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United Arab Emirates
- Helpful staff at a great location
- Free Internet access for all Marriott Rewards members
- The standard hotel rooms feel sufficient and don't leave you wanting
- The wireless lighting control pad was clumsy to use
- Head to Vault and sip cocktails from the top of the world's tallest hotel
Standing at 355 metres, the two-towered JW Marriott Marquis Dubai boasts the title of the world's tallest hotel and offers guests an impressive 1,608 rooms, 11 restaurants and 32 separate meeting and event rooms for the busy business traveller.
It's also part of the global Marriott Rewards loyalty program, allowing guests to earn frequent flyer points with airlines such as Qantas and Emirates while enjoying perks like free room upgrades and Executive Lounge access.
Join Australian Business Traveller in Dubai as we put the JW Marriott Marquis hotel to the test.
Location & Impressions
After a long trek from Australia to Dubai, this hotel is only 20 minutes from the airport by car (40-50 minutes during peak traffic), just off Sheikh Zayed Road and not too far from major landmarks such as the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa.
We found porters on-hand for our early morning arrival and check-in was a breeze, with valet parking offered free for any guest that chooses to drive.
The concierge team were also more than helpful even at 5:30am – I'd asked for directions to a nearby store where I could buy a mobile phone recharge voucher, but rather than directions, the concierge staff offered to go there themselves and buy it on my behalf.
Having arrived at the hotel after travelling for almost 28 hours across four different flights, this made a tremendous first impression, and meant I could relax and freshen up in the room rather than chasing down a corner store.
The much-needed voucher was delivered to the room around 45 minutes later, along with my change (which, naturally, the staff were told to keep as a tip) and a proper receipt for accounting and tax purposes. Top marks.
Although the hotel offers a variety of premium rooms, we found the most basic option – simply a 'Guest room' on the Marriott website – more than adequate for a solo business traveller.
These rooms come with comfy sofas which can be turned to face the window...
... bedside and overhead reading lights...
... a 46-inch HDTV with English channels...
... and also a touch screen remote control for the lighting, air conditioning and door signs.
That said, the panel only seemed to work when in its docking station, and would often mistake one tap for several or for a different icon altogether.
The on-screen TV greeting was also well-intentioned but clumsily executed – welcoming me as "Mr./Mrs. Chamberlin Christopher" on a solo booking, rather than "Mr. Christopher Chamberlin".
You'll be in better luck if you've brought your own tech, with an ample working space and desk lighting also in the room...
... and offering dual multi-country power outlets, a USB charging port and TV connections for watching your own movies or rehearsing your presentation on the hotel TV.
Again impressive for a standard room is a marble bathroom with a separate bath and rainfall shower...
... plus complimentary bottled water, a hairdryer, slippers and bathrobes:
Finally, there's a sizeable cupboard space as you enter the room (from the top left)...
... which houses an iron and ironing board, a safe and coffee- and tea-making facilities.
Some rooms come with a view of the Burj Khalifa – the world's tallest man-made structure – while others face the beach which is only clearly visible during the brighter parts of the day:
It's also worth reminding that while the JW Marriott Marquis is certainly the tallest hotel in the world, like any property there are floors from the ground up – so don't book a standard room and expect a 'view from the top', so to speak.
Guests can remain productive on the road with free high speed Internet access for all Marriott Rewards members, which was fast enough to handle high resolution images with ease.
If you're not already a Marriott Rewards member, we'd suggest joining before your visit and either linking your new membership number to your reservation or providing it on check-in to receive free Internet access.
You can then opt to work from the quiet of your room, or head to the Executive Lounge if you've booked an eligible room category or hold Gold or Platinum status with Marriott.
That's also where Gold and Platinum members can enjoy their free breakfast, with some chairs suited to laptop work and others in a more casual setting.
For groups of colleagues travelling together or for a high-powered business meeting, you can also book one of 32 meeting and event rooms.
Whatever your fancy, you won't be left hungry here with 11 restaurants ranging from casual poolside bites right through to fine dining in the hotel's Rang Mahal Indian restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar.
In the mornings, breakfast at Kitchen6 is the order of the day with a multitude of buffet choices plus egg chefs and table coffee service – or make it brunch after a nice sleep-in, as the extensive options here lend themselves well to either choice.
After a productive day at the office, we'd suggest a cocktail at Vault on the 71st and 72nd floors...
... where you can also take in the panoramic view:
This also allows guests in the standard rooms to take in a glimpse from the top of the tower but without breaking the bank on the room rate.
In your downtime, the Saray Spa offers a range of food-themed treatments including a lemon and mint body polish and a pomegranate renewal treatment, or hit the 32-metre pool on the seventh floor for a simple splash or a restful cabana:
As you'd expect of any true five-star hotel, the gym comes with cardio equipment and free weights for a solo workout, while group fitness classes can be attended for a fee.
Beyond what's on offer at the hotel, the beaches of Dubai are only a short taxi ride away, as is Dubai Mall for a little retail therapy and the Vegas-esque water fountains.
While you're in Dubai: Take a ride in an Emirates A380 flight simulator
Chris Chamberlin was a guest of Emirates Airline, a division of The Emirates Group which owns this hotel.
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