Trip Report – Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort – Dubai – 2 Nights, only 1 Redeemed!

This is part eleven of a fifteen part trip report from my travels to the Maldives and Dubai. This picture report covers the Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort in Dubai. This one night stay was unique in that we received two nights while redeeming points for only one.

So this was the plan with our Dubai stopover on the way back to New York from the Maldives… we would stay at the Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, checking in at 3am using Starwood Platinum’s Your24 benefit. The benefit is supposed to allow you to select your arrival and departure times and this was actually going to be my first time using the benefit. The hotel confirmed the check-in time (as did SPG) and so I thought we were all set…all for 12,000 points.

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Our flight arrived around 130am and we were at the hotel by 230am. We went to check-in but the front desk told us to come back around 830am, 6 hours later. What? I showed them the confirm for a 3am check-in but was told it was impossible and a mistake given that the hotel was oversold and that six guests had been sent to nearby properties. I asked for the manager who explained the situation, apologized, and offered to take our bags, give us some taxi money to explore (explore what at 3am??), and told us he would work to get us checked in by 5am once a few guests had departed. Instead, we opted for some coffee and sat ourselves down in the lobby to wait. I had already been upgraded to a suite using a Suite Night award and of course offered to give up the upgrade in exchange for any available room. In the meantime, I called SPG using Skype and explained the situation. They talked to the same manager and assured me that we would be in a room by 5am and that this would not count as a Your 24 check-in! That was extremely useful as this was Monday morning at 3am, meaning that we would be able to sleep in the room Monday morning from 5am – 10am and then again on Monday night into Tuesday. Even better, we would get our guaranteed 4pm check-out on Tuesday (our flight was after midnight on Weds morning), which ended up being extended to 6:30pm.  While two hours in the middle of the night in the lobby wasn’t ideal, the situation really didn’t turn out to be all that bad!

In the end, not only were we given the room at 5am, but it was actually the junior suite as promised via the Suite Night redemption. Even better, we were given a 6:30pm check out the following night. That’s almost a 38 hour stay (and 2 nights of sleeping) for only 12,000 points…and a little inconvenience.

That said, the hotel staff and lounge staff were fantastic and the outdoor areas of the property were nice. However, the inside (besides maybe the lobby) is in need of major renovations. I’ve previously stayed in Dubai and this hotel didn’t give you a luxurious Dubai feel at all. In fact, it didn’t even give provide a consistent Sheraton feel – everything seemed extremely dated.

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Where we waited in the middle of the night.  I should mention the most annoying part of that process is that no one actually checked out before we received the room. The hotel was simply making sure no-show guests who had booked from the previous night were not still planning on arriving.

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The Room – Our upgraded junior suite with sea view was quite dated, though did have some Arabic flare.

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The curtains from the bedroom open up into the living room / dining area…

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Not one outlet anywhere in the bedroom besides at the desk…and only two there.

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Old and leaky shower in Dubai…

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The views were beautiful, however note that they are dredging the land just offshore and you’ll now see construction cranes and drills from your room:

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Oh…and a Christmas caroling scheduling:

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The executive lounge service was actually quite great – three people there to help what was never more than 5-10 guests in the lounge. They knew both of our names after our first visit. Nightly alcoholic drinks and appetizers, all day snacks, water, juice, coffee and tea, and morning breakfast are served. The lounge has both inside and outdoor seating and also has views out to the sea.

The breakfast is nice enough but I’d recommend going downstairs for the much larger buffet (also complimentary for SPG Platinums)

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Breakfast in the main lobby –

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As you can see, extensive selection of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert options at the buffet as well as an omelet station. We choose to eat outside…just watch your food as the birds gather around and patiently watch for you to not be on your game!

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The grounds are great with multiple lawn areas, a pool (unfortunately shaded in the morning), and the beach. The sun at the beach prior to 12pm is also blocked by local buildings but the Sheraton beach crew can recommend locations where the “sun is coming soon”. One told us to sit in an extremely shady area and to wait just 20 minutes and the sun would be right on top of us… his timing was perfect and we had prime seats (before everyone else) for the rest of the day. The water was extremely calm during our trip and was nice and warm as well. Again, unfortunately you’ll see the dredging just offshore. You can also walk the length of Jumeirah Beach all the way to the marina. Note that guests at the Hilton down the beach were much more tightly packed on the beach and at the pool, but the actual grounds were nice and felt more alive…that typical resort feeling that the Sheraton lacks.

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Anyway, for a short stopover in Dubai I’d say we did well. 2 nights for 1, a relaxing day on the beach, and time for two full days and nights of activities (pre 3am arrival and post midnight departure).

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Emirates car service back to the airport…

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I previously reviewed the Le Meridien Dubai and found their grounds and outdoor areas to be superior (though those interiors are in need of updates as well). Dubai Trip Report – Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Emirates Business Class to Cairo, Dubai Activities

I also stayed at two fantastically renovated Sheratons last year, actually two of my favorite stays –

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  1. We also stayed at this hotel on our return from Conrad Rangali Island in Maldives. 🙂 Everything as you’ve described – the lobby, the rooms, the grounds, the buffet. I wouldn’t call the hotel extremely dated – it is just one of the very first original chain hotels in Dubai, so it doesn’t stack up to newly built luxury but it is decent and serviceable.

    We also got upgraded as SPG Platinums to a Junior suite overlooking the marina. After coming from Maldives, the beach was a let down. Quite frankly, the whole Dubai was a let down but it is for another story. Glad that you got an extra time out of test driving the new 24 hour check in! 🙂

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