Well this is not much of a hotel review and even though I stayed at the Media Rotana for 6 nights I didn’t actually spend much time in my room or even in the hotel itself, besides the mandatory 10 hours a day of meetings and training sessions.
From what I saw, Tecom area appears to be the suburban party district of Dubai. Every evening you’ll find droves of couples streaming into the various hotels scattered around the area. Byblos and Nelsons seem to be popular among the Brits in town and on most evenings our hotel literally had a ‘British Invasion’ after 7 PM. I didn’t do much partying in the hotel but I did spend some time at two of the hotel bars with colleagues.
This place is an English style sports pub much like the ones you’d find in Bangalore. Last time I was there a Eurocup game was on the TV and my friends and I were surrounded by blood thirsty football fans. This time around it was much quieter as we popped in for a pint right after our afternoon meeting and we could actually hear ourselves think.
This is one place that I really liked, its an open air bar thats right next to the swimming pool and I would’ve marked a daily attendance in the register if the weather was cooler. Sitting outside in the humid Dubai weather is bearable only until the chilled beer lasts. Once your mug is empty your brain will ask you “what the frack are you still doing here?” signalling its time to get back to some air conditioned comfort.
Most of our meals, heck ALL of our daily meals were provided by the company at the Channels restaurant. As with most hotels they have the standard breakfast buffet which I’m a big fan of but lunch was kind boring for me and after day 2 I was craving a simple burger or even a felafel sandwich. Desserts at Channels are pretty good though, I had a slice of their house Hummingbird cake and went back for seconds, something which I don’t usually do for desserts.
The hotel has a tiny little open air swimming pool which was half the width of my neighborhood pool in Kuwait. I didn’t go swimming daily but on the days that I did, I had to swim carefully to avoid bumping into people.
A couple of years ago I would never have dreamed of going to the gym while on holiday but I guess my outlook has changed now. I went there a couple of days (when I didn’t have a massive hangover). I went there at 6 AM and there were only about 4 of us and I didn’t have to wait in line to use the treadmill. They also have a couple of kettlebells but even the heaviest of them was just 10KG whereas I’m used to working with a 16 or 20.
Media Rotana is a nice place to stay if you don’t mind the long commute to and from the city. The rooms were neat, beds were comfortable (although I wouldn’t know since I was so bushed at the end of each day I would’ve slept on the floor and still felt good). I just hope next time the office puts me in a hotel closer to the city.