Check In: Ocean View Hotel
The new Ocean View Hotel is the only four star hotel in Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Residence. Run by the JA Hotels and Resorts group, it’s dubbed a family beach hotel.
So how does it check out?
A thousand welcomes
Ahlan!’s first box was ticked upon arrival when we met the friendly, but not OTT, staff in the expansive and modern hotel lobby, which is way posher than we’d expected. A friendly chap asked us if we wanted him to carry our bag without trying to wrench it from our grasp, and then the receptionists made our check-in extra smiley and plied us with fresh, succulent dates and a slug of lemon and mint.
A room with a view… ish
We rushed gleefully into our nice sleek and brightly decorated room. It even had balcony, a rarity that often comes with an extra charge in many Dubai hotels. “Let’s check out that famous ocean view after which the hotel is named,” we thought! However, it wasn’t quite what we’d hoped for. Although the description is technically accurate – there is a view of the ocean – most of that lovely vista was occupied by cranes and rows of steel piles along the beach where a new mall is being built. Still, it’s not their fault, and they do admit there’s construction work around on their website. We’re told to ask for a high floor if you can or upgrade to a club room on the higher floors if the view is important to you! However, we were cheered up by the free Haribo Bears in a jar on the dressing table. Nice touch!
Check the Deck
What we could also see from our balcony was The Deck. This is one of the seven restaurants and bars in the hotel and is next to a lovely large swimming pool and plenty of sun loungers. There’s also a small pool for kids. It’s a great place to catch some rays, especially if, like us, you find sand a bit of a hassle on the beach. The snacks are decent, the cocktails are better. However, if it’s a party atmosphere you want, check out the hotel’s bars and restaurants, including British-themed bar Girders and The Whistler cheese and wine bar.
A full eight hours’ sleep can be hungry work, so after a lukewarm shower – we couldn’t get it to go much hotter – it was time to tuck into the ample buffet breakfast before heading to the Calm Spa to take advantage of their special offer on Swedish massages – they’re Dhs199 instead of Dhs320 for 60 minutes of pummelling. Or, if you’re not in a Nordic mood, there’s the Balinese option. From what we can remember, it was great… So good, in fact, that we fell asleep after the first five minutes.
Ocean View Hotel is light and airy with nice staff and plenty to do without leaving the premises. The rooms have nice touches like a rubber duck in the bathroom, and nice cosy bathrobes. You aren’t going to get that truly special view of the Gulf from your balcony unless you get lucky or can bag one of the more exclusive suites. But for the location, right on JBR’s The Walk, as well as price, variety of bars and restaurants and comfort, you can’t go wrong.
• Prices from Dhs950 per night
• JA Resorts Ocean View Hotel, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, 04 814 5200, www.jaresortshotels.com