Has anyone visited DUBAI within the last year and stayed at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Deira (formerly the Sheraton Deira).
I am curious what the reaction is now to Photography and generally Plane Spotting from the rooftop swimming pool and to what extent if any the new building on the north side of the Hotel has spoilt the view.
I have stayed there three times and it was on my last visit (April 2017) that I encountered their new 'rules' regarding photography etc.
This was posted on the Civil Aviation Enthusiasts group recently by Mark Evans
After recent posts about the various hotels in Dubai I thought I would offer my opinion after passing through last month:
Holiday inn Express - You can book rooms with airport view on the website. However you are facing the terminal with no view of the runways and stands behind. Only several emirates stands can be seen. All movements can be seen in the distance when they depart above the terminal or arrive and taxi past a very small gap in between the terminals off to the right. SBS would be required for most stuff and the level of concentration you need to try and see everything is painful. Will never stay here again. Free shuttle bus every 30 mins to the terminal.
Premier Inn - Having stayed at the holiday inn I popped in to the Premier to see what the rooftop pool was like. Terrible views in my opinion, especially when compared to what's available at the hotels below. A wall blocks most of the airport, with views off to the left. Again all movements would be seen in the distance as they either arrived or departed and except for some Emirates stuff parking on this side of the terminal SBS would be required for everything. I doubt the rooms would be any better than the Holiday Inn. In fact the windows are at and angle meaning it would be harder to see aircraft passing the small gap between the terminals. Will never stay here. Free shuttle bus every 30 mins. Has a costa and the restaurant/ pub looked good. I understand why Paul Moiser loves it here, but he only has to pop his head up from the sun lounger a few times a day. For those needing a lot of stuff you would end up standing in the corner of the pool area or glued to the window constantly monitoring your laptop and looking for planes in the distance.
Hilton Garden Inn - My hotel of choice from now on. I didn’t stay there so can’t comment on the rooms. I took a taxi from the Holiday Inn and spent the day by the rooftop pool which has excellent views over the entire airport. All aircraft can be read off as they arrive or depart, allowing for some good side on photos. It also has good views of D Gates where most airlines park except for Emirates and FlyDubai. Most of them can even be read off as they taxi in, even when its only mad dogs and Englishmen up there. Several remote stands can also be read off along with some stuff going to the far side depending which way it taxis. Much more relaxing and enjoyable than the conditions at the hotels above.
The hotel is actually pretty cheap, which was surprising. I could have stayed there for less than the Holiday Inn. The pool area isn’t massive and not amazing but there are some shades up there to keep out of the sun. There is a supermarket opposite for cheap drinks and snacks which turns into a sweaty 10 minute walk by the time you walk to the overpass. The Marriot is not far away if you want to use there restaurants or bars.
Marriot - I haven't stayed here for a few years but It doesn't sound like anything has changed. A bit further down from the Hilton and a better standard of hotel with a selection of restaurants and bars and very nice rooms. Still very reasonable during the off peak summer months. Again the rooftop pool provides excellent views. The only difference from the Hilton is that I think the D Gates are blocked by another building, but it may still be possible to read stuff as it taxis in. The pool area is a lot larger and nicer though and there is a raised balcony area overlooking the whole airport. Again everything can be read off either on arrival or departure, and you can get some good side on photos.
Nojoum - Again I haven't been here for several years. In the same vicinity as the Hilton and Marriot. Another rooftop pool but a high wall prevented views of the airport. All movements can be read as they arrive or depart with some good photo ops. I wouldn’t stay here again unless I could guarantee an apartment overlooking the airport. I believe you have to book a two bedroom though. A much more traditional Arabian hotel with no facilities that I can remember.
In view of the news of a Briton in the UAE being sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly spying on behalf of the UK, and being allowed hardly any consular support, I would think twice about spotting in Dubai for the time being. www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-46288510