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10 of the best value hotels in Dubai
Five-star hotels, rooftop whirlpools, wacky décor and intriguing locations -- who would have thought value accommodations could offer so much?
Dubai is not the right city for pinching pennies. It's the city with the world's largest mall and the first "seven-star hotel."
Sure, you may not have the budget for the latter's US$100 teas or 24-hour butler service. But that doesn't mean you have to give up on comfort, or even luxury.
Here are 10 of the best value hotels in the emirate.
This Canadian chain popped up in Dubai around a year ago, and offers new and comfortable rooms in a great area.
Located opposite the Mall of the Emirates (the mall with an indoor ski slope), Citymax is also close to a number of good, cheap local restaurants. Try ARZ Lebanon for its creamy hummus and tasty shish taouk, Pizza Pazza, where they cook pizzas in a stone oven, and Just Falafel, which sells salad-stuffed wraps for 15 dirhams (US$4).
Rates start at 540 dirhams (US$147) for a room with single occupancy.
Kuwait Street and Mankhool Road, Al Mankhool, Bur Dubai; +971 4 409 8000; www.citymaxhotels.com
Holiday Inn, Deira
Don’t book this hotel expecting glamour. A stay here means a stay in the gritty area of town, which locals refer to as "the real Dubai."
The streets of Deira are dotted with restaurants serving dishes from around the world, souks selling herbs and spices and rows and rows of small, interesting shops.
Rates start at 543 dirhams (US$148) per standard room.
Al Rigga Street, Deira; +971 4 228 8889; www.holidayinn.com
Premier Inn, Dubai International Airport
The best feature in this airport hotel is by far the rooftop whirlpool. Despite the budget digs, guests can enjoy an incredible panoramic view of the city while soaking in the hot tub.
Most areas of the city, including the business district, beach and creek, are only a 20-minute cab journey away.
Rates start at 595 dirhams (US$162) per room with single occupancy.
Premier Inn, Dubai International Airport; + 971 4 885 0999; global.premierinn.com
City Seasons Hotel, Deira
Room rates this low at a four-star deluxe hotel are almost unheard of in Dubai.
Step foot into the massive, pretty lobby and you’ll believe the price even less. But there is one small catch -- this is a dry hotel, meaning no alcohol is allowed on the premises.
While this may dissuade some travelers, it attracts a high-percentage of Muslim guests, and offers a peaceful stay free of raucous clubbers traipsing through the lobby in the early hours (a problem many other hotels in the city face).
Pluses include sizable ballrooms for business events, a huge shaded outdoor swimming pool and the international restaurant New Season, where you can dine outside on a balcony overlooking the city.
Rates start at 496 dirhams (US$135) per premium room, based on single occupancy.
8th street Port Saeed District, Deira; +971 4 2955583; www.cityseasonsgroup.com
Byblos' sense of style isn't the most refined ... or consistent. The lobby is Phoenician-inspired, with an alphabet patterned carpet and unusual paintings, the main hotel bar (The Crown and Lion), is an English-style pub from the 1960s with mahogany panels and fish and chips on the menu.
Meanwhile, the Chameleon Club upstairs is marked by 60,000 LED lights, video screens built into heart-shaped enclaves and a giant model chameleon (complete with a glow-in-the-dark tongue) strapped to the ceiling.
Luckily, the rooms don’t share the same décor as the rest of the property. Rooms have modern furnishings, a flat screen television and speedy Wi-Fi.
Rates start at 400 dirhams (US$109) per standard room.
Byblos, Tecom; +971 4 4488 000; www.bybloshoteldubai.com
Radisson Blu, Media City
This media industry haunt houses popular bars such as the Icon sports lounge, which plays retro music videos on its television screens, and the outdoor Tamanya Terrace, where a house DJ spins background beats on busy nights.
The elegant Certo Italian restaurant has great artisan pasta. For dessert, try the strawberries with pepper and balsamic vinegar.
Rates start at 950 dirhams (US$258.5) per standard room.
+971 4 366 9111; www.radissonblu.com
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Courtyard by Marriott, Green Community
In the southern part of the city, Courtyard by Marriott is positioned next to a quiet residential complex with green lawns and pink and yellow villas. Rooms are styled in subtle browns and offer pretty views across a man-made lake.
Get a doorstep sandwich from the Aquamarine café next to the family pool, or try The Pine Grill, serving imported steaks and local seafood doused in various sauces.
Rates start at 848 dirhams (US$231) per standard room with single occupancy.
+971 4 885 2222; www.marriott.com
Taj Palace Hotel, Deira
The Indian-inspired Taj Palace hotel has a beautifully modern angular steel and glass facade, but a traditional "royal" interior. Rich reds, velvet cloths and spongy carpets garnish the lobby, giving the impression of five stars for the price of three.
Due to the fact that it's a dry hotel, it's also a hot spot for Saudi Arabian businessmen. Try the lasooni jhinga (prawns marinated with fresh garlic and tandoori spices) or black lentil dahl at the Handi Indian restaurant.
Rooms start at 598 dirhams (US$163) per standard room with single occupancy.
P O Box 42211; +971 4 223 2222; www.tajhotels.com
Ramada Chelsea, Barsha
While it’s not particularly easy to go exploring from this hotel by foot due to construction and the lack of pavements, taxis are abundant. The Wild Wadi water park and the Umm Sequim open beach, where you can rent a surf or paddle board at Surf Dubai, are a 10-minute ride away.
Recommended: dumplings and spicy fish at the hotel’s Szechuan Palace.
Rates start at 450 dirhams (US$122.5) per standard room with single occupancy.
+971 4 5019000; www.crimsonhotels.com
Lotus Hotel Apartments & Spa, Dubai Marina
Overlooking the iconic Marina area, billionaires' yachts and turquoise waterways, the Lotus Hotel Apartments offer a twist on the regular hotel stay in Dubai.
Here, you get the benefits of staying in a hotel (room service, a spa and gym and restaurants), combined with the privacy of having your own apartment.
The airy studios come with crisp white linen and bright orange accents, and are equipped with fully functioning kitchens where you can prepare lunch for day trips or entertain friends in the evening. The Marina Mall, the touristy JBR beach and dozens of restaurants along JBR Walk are also nearby.
Rates start at 460 dirhams (US$125).
Rates start at US$149; +971 4 273 5555; www.lotus-hospitality.com
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