What do you do when you have a long layover in Dubai with time to kill? You leave the airport and make a mini vacation out of it! But, depending on how long that is, you may need a hotel. That was the boat we found ourselves in, so we ended up at the Canal Central Hotel in Business Bay.
And boy, what a hotel it was!
Getting to Canal Central Hotel
We arrived in Dubai at around 7PM local time. But, by the time we got our bags, etc. it was closer to 9PM. Still, getting to the hotel was a super easy taxi ride from the airport taxi stand. The hotel is about 14km from the airport, and it should take around 15-20 minutes to get there (depending of course on time of day). My initial plan was to use Uber to get around but after the app wouldn’t find a driver for some reason, we ended up taking a regular Dubai taxi and it was just as simple and convenient. In fact, the pricing is pretty much identical from what I gathered in speaking with the various taxi drivers.
Checking In at Canal Central Hotel
We arrived at the hotel at about 9:30PM local time and after being greeted by the bellhop who took our bags, made our way to the front desk where Kamran greeted us. After a few moments of clicking around on his computer, Kamran announced that we had been upgraded to the 1 Bedroom Suite instead of the Deluxe Room with Partial Bay View that we had initially booked. He arranged for the bags to be delivered to our room and the entire process took only 10 minutes. Welcome to Dubai he said! Not bad. Not bad at all! Thank you Kamran!
The One Bedroom Suite at Canal Central Hotel
We stayed in room 1614. I love when we get a room on the upper floors of a hotel because usually that means having great views of the surrounding area. Unfortunately, this particular room was on the city side (that’s still largely under construction) and not the bay side (that has a view of the Burj Khalifa) but