Update: Since writing this post, The Oberoi Dubai has become the Anantara Downtown Dubai Hotel. The hotel appears to have retained the same design and level of service.
I booked my hotel in Dubai about five minute past when I should’ve been on the boat from my resort in the Maldives to the airport to catch my flight into Dubai. Needless to say, I was stressed out and overwhelmed by the countless hotel options, each boasting to offer the best of Arabian luxury. Dubai is a city known for its luxury, and its hotels simply do not disappoint.
In the heat of the moment, The Oberoi Dubai in the downtown-adjacent neighborhood of Business Bay emerged as the winner for balancing amenities, luxury, affordability, and location. Crossing my fingers for the best, and quite honestly, relieved to finally have a place to stay in Dubai sorted, I hopped on the speedboat to Malé and began my journey to Dubai.
From the moment my car pulled up to The Oberoi, I knew I had selected the right accommodation in Dubai. If you’re looking for a 5 star luxury hotel in Dubai, but want to stay mindful of affordability, The Oberoi might be the right accommodation for you also.
THE OBEROI DUBAI LOCATION
The Oberoi Centre – Al A’amal St – Business Bay – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
The Oberoi is located in Dubai’s Business Bay neighborhood. The hotel is just a short five minute drive from Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa. The neighborhood is safe, but not necessarily exciting, mainly filled with corporate towers and other hotels. It is worth noting that there is a ton of construction happening in Business Bay right now. If you book a city view room, expect to see construction out of your window. Additionally, construction does make it a little more difficult to walk in the area around the hotel, but outside of a few grocery stores, there really aren’t many places to walk to anyway.
Being in Business Bay is incredibly convenient to seeing Dubai. As it is quite central, taxi to some of Dubai’s most popular landmarks and attractions stays relatively inexpensive. Dubai is definitely not a walking city. Things tend to be rather spread out, and staying somewhere strategic to what you’re interested in seeing definitely makes a difference.
THE OBEROI BUILDING
It’s worth noting that The Oberoi Dubai is located in the Oberoi Centre, which is filled with offices. As a result, access in and out of the hotel isn’t as straightforward as it is at other properties. Driving in, you’ll have to go past the entrance to the Oberoi Centre, down the narrow road, around the corner, and up the ramp to get to the hotel entrance. I found that most drivers in Dubai are familiar with getting to the hotel entrance, however be prepared to give instructions in case you have one that doesn’t.
The hotel’s unique drive up doesn’t just cause driver confusion, nor is it solely inconvenient for pedestrians. As it is quite narrow, and there is some parking, during busy hours it causes awful traffic up to the hotel. If you need to be somewhere around dinner, or are returning to the hotel during a busy time, I recommend building in a few extra minutes for getting a taxi or your taxi getting back up to the hotel.
If you want to leave the hotel, the best way is to have one of the driveway attendants call a taxi for you. I tried walking around the hotel once. Quickly, I discovered that getting in and out as a pedestrian was a mess. You’re not able to walk straight out of the hotel. Instead, you need to walk down and through the Oberoi Centre, then take an elevator and exit through the Oberoi Centre’s main entrance. To get back into the hotel, you have to do the same, and you’re not allowed to use any of the Oberoi Centre entrances located more closely to the hotel.
THE OBEROI DUBAI KING ROOM CITY VIEW
I booked the basic King Room with a city view. When I stepped into the room for the first time, I was shocked. The room was much larger than I expected, and definitely much larger than a hotel at home in New York for the room rate I paid.
The King Room with a city view at The Oberoi Dubai has floor to ceiling windows, allowing ample light to come into the room. The room has a walk-in closet, which I loved. One of the room’s strengths is definitely the bathroom. The bathroom has his and hers sinks, a large walk in shower, separate room for toilet and bidet, and bathtub that looks out to the city view. This bathroom easily could have been listed as a studio apartment in Greenwich Village and no one would blink an eye.
Where the room really falls short, is in outlets. Yes, outlets. Next to the bed on the left side, is only one outlet. On the other side of the bed, there’s none. In the room, there’s one outlet next to the door, but none near the desk. In the bathroom, the only outlet is strictly for razors. With only two outlets in the room, charging my phone, laptop, camera, and iPad was a constant musical chairs of outlets. As there wasn’t an outlet in the bathroom, I plugged in hot tools for my hair at the bedside table. Was the lack of outlets the breaking point for this hotel? No, absolutely not. However, the hotel boasts being a five star luxury hotel, and the outlet musical chairs didn’t demonstrate that to me.
The view of construction was definitely a bit of a letdown. That being said, the hotel obviously has no control over that, and it will resolve with time. Just consider while booking if that’s something you’re okay with, or if you’d prefer seeing the courtyard or Burj Khalifa instead.
