Dubai is one of the world’s most vibrant tourist destinations and one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Al-Habtoor City is one of the latest developments in this oasis and incorporates three ultra-luxurious five-star hotels operated by Marriott International, the largest hotel group in the world: The Westin Dubai Al-Habtoor City, The W Dubai – Al Habtoor City and the St. Regis Dubai. I got to experience two of them on my recent visit to Dubai.
The Westin Dubai Al-Habtoor City, is the largest of the three hotels and boasts 1004 rooms, including 142 suites. The 41-storey hotel is situated on the banks of Dubai Water Canal, which was launched in 2016, turning a large part of Dubai into an island.
We arrived at the hotel after an exhausting 18-hour flight from Buenos Aires, Argentina. At that stage, we would have been happy enough with a bed. What we got however was way better. Our rooms consisted of a massive suite for my husband and I, and an inter-leading twin room for the kids, both en-suite. The suite had a spacious bedroom with a heavenly bed, a lounge, a walk-in closet and a guest bathroom. There was ample wardrobe and closet space to contain belongings for a month. The kids room was also spacious and had twin beds, and a writing desk.
The lounge had seating and dining areas. There was a coffee machine, a minibar and a flat-screen television too. A platter of decadent chocolate truffles and a plate of fresh fruit awaited us. There was an innovative message on the mirror welcoming us to the hotel.
Our bathroom was huge and had a delightful rain shower, and a free-standing bathtub overlooking the city. Luxurious bathrobes and slippers were provided. The bathroom amenities smelt heavenly and I loved the beautiful leaf-shaped soaps. Other thoughtful amenities included toothbrushes, razors, loofahs and mouth wash.
Floor to ceiling windows throughout the suite had great views of the Burj Khalifa, Sheikh Zayed Road, the longest road in the UAE, and the Dubai Canal. The cascading waterfall on the canal is illuminated at night and the colours change constantly.
As someone who suffers from sleep problems, I was delighted to find that the Westin takes sleep seriously. We found little cylinders of aromatherapy sleep balm on our pillows. The Westin also has a Sleep Well Menu, which offers sleep-enhancing superfoods as part of in-room dining. I haven’t seen that in a hotel before!
The breakfast restaurant, Seasonal Tastes, was one of the biggest I’ve ever seen. There were different stations representing different cuisines including Chinese, Indian, and Arab. Then there were separate stations for eggs, pastries, cakes, fruits, health juices and much more. There were 5 types of butter alone. We had a hard time choosing what to eat as there were so many options available. The friendly staff, especially Sandeep, took great care of us considering how busy the restaurant was.
There are six dining options. We dined at Il Capo, a New York-style Italian restaurant. A red Peroni Vespa marked the entrance to the restaurant. Black and white photographs graced the walls of the restaurant. We were welcomed by our waiter, who was from Rome, and enjoyed an amazing dinner of Black Angus Steak, chicken, king prawns and a pizza (for my son). This was complemented by innovative mocktails and decadent desserts.
The hotel has a spa with 20 treatment rooms, including separate male and female areas, a Hammam room, a steam room, a sauna, and hot tubs. There is a fitness studio, featuring state-of-the-art gym equipment and a dedicated yoga studio too. And don’t worry if you haven’t brought your workout clothes with. The hotel can provide you with New Balance sneakers and workout clothes for a nominal fee. I don’t know of many hotels that offer this.
There are three swimming pools, including a splash pool for little kids, on the beautiful outdoor terrace.
The Westin Family Kids Club keeps the young ones stimulated and entertained. A complimentary shuttle service transports guests to Dubai Mall, the nearest Metro Station and a few other locations.
Al Habtoor City is also the venue for La Perle, a permanent live show in a state-of-the-art 1300 seat aqua-theatre. La Perle is masterminded by Franco Dragone who is also known for his work with Cirque du Soleil and Celine Dion. We were mesmerised by the brilliant show with its talented artists, death-defying stunts and special effects.
If you are looking for a luxurious family hotel, then stay at the Westin. My kids loved it and so did my husband and I.
2018 update: The Westin Dubai Al-Habtoor City has now been rebranded to the Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City. Book here.