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Review: Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa, Dubai – the highlight of my trip

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This is our review of the Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa in Dubai.

It is the third review in ‘HfP in Dubai’ series in partnership with Marriott Bonvoy, who very kindly provided the stay. You can see our review of the Sheraton Grand Dubai hotel here and our review of W Dubai The Palm here.

Note that there are four different Le Méridien hotels in Dubai, but only one Royal Méridien. To avoid confusion, this is a review of Royal Méridien and not Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Le Méridien Fairway Dubai or Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Water Park.

The Royal Méridien is a sister hotel to the Grosvenor House hotel, part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection. It is just round the corner.

Le Royal Meridien Dubai exterior

I’ve been making my way through many of the 30 different Marriott Bonvoy hotel brands this year, but this was my first time at a Le Méridien hotel. I was looking forward to seeing what the brand could offer. Fun fact: the brand was actually established by Air France in the 1970s.

The hotel website is here.

Location

Le Royal Méridien Dubai is located by Dubai Marina, at the base of Palm Jumeirah. The marina is the second larger built-up hub, west of downtown Dubai.

Le Royal Meridien Dubai location

Unlike downtown the skyscrapers here come right up to the beach. It is a slightly odd feeling as you drive around wondering where a beach resort could possibly be located. Here is a photo from the beach which demonstrates this well:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai skyline

It is approximately 30 minutes drive from Dubai airport. Alternatively, you can take the metro all the way to the Marina and then hop on the tram for one stop although this takes significantly longer.

Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort Dubai

As you can see above, Le Royal Méridien makes for a fortress-like first impression when you arrive, with the sandy coloured walls bracing against the surrounding steel-and-glass construction.

The interior is a completely different story however, and has clearly been refurbished recently. It is light and airy, and you also notice the Le Méridien signature scent as you walk in:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai lobby

and

Le Royal Meridien Dubai lobby (2)

Check in desks are provided but we were immediately ushered to one of the seating areas and offered the signature drink whilst the paperwork was sorted:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai welcome drink

The hotel itself is made of three interconnected buildings: the main building and two towers, one of which is the Royal Club tower.

Club Rooms

We were given a room in the Royal Club Tower, on the 10th floor (there are 12 in total), which meant we would also have access to the Club Lounge.

To get to the tower you have to pass through a temporary corridor whilst further renovations are being made on the spa and another restaurant, but this wasn’t intrusive.

The corridors are nicely styled:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai corridor

…. as are the rooms, which are warmly decorated and very modern. As you enter, you have a little wardrobe area:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai wardrobe

Opposite this is a tiny built-in dressing table.

The bathroom is admittedly small but packs a lot in. You get a bath tub:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai bath

Plus separate shower:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai shower

…. and toilet with bidet:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai toilet

Toiletries are by Malin + Goetz and are generously replenished by room service, to the extent that it seemed a little excessive.

Le Royal Meridien Dubai Malin Goetz toiletries

There is only really room for one person in the bathroom at any one time but it is well thought out, with a sliding door between the shower and the toilet, depending on use. It is a great use of a small space.

Unlike the bathroom the room itself is very large, with two twin beds and armchairs at their feet:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai room (2)

There are three bedside tables:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai beds

…. and plenty of charging ports:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai bedside connectivity

On the opposite wall is a long bench with desk, chest of drawers and of course a wall-mounted TV.

There are tea and coffee making facilities, again Illy branded:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai coffee machine

and

Le Royal Meridien Dubai tea coffee

A mini fridge is underneath although it is empty (ideal for storing the many bottles of water you get!)

Le Royal Meridien Dubai mini fridge

You get a nice balcony, with views across the resort and towards Skydive Dubai. You can watch skydivers take off from the jetty runway and fall from the sky.

Le Royal Meridien Dubai balcony

The rooms look brand new although, I am told, they were refurbished several years ago. Le Royal Méridien is one of the best-maintained hotels I have ever stayed at – everything was spotless. It is seriously impressive, although the lack of rain and cold obviously helps keep the outdoor areas looking good.

I really liked the decor which was neutral but stylish. The whole thing was classily done.

Le Royal Meridien Dubai view

Pools, beach and gym

As you can see above, Le Royal Méridien has extensive grounds. A flock of peacocks have made it their home and the hotel now looks after this breeding group.

Le Royal Meridien Dubai peacocks

The grounds are the most ‘dated’ part of the hotel although still perfectly functional. They just don’t quite match the style of the refurbished rooms.

There are three pools in total, plus a large swathe of beach.

Pool staff are very attentive, bringing towels and an ice bucket on request. The only disappointing thing is that all the towels are individually wrapped in plastic, which is a waste.

The closest pool has a bridge. Here is a press image:

The third pool is an infinity pool although, to be honest, it doesn’t have much of a view and overlooks a kids play area. It also has a swim-up bar (top left):

Le Royal Meridien Dubai pool

Due to the size of the grounds the beach club is a few minutes walk from the main building itself. It is massive, and I think it probably feels a bit like a zoo during peak times, with loungers and umbrellas stretching as far as the eye can see:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai beach

You get a view of the Dubai observation wheel, Ain Dubai:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai beach (2)

In September the water was still extremely warm, so most people chose to stay by the pools.

Other facilities include an extensive kids club, one of first to feature the new Le Royal Méridien Family Kids Club facilities:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai kids club (2)

…. and includes a soft play/climbing frame as well as a raft of video games. Don’t worry, your kids won’t be playing on concrete – a new floor is being installed in the photo below:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai kids club soft play

Whilst the spa is currently closed for refurbishment the gym is still open and features a range of equipment:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai gym

As well as an impressive hammam with several different pools as well as steam rooms and saunas:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai spa hammam

It hasn’t been refurbished (you can tell because it looks so different to the other parts of the hotel) but it is still in very good shape.

Dining

You won’t starve at the Le Royal Méridien Dubai. There are around 12 restaurants and bars catering to a range of tastes including Mexican, Indian, Middle Eastern, Italian cuisines as well as a sea food restaurant, buffet, sports bar and more. The restaurants are all individually styled, giving a little extra character to each.

We were invited to try dinner at Zengo, the pan-Asian option at the hotel. We opted to go for a more tapas-style dinner so that we could try a few more of the dishes, and I’m glad we did.

Le Royal Meridien Dubai Zengo

We had some sashimi and chicken karaage first:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai Zengo sashimi

Plus some lamb chops, wagyu beef skewers and tiger prawns:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai Zengo prawns lamb

To finish, I opted for coconut and mango sorbet:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai Zengo sorbet

The food was really good – possibly the best I had during my entire stay in Dubai.

We also tried the buffet breakfast is Brasserie 2.0. This is the main breakfast option on site, and caters to all tastes with a huge range of stations.

Le Royal Meridien Dubai breakfast seating

Here are a few highlights of the buffet, including more fruit than I have ever seen at a buffet:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai breakfast buffet

…. a salad bar:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai breakfast buffet (2)

…. as well as a live crepe and waffle station:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai breakfast crepes

You have your usual range of hot options, including the components for a full English breakfast, including a pork station with real bacon and sausages. This was the only pork station I saw at any of the hotels I stayed at – and I almost would have missed it, were we not sat right next to it on the second day. I think a lot of guests probably don’t realise it is there given how discreet it is:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai pork station

Like the other hotels on my trip, there is a live egg station where you can order and get food delivered to your table. Here is the Eggs Royale:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai eggs royale

It was not the best but not the worst I have ever had – the salmon was weirdly cut into strips and the hollandaise had foamed a bit where it had been left a little too long under a hot light.

The Royal Club lounge

We had the rest of our meals in the Royal Club Lounge which has an impressive spread. Breakfast, afternoon tea and happy hour are all served and there is more than enough to keep you going.

Le Royal Meridien Dubai club buffet

During happy hour the food spread is mainly comprised of little nibbles:

Le Royal Meridien Dubai Royal Club nibbles

Whilst at afternoon tea you get a really nice range of sandwiches (plus scones, although I couldn’t see any clotted cream):

Le Royal Meridien Dubai club sandwiches

The Club Lounge gets pretty busy during happy hour, especially during the weekend, when everyone pops down for a pre-dinner drink. A wide range of beers, wines and cocktails are available.

Service is great. We were given a late checkout during out stay and were surprised to see the Club Lounge staff bring over updated room key cards to our table despite not having mentioned it to them. It’s the kind of joined up thinking you would expect at a Four Seasons.

Conclusion

I didn’t know what to expect of the Le Royal Méridien but I was extremely impressed with what I saw.

The refurbishment over the past four years seems to have transformed the hotel and the interiors are now bright and airy. Even more impressive is how well maintained it all is. Rooms and public spaces feel brand new although they are several years old – the hotel has done a great job in keeping things spick and span.

The refurbishment was so good that the hotel now out-classes its own grounds which, although perfectly functional, look a bit dated compared to the extremely modern rooms.

Service throughout the hotel is fantastic. Combined, the whole experience of the Le Royal Méridien was superb and without a doubt my favourite hotel of the four I visited during my trip to Dubai.

Le Royal Méridien Dubai is a Marrriott Bonvoy Category 7 hotel with redemptions between 50,000 and 70,000 points per night. Cash rates start at £275 for a weekday night in February but reach £500 including taxes during half term this week, making points attractive.

You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.


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Comments (36)

  • Manya says:

    Do the LM hotels offer kids under 8 free dining irrespective of whether an adult dines or not?

    They did at DAM and I think this is a general policy at Jumeirah hotels. It’s a valuable benefit and takes a lot of pressure of mealtimes. We’d typically feed the kids at the restaurants and then have a light start etc ourselves and then order in room service for a more substantial meal once the kids are asleep.

    • BP says:

      Going to DAM in December and this was one of my reasons for choosing it. With a toddler it’s great to be able to feed them anytime. We plan to feed our daughter while we enjoy the evening drinks and then we’ll go to a restaurant. Our daughter can have dessert while we have dinner.

      • Mark1980 says:

        Is this policy written anywhere? I can’t find any reference to it online. Thanks, Mark

  • will says:

    Can’t see any points redemptions loaded for this hotel.

  • JR says:

    First hotel I ever stayed at in Dubai (1997). £80 for 3 nights B & B total, it stood out as by far the tallest building (and before they built the tower wing) on this part of Jumeirah surrounded by very little but sand.

    • Rob says:

      First time I went, around the same time, I was in the Hyatt Regency on the creek which amazingly hasn’t been bulldozed.

  • Alastair says:

    I stayed in this hotel as a 10 year old in early 1992… it had only just opened and was in the middle of nowhere! Apart from the Emirates Golf Club across the road, everything around it was desert. It felt like a very very long away away from DXB.

    Amazing that after all these years, it’s still the Royal Meridien.

  • Edwin says:

    I booked four nights in December. I had been curious about how and why a non-luxury brand could achieve a super high review score and room rate at the same time. Your thorough review helped me understand a bit, and I can’t wait to explore the answer by myself!

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