After two illustrious stays at the Ritz-Carlton and Waldorf Astoria in Dubai International Financial Centre, it was time to head north towards the more humble quarters of the Sheraton Dubai Creek for a six-night stay.
In This Post
- Location & Arrival
- Junior Suite
- Elite Happy Hour
- Other Facilities
Sheraton Dubai Creek – Booking
The Sheraton Dubai Creek is a Category 4 property in the Marriott Bonvoy program, and in fact, I had chosen it specifically because I thought it was the nicest Category 4 property in town.
That’s because I had a couple of Category 4 seven-night certificates from the legacy Marriott Rewards program left to burn, and so I booked two rooms for myself and my friend Tiezheng here at the Sheraton.
We’d be splurging on a few other hotels during our trip to Dubai, so we figured we may as well save on costs for a large chunk of the stay. And having written several reviews of high-end hotels in this megacity, I thought it’d be valuable to review a mid-market lodging option for more budget-conscious travellers too.
Sheraton Dubai Creek – Location & Arrival
As its name implies, the Sheraton is located right on the shores of Dubai Creek, the thin sliver of saltwater that cuts its way inland from the Persian Gulf. This part of town north of the creek is known as Deira, and represents Dubai’s older soul before the oil money – and its associated glitz and glam – flooded into the city.
Location-wise, the hotel is situated pretty close to the airport, but it’s naturally farther away from some of Dubai’s hotspots like the Burj Khalifa. If you wanted to get to the heart of the action in Dubai Marina or the Palm Jumeirah, it would be about a 30-minute car ride in each direction. You could also take the Dubai Metro via the nearby Union station as well.
For visitors to Dubai staying at the Sheraton Creek, it might be wise to plan out your days to the different parts of town and consolidate each trip within a single day, given the distances involved.
I arrived at the hotel at around 7pm following my late checkout from the Waldorf Astoria, passing through a temperature screening station and heading up the escalators to check-in.
Sheraton Dubai Creek – Check-in
The Sheraton Dubai Creek’s lobby is very grand considering the hotel’s modest profile, featuring a lofted atrium, an elevated lounge area, and a multi-storey water feature. The reception desks were found in the corner of the lobby.
Upon checking me in, the staff informed me that I had been upgraded to a Junior Suite for my seven-night stay as a Titanium Elite member.
I had previously inquired about the availability of the Executive Suite, but I was informed that it’d only be available for the first five nights before I’d have to move; plus, the Executive Suite offered a City View, which is far inferior to the Creek View here at this hotel.
Typically, the longer the stay duration, the tougher it is to secure a nice upgrade, so I was pretty content to have a little extra space with the Junior Suite.
I asked if my friend Tiezheng (arriving later that evening) was able to be upgraded too; alas, when both rooms are booked out of a single member’s account, only one room is truly entitled to the upgrade, and so Tiezheng was given only a larger King Room instead.
I was also informed that the Sheraton’s Club Lounge was closed due to the current COVID-19 situation. In lieu of breakfast and evening bites in the lounge, the daily food presentations would take place in the Vivaldi restaurant instead.
Sheraton Dubai Creek – Junior Suite
Up on the 11th floor, I had been assigned Room 1103 – not quite the “end of the hallway” feeling when you’re upgraded to one of the best suites, but close enough.
The Junior Suite was definitely one of the weirder room layouts I’ve encountered: it was basically a regular-sized king room…
…with what was essentially a smoking parlour attached to the side, consisting of a set of rather uncomfortable couches, an office desk, and a second television.
It was as though the hotel initially planned on making this a set of adjoining rooms, but then they had to install an electrical cabinet in the hallway or something, so they just turned this extra space into an extension of the room next door and called it a Junior Suite.
Regardless, I certainly appreciated the extra space and made good use of it as an office, even if I thought it was an odd and amusing layout.
The room itself was pretty typical of a Sheraton, offering a chaise longue in the corner as an extra place to relax in addition to the king-sized bed.
The bathroom contained a sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub in a compact space. In another rather odd design choice, there was a set of folding screen doors that could be open and shut against the glass walls of the shower.
Other in-room essentials included a Nespresso machine and several bottles of water, which I asked to be topped up day after day.
