The Gloria Hotel – Welcome to the City of Opulence
I arrived at the Gloria Hotel in Dubai via my Etihad Airlines’ chauffeur driven car from Abu Dhabi. You can read all about how I came to be chauffeur driven between the two cities, in our post How Etihad is Disrupting the Business Class Market With its Dreamliner Service.
As I got out of the car I was greeted by an older looking, quite large hotel on the outside. As I stepped inside the hotel though, that changed. The Gloria Hotel was actually a very stylish and comfortable hotel.
The Gloria Hotel is an all suites and apartment hotel with a large range of public rooms and facilities. I was in Dubai for an international conference and found the hotel’s location near Internet City, not far from The Palm, to be an ideal location for my visit.
There’s a Whole Lot on Offer at the Gloria Hotel
The Gloria Hotel stretches over 41 floors, offering stunning views of the coast, the Burj al Arab, as well as The Palm and the Atlantis Resort. What I loved about the hotel was the ability to get an apartment, offering much more space than a conventional hotel room.
More and more apartment hotels are opening up, appealing to a growing sector of the travel market wanting more. This new trend is ideal when it’s combined with the added benefit of having all the facilities of a good hotel. The Gloria Hotel was right on trend in that regard, offering a wide range of well thought out places to relax and enjoy your stay in Dubai.
The Pool Deck
The Gloria Hotel offers a number of relaxation areas where guests can chill, including a large pool deck. There are pools for children and adults as well as a spa pool. Surrounding the pool areas is an wonderful lounging area; a pool bar (this being Dubai, only non alcoholic drinks are served throughout the hotel); and tables and chairs to sit back and relax under the Middle Eastern sun.
The Sports Facilities
The Gloria Hotel has a well fitted out gym, with a wide range of free weights, treadmills and gym equipment. It’s also quite large for a hotel gym, which is excellent considering the size of the hotel and the potential number of users. Throughout my visit there was rarely anyone in the gym, which made exercising much more enjoyable.
Many newer hotels have very small gyms and if more than a few people are in them, they can feel very claustrophobic. In addition to the gym and pool, there was also a squash court for Gloria Hotel guests to use. I’ve not seen this before and it is a creative addition, allowing another way for guests to vary their exercise routines.
An excellent remedy for jet lag too!
The Lounge With a View
On the top floors of the Gloria Hotel you will find a two-storey lounge. With its large panoramic windows, the views are simply incredible! You can see much of Dubai, including right out to The Palm. On the first of the two floors of the lounge are several seating areas and a small restaurant. This would be a lovely spot for lunch, with the incredible view adding a special element to the experience.
On the upstairs level is the Gloria Hotel’s Club Lounge. There is a concierge in this area of the lounge who can assist you with any thing you may need. However, we found staff throughout the hotel very friendly and keen to assist, if and when needed.
A Word on Drinking in Dubai
Not all hotels have bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. The Gloria Hotel had some lovely spaces to relax in, many with the feel of a high class bar, but the entire hotel was dry. Guests are, however, allowed to bring their own alcohol. The United Arab Emirates has a very generous duty free allowance of up to 5 bottles of wine or spirits. It is recommended, by locals and residents, that you buy your own alcohol upon arrival at the airport. Then you can drink it in the comfort of your own hotel room.
There are some 5 star international hotels that do serve alcohol in their bars. You will also find many restaurants that cater to international guests with alcohol available.
As in all Muslim countries, awareness and respect for local culture and customs goes a long way. Drinking in public spaces, such as the beach or the street, is not acceptable and will likely land you in hot water with local authorities.
Other Features of the Gloria Hotel
The hotel has a wealth of other features worth mentioning. There is a small business centre for hotel guests. I was pleasantly surprised to find, that late one evening, I was able to have photocopying and laminating done for my conference presentation the next morning.
There are several other restaurants including a sushi place, a fancy Starbucks, and an outdoor lounge. The hotel also has a convenience store, men’s and women’s hairdressing, as well as a spa. Something to enjoy for everyone!
My apartment was large, even by Dubai standards. Of most note was the fact there was a completely separated bedroom. A very welcome feature! There was also a kitchen, bathroom, large living room, dining area, a desk to work from, as well as a small balcony.
The furnishings were a little dated for my taste, but they were comfortable. I was able to invite guests over for a drink at the end of each day of the conference, which was very nice.
Although I didn’t use it much, having a full size fridge, a microwave, and crockery, really added value to this apartment accommodation. I especially enjoyed the fact that I had the luxury of not having to eat out every night. With the small supermarket in the lobby, it was easy to pick up a few supplies for the stay and heat up food when needed.
Expert Traveller Recommends…
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Gloria Hotel in Dubai. It was nice to have the luxury of an apartment stay, with all the comforts of home, in a hotel complex with such a wide range of facilities. For me the stand out features were the onsite supermarket; the wide range of leisure facilities including the pool, squash court and gym; and the hotel’s location.
Dubai has a wide range of hotels to choose from, in a very competitive market, so finding that something extra makes all the difference. So if you’re planning a trip to Dubai, give the Gloria Hotel a try. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
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