Random Musings

Metropolitan Hotel @ Sheikh Zayed Road

June 10, 2011

I was hoping to maximize the coupons and discounts that the Entertainer travel book has to offer but the thing is, there are only a few hotels which has the Stay 2, Pay for 1 coupons and the 10% discounts offered in some other hotels are based on BAR (Best Available Rate) which is more expensive than the contracted hotel rates of travel agencies. Thankfully enough, I’m a travel agent and have all the resources to compare prices between hotels with just a few clicks on my computer. Hehe! Besides, I usually face problems when trying to book the Entertainer’s Stay 2, Pay for 1 rates with the hotels – they tell me first hand that there is no such thing as an Entertainer discount or promo whatsoever. Explaining, taking a screen shot of the offer and sending an email to the Entertainer team is kind of getting tiring already. Don’t get me wrong, the Entertainer team is marvelous and usually solves all those problems instantly BUT do I really have to do that everytime I book a hotel? When I receive a reply on my hotel query asking me if I can send a copy of those vouchers to the reservations team of a specific hotel, I usually just ignore and delete the email and move on to a different one. Yes, I’m lazy like that. Maybe it’s my own fault then? Hehehe. Now if you will ask me if the book is really worth it, well certainly it is – but the fact of the matter is, there are only quite a handful of Stay 2, Pay for 1 vouchers which I think is the best deal that this book has to offer. Just by using one of these vouchers, you’ll get the whole price of the book back – so yes, it is worth the price. The 10-20% discount on BAR rate is useless though, book that hotel with a travel agent and you’ll get an even better price.

So for last weekend, I booked a room at Metropolitan Hotel at Sheikh Zayed Road using OUR own travel agency rates and gave myself a 10% discount. Total rate for 3 nights is AED800++. Hehehe. I don’t think this hotel is featured in the Entertainer book though. I checked in at around 6:30pm Thursday night and had a slight problem with the booking (I was THISCLOSE to calling the person who booked it for me when I suddenly realized that I’m the one who did it hehe), anyway it was a system glitch and the helpful Front Desk staff was able to see my confirmation after about 10mins. I was escorted to my room on the first floor which isn’t that bad apart from the fact that you will not be able to open the curtains as the view you have from there is people walking around the area. So curtains must be closed at all times and so it’s been 3 days of darkness for me – which is absolutely fine.

Do you remember when I mentioned that the Crowne Plaza hotel rooms’ furniture are outdated? Well, Metropolitan’s are old and tired. So tired that I think I heard the couch scream “DON’T SIT ON ME YOU FOOL!”.

Metropolitan Sheikh Zayed

I believe the hotel needs to revamp its rooms and replace the furniture and the carpet to live up to its 4 star ranking.

Metropolitan Hotel Sheikh Zayed

The rooms were also a bit smaller than Crowne Plaza’s.

Room amenities:
* Internet access (extra charge)
* Cable TV (they do have OSN as well, yippeeee!)
* In-room safe
* Mini bar
* Bath and shower (they don’t replace the used bathrobe for whatever reasons)
* Tea and coffee-making facilities.

Hotel amenities:
* Swimming pool (which is in a residential compound beside the hotel)
* Gymnasium (also at the residential compound)
* Metroplex Cinema
* A small convenience store
* Business centre
* some shops

Restaurant and bars:
* Al Saffa (where they serve their breakfast)
* Summer Place (the Chinese Restaurant with the most delicious peking duck)
* The Oak Room (always empty and looks a bit creepy)
* Don Corleone (the Italian restaurant which serves the best grilled calamaris)
* Shahjahan (Indian restaurant)
* Rattlesnake (we didn’t dare go due to the rumor mill going around Dubai about this particular “bar”)
* The Red Lion (a pub which I would have liked more if the servers would smile just a little)
* Sky Bar (which was already closed – not sure if it’s for good or just because it’s summer)

The breakfast they serve is the same for all those 3 days that I’ve stayed there which I think would be a downside for people who are going to stay there for about a week. We only tried the Summer Place and Don Corleone from the list of their restaurants and have frequented The Red Lion pub for most of the nights spent there.

What this hotel lacks in terms of amenities, their helpful and very friendly staff fills that void. So would I recommend this hotel? For short stays yes. I’ve read a lot of bad reviews about this hotel before I went there – mostly saying that the hotel is old and full of “working ladies” at night. Well it is old – for Dubai standards. The thing is, Dubai hotels have really high standards that most of the people would agree with me when I say that a 3 star property in Dubai could be rated as a 4 star or even a 5 if you go to Europe or Asia. So maybe we can just give Metropolitan Hotel a break for being old, it’s not their fault that it’s one of the first hotels ever built in Dubai. Hehehe. But sure, it would be better if they could replace their furniture just to keep up with the high standards of Dubai. As for the “working ladies”, I didn’t see any in that 3 nights that I was there. Most of the reviews said that they can be seen at the hotel lobby at around midnight, I waited but noone came (just kidding, you fool!). No seriously, we usually finish the night off at Red Lion at around midnight and have passed by the lobby going towards our rooms and seen no girls waiting for customers. So I don’t know, maybe the hotel has changed their policy already or maybe the guests complaining about them were at Rattlesnake?

My rating for this hotel would probably be a 6 out of 10. 4 points less goes to the fact that the hotel pool and other amenities are at the residential compound beside it and the furniture needs a little revamp.

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