Weekend at Bab Al Shams

Fernandified decided to take me on a staycation this weekend. After a stressful week of long hours at work, this was just what I needed. Excited and charged we drove from my apartment early afternoon on Friday. The drive, I have to say was the most depressing. As we were merging on to 611 highway and picking up speed, we passed a hitchhiker but unable to stop since Dubai highways are ruthlessly dangerous. The image of the old man was devastating. We are now entering mid of the holy month of Ramadan. Which means the man must be fasting with no water. The temperature was 42 degree Celsius at the time. I was sulking. Approaching Bab Al Shams and the roadsides turned green and lush. Then we passed a dead gazelle. Gutted.

We arrived 45 minutes earlier than check-in time. We felt immediately welcomed by the friendly concierge and reception staff who informed us that our room have been upgraded. I began to get excited again. We decided to explore the resort before we check-in since we had some time to kill. The resort, aptly called ‘Bab Al Shams’ which means ‘gateway to the sun’, is divine. The rustic feel, the details of the décor – perfect. The rooms were private and the stone bath! The stone bath was everything. I spent my evening at the spa and needless to say, I was a happy camper by then. Sharing a few shots from the hotel below.

The next morning, we enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast and I decided that I absolutely needed to be in the beautiful pool. The pool at Bab Al Shams is sprawled across an envious size and extends right to the edge of the desert. There are 3 separate pools and comes with rain showers and endless sun beds. We decided to place our things on two sun beds right next to the water where the beds were shaded. Soon enough, we were told that the sun beds were “reserved” for some other “guests” who had gone for breakfast and that they will join soon.

For me (a consultant in customer experience for luxury brands), this was unacceptable. The staff claimed that the beds were already made with towels. He pointed at my BOF print edition (for which I have paid $120 for an annual subscription) and said that the magazine was placed for the “guests”. At this point, my eyebrows were up in the sky. Anyway, we didn’t want to fuss so we agreed and moved to our newly made sun beds. Fernandified left in 30 mins but I spent my time in the pool from 8.30 AM till 10.40 AM (breakfast ends at 10.30 AM). Can you guess what happened to the coveted sun beds which were “reserved” for the “guests” who were having breakfast? Empty.

So my point is, what was the point of inconveniencing a couple of perfectly happy guests for other guests that never showed up? For people looking to spend a stress-free weekend and doesn’t want to be bothered, these small things amount to big disappointments.

I loved the resort but my experience was 7.5/10. You can do better Bab Al Shams.

P.S. – All photos were taken by Fernandified.

– If you plan to get a relaxing massage, make sure to book in advance as they tend to be booked out through the day and is open only until 8 PM.
– The pool can get crowded in the evenings but pretty much empty in the mornings.


This entry was posted in Travel & Photography.

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