If you’re heading to the dazzling desert that is Dubai, you’ll have a chance to test some of the best 5 star hotels in the world, all playing in the same sandpit and acting as your foreigner friendly launch pad to explore the Middle East.
Whilst the glitz and glamour beckons you to what feels like an endless choice of opulent resorts, one of the most alluring ‘Arabian Nights’ themed hotels you can stay at is the Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate, with surprisingly affordable options for Arabian extravagance. The hotel is inspired by the 14th century travels of the Arab explorer Ibn Battuta and positioned right next to the Instagram worthy Ibn Battuta Gate.
Staying at the Movenpick Ibn Battuta gives you the best of two worlds when it comes to location. Whilst the hotel is slightly down the road from the hub of Dubai, in what they class as ‘new Dubai’, you get to escape the intensity whilst still getting a seductive glimpse of the hedonistic paradise from the fabulous elevated pool. You are also directly across from the Ibn Battuta Mall, which is definitely worth a visit just to marvel at the 6 themed courts in the centre, including the China, India, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia and Anadlusia courts.
The metro station is just across the road, connecting you to you wherever you want to go (the metro is very easy and uncomplicated to ride). However, if you are craving some beach side basking, the hotel runs a shuttle bus to their Oceana Beach Club Hotel on Palm Jumeirah which is only a 15 minute ride away. Oceana boasts its own private beach and infinity pool on the most iconic island of Dubai. This means access to 2 glamorous hotels for the price of one. WIN!
*note the last photos displayed in this set are from inside the Ibn Battuta Mall
Time of Stay
I stayed at the Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel in the scorching Dubai summer and found it fantastic! Dubai is good any time of year as a summery escape being a desert and all, however it is not uncommon to reach temperatures of 40-45+ degrees celsius from June-August. This heat spike does however mean you can get some fantastic deals on accommodation and the Movenpick makes it completely comfortable and glamorous. If you are after more manageable summer temps, we recommend visiting between November to March, however we still prefer the shoulder months for a little more heat.
The Movenpick Ibn Battuta is ALL about first impressions. The initial point that commands your gaze as you approach the hotel is the Ibn Gate, which stands with grandiose intention next to the hotel. In true Dubai style (to have the biggest and greatest of EVERYTHING in the world) Ibn Batutta Gate stands 60 metres high, which is larger than the Arc de Triomphe in Paris #amaze . It’s also a true spectacle at night when it lights up, enhancing its stature.
Upon entering the driveway, a large tiered waterfall in white marble and Arabian styled lattice beckons you to the entrance. The spacious reception area is impressive, however it is the open space court and major dining area of the hotel called Al Bahou that takes your breath away with 88 giant Arabic lanterns that are locally crafted, hanging resplendently from the 9 story ceiling. This magical area is the centerpiece of the hotel.
I had high hopes for the whole feel and theme of the hotel and from the moment you arrive, the first impressions make you feel like you have stepped into an opulent Arabian adventure, a dazzling oasis that does not disappoint! Whether you are a solo or business traveller, family or couple after a romantic weekend, this hotel manages to appeal and balance the dynamic perfectly without being too cheesy or OTT. Apparently they nail events too and we can see why.
With 369 rooms on offer with Moroccan influence, the Movenpick themes each of the nine levels on the travels of namesake Ibn Battuta who travelled from Africa and Europe to Arabia and the Middle East. Each of the Battuta suites are designed around the African, Asian, Middle Eastern and southern European countries Battuta visited by the 14th century.
I stayed in the Executive Suite which was dark, luxurious and very comfortable with the Arabian theming extending into lanterns hanging in the bathrooms and a sliding door with exotic lattice patterns in the wood (great for the #ExoticBackgroundSelfie). Big block out curtains, king size bed and lounge with marble and wooden finishes makes you feel comfortable. Of course no 5 star accommodation is complete without a Nespresso machine and range of flavours to tempt you into a day of desert safari’s and pool-side lounging that awaits you.
The bathroom situation was also pretty impressive, 2.5 bathrooms for a 1 bedroom suite! I liked to flit between the two main bathrooms. One had a luxurious bath where chocolates and a bottle of Jacob’s Creek wine were enjoyed many a night and the other had a rain water shower. Yep, life is not tough going here! #bathroomgoals
We got to check out some of the other rooms and even a superior room delights, with all rooms having the same attention to detail and exotic theming.
