Review: Raffles Dubai

Raffles Dubai Hotel Review


This Raffles Dubai Review is part of a trip report on the Maldives. Raffles is an iconic brand, particularly properties such as Raffles Singapore and Raffles Le Royal Monceau Paris, yet I haven't stayed at Raffles properties before, so I was looking forward to my first experience with the brand. For the prior posts, please see:

Review: Emirates Lounge, JFK Airport, NYC

Review: Emirates First Class A380 New York to Dubai

TravelSort clients may book the Raffles Dubai with these Virtuoso benefits:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • $100 USD Equivalent Hotel credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full, applicable at Crossroads Cocktail Bar, Azur All Day Dining, Pool Bar, Raffles Salon, In-Room Dining, Raffles Spa Treatments excluding retail and Salon services)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access for duration of stay
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

Raffles Dubai Location, Lobby and Check-In

Raffles Dubai is located at Sheikh Rashid Road, only about a 10 minute drive from Dubai Airport (DXB), which made it a very convenient place to overnight for a few hours between our Emirates flight from New York and our onward flight to Male, which departed at 4:35am. Taxi fare was about $13 including tip.

The Raffles Dubai lobby has soaring ceilings, a waterfall-like display, and was grand and nearly deserted when my son and I checked in at about 9pm. My husband had arrived on an earlier Emirates flight, and the associate at Reception was able to quickly find our reservation and give us a second room key.

Raffles Dubai Review


Raffles Dubai Club Twin Room

We were in a Raffles Club Twin Room, with an extra bed for our son. All of the rooms are the same size, 753 square feet (70 square meters) and I believe their layouts are similar; the Club Rooms, as the name implies, has the added benefit of access to the Club Lounge. There was a small fruit welcome amenity that included grapes as well as the more usual apple and banana:

Fruit Welcome Amenity, Raffles Dubai


The bedroom and living area of the room was quite nice–not how I would choose to decorate my bedroom, but positively restrained compared to, say, Emirates First Class. While we didn't use it, there was a curtain that could be drawn to provide separation between our beds and our son's rollaway bed and the living area.

Raffles Dubai Hotel Review


The beds were almost comfortable, but a tad too firm for our liking. Those who like European or Asian firm beds will like these.

Raffles Dubai Review-Club Room


Near the desk there was a Nespresso machine, to keep you fueled for work, along with bottled water:

Nespresso Machine and Bottled Water, Raffles Dubai Review


The bathroom featured double sinks, a walk-in shower and a soaking tub–all well and good.

Club Room Bathroom, Raffles Dubai Review


The problem with the bathroom was that there was no door for the toilet area, which seemed really strange since it was in its own alcove, and you'd expect there to be a door there.

No Door to Toilet, Raffles Dubai Review


Raffles Dubai Club Lounge

Since my husband arrived earlier than us, I decided to book a Club Room so that my husband could enjoy the evening appetizers and cocktails. Here's the entrance to the Club Lounge:

Entrance to Club Lounge, Raffles Dubai Review


And some of the lounge seating:

Raffles Club Lounge Seating, Raffles Dubai Review


Since it was after 9pm by the time we got there, and evening appetizers/cocktails end at 8pm, there was no one in the lounge except for the friendly lounge associate:

Raffles Dubai Club Lounge Associate


She asked us what we'd like to drink, and brought my son his favorite watermelon juice, and me some orange pineapple juice. Honestly, the juice was passable, but nothing like the fresh squeezed juices we were looking forward to in the Maldives.

Juices, Raffles Club Lounge, Raffles Dubai Review


My husband was kind enough to save some of the chicken and quiche squares for us, which my son was especially hungry for, since he hadn't actually eaten much on the flight. The chicken had nice flavor, but I make better quiche, and overall wasn't too impressed with these two appetizers.

Chicken and Quiche, Club Lounge, Raffles Dubai Review


Outdoor Swimming Pool and Fitness Center

The outdoor swimming pool, fitness center and spa are all on the 4th floor. No one was swimming, although given how warm it was it would have been pleasant. There are also outdoor jacuzzis to enjoy.

Outdoor Pool, Raffles Dubai Review

Jacuzzis, Raffles Dubai Review


Just inside is the fitness center, and it too was deserted, given the time of night.


The Verdict

I was actually somewhat underwhelmed with the Raffles Dubai on this short overnight stay, although it was brief enough that perhaps if I'd been more rested and seen the property in the day time I would have had a better impression. The strongest features were the convenience to Dubai Airport and the staff–I definitely appreciated being checked in quickly, as sometimes at other properties (such as when I was at the Park Hyatt) it took longer than it should have due to there being a trainee. And the Club Lounge associate was friendly and efficient.

A deal breaker for me was the lack of a door for the toilet, in an otherwise large bathroom. I disliked this at the Park Hyatt Moscow, although there it's more understandable because the bathroom is so small.

If you've stayed at the Raffles Dubai, what was your experience?

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Emirates A380 First Class: 6 Things I Love and 3 I Don't

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