Incidentally, as of November 2020 the Sheraton Dubai Creek offers guests housekeeping service every three days; during my stay, however, I happened to decline housekeeping on the third day since I was working in the room, and then they seemed to forget about making up the room on subsequent days, and so I left the property on the sixth day with about two dozen water bottles scattered throughout the room.
Perhaps my favourite part of the Junior Suite? The views of Dubai’s creekside, which were tranquil in the daytime and lit up beautifully at night, providing a pleasing foreground to the city skyline in the distance.
Sheraton Dubai Creek – Breakfast
Breakfast is served from 6am to 10am in the Vivaldi restaurant on the first floor.
During the pandemic, the Sheraton Dubai Creek operates an “assisted buffet” style of breakfast, where guests order items from a buffet but a staff member helps them plate the items one by one.
Unfortunately, the assisted buffet wasn’t very well-executed in practice. Food stations would often be understaffed, and guests would have to wait in long queues before a staff member came along to serve them.
Moreover, there was often confusion at the omelette station as to whether we were supposed to come back and collect our own omelettes or whether a staff member would bring it to us – over the course of six mornings, it often felt like things were done one way one morning and another the next.
I assume that hotels opt for an assisted buffet model as a way to reduce staffing costs compared to offering a full à la carte breakfast, but I’m really not sure whether it’s actually a better option at the end of the day if guests aren’t tended to quickly.
The breakfast itself was tasty and fulsome to the level that you’d expect from a Sheraton: never at risk of disappointing in a major way, but never really overly impressing either. I enjoyed the various omelettes and the Arabic breakfast options like the ful medames, as well as the fresh glasses of watermelon juice every morning.
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Sheraton Dubai Creek – Elite Happy Hour
Tiezheng and I also popped downstairs for the Elite Happy Hour on a few evenings, which was served in lieu of an evening canapé spread in the Club Lounge. The Happy Hour is served from 4pm to 7pm, making it quite convenient for grabbing some light bites and drinks before heading out.
Upon being seated, we’d be asked for our choice of alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage, followed by a few plates of light snacks courtesy of the chef. The snacks varied from day to day, encompassing items like pasta carbonara, finger sandwiches, chicken satay, and so on.
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I was still nursing a sore throat during our stay and so tried to lay off the alcohol when possible, so I spent most of the evenings with either a cappuccino or a pot of green tea.
It was a nice spot to relax and get some last-minute work done for the day before our evening plans. If you were staying here and wanted to stay in for the night, I imagine you could also use the Happy Hour as a dinner substitute – the staff didn’t seem particularly strict about guests asking for second helpings.
Sheraton Dubai Creek – Other Facilities
The ground floor plays host to the Sheraton’s fitness facilities, including the gym and outdoor pool.
I came to take a dip in the outdoor pool on one of my mornings. Unlike virtually every other hotel pool we visited on this trip, the Sheraton’s pool wasn’t heated at all, and it was a particularly windy day – so I didn’t have the most relaxing experience here.
I didn’t return to the pool after that, although I did notice a more lively vibe in the afternoons when the poolside snack bar was open for business.
The fitness centre was a fairly standard space, with a good set of basic equipment and ample space for a group workout.
While I didn’t make use of the gym itself during our stay, Tiezheng and I did take advantage of the fitness centre’s bike rentals, which are available for 40 AED ($15) per person for a two-hour period and could be billed to the room.
You can bike straight out of the property’s gates here on the ground level and take it for a leisurely ride through Deira, and it was a nice way to see some of Dubai’s older neighbourhoods at the sunset hour.
I walked away from a six-night stay at the Sheraton Dubai Creek with fairly positive impressions of the hotel. Everything in the Junior Suite was up to par for my needs and I was treated fairly well as a Titanium Elite member.
The hotel’s location does leave a fair bit to be desired considering its distance from the heart of the action. Still, it worked out well in the sense that our stay fell mostly on weeknights, and we decided to leave a day early and move to La Ville City Walk instead as the weekend – a particularly lively one just before the UAE’s National Day – began.
In exchange for the price point as a Category 4 property (and arguably an even better deal when paying the cash rates of $80–100 per night), I really can’t complain, and I think it’s a great choice of hotel if you’re travelling on a tighter budget and you’d rather save your funds for exploring Dubai instead.