Review: Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah (King Deluxe Room with Skyline View)

Nightly rate: AED 696.81 nett (S$253.06), fully refunded
Length of stay: 1 night
Membership level: Diamond

Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah opened in early 2014 on the beautiful man-made island of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


Location

Because of the shape of Palm Jumeirah, properties on the east branch of the island get great sunset views from rooms facing west.

There are no convenient stores anywhere near the hotel. There are 2 malls on Palm Jumeirah and both are located along the ‘stem’ of the Palm. They are Nakheel Mall and The Pointe, both about 12 minutes away from the hotel.

You are not limited to dining in restaurants in the hotel or malls though. Palm Jumeirah is also covered by Talabat, a popular food delivery service in Dubai.


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Arrival

There wasn’t a Gold/Diamond member check-in area but I only had to wait about 10 minutes in line.

What I saw while in line really bothered me. There was a guest asking for a disposable face mask. While trying to pass her one, the staff dropped a whole bag of masks. He then took the mask that fell to the floor and passed it to the guest. Totally unacceptable.

As a Diamond member, I was upgraded to a room 1 category higher that the base category. I was actually really happy with the upgrade as the hotel was fully booked that night. And I was given the ‘palm view’ room!

However, the staff did not explain my Diamond member benefits in this property. I was not even given a welcome letter. I am writing this review from a Hilton Garden Inn and was given a welcome letter and had a cake sent to my room shortly after check-in. Surely the most luxurious brand under Hilton’s umbrella could have at least matched that service standard.


The room

Room 428 is just one down from the highest floor and offers a beautiful view of the inner branches of The Palm and the tall buildings from Dubai Marina. As this room faces West, I was treated with a beautiful sunset that evening.

The room felt very luxurious overall and those bath robes were incredibly soft! There were 4 complimentary bottles of water in the room.


Breakfast

Breakfast was served at Mezzerie from 7am till 11am. Service was very cold throughout. Cutlery on my table was sticky. Pastries and fruits were displayed openly for guests to pick up using their bare hands (no food tongs around). I have stayed in 8 hotels in Dubai since mid-November and this was the only hotel without assisted buffet.

There were crows feasting on guests’ food on the outdoor tables when guests head in to get more food/drinks.

Food quality was good but other than that, it was a really poor experience for me.


The beach/pool

Hotels in Palm Jumeirah have private beaches and this property is no exception. It is a great place to hang out and enjoy the sunset.

The pool has plenty of beach chairs all around and there are dining ‘huts’ if you’d like to order some food from the pool bar.


Other facilities

There is a tennis court located on the far end of the beach.

I couldn’t access the gym using my key card and had to go to the front desk to reprogram it. I had to wait another 10-or-so minutes to get it done and again, was served by a rude staff who did not speak a single word to me throughout. I headed back to my room after visiting the gym and that same key card wasn’t working at the lift. You guessed it, I went to the front desk again, was served by a different staff and the same thing happened; no words, no smile.

The business center is located near the concierge and has 2 computers.


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Ratings

Breakfast: 7/10
Service: 2/10
Location: 9/10
Room: 9/10
Facilities: 9/10
Executive lounge: –
Elite member recognition: 4/10
Value (for what I paid): 6/10


Bottom line

The hotel has very good hardware and amazing views but it’s a real pity that service and hygiene were poor. They can maybe get away with bad service but bad hygiene is completely unacceptable in the pandemic that we are in. It doesn’t matter if you are Waldorf Astoria or Hilton Garden Inn.

The staff did not look like they were happy working at this hotel and it really showed. I shared my experience to Hilton (via Twitter) after my stay and was told that the hotel would be in touch with me in the following week. They did not.

I reached out to Hilton again and they mentioned, again, that they have requested (for a second time) for the hotel to drop me an email within the next couple of days. It’s now been 3 weeks since my stay and I have not heard anything from the hotel. They simply did not care.

I went back to Hilton for a third time and they very kindly offered a service recovery (on behalf of the hotel) of 35,000 points or a full refund. I opted for the full refund, which would be in the form of a cheque sent to my Singapore address within 2 months.

I stayed at W Dubai The Palm after my night here (review coming soon) and service was fantastic over there. Even if you are not a W kind of person, I promise that you will have a much better time there.


Refund confirmation from Hilton’s Twitter team

Refund confirmation from Hilton’s Twitter team

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