When it comes to Club Carlson options in Dubai, there are quite a few of the Radisson Blu brands available. I had originally booked a room at the Radisson Blu Downtown Dubai since that was near the start/finish area from last year’s marathon. However, the Dubai Marathon changed the course for the 2014 edition, so it placed my first choice quite a bit away from the race area. Instead, I went with the Radisoon Blu Residence Dubai Marina.
Radisson Blu Residence Dubai Marina
The Radisson Blu Residence is located in the Dubai Marina area. It is about 5 miles from the famous Palm Jumeirah and about 7 miles from the start of the race. The area is convenient since it has fairly close access to the Dubai Metro and some local restaurants. If you have a desire to go someplace not closely serviced by the metro, it would be better to stay someplace else as taxis are essential.
With the Dubai Metro red line, it is very easy to get to the metro station nearest the Radisson Blu Residence. The metro stop is the Dubai Marina stop and, after exiting the metro station, only about 600 meters from the hotel entrance. I reached the hotel by way of the chauffeured car service. I left the hotel in an Uber car. While I was there, I used the metro and a taxi as well. I found all of the means of transportation efficient for reaching the hotel. The easiest way with luggage would be by car, for sure. If you are on your way here, make sure you are specific with your destination. I had told the driver from Eithad three times what the name of the hotel was but he could not find it. He got on the phone and kept calling people to figure out where it was. When I heard him say “Blue Residence”, I knew he had heard me wrong. I again said Radisson Blu Residence and then he understood. The same thing happened with one of the taxi drivers. Just say it clearly and ask for confirmation and you should be all set.
The entrance to the hotel is around the back from the street. Upon entering, you will find the concierge on your right and the check-in desk to the left. While they had a line for elite members, there were no representatives staffing that one, so I waited in the general line. Once I approached, I was quickly checked-in and informed of what was included in my rate (an award stay). With that award stay, they told me I did not get breakfast (which I knew) but could purchase it for $20 a day. To me, that was way too high of a price, so I just skipped it. Overall, the staff was very helpful and kind, like I have found with all hotel personnel in Dubai.
Thanks to Club Carlson’s online system of allowing you the option to request certain upgrades, I had put in for a room upgrade to a slightly larger suite (mainly for the view). They were completely full so I only got the room that I had reserved (which was actually much larger than I needed). The Radisson Blu Residence Dubai Marina has the following room types:
- Standard Suite Residence (my room)
- Deluxe Studio Residence
- Deluxe One Bedroom Residence
- Deluxe Two Bedroom Residence
As you may notice, all the rooms are classified as suites. This hotel is definitely situated to be a great base for longer stays. They have a kitchen in the room with appliances as well as a washer/dryer. That is an excellent touch for a hotel and one which I would have taken advantage of had I been in the room for the night after my marathon. The room offers a large screen television, dining table, chairs, couch, table, bed, and a great balcony with table and chairs.
The bed was great! I always love a hotel that offers a wide selection of pillows on the bed. They had soft, firm, longer, short – perfect to put together the best combination for sleep. The bathroom was a normal size bathroom with a shower/tub. I greatly appreciate hotels with tubs, so the tub worked out very well for me.
The TV offered a decent selection of channels, but the selection offered still did not have an abundance of American channels. This is fairly normal for Middle East hotels. Just something to keep in mind if you need your American television.
Even though I had the marathon the next day, I chose to do my shakeout jog in the fitness center. It was smaller than I would have thought but very adequately equipped. There were three treadmills available, each with built-in televisions and looking out to the pool. The air conditioning was present in the fitness center, which was very appreciated. There was also a cooler with water and another with cool towels.
In addition to the treadmills, there were also weight machines and some free weight equipment. Outside one of the doors, there was a children’s play area. It was nicely situated so that it could be constantly observed through the floor-to-ceiling windows. It is a great idea and one which I would have had no problem taking advantage of if my children had been there.
The Radisson Blu Residence is a Category 5 hotel, which requires 44,000 Club Carson points for a standard room. Should there not be a standard room available, you can redeem for a business room which requires 66,000 points per night. Do not forget that your last night on an award stay is free if you have a Club Carlson credit card. So, my stay cost only 44,000 points for two nights (instead of 88,000 points) because of that fantastic card feature.
I got tremendous value out of my points since rooms were going for $600 per night there that weekend. That makes the value of my points sit at an healthy 2.7 cents per point (which is high for Club Carlson hotels). I find it to be a great deal for what is offered. They have a nice restaurant on site (which I did not try). I did take advantage of their partner restaurant on the other side of the parking lot for my pre-race dinner. It was great!
Overall, I would recommend this hotel for people who are wanting a great place to use their Club Carlson points in Dubai. Unfortunately, if you are hoping to secure it for the marathon next year, there is now way of knowing if the course is close to the hotel. Hopefully, it will be!