DUBAI is always a good idea!
Millennials are all about that fast life. We love to explore venues, meet people and enjoy experiences. We don't actively seek luxuries - but we love indulgent comforts! We feel at place in venues with industrial edgy designs and chill vibes. We definitely prefer that they are located near happening hotspots of the city.
This and much more is the modus operandi of Zabeel House Mini Al Seef by Jumeirah. Pod hotels are increasingly gaining traction among young travelers (we love the cool factor!). We love to share our moments online and a standard white-walled hotel just won't cut it! Zabeel House Mini Al Seef impresses from the exterior itself- a giant facade of concrete & glass box designs with pops of red, yellow and green- it is guaranteed to catch anyone's eye. What impresses you, as you enter the lobby are the statement pieces you will see in every nook and corner- although it is spacious and minimalist. High ceilings, minimal furniture, cool accents, quirky use of decor- it is a stark contrast from the myriads hotels in the UAE that showcase the opulence of the Orient or the French colonial style. The moment you enter, only one thought is running through your mind - I'm at the home I wish I always had.
There are many redeeming qualities of this hotel - we can go on for days on end. But we will mention some subjective points as part of this review - the good and the bad. Let's start with what we love and why you definitely need to stay here:
1) C O O L: If you are a millennial, then do it for the Gram. There are so many instagrammable spots at literally EVERY corner of this hotel! You'll flood your instafeed with the most quirky pics and definitely up your likes! If you're a tourist- this is a MUST STAY hotel to experience the modern side of Dubai. If you're a resident, take a break from the typical business or the traditional hotels that fill up Dubai and experience something cutting edge with friends & fam.
2) ROOMS TO DIE FOR: I have traveled to many places and I have to admit - these might be some of the best rooms I have stayed in! In terms of decor and functionality- they are perfect! Although they are relatively small, the usage of modern furniture makes it look extremely spacious. Instead of a giant wardrobe, they have a steel frame where you can hang clothes and keep your bags and shoes. The ceilings are covered in a comic crafted map of Dubai to add art vibes to the room, instead of typical pictures in frames. Believe me- you'd want to spend all day in the room!
3) SUITEPAD (YUP!): Let's face it- millennials are some of the laziest species out there! We'd give sloths a run for their money! Which is why its UBER awesome to have a suitepad to do everything in the comfort of your bed. And we mean EVERYTHING-change channels, order room service, browse the net etc.
4) LOCATION!: This is mostly the reason why you need to book this hotel- and now! It's perfectly located at the crossroads of new and old Dubai. And right next to the shopping district too! Just a stone's throw away from the entrance is the iconic Al Seef creek and lining it are some of the best eateries. There are always activities and fairs happening at the creekside.
5) SAVE DEM $$$: Throughout the year the hotel maintains the cost of around AED 250-400++ which is quite cost effective for the location and amenities mentioned.
These were our top reasons for repeatedly choosing this gorgeous property for our impromptu staycation. Don't get us wrong though- there were quite a lot of subtle issues that dampened our experience as well. Here are some:
1) WHERE'S THE ADULT POOL? A HUGE part of any stay or vacation is chilling by the pool (99%). And the pool at Zabeel Mini was ultra disappointing. It is shallow enough for kids to swim in- ONLY. For adults, the depth is below the waistline. Add to that the small dimensions laterally which can make it really crowded, really fast. The pool is located on the top floor and has really pretty views of the creek and is decked with really cool lounge chairs and bean bags. But the main attraction is a real let down.
2) SAD BREAKFASTS: The breakfast is at the C.U. restaurant which has some of the best decors and views! The breakfast has the buffet portion and then an a la carte menu where they make delicacies like Date pancakes and Shakshouka. But in reality- they are really sad portions with no focus on flavor. Just a follow-the-recipe effort to push out dishes fast. It was a complete letdown and we left feeling quite hungry.
3) CUTTING CORNERS DURING PEAK SEASONS: One of the biggest factors that left us very frustrated was the way they try to cut corners during peak seasons. We booked the hotel many times since their opening and we are aware of the different room options- the pocket room with views of the city and the family room with partial creek views. We always opt for the family rooms as they are slightly spacious and we love to sit by the panoramic windows and have our espresso in the morning (yes they have Nespresso machines!). When we booked the same room during Halloween, we were assigned the Pocket room. Despite having repeated angry discussions with the reception, we were told that all rooms have been recategorized recently and this is the room we booked. Doesnt earn them any points!
OUR SAY: So after all our experiences- would we suggest this hotel to you? Hells YAAS! Buuutttt- with some subtexts:
1) We don't recommend booking the hotel with the breakfast- there are so many breakfast joints with stunning direct views of the creek that exceed expectations.
2) Don't book the hotel if your aim is to chill by the pool (you have been warned!)
3) If you want to see downtown Dubai as a tourist for the first time, it is located at the far end of Dubai which can make accessibility a problem- especially if you're not renting a car. But you can split your stay and stay the end half here to see all of old Dubai.
All in all, this hotel has EVERYTHING you could ask for and more! Location, chill vibes and oodles of cool! We still go back there just for the awesome neighborhood! See for yourself in the gallery below- we took some awesome shots for you!
This review is the personal opinion and carefully curated rantings of Sara K- the brainchild of the blog "It's Your SAY". The staycation review is based on her own personal experiences and is unbiased by any external factors. All imagery is her own and is copyrighted- please email for permissions before reuse.