Better To Have Experienced the Burj Al Arab Once
Updated: Aug 25
Our 'red-eye' flight out of Singapore touched down in Dubai around 4 am. How are people still fully functioning at this time of the morning is beyond me but function they do.
Met just after baggage reclaim by Abdul (the hotel's representative); fast-tracked to a private immigration desk and were outside waiting for our transfer to the hotel before I could say 'Shukran'.
I looked at my sisters, and my sisters looked at me with that 'did that just happen?' expression written over our faces. Because guests of the Burj al Arab are given that private jet client treatment through the airport.
The hotel's BMW transfer was late - not that anyone had noticed. Still in a whirlwind from being whisked through Dubai's International Airport in under ten minutes. To apologise for the delay in collecting us from the airport, the Burj Al Arab sent one of their Rolls Royce Phantoms as a replacement vehicle. This was the hotel's way of apologising.
I've often wondered... What would the hotel have sent had the Rolls been delayed? A helicopter?
The driver came out; introduced himself; presented us with purple orchids, iced cold towels and a bottle of cold water each.
On the drive to the hotel, we catch our first glimpse of the icon, and my next breath was short and quick.
We are driven to the entrance of the hotel; we walk through the revolving doors and step inside - another welcome; another cold towel; lashings of gold and cascades of water and colour greets us! 'Someone steady me please, I am truly giddy!'
'This way please' she said, directing us to the escalators on our right and on our left a dancing water fountain. An elevator ride later and we were entering suite 509.
These suites are palatial in every way. To help put into perspective, they are more significant in size than the average UK, three-bedroom home. The entrance door to the suite is twice the size of a standard door at home.
Left on entering the suite is your personal office and your own check-in desk. There is no queuing at a lobby/reception area with the rest of the hotel to await your keys. Nothing of that sort at the Burj Al Arab! The experience is a personal one all the way.
This is a fully equipped office, the only thing missing is your own personal assistant but I am sure that one could be arranged should the need be required. This is, after all - The Burj!
Further down the hall still on your left is a bar and then one of two lounge areas with widescreen television. Turn right, and there is another living area where the walls, drapes and lounge chairs are a vibrant red colour accentuated with gold. As a matter of fact, everything seemed to have been dipped in gold.
Through a door on your right is a fully functioning and furnished kitchen for you or your personal butler to prepare any meal you wish. Or you can simply order room service and have a feast laid out in the comfort of your lovely dining room which adjoins the kitchen. You can happily host a dinner for eight in this dining room should you suddenly find you acquired that many acquaintances on holiday.
Just right of your personal office is a spiral staircase to the upper floor, and it's two bedrooms.
The Master bedroom – it has a king-size bed with a matching in size mirror above it. Not content with merely a walk-in closet but a walk-in dressing room equipped with a dressing table and stool – SATC still has some catching up to do!
Next to this is the bathroom or should it be called a spa (yes your personal spa is more appropriate) with his and her sinks; bathrobes and slippers. 24 Faubourg by Hermes are the toiletries of choice and have made their residence here. A Bidet, toilet, jacuzzi and a five-point rain shower make up the rest of the bathroom.
By now, you have gathered that space is not a luxury here, space is your fundamental right.
And the same in the second bedroom although not equal in size.
Your luggage gets to the suite before you do. Brought in by your personal butler - who comes and goes via a discreet back door to the suite. And is on hand to unpack and pack everything from your 'Bridget Joneses' to your mankinis; arrange your jacuzzi at two o'clock in the morning or feed your goldfish while you sleep. Everyone and everything is taken care of at any time at the Burj.
You need not ever disturb yourself from the comfortable position you have placed yourself in on your chaise longue. Case in point - when the doorbell rings (because each suite has its own doorbell), an image of the person at the door is displayed on the television screen. With a press of the access button on your TV remote, you simply open the door and let your guests in.
Another remote control, controls the temperature, lighting and the opening and closing of the drapes.
When staying at the Burj al Arab, the only thing you will ever need to lift is a finger and okay - yourself to get in and out your jacuzzi. There isn't any detail large or small that has not been taken into consideration here. Making your stay here that much more different to anywhere else stayed before.
So was it better to have experienced the Burj al Arab once than to hear about it a thousand times?
For that stay, with a difference, definitely yes!