Day 15: Dubai Marina
With no more activities for the stay, I slept in and awoke to some beautiful sunshine after an evening of rain. We took breakfast inside the restaurant this time and got a nice spread of our favourites.
I then took advantage of the free a la carte dining and got an egg white omelette, some veggies, and two mini filet mignon. This is steak and eggs on another level.
The egg white omelette was light, fluffy, and delicious - much better than a regular omelette. The filet mignon was perfectly cooked and absolutely amazing. Another wonderful breakfast. We spent the morning in our suite, packing up, and taking in the sunshine. Gonna miss these cute gazelles.
Taking one last look at our villa.
This pool is also popular with the local bird population
As we walked to the lobby for check-out, one of the lone oryx had stumbled his way to the resort.
Check-out was fast and smooth, with the only charges being the transportation. We were still a bit early before lunch service, so we tried out some Arabic Coffee and dates in the lounge. The spiced coffee is definitely not for everyone, but I thought it was okay.
For lunch, we both started with a Nicois Tuna Carpaccio. This was delicious, with the soft tuna and salty olives going together perfectly. Even though I’m not a huge fan of Mediterranean food, I enjoyed it a lot.
For mains, we both wanted a lighter meal so I opted for the mussels and my mom got the grilled prawns.
Both dishes were great and was the perfect amount. The little bits of Chorizo were a nice touch in the broth. For dessert, I had the Tropicana, which had a passion fruit curd and banana sorbet. A nice refreshing way to end the meal.
Before we left, I stopped by the gift shop to pick up a postcard. There was a nice one of a villa painted in watercolor. It costed 5Dh but they only accepted cash since the cost was so low. We used up all our cash already, so the lobby staff that helped us check-in came and told the shop owner that it would be on her. This was a really nice touch of service that shows that the staff will go above and beyond for their guests. Al Maha exceeded even my high expectations and was top notch in every facet, including the service, suite, activities, and of course food. As we left, an Al Maha sedan drove us back into the city towards our final Dubai destination: Grosvenor House. While we were initially sad to leave Al Maha, as we pulled up into Dubai Marina, that feeling quickly turned into excitement. The glass skyscrapers reflecting the sun shining in the clear blue sky was beautiful. As we got dropped off at the lobby, this was the parking in front of the hotel.
Clearly this place was no joke. Grosvenor House is not just any ordinary hotel – it too is owned by the Chairman of Emirates Airlines and is a sister hotel of Al Maha. That means it’s also a Luxury Collection property with the same Marriott Platinum benefits. The concierge opened our doors, welcomed us to the property and got us checked in. The front desk agent was very nice, asking us about our stay at Al Maha, and trying his best to upgrade us. Since we selected two beds and non-smoking as a preference, he said the only suites available were either one bed non-smoking or two bed smoking. He didn’t want to give us either one since it didn’t fully meet our criteria so he kept looking up the chain until we got to the two bedroom residence. He told us this was an excellent room on the 20th floor of Tower Two, the newer of the two GH towers, and had direct access to the executive lounge, which is free for Platinum members. This room also came with our own butler which escorted us to the suite. They also offered us these really refreshing iced teas while we were checking in. Once we entered the room, we were blown away. This place was the largest hotel room I’ve ever had, with two bedrooms, three beds, four bathrooms, a full kitchen, living room, and even a washing machine. Everything was new and luxuriously appointed, spanning over 1500 sqft, with stunning views of Dubai Marina. This was also a corner suite so all of the rooms had windows. The three large TVs all displayed my name on them.
This was the view from my bedroom.
One of four bathrooms in the suite. This one had private rooms for the rain shower and the toilet.
The other bedroom.
Checking online, this suite typically goes for $1000 USD per night (not even rack rate, this is prepaid after member discounts). I paid just over $200. After settling in and getting lost a couple times through the maze of rooms, we went down to the executive lounge for some afternoon tea.
Since we already ate lunch at Al Maha, I just had some small bites. The great thing about this lounge is that it also serves lunch alongside afternoon tea. The service starts at 1pm to 4:30pm – combined with breakfast from 6am and dinner from 5:30pm, you can literally eat here all day for free, which we did.
The main reason I decided on this property and this location was for the beach. Now GH has pools in each of its towers, but doesn’t have a private beach. Instead, it partners with its sister hotel (fellow Starwood and Emirates owned) Le Royale Meridien across the street. There is a private shuttle that goes between the two hotels, with all GH guests having full access to Le Royale’s amenities. And boy were there a lot. Le Royale was a large hotel with several towers, but an even larger span of beaches, pools, gardens, and sporting fields. It was like a giant park, but was entirely private and exclusive to hotel guests.
We stayed to watch the beautiful sunset over the Persian Gulf.
Standing on the silky white sand beach with the cool sea breeze, while watching the sunset, was amazing. The view behind me was even better.
As the sun goes down, the lights came on.
We came back to our suite to see that the staff already did the turndown service. They closed the curtains, turned on the lights, folded our clothes, and tucked our beds in, leaving a couple chocolates on the pillow. We then went down for dinner in the executive lounge. The spread was decent but nothing too special. Dinner had full bar service including specialty cocktails. I went for a Moscow Mule, which was very nice.
I was pretty tired after dinner so we called in early and went to bed. My mom tried to use the washing machine but couldn’t get it to work. Eventually we called someone to fix it and we were able to get our clothes fresh for the last leg of the trip. Even though we had to leave Al Maha, I knew this would be a great stay and we had one last day to enjoy it.