Like much of Dubai, the views are man-made, however when in Rome….we mean a flashy desert paradise do as the Dubai-ians (Emirati) do and embrace what Dubai offers. In the case of Movenpick, it’s the view of the Ibn Gate from the onsite Moroc Cocktail Bar, the Dubai city horizon that is framed perfectly by the divine pool and the delights within the hotel including life size camels, lanterns and Arabic food carts.
The rooms themselves don’t showcase any major views, however trust us when we say you won’t notice as the whole hotel is an experience of the senses.
Dining & Drinks
Technically you have no reason to leave the Movenpick Ibn Battuta if you feel like being a lounge lizard. The hotel has 10 different formal and informal food, drink and entertainment options tastefully inspired by Ibn Battuta’s travels to keep your belly full and your taste buds happy.
All Day Dining
All-day dining takes on an engaging Arabian flair in Mistral, where sumptuous dishes from around the world are on offer for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you can include breakfast in your accommodation package, DO IT! The buffet breakfast is extensive with several different themed stations and carts to cater to many cultures and desires. Of course there is the custom egg/omelette station, as well as endless baked goods, waffles and pancakes with giant jars of condiments including Nutella ready for you to #treatyoself. We noticed ‘breakfast sushi’ was a popular choice too.
Themed dining is a speciality of the hotel, Indian flavours escape from live tandoori ovens at Chor Bazaar, while fresh, unpretentious Sicilian-style home cooking is on offer at Sicilia. And if Chinese done well is a passion point of yours, then the creations at Shanghai Chic will surely lure you in.
When chilling poolside (and what a magnificent pool it is!) Olive Tree is hard to beat with its champagne, tonics, mixology concepts and light meals. Many an afternoon was spent here! For relaxation indoors, Majlis takes in the majestic grandeur of Al Bahou from a secluded angle.
Outdoor Drinks and Dining
Moroc embraces the stunning outdoor views of the Ibn Battuta Gate with speciality coffees, signature cocktails, Moroccan tapas and shisha on the terrace, as you overlook the stunning view and contemplate an evening of dancing and music in Cash nightclub.
Illuminated by 88 Middle Eastern lanterns, Al Bahou oozes with mystique and exotic charm of the Arabian Peninsula. If you can, have a meal here at least once. Al Bahou seamlessly transforms into a venue fit for seasonal themed parties, private functions and the sumptuous Friday brunch (a BIG thing in Dubai to kick off the weekend).
In Room Dining
If you are enjoying your room or suite a little too much, or are struggling to face the world after a famous Dubai Friday Brunch (an all-day eating and drinking affair) then in room dining might be worth checking out. We found the prices for the meals varied versus the quantity received (the quality was always good), however the traditional Arabic lentil soup is always a good light go to, or some of the burgers were delicious and hearty.
Enjoy relaxing facial and body treatments, or toning massages from Safar Spa. You can also #treatyohair with appointments and other beauty treatments at Yanni Salon. There is also an onsite gym which features cardiovascular machines, free weight areas, an aerobic room and a stretching zone, that’s if you can peel yourself away from the 30 metre chilled pool. If drinking champagne poolside was legitimate exercise then I burned A LOT of calories #Iwish
Younger guests can embark on an array of adventures at the Camel Kids Club.
The Movenpick Ibn Battuta will definitely leave a lasting impression of your time in Dubai. From the friendly staff, to the magnificent decoration and Arabian nights theme, it’s easy to see why it has such a high Trip Advisor rating. From the delicious buffet breakfast each morning to sipping champagne by the pool and jaunts to Oceana Beach Club Hotel, followed by cocktails and dancing at the Moroc bar and Cash nightclub, your stay will be truly memorable.
Prices greatly vary depending on seasonality. During the Dubai summer months’ you can pick up a Superior room starting at $140 AUD/ $105 USD/ £78 per night through Booking.com. However keep in mind that NO listing for Dubai on Booking.com includes the 10% Municipality Fee, 10% Service Charge Fee and 20AED tourism charge per night. So make sure to add an extra 20% onto your booking to get a better indication of pricing.
You can also contact Movenepick IBN Battuta directly for their best rates.
This feature was sponsored by the Movenpick IBN Battuta. We only write about experiences and hotels we believe you would love and that we would stay at personally.
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