If you don’t speak Arabic, but know you’ll likely want to watch some television or a film in the morning or evening, I recommend bringing an HDMI cable to connect your computer to the television. The hotel channels are really limited. Many of the channels labelled as being in English were still in Arabic. As Dubai is in the UAE, I did expect this, but it’s still worth noting. I did notice that the televisions in the hotel are smart TVs which could download Netflix, Youtube, etc. for guest to log into as seen at many other luxury properties now. I’m unsure why the hotel isn’t using them as such.
If you’re someone who wants a true king bed, this probably isn’t the hotel for you. I noticed quickly that the “king bed” was really two twin beds pushed together. Not uncommon in the hotel world, but if you wanted to sleep in the center like royalty, you might want to think again.
All in all, the room was wonderful and I really enjoyed the ample space and light. As Dubai in the summer is scathing, it made for the perfect place to come back, cool off, and relax.
THE OBEROI DUBAI AMENITIES
Luxury hotels in Dubai really shine in amenities. My favorites had to be the twice-daily housekeeping (standard in the morning, turn down at night), plentiful complimentary water, and pillow menu. The Oberoi has five different types of pillows you can request. Standard to the rooms is duck down, however you can call housekeeping for buckwheat, memory form, dual zone, or a body pillow. I so wish hotels in the States would start offering this. Laundry services are also offered.
If you don’t want to give up your fitness regimen while away, don’t worry. Located on the third floor is a fitness center. Also on the third floor is an outdoor pool, views of the Burj Khalifa, and a spa. If you’re in need of cash, there’s an ATM located on the hotel’s lower level, underneath the lobby.
WiFi at the hotel is complimentary for unlimited devices. The hotel WiFi is surprisingly fast, and reliable. Other business services are also available onsite.
If you’re in need of a PCR test while in Dubai, The Oberoi offers tests in room. At 2pm each day, a nurse comes for in-room PCR testing at roughly $80 USD. Results are available in 24 hours, both emailed and printed.
If you don’t want to wait for a taxi or Uber to get to the airport, the hotel does offer a shuttle. The shuttle is more expensive than the former options, however still only roughly $20 USD. I’ve heard that the hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle to the Dubai Mall, however I never used it.
THE OBEROI DUBAI DINING
The Oberoi Dubai offers several different dining experiences in the hotel. Try a bit of Japanese at Kimura-ya, or sip on mezcal at La Mezcaleria on the rooftop.
Nine7One is The Oberoi’s fine dining restaurant. Focused on Arabic, Indian, and other Asian and Western flavors, Nine7One offers an array of dishes. Located on the lower level of the hotel, both indoor and outdoor seating in the courtyard is available.
An outpost of the Japanese chain of the same moniker, Kimura-ya features izakaya style dining. The menu, created by Chef Kohei Kobayashi, highlights both traditional and contemporary Japanese cuisine.
Located on the rooftop is La Mezcaleria, one of Dubai’s trendiest and most vibrant lounges. Sip cocktails and take in the view while nibbling on Tex-Mex and Japanese fare. La Mezacaleria also features a hookah lounge.
If you’re looking for a convenient late night drink, look no further than The Oberoi’s lobby bar and lounge. Like most hotel lobby bars, this one isn’t necessarily a contender for the best of what Dubai dining has to offer. If you’re looking for a lobby bar worth hanging out in in, check out Death and Co at the Ramble Hotel review by clicking here.
Want to relax and cool down by the pool? The Pool Bar at The Oberoi is located poolside for your convenience.
Service at The Oberoi was nothing short of outstanding. To me, the most successful luxury hotels are the ones where you can truly let your mind go, because the minutiae of the day-to-day are taken care of for you. From the moment I arrived, and the driveway attendant opened the door to my Uber, I was truly taken care of. Staff I had never spoken to knew my name and which floor I was staying on. Thanks to the ample drive up staff, taxis were called for me within a few minutes, while I waited inside and out of the Dubai heat. Housekeeping always did a phenomenal job. Altogether, everyone I encountered at The Oberoi was nothing short of kind and respectful.
THE BOTTOM LINE
With base room rates ranging from $90 on a good day, to upwards of $450 at peak, The Oberoi Dubai is a phenomenal value for the price. The Oberoi Dubai may not be the pinnacle of luxury accommodation in Dubai, but it offers far more luxury than many hotels in the States at the same room rate. Although there are more budget options available in less convenient neighborhoods for a fraction of the price, The Oberoi’s comfort, amenities, spacious rooms, and convenient location makes it well worth the extra cost.
Looking for more things to do in Dubai? Check out my guide on how to visit Jumeirah Mosque by clicking here.
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Eva Phan is the founder of Eva Darling, a travel and style website aiming to empower women to see the world solo while sharing on-trend, luxury feminine style inspiration. Featured in publications including Forbes, Thrillist, and Yahoo News, Eva has combined her education from Parsons School of Design with her incurable case of the travel bug to create a global destination that encourages others to romanticize their everyday.