This is due to be finished later in 2007.For those with children they mina has a children’s club called the penguin club which runs every day but I’m afraid I don’t know much about that as I don’t have children.
Currency exchange is available at the reception should you need it.The hotel has volleyball court and tennis courts and also conference centre for people on business.
On our second day we had a message on our phone in the room from reception just to make sure we were okay and so far enjoying our stay. If there was anything else they could do for us just to go and see them.On our last day at breakfast one of the guys who worked in waves (I think he was the manager) saw I had the filled questionnaire on the table ready to hand in at check out and came and asked if we had enjoyed our stay at the hotel and how was our breakfast and how was all of our other meals we had at the hotel. Before leaving for check out he also came over to say goodbye and hoped to see us back in Dubai again soon and double check we had enjoyed our stay.
Every member of staff we came in contact with was friendly, always smiled and was so genuine and helpful. You don’t have to tip in Dubai like you have to in New York (where it’s expected) but we did tip a fair amount as the service was unbelievable. The people who worked here didn’t expect it but were genuinely grateful if you did tip. Nothing was too much hassle for them.Overall
I know this review is very long and I am sorry but there’s just so much to tell you about this wonderful hotel. Even know I am sure I have missed something to tell you.The hotel is wonderful, the location is wonderful (about 30 minutes from the airport), and a short drive from any of the major attractions and taxis are very cheap.
I would recommend all inclusive if you can get it. We ate out at a couple of restaurants at other hotels (this is the done thing in Dubai as you don’t walk down the street like in Spain and stumble across numerous restaurants as Dubai is quite spread out) and it can get expensive. The AI option at the Mina was wonderful; I cannot fault a single thing about anything.Every member of staff was so helpful, genuine, and polite and was genuinely trying to make sure you had the best possible holiday. Absolutely nothing was too much trouble for them. I cannot explain this enough. I’ve tried telling friends and family this but unless you have been there and experienced it is very hard to get a proper understanding of what it is like.
I would 100% recommend anyone to stay at the Mina. We had the most wonderful holiday here.We loved it so much we have booked to go back to Dubai for our first Wedding anniversary for a long weekend (I know it sounds mad but it’s no further than going to New York for a long weekend and it’s cheaper) and we were going to book the Mina but the hotel is fully booked. I think that gives a fair idea of how popular this hotel is. We are going to another hotel but we were really gutted we couldn’t get back into this hotel again.
We almost felt guilty on holiday how well we were treated (like royalty) and as soon as we landed we knew we were back home. Going into a shop for a drink you were greeted by a rude check out girl and everyone in the airport was miserable. All we kept thinking was all these people need to get out to Dubai and see how customer service really is done.All I can say is if you get a chance to go to Dubai GO and stay at this wonderful hotel.
Fact for you:
Crime rate in Dubai is almost 0%
Population of Dubai is 5million, expected to increase to 10million in 5 years
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