Nope, it’s not a typo… although some of my friends are starting to think I am visiting Dubai for some kind of a rehab. Rihab Rotana is one of 14 hotels from Rotana chain in Dubai, located conveniently in Deira, very close to the Dubai DXB airport.
I have stayed in this 4 star hotel for 3 times, so you could say I know a thing or two about their services and accommodation. First of all let me point out that I joined their Rotana Rewards program during my first stay, so I probably got more “royal” treatment with my second and third visit. Rotana Rewards card was sent to my home address in a very posh envelope, so I actually felt like a princess for a moment. In reality this card can speed up your check-in process, which can come in handy especially if you arrive very late and want to go straight to bed (which is usually the case when arriving to Dubai). The membership also offers some perks like 10% on best available rate, late check out or Wi-Fi discount.
The rooms in Rihab Rotana are quite spacious, they have a large bathroom with a washing machine for those enthusiasts who want to do their own laundry. They have relatively big flat screen TV, working desk with all the necessary connections, sofa corner and a very cozy bed, which is one of the things I appreciate the most when I am away from home. They offer 4 different types of pillows – I call them “keep me awake”, “sleep tight”, “just in case” and “hangover” pillow. OK, maybe I am exaggerating a bit here but trust me, they are really soft.
The room also offers a kitchenette where you can probably cook your own meal (I never tried it but since everything was working properly, I trust you could boil an egg or cook some spaghetti there). I didn’t check the dishes, but I did use the coffee machine. The staff kindly fills up your coffee and tea stock and you get 2 free bottled waters every day.
The hotel is in a direct vicinity of a mosque and if you are lucky you can get a room with “a view”. I use the word lucky because I really love this type of architecture. It can be a bit awkward if you are not used to hearing Muslim prayers, but if your windows are closed, you shouldn’t be disturbed by the sound too much. However, if you are a very sensitive type, this might be a distraction and in this case ask for a room on the opposite side. I do have to warn you, the street is even louder on the other “traffic” side. But you should know Dubai is always noisy, one way or another.
Moving out of the room, there is a pool on the roof, where you can actually swim, not just soak your feet. I do resent a poor ambient up there. A little change, at least some fake flowers or trees, would make the area cozier and friendlier. They also offer a gym with very descent equipment, so you have no excuses to gain the weight due to Dubai’s delicious cuisine.
Speaking about cuisine, breakfast choice is very good, with lots of fresh fruits, variety of bread, eggs any style (to order), cereals, yogurts and other usual more or less healthy stuff. Make sure you taste their “detox” welcome drink before you enter the dining room. They also offer in-room dining – I always got my order promptly and decently served. Let me add here that all of the staff in Rihab Rotana is super friendly.
Rihab Rotana is very close to Deira City Centre mall, which can be convenient if you want to do some quick shopping, like groceries in Carrefour, gifts or clothes from different European, American or local brands. The mall is not as big as other shopping giants in Dubai, but descent enough to spend those last Dirhams before you leave the city. Just make sure you save some change for the taxi back to the airport. It costs about 15 Dirhams (opposite of the airport pick-up tariff, where you will pay about 40 Dhs, since the airport starting rate is 25 Dhs.)
Taxis are available literally all the time. If they are not waiting in front of the hotel, the hotel staff will kindly pull over one from the street. I never waited more than 2 minutes for them to arrive.
For those of you on a tight budget (I am not saying that taxis are expensive but when you get stuck in the traffic jam, which happens A LOT, the price can sometimes double the usual rate), the metro station is across the street at Deira City Centre. Across the street actually means around 10 minutes’ walk, just to be on the safe side.
It takes about 10 minutes to get to the airport by taxi and the traffic is usually not heavy in that direction in the morning. So this location is definitely one of my favorites if I need to leave early.
Looking at the number of resorts and locations on their web page I guess Rotana chain is pretty big and mostly Middle East oriented, so I believe it is safe to say that they are one of the good choices for you to stay at when visiting United Arab Emirates.
Anda’s rate: 8.5 from 10
Bottom line: I hope you enjoyed my Rihab Rotana review as much as I enjoyed staying here. I’ll definitely be back soon.