Royal Ascot Hotel, Dubai

We selected Royal Ascot from the more basic / economy options provided to us from Indian tour operators (read Yatra, MMT etc). It was pitched to us as more premium option. After 3 nights, here is what I felt –

What’s good:

1) It being 10 mins walk from a metro station means that all Dubai getaways, especially malls are in your reach; you don’t need to search for, or pay for taxis.

2) Compared to the location of some of the other hotels being offered by tour operators, this seemed like a good location, with the Meena Bazar (if you want to venture out) adjacent.

3) The terrace pool was mostly vacant and available (though it’s quite small and can be crowded if 5 people are in) each day at all times. Dubai temperature & water temperature made it a tempting option every day.

4) Finally the room; spacious enough for a couple with a kid.

What I found tad disappointing (given that it is anointed with a 4 star rating) are:

1) The room. Carpeted, which look old and smell at certain places. The windows / glass wall / balcony open into the traffic signal / street outside bustling with traffic from 7:00am – 9:00pm. So you had to keep the curtains drawn. The satellite TV had very limited channels (understand that we are coming from India where we have a huge variety that is made available), especially kids. The bathroom sink top had a decent crack. And the AC was old style thermostat control. I had to call in a technician to get it operate in a certain way

2) The breakfast restaurant certainly needs a new look, especially if you enter that place from the new wing of the hotel, you may feel like you are entering the corridors of a hostel mess. While the spread is vast, it is the same spread, day after day (3 day experience for me). And somehow, the restaurant managers / chief (??) don’t seem to smile in the mornings.

3) The lobby and the reception. Well, the receptionist asked me curiously if I would stay in for 3 nights (when it is mentioned in the document)…didn’t expect that kind of a conversation in a 4 star. The lobby is OK; we have grander 4 star lobbies back home. The lobby of the old wing is nothing to write home about. Aha, further, at late nights, even if you are sleeping, you would understand that a full blazing disco is playing at the ground floor.

4) Finally, I experienced that the hotel is used a lot by tour operators and daily darshans start the day. Being so, probably the hotel could make this meeting of operators & customers an easier thing than shouting by name in the lobby (in my case, the operator was searching for me in the lobby while I was standing firmly next to him!!!)….the experience would improve.

Overall, a safe option…but can’t say for sure if I’d go back, or recommend from my end.

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