So, when it comes to the Middle East, I’m a big fan. Not just because of the guaranteed weather but the level of hospitality and service.
For the past five years, I’ve been taking my wife and two daughters to Dubai during Easter, it’s our little get away in the first half of the year, and with my daughters only 10 and 5, let’s be honest all they need is a pool and sunshine, I just wish life remains that easy as they get older.
After five continuous years in Dubai, my wife insisted we change the destination, she was happy to stick to the Middle East but not Dubai. So speaking to our friends at Fly Club Boutique who have handles my travel for the past few years and know exactly what we need, the Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al Khaimah was recommended.
My first reaction was “where?”, followed by the feeling of uncertainty. This is natural I guess if you’ve never heard of a place. However, trusting the Waldorf Astoria brand and the advice from Fly Club we booked.
So we flew into Dubai as normal and greeted by a young gentleman at arrivals holding a sign with ‘Mr KP’ and a big smile. The journey from Dubai airport took approximately an hour, not so bad if you consider getting from the airport to the top of The Palm takes around 30-45mins. On the journey it’s easy to see when you leave Dubai and start seeing vast plains of sand, camels and the occasional tress.
As you approach the hotel you can see there is still development in the area but the entrance to the Waldorf is in true Middle Eastern style, a grand opulent hotel with spacious and luxurious lobby.
As we’re checking in, I’m greeted by a Mr Christopher Popp, one of the managers of the hotel who approaches with a great smile and handshake and explain he works closely with our friends over at Fly Club and it’s a pleasure to have us stay in their hotel.
Now I’m a big believer in one of the secrets to any business is to make your customers feel not only welcome but important and this is exactly the feeling I received from Mr Popp.
The last few years, while in Dubai we’ve stayed in the Zabeel Saray on The Palm and one of the great things about that hotel was the size of the room. Even then the standard rooms are probably three times the size of a London hotel room. So having this in mind I was a little dubious as to the size of room we would receive but upon entering, those reservations vanished like clouds in the Middle Eastern sky.
We stayed at the hotel for 10 nights and each day I experienced something new which was a great feeling.
This hotel has a level of grandeur one could only expect in the Middle East. The size, the space, the hospitality and attention to detail is all meticulously taken into consideration. This may sound easy but staying in a big hotel and experiencing an intimate service is not always easy to do. I’m the type of person who doesn’t mind staying in big hotels but I enjoy being served by the same people each day. By day three those people know I like my coffee black and whisky on the rocks. There is a level of happiness experienced when someone say “Mr Patel, can I get you your usual?” after a few days. That’s service!