No visit to Dubai would be complete without visiting the Burj Al Arab, “the world’s only seven star hotel” and “the world’s most exclusive hotel”. The Burj Al Arab is located on a man-made island next to the Palm Jumeirah, and isn’t open to the public and therefore you need to be either a guest or have a reservation at one of the hotel’s restaurants to gain access to the island/hotel.
I’ve always dreamed of visiting the Burj Al Arab, and I guess that dream finally came true. The hotel is downright gorgeous and stunning, both externally and internally. A night starts at $1.5k USD, and often is much higher than that, around $3k USD, and unfortunately it isn’t bookable using any type of major points.
I was originally planning on having Afternoon Tea at the Skyview Bar, however apparently the Dubai drinking age is 21.. and I’m 20, so that didn’t work and instead I made a reservation for the Friday Brunch at the Al Muntaha restaurant (the same restaurant which has the Skyview Bar). The only downside is that the brunch is more expensive, at 735 AED (~$200 USD).
The Burj Al Arab features several restaurants throughout the hotel, some are ‘under’ the hotel and provide amazing views of the hotel’s giant aquarium, there is another restaurant above the lobby, and there is also the Al Muntaha that is at the top of the hotel. I really wanted to see the view from the top – and the only way to do that would be to visit Al Muntaha. Next time I visit the hotel, I will most likely visit the other restaurant to experience something different.
Once inside, I was welcomed by a friendly agent who informed me I’d have to walk through the upper lobby to the back elevators that would take me to the restaurant. I arrived about thirty minutes early and therefore she recommended that I explore the lobby a bit before heading up. Literally every single person that visits the hotel has to take photos of the lobby… because I mean.. it is simply gorgeous and stunning. I love the spectrum of colours incorporated with the gold.
I made the reservation a day before by emailing the hotel directly and they quickly responded with the menu for each restaurant and had me decide which restaurant I’d like to dine at.
Just like The Dubai Mall, there is a giant aquarium throughout the lobby and also flows through some of the restaurants located under the upper lobby. The lobby has two levels – the lower level which features the ‘main’ desks and then a huge upper lobby which has restaurants, expensive shops, decorations, and more.
The upper level of the lobby is even more stunning and truly gives you that ‘wow’ and shocking feeling of the size of the hotel.
Walking through the upper lobby to the back of the hotel (where the elevators are) is an interesting feeling. I was thinking to myself “what the hell am I doing here, I can’t afford any of this!” I mean even the $200 USD lunch was something that I hope to never repeat again.. I don’t think I’ve ever spent that much on food. Like, ever.
The Al Muntaha restaurant is located on the 27th floor and has stunning views of the gulf, the Palm, and the shore. When I walked into the restaurant, a friendly waitress welcomed me and gave me a brief tour of the restaurant and showed me to my table. She explained that I could stay up to four hours and eat/drink as much as I would like… all included in the Brunch charge. I guess that if you can eat for four hours and try every delicious food item, then maybe $200 USD doesn’t seem that bad.
The Friday Brunch food spread includes virtually everything you could think of: Soups, Salads, Meat, Fish, Seafood, Snacks, Desserts, Cakes, etc. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a vast food selection at any other restaurant that I’ve been to. I tried as much of the food as I could (and didn’t eat breakfast the day of), and I didn’t eat for the rest of the day.
The restaurant has an older design to it, and feels a bit like if you were on a ship. They try to incorporate old, modern, and ‘tech’ all in one.. and it sort of works in the design. As soon as I sat down, I was offered a bread basket along with butter, water, and tea.
The presentation of the sugar was awesome:
I decided to just try as much of the food as I could, and eat slowly. It all worked out in the end and I spent about three hours there – mostly eating, but also resting and admiring the views. I tried different fish, meats, salads, vegetables, etc. Everything was top-quality and delicious, all of the food was super tasty and it was an fulfilling brunch.
I think that I had over ten plates during the duration of my brunch, and ate with five different forks since they kept changing them as soon as I would get up. My napkin was also constantly folded, and the table was ‘organised’. I was amazed to try a large variety of different food and I really liked most of the items I tried. By the time dessert came, I was so full that I only tried a few of the items, as I seriously couldn’t move at this point. I was so full that I didn’t eat anything until breakfast the following day.
All in all, the Burj Al Arab experience is something that everyone should go for at least once. Yes, there are cheaper options than the brunch, however since I literally booked the trip last minute, some of the other (less expensive) options were already fully booked. Next time I hope to experience the afternoon tea at the Skyview Bar.
The hotel is downright beautiful and stunning, both inside and out. Perhaps one day it will be bookable using points, but until then… I guess I better start saving up if I want to spend at least a night here. You can book through AMEX Fine Hotels for as low (!!) as $1.5k USD during low-season nights, it will also include a variety of benefits such as room upgrades and late check-out.
The Burj Al Arab is simply gorgeous…