Review: Service shines through at Occidental Al Jaddaf

The new venture from Spain’s Barcelo group is a unique addition to Dubai’s hotel offerings that brings the comforts of home to you coupled with stellar service

Occidental Al Jaddaf in Dubai. Image: ITP Media Group

When arriving at the Occidental Al Jaddaf in Dubai’s Al Jaddaf district, one immediately feels like they’re being taken care of – which is exactly what I want when I’m on vacation or traveling for work.

From the friendly valet to cheerful and helpful check-in staff, you know you’re in good hands as soon as you walk into the bright and spacious lobby that fuses Spanish flare with Arab décor – it smells nice too as vases of large fresh flowers scent the space.

The 365-room hotel makes for a functional stay. The rooms are well-equipped with toiletries, including a toothbrush and toothpaste if you forgot anything (like I did), and there’s even a bowl of fruit to snack on if you’ve arrived after a long day of traveling.

Situated close to the downtown financial and tourist centre, Al Jadaff is ideally located so you can make your meeting or get in line for your trip to the top of the Burj Khalifa on time – it’s even close to DXB airport.

There are plenty of dining options, including a private lounge restaurant and private members’ bar.

At the Souk restaurant, top-end service is again the name of the game. For breakfast and dinner, both come with buffet options, but helpful wait staff are there to load up your plate, and if you don’t feel like walking up to the buffet, they’ll gladly bring you what you need and are always nearby to top off your glass. The buffet design means that if you’re in a rush for your first meeting or can’t wait to start sight-seeing, you can grab something quickly on your way out the door. For breakfast, we grabbed some fruit and hummus off the buffet and ordered pancakes and omelettes from the table, as we weren’t in a rush. Coupled with some freshly brewed coffee, we felt ready to take on a busy day. Although, admittedly our day only involved lounging by the pool. As there’s still an ongoing pandemic, all safety measures are properly in place, and guests aren’t allowed to touch utensils at the buffet and staff are fully clad in masks and gloves.

If you need a bit of downtime, the Stage Pool Lounge is a great break from the rush of the city. With panoramic views of the Downtown skyline, laying by the pool while someone brings you a snack or beverage of choice has never felt so good. We were there during the day and enjoyed some classic shwarama and for dessert dug into a moist brownie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. At night though, the mood is more upbeat and guests can be seen puffing shisha from the lounge area adjacent to the pool.

The venture is the latest from the Barcelo Hotel Group, which has a long-term commitment to decreasing its impact on the environment, so you can rest easy knowing that green steps have been taken. In the rooms, the lights seem to be on a timer to ensure they’re not left on while you’re out of the room. Though, a word of caution, if you find yourself resting in the comfy beds for a bit too long as my guest and I did, you might find yourself momentarily in the dark. Reading lamps built into the headboard though make for an easy way to find the light again, but during the day, large windows offer plenty of natural light that flood the room.

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