The Intercontinental Dubai (Festival City) Hotel Review

Posted on December 6, 2014 by in Hotel Reviews

Book the Intercontinental Dubai here.

The InterContinental Festival City is part of a new development called 'Festival City', not far from Deira and Bur Dubai at the shore of the Dubai Creek. There is a new mall (of course!) and a combined Crowne Plaza and InterContinental hotel. Both are just 10-15 minutes from the airport and the center of 'old' Dubai and about the same distance from 'new' Dubai.

The hotel offers complimentary valet parking for guests (as many hotels do in Dubai) which is awesome, since all you do is drive up and your car gets unloaded and parked. Talk about hassle-free!

The check-in was bureaucratic – hotels in the area seem to excel at slowing down check-in. I will never understand why it is a good idea to have a guest wait for 10 minutes for something so routine as a check-in. Passports need to be scanned (that is a local law) which is done with a neat scanner, but always takes 5+ minutes alone. Then the room and payment details are talked about and the card is authorized in a different terminal. Something that takes just 30 seconds in most US hotels is a 15 minute ordeal. It's compounded by the fact that most guests are not exactly content to wait in line. Every time I waited for the agent a couple of inches away from the desk, someone would jump in front of me and dangle a passport in front of the staff.

For a hotel that charges $300 a night or 40,000 points, that is just not classy or helpful!

The hotel seems brand new and must have hired excellent designers for the interior architecture. The lobby is stylish and beautifully decorated. Very high ceilings help give the lobby a bigger feel than it actually is.

Since the hotel is brand new, the rooms are in great shape. The windows were exceptionally dirty, but the room was fantastic, almost to Park Hyatt standards, with an integrated bathroom and a fantastic bed. What was annoying was the lighting, which took me a while to dim or switch off lights. So many switches and no system to it (at least from what I could tell).

The complimentary internet topped out at 1 Mbit which is slooow 🙁

The pool and outdoor area were disappointing. The views at sunset are fantastic, but the outside space is small, rather barren and the pools are tiny and crowded. There might be 30 sun benches for two hotels (the InterContinental shares the outside space with the Crowne Plaza).

The gym and spa are well-equipped and, like many public areas in the hotel, simply beautiful.

At check-out, the same slow ordeal started again. For some reason, the agents refused to charge the credit card collected at check-in – they wanted the card again and proceeded with a slow print/charge/staple/print. Now I realize some people may be happy with that guided procedure, but can't hotel managers provide an express check-in and check-out in addition to that?

I found the employees friendly but overwhelmed by almost any task thrown at them.

All in all, the hotel has great rooms but feels cold and badly managed. If you can stay at the neighboring Grand Hyatt Dubai (which costs about the same in $$$) instead, don't waste your money here – go have a happy stay at the Grand Hyatt Dubai.

Book the Intercontinental Dubai here.

If you like this post – subscribe via email or follow us on Twitter.

2.5 / 5 stars     

About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]

This post has been tagged with:
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Don't miss - more topics from Mighty Travels

AAdvantage | Aegean Airlines | Aeromexico | Aeroplan | Air Canada | Air China | Air France | Air France/KLM Flying Blue | Air India | Air New Zealand | AirAsia | AirBnB | Airline Reviews | Alaska Airlines | Alaska Mileage Plan | Alitalia | American Airlines | American Express | American Express Membership Rewards | ANA | Asiana Airlines | Avis | Award Booking | Best coffee | Best Rate Guarantee | Best Western | British Airways (BA) | Cash Back Deals | Cathay Pacific Reviews | Chase Sapphire Reserve | Chase Ultimate Rewards | Cheap flights | Cheap Passport Photos | Cheap Visas | China Airlines Review | Choice Hotels | Choice Privileges | Citibank | Club Carlson / Radisson | Credit Card Deals | Delta Airlines | Delta Skymiles | Destinations & Inspiration | Emirates Reviews & Skywards | Error Fares / Mistake Fares | Etihad Reviews & Etihad Guest | Fare Monitoring Service | Frequent Flyer Programs | Getaround | Hainan Airlines | Hawaiian Airlines | HHonors | Hilton Honors | Hilton Hotels | Hotel Deals | Hotel Friends & Family Discounts | Hotel Loyalty Programs | Hotel Reviews | Hyatt | IHG Rewards Club | Immigration & Airport Security | Immunization | Japan Airlines | Jetblue TrueBlue | Krisflyer | Lifemiles | Lounge Reviews | Low Cost Airlines | Lufthansa Miles and More | Malaysia Airlines | Marriott Hotels | Mighty Travels Premium | Mistake Fares | Orbitz Coupons & Deals | Priority Pass Lounges | Qatar Airways | Radisson Rewards | Saudia | Singapore Airlines | Southwest Rapid Rewards | Sri Lankan | StarHOT | StarwoodONE | ThankYou Points | Things to Do (City Guides) | TOP Travel Destinations | Travel Agent Rate | Travel Deals | Travel Insurance | Travel News | Travel Tech | Turkish Airlines Review | Uber | United Airlines | United Mileage Plus | World of Hyatt | Wyndham Hotels | Wyndham Rewards |