Hilton Suite & Epic Landmarks
After a short taxi ride, we finally arrived at the excellent Hilton Dubai Creek
where we had already stayed before (picture taken at a later point of time
I had reserved a regular twin room for one night on the outbound journey and for two nights on the inbound journey during the "any weekend anywhere" promotion in January. However, the friendly receptionist told us that all twin rooms were occupied. Of course I wasn't amused and he ensured that an extra bed could be placed in the king room. But then he offered a king executive suite for an upgrade charge as high as our original rate. We declined and he lowered the upgrade charge by 50 percent. We declined again and received the keycards for a regular king room - but just when we were about to leave, the receptionist suddenly said: "Okay, you get the suite for free!"
This was a nice surprise - I don't have Hilton HHonors status, but probably there was a special entry in our reservation because I had exchanged some e-mails with the friendly and helpful guest service manager about day rates and late check-out during the booking process.
Well, we were expecting that the suite (on the highest floor) would be roomy and nice, but it turned out to be huge (70m²/740 sq.feet) and fabulous. This is the suite's long corridor:
Living room with hi-fi equipment:
Bedroom with huge king bed:
Large and stylish bathroom including whirlpool bath:
Some daylight impressions:
Excellent espresso (all kinds of Nespresso capsules available)...
...and excellent views - that's what I call a perfect start to the day:
Early in the afternoon, we took a taxi to the mighty Burj Khalifa
. I guess it will never cease to amaze me:
We had two hours left until our visit to the observation deck, so we strolled through the giant Dubai Mall
. When we were passing a Texas Roadhouse
restaurant (the first outlet outside of the US)...
...this counter display caught our attention:
We took a seat, enjoyed watching singing and dancing employees and had excellent steaks:
After lunch, we walked outside again for a short while to take some more photos of Burj Khalifa
Glass model in the observation deck entrance area:
Just like last year, I had bought At the Top
tickets online several weeks before the trip. On the way to the high-speed elevators, we passed a TV screen showing a great video about the construction of the tower. Some impressions:
Once again, I found the views breathtaking - and the scenery looked even more impressive in late afternoon sunlight. Massive Dubai Mall
hit by a long shadow:
The 306 meter high The Address Downtown Dubai
Let's zoom in a bit – that sidewalk down there is a good place to go if you want to take a picture of the tower in a whole:
Ever-growing Downtown Dubai
complex with The Old Town Island
and Souq Al Bahar
in the middle:
Countless tables and chairs:
Rulers side by side:
Stunning array of skyscrapers along Sheikh Zayed Road
The Rose Rayhaan by Rotana
aka Rose Tower
in the middle and Dubai World Trade Centre
on the right:
Traffic junction, Dubai style:
Can you see the airport?
How about an Emirates 777?
The old skyline along Dubai Creek
Sharjah in the distance:
Giant cruise ships and the legendary Queen Elizabeth 2
at Port Rashid
Emerging from the dust in the distance (from right to left): Burj Al Arab
, Jumeirah Beach Hotel
and Dubai Marina
376 meters between the observation deck and the tower's top - equivalent to the Empire State Building
Back to the earth - Burj Khalifa
in full swing - water can be shot 150 m (490 ft) into the air:
After returning to the hotel, we spent some more time on the marvelous rooftop terrace - what a fascinating scenery:
Later in the evening, we took a taxi to the airport and started our East Asia tour (reports to follow)
. Five days later, we arrived back in Dubai in the early morning. Once again, a friendly receptionist welcomed us at the Hilton Dubai Creek
. We didn't get the executive suite this time, but a free upgrade to a "Deluxe Plus" room. That's what I call hospitality!
After a few hours of sleep, it was time to take a taxi to the Burj Al Arab
. Two months before the trip, I had reserved a table for the famous Friday Brunch
at the Al Muntaha
restaurant, located on the hotel's 27th floor. Before our taxi driver was allowed to cross the private causeway, we had to show a reservation printout. The Burj Al Arab
rises 321 meters into the sky:
While we had taken a common taxi, other guests may have arrived on this platform by helicopter:
Hotel shuttles, Burj Al Arab
The palatial lobby is dominated by Italian marble and gold leaf:
The world's tallest atrium:
After being registered at this desk...
...we were granted access to a panoramic elevator. 200 meters above sea level, a friendly restaurant staff member welcomed us, brought us to our table and explained everything. Even though there weren't any empty tables left, it never felt crowded. And even though it's an exclusive and expensive restaurant, the atmosphere was relaxed. Taking pictures was allowed, but I was being discrete. View towards the dessert corner:
Stunning views of the city...
...and Atlantis, The Palm
Even though we had enjoyed lots of good food in Emirates Business Class on the night flight from Seoul to Dubai, we were hungry again. The buffet at the Al Muntaha
restaurant is the most impressive one I have seen - both quality and quantity were excellent. Sushi corner:
I didn't take pictures of all our plates - what you'll see here is just a selection. I decided to start with seafood:
My brother had different kinds of caviar...
Fried duck liver:
One of my dessert plates:
Fresh fruit juices of all kinds were included in the buffet, all other drinks had to be paid extra for. However, one should be aware that the prices for alcoholic drinks are astronomical. Anyway, we spend several hours up there and we loved it. I can only recommend that gourmet buffet to everyone who loves eating - it's absolutely worth the 120 Euro per person!
Back in the lobby:
The hotel's giant sail:
We decided to return to the mainland by foot:
in the distance:
Hotels and skyscrapers:
The Jumeirah Beach Hotel
is one of the "older" luxury hotels in Dubai, but it still looks impressive:
Tradition meets high tech:
We took a taxi at the entrance of the Wild Wadi Water Park
and asked the driver to bring us to the Hard Rock Cafe
. We were surprised to hear that it had been relocated to Dubai Festival City
which wasn't far from our Hilton hotel. My brother wanted to see how much Dubai Marina
had grown since his last visit, so we asked the driver to make a tour through that part of the city first. He was very talkative and told us many interesting things about Dubai which we hadn't known.
Finally, we went back to the other end of the city:
There's also a Ferrari shop at Festival City
- this red beast would look even better with "777" on the license plate:
We also visited the Gold Souk
...and bought some spices for the kitchen at home at the Spice Souk
Later in the evening, we returned to the hotel's rooftop terrace, enjoyed the views and some wine:
[Edited 2012-08-11 00:17:03]