Monday, 8 December 2014

Dubai Jumeirah Beach Resort Review

Dubai Jumeirah Beach Resort (JBR) Holiday Review

When to go to Dubai


Dubai is a great destination to visit if you are looking for a holiday with plenty of sun guaranteed at pretty much any time of the year.  To date we have visited for a week in both late May and late November and have had unbroken sunshine throughout.  Temperatures were higher in May, but almost heading towards becoming a little uncomfortable particularly if you are keen on lying on the beach all day and in the evenings there was little or no breeze.  However, in late November the temperature in Dubai whilst still being 30 degrees C plus every day, was a little more comfortable.


View of Jumeirah Beach Resort (The Palm with The Atlantis in the distance)

Where to Stay in Dubai

Dubai is becoming increasingly more popular amongst tourists from across the globe as a popular holiday destination.  Renowned for its luxurious accommodation including the world’s only 7 star rated hotel (Burj Al Arab) and the Atlantis which has its own aquarium and waterpark, Dubai is a fantastic location if you are looking for a holiday to relax and unwind, yet still have plenty to keep you entertained should you wish.

The most well known resort in Dubai is The Palm Resort, named as the land that is built upon is shaped like a palm tree.  The Palm is home to the Atlantis and The Jumeirah Beach Hotel (not to be confused with Jumeirah Beach Resort, JBR) and is known for being the destination for the rich and famous.

Jumeirah Beach Resort (JBR) is a resort that has rapidly grown over recent years and is becoming increasingly popular with tourists as it is a luxurious yet non pretentious atmosphere.  JBR is a short 30 minute taxi ride away from Dubai DXB Airport and is also easily accessible via the Metro line.  The resort is just along the coast from The Palm, infact you can see the Atlantis and The Burj Al Arab from JBR.

Hotels in Jumeirah Beach

There are a wealth of hotels to stay in when visiting Jumeirah Beach Resort including the usual Hilton, Sheraton and DoubleTree by Hilton.  As a young professional couple with no children, we have stayed at the Sofitel and the Amwaj Rotana hotels during our time in JBR, both of which we would highly recommend to others.  Both hotels are luxurious, yet affordable (albeit we do tend to get last minute deals using Expedia).  They are always clean and friendly, with approachable not pushy customer service.  Both hotels have fantastic healthclub facilities (gym, sauna, steam room, treatment rooms) and relaxing outdoor pools.  The Amwaj Rotana and the Sofitel are literally within a minutes’ walk of each other and directly overlook JBR beach.  We have stayed at both hotels on a bed and breakfast basis only, as we do not tend to eat a large lunch whilst on holiday and enjoy going out to sample a variety of restaurants rather than having to endure the same hotel buffet spread every night you can get with some all inclusive packages.  The breakfast buffet offer in both The Amwaj Rotana and The Sofitel is extensive, serving both cooked and continental styles.

Skyscraper Hotels in JBR including the Amwaj Rotana (Logo Illuminated)

What to Do in Dubai  
         
Jumeirah Beach Resort is the perfect destination to suit a range of different holiday preferences.  If you like to spend your days lounging by the pool or soaking up the sun at the beach, then dining at restaurants overlooking the sea by night then JBR is the ideal place for you.  Equally, if you have children or if you prefer to have more variety and explore further afield in Dubai then JBR is also for you.

During the day the atmosphere is relaxed and peaceful.  There are many families and a wealth of different cultures at the resort.  The beach is clean and there are playparks for children both on the beach and in the water.  If you are a couple looking for peace and quiet then do not let this put you off as despite JBR being very family friendly, it still remains relaxing during the day.   If you stay at The Rotana or The Sofitel they provide you with complementary beach packs which include towels, a beach mat, water and an umbrella.

In the evenings JBR becomes more bustling with the sound of Arabic music and the sweet smell of shisha smoke.  There are a huge variety of restaurants and coffee houses.  There are also shops including places to pick up souvenirs and tourist gifts from Dubai, there is Victoria Secret, Sephora and various clothing stores if you fancy a holiday splurge without going too far afield.    You could quite easily spend your holiday without setting foot outside JBR.  However, should you wish to visit more of Dubai, you are not far away from all of the tourist spots.  The tram network has just recently been complete in JBR which means you can quickly and easily reach the main metro line to take you across Dubai.

Above and Below: Jumeirah Beach Resort promenade by night



Whilst in Dubai it is worth visiting The Palm to see The Atlantis and The Burj Al Arab hotels.  For all you Shopaholics The Dubai Mall is definitely a must which is the world’s largest shopping mall and here you can also visit the Burj Khalifa which is the world’s tallest building.  If you are visiting the Burj Khalifa then be sure to book your tickets online beforehand as they are always sold out.  We tried to book tickets a couple of days in advance and even then they were still all sold out so do not make this mistake, book before you travel!  From JBR The Dubai Mall can be accessed directly via the Metro line in about 30 minutes and costs about £8 for two people.  The Burj Khalifa stands directly outside The Dubai Mall and in the evenings there are regular watershows accompanied by music in the lake surrounding the building.  The Dubai Mall is literally a heaven for Shopaholics and despite being one myself I have to admit I was somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of shops under one roof!  There is a Bloomingdales and various other well known retailers including H&M, Forever 21, New Look, Lush, Jo Malone, MAC and Marks & Spencer along with countless jewellery, accessory and electrical stores.  The Dubai Mall also has its own Ice Rink and Aquarium.


Jumeirah Beach Restaurants

When staying in Jumeirah Beach Resort, there is no shortage of choices when it comes to dining out.  At this point I will add that we have very limited knowledge about fine dining and all of the places we have been to are purely trial and error.  I am definitely sure that had we done our research we could have found some far more exquisite locations to have some grub, but the ones that we stumbled across were just right for our needs.

We had a large breakfast daily in our hotel and then for lunch we had fruit smoothies from Fruteiro do Brazil by Jumeirah Beach to cool down in the shade.  Fruteiro do Brazil is an amazing smoothie bar as it only uses fresh fruits.  I would highly recommend a ‘Make your own smoothie’ packed with fresh pineapple, papaya, banana and pineapple or a ‘Recharger’ smoothie which is crammed with acai berries.

When dining out in the evenings there are loads of options along the JBR promenade.  We have eaten at The House of Curry (obviously for curry – their Tikka Massala is delicious!), Aprons & Hammers (Seafood), Fratelli la bufala (Italian – I would recommend their seafood risotto).  When at The Dubai Mall there are also loads of dining options, whether you prefer fast food or a nice evening meal there is plenty to choose from.  We ate at The SocialHouse (a mix of dishes from east and west – I recommend the mozzarella to start and their signature Burger for main).  The SocialHouse is a relaxed diner (similar to TGI’s style).  My favourite quote from The SocialHouse decor was ‘Did you know that STRESSED is DESSERTS backwards!’  We then had a Starbucks tea afterwards outside watching the watershow beneath the Burj Khalifa.


Fratelli la Bufala - one of the many popular choices of Restaurant in Jumeirah Beach Resort


It is worth noting that at Jumeirah Beach Resort and I may be wrong but I am pretty sure across Dubai, restaurants do not sell any alcohol, if you would like an alcoholic beverage then you can purchase these to drink at your hotel before you go out to dinner or when you return.  If this is a problem and you like a bottle of red or white with your evening meal then you can easily dine at the restaurants in the hotels.  However, the restaurants along JBR promenade do sell fantastic non-alcoholic cocktails including my holiday favourites a Pina Colada and the family friendly named ‘Fun on the Beach’.

Jumeirah Beach Restaurant Prices

Prices to eat out at the restaurants in Jumeirah Beach Resort are reasonable when it comes to holiday dining.  For example, for a meal for two with starters, mains and non-alcoholic cocktails it cost us the equivalent of 300 AED (roughly £60). Bearing in mind that all of the Food and drink has to be imported this is not bad and the quality of the cuisine is worth paying for.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel Drink Prices

As previously mentioned, alcohol is not available to purchase in the restaurants at Jumeirah Beach Resort in Dubai.  However, you can purchase alcoholic beverages in your hotel.  In our hotel, the Amwaj Rotana, a pint of Peroni cost 45 AED (about £5) and cocktails were also about this price.

Although I am by no means an expert on travel, or for that matter Dubai, I hope that this review has been somewhat useful for you.  Whether you are thinking of booking your next holiday and need destination inspiration, or if you have booked a trip to Dubai and are looking for genuine advice then hopefully this has helped.  If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact me or comment below and I will be happy to help in any way that I can.


Love Laurashopaholic xx