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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
The hotel itself is made of three interconnected buildings: the main building and two towers, one of which is the Royal Club tower.
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:
…. as are the rooms, which are warmly decorated and very modern. As you enter, you have a little wardrobe area:
Opposite this is a tiny built-in dressing table.
The bathroom is admittedly small but packs a lot in. You get a bath tub:
Plus separate shower:
…. and toilet with bidet:
Toiletries are by Malin + Goetz and are generously replenished by room service, to the extent that it seemed a little excessive.
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:
There are three bedside tables:
…. and plenty of charging ports:
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:
A mini fridge is underneath although it is empty (ideal for storing the many bottles of water you get!)
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.
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.
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.
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):
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:
You get a view of the Dubai observation wheel, Ain Dubai:
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:
…. 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:
Whilst the spa is currently closed for refurbishment the gym is still open and features a range of equipment:
As well as an impressive hammam with several different pools as well as steam rooms and saunas:
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.
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.
We had some sashimi and chicken karaage first:
Plus some lamb chops, wagyu beef skewers and tiger prawns:
To finish, I opted for coconut and mango 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.
Here are a few highlights of the buffet, including more fruit than I have ever seen at a buffet:
…. a salad bar:
…. as well as a live crepe and waffle station:
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:
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:
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.
During happy hour the food spread is mainly comprised of little nibbles:
Whilst at afternoon tea you get a really nice range of sandwiches (plus scones, although I couldn’t see any clotted cream):
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.
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.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (December 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)