Rixos Premium Dubai JBR is a classic hotel that still delivers — Hotel Insider

Towering establishment has an enviable location, private shoreline and several restaurants

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There's no shortage of hotels in Dubai's bustling Jumeirah Beach Residence, and the Rixos Premium Dubai JBR is a good one to consider.

Opened in 2017, it occupies a spot on the buzzing beachside boulevard that means it's perfectly placed for easy access to some of Dubai's most popular sights, such as Ain Dubai, AquaFun and Dubai Marina.

With eight restaurants to choose from and the highly popular Azure Beach on site, it's a good choice for a getaway in the heart of Dubai.

The National checked in to see what it has to offer.

The welcome

With shoreline access and views of Ain Dubai, Rixos Premium Dubai JBR has something for everyone. Photo: Rixos Premium Dubai JBR

From Abu Dhabi the hotel is a little over an hour away, in Dubai's buzzy JBR. While parking can be difficult in this part of Dubai, it's not something we need to worry about and we hand our car keys to the valet and give our luggage to the doorman before heading into the lobby. Walking inside, it’s apparent the Rixos JBR is the place to be and it is very busy on this Saturday afternoon.

In the lobby, the crowds are predominantly young couples, a few families and tourists.

The neighbourhood

Much of Jumeirah Beach Residence is pedestrianised, which makes for a nice wander with lots of shops and restaurants to check out. There’s a large Roxy Cinema about a five-minute walk from the hotel as well as attractions such as Flying Cup (which lets guests dine 40m in the air), AquaFun (a large inflatable water park) and TEPFactor (an escape room adventure park).

There are also twinkling Dubai skyline views to be enjoyed from The Walk, as well as The Beach mall, small but handy if you've forgotten something.

The room

We’re given a premium one-bedroom suite on the 31st floor of the 35-storey hotel. Thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, we enjoy stunning views of the Arabian Gulf, Ain Dubai and Bluewaters Island. The windows also mean there's plenty of natural light and provide the perfect field of vision to watch the sunset over the observation wheel.

At night the views change, coming alive with colourful lights from the hotel itself and from Ain Dubai, right opposite our window.

The suite is spacious with a dining table, living room and separate bedroom with a king-sized bed, as well as a bathroom with a standalone tub and a shower. We were surprised that the room didn’t have any USB ports, meaning we had to charge our phones by connecting the cord to the phone in the room, which took time to charge.

The service

Joyce checks us into our room and she’s very patient and tells us everything we need to know about the hotel. She shares her recommendations on things to do in the area and also helpfully reminds us to stamp our parking ticket in reception.

Some other service touchpoints could be improved. For example, when we visit the Godiva Cafe near the lobby, it takes a while for any servers to notice us and we need to flag them down more than once. We have a similar experience at Turquoise when we go for evening brunch later that day, feeling as though the staff is either a little bit inattentive or overworked during busy periods.

The scene

Guests staying at the hotel get free access to the popular Azure Beach Club. It has a fabulous pool that’s surrounded by cabanas and a private beach with striking views of the emirate's skyline. It can be a little busy on weekends but it’s really worth spending some time there. The atmosphere is wonderful and we could easily spend the day lounging around the pool. Azure Beach is also open to non-guests for a daily fee.

The Naturelife Spa on the second floor is great for some pampering. During our stay, we enjoy a couple’s Moroccan bath in the spacious Turkish hammam that leaves us not only feeling relaxed but also squeaky clean. We follow this up with an hour-long message that really gets the job done in alleviating stress, leaving us feeling great.

For travellers keen to keep their fitness game going, there's an impressive RixGym with fantastic beach views. It's spacious and there's a good mix of free weights and Technogym equipment.

The food

It can be hard to choose where to eat at Rixos Premium Dubai JBR because there are so many choices. During our stay we have breakfast and and dinner at all-day dining restaurant Turquoise, and enjoyed afternoon tea at Godiva Cafe.

However, our favourite venue was Asil, a restaurant that fuses Turkish, Lebanese and Moroccan flavours. It is on the ground floor near the lobby. There’s live entertainment as well as a lounge, bar and stage area. In the cooler months, guests can enjoy the outdoor terrace that overlooks Jumeirah Beach.

We start with an Asil mezze platter (Dh145) that features five of the most popular mezze: grape leaves, hummus, mouhamara, taktouka and moutabel. Next, we’re served a gavurdagi salad (Dh65) which has diced tomatoes, green peppers, red onions, parsley, cheese and walnuts all drizzled with a delicious pomegranate molasses. It’s light and packs plenty of flavour.

For the main course we have the Asil grill platter (Dh395), which is made up of adana kebab, lamb shish, beef shashlik, shish taouk and lamp chops and comes with a large serving of bread. The atmosphere and ambiance of the restaurant really make for an entertainment evening, and there's a clarinetist who plays music while we eat. Everyone at Asil gets in on a lively rendition of Bella Ciao.

Highs and lows

The location of the hotel is easily one of its best features. There’s a lot to do on site, from the private beach to the spa to dining at one of the many restaurants. Marina Mall is a 15-minute walk from the property and there are plenty of restaurants and shops near by too.

The hotel can have a bit of a party atmosphere, especially on the weekends, and we were surprised we could still hear the bass of the DJ thumping from Azure Beach far below during the weekly Saturday night pool party. Although it ends at 1am, this could perhaps be an issue for those with children staying on a lower floor.

The insider tip

Ask for a room that faces the water, the view over the Arabian Gulf is something you don't want to miss.

The verdict

Rixos Premium Dubai JBR is a stunning hotel with plenty to do and an enviable location in one of Dubai's most buzzy districts. For beachside vibes and city amenities, a staycation here will tick both boxes.

The bottom line

Rooms start from Dh1,988 including taxes for a deluxe king room. Check-in is from 3pm and check-out at noon; www.rixos.com

This review was conducted at the invitation of the hotel.

Updated: December 31, 2022, 11:35 AM
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