The themed property opened in January and all reservations include breakfast and day passes to one of the two neighbouring Lego parks.
The National visited the hotel on a fully booked weekend with Lego aficionados Aden, aged 8, and his brother Aaron, 5, to find out what a stay here is all about.
Such is the allure of the place to young children that Aaron, after spotting the hotel’s roadside sign before we had drawn up at the entrance, said: “I love Legoland Hotel. I want to marry it.”
Dubai’s standard hotel greeting — valet parking and a friendly doorman — is available and helpful when the children in your party are already in a state of (beyond) excitement.
The hotel experience, which is an assault on the senses by all things Lego for the duration of the stay, begins in the lobby, where all attractions and activities can be booked. Children swarm around a small play area full of the brightly coloured plastic bricks, which are removed and sanitised regularly throughout the day, and can climb on a soft play area "castle" which is supervised constantly.
The theme parks, hotels and The Outlet Village of Dubai Parks and Resorts make it a relaxed, fun district, just north of the Abu Dhabi border. The hotel’s proximity to Legoland Dubai and Legoland water park — it is a one-minute walk to both from the swimming pool at the rear of the property — makes it an ideal base either for a weekend or longer break exploring more of the neighbouring attractions.
The safety measures
Our visit followed the UAE's easing of Covid-19 restrictions in outside areas, but mask-wearing is strictly observed inside the hotel and there are limits in place on the number of guests using a lift at any one time.
Where to begin? The hotel is in some senses functional, a little like a giant Lego brick, but the level of detail to which each room has been themed and decorated is not far from bewilderingly imaginative.
We stayed in a Pirate Room, where a challenge greets each child as they enter and if they solve a mini treasure hunt for clues and unpick the code for the safe, they are rewarded with a prize — in our case it was a pack of Lego.
The rooms are entertaining for adults as well as children, over the top and endlessly rewarding — you will keep noticing new details, from a Lego lizard on the wall to the intricate carpet pattern. Aden warned ominously that a giant beetle above the adult bed “will haunt your dreams" and was amused that a large Lego spider in the bathroom would be keeping a close eye on anyone using the room.
Each floor has a different Lego theme that will be familiar to children and parents alike and you can select your preference when booking. Our Pirate Room had bunk beds and a double bed for the non-VIPs, plus a decently sized shower room. Suites are also available within each theme and come with separate bunk bed-filled rooms and a lounge/dining area.
The hotel staff are some of the sweetest we’ve encountered in any hotel in a country where hotel employees generally go out of their way to tend to your needs, and they all greet each child with affection and enthusiasm. It does not feel forced — but like true hospitality. They are beautifully trained and/or perhaps picked for their kindly nature.
The constant piped music from Lego films — think Everything Is Awesome — is everywhere except in the rooms, where guests can instead watch one of those movies from the comfort of their (bunk) bed.
On the ground floor beyond reception is a giant Lego camel. Staff dance about in Lego costumes that include a yellow brick and a dragon, and there are “creative workshop” classes where children can try new things with the famous bricks under guidance from experts.
There's also a programme of morning activities including hula-hooping and scavenger hunts, and a large outside pool for all the family, plus a children's splash area.
Bricks, the main restaurant, caters well to the little VIPs — "unbreakable" plates and a child-height buffet along with Lego-shaped chefs are all nice touches — but it could improve in terms of options for parents. It’s also not a dining room you'd wish to linger in, but the staff are friendly and there is plenty to eat.
Breakfast was better than dinner, which was a buffet with pasta station and decent ice cream, or an a la carte menu similar to the room service options (including a reasonably priced adult-sized Wagyu beef burger for Dh60). It is licensed so “adult” beverages are available.
A second restaurant-lounge area, Skyline, is expanding from serving drinks to offering a full menu soon, but it will need to be good if it is to make the hotel more attractive for parents contemplating a return visit.
Highs and lows
A fun detail for young and older guests is that clapping your hands in the lifts starts disco lights and an ad hoc dance party ensues until you reach your floor. The child-sized slippers and bathrobes provided alongside adult ones in the room is a cute touch.
Any downsides? Not really. Adults just need to go with the flow for the duration, as all children staying at the hotel seem blissfully happy. The view from our room wasn't that interesting, but while in it, all eyes are drawn to the stimulating decor and features inside.
The insider tip
Though Bricks is quite a large restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, you might want to reserve a table for dinner as the hotel gets busy at weekends, especially if you're eating early as many families do.
The experience was such a hit that by the time we were ready to check out the next day, Aaron was questioning why we hadn’t brought his school uniform so he could stay another night and go directly to classes the next morning.
And does he want to return? “Yes. It's too good. I want to stay here until I'm a grandpa. I want to live in the hotel.”
The bottom line
Rates at Legoland Hotel Dubai are from Dh770 ($210) for two adults and one child, including breakfast and passes for one of the Legoland parks, when booking 21 days in advance. Half-board and other packages are available. Taxes will cost you from Dh173 upwards. Check-in time is 3pm and check-out is at 11am.
This review was conducted at the invitation of the hotel during the global coronavirus pandemic. It reflects hotel standards during this time; services may change in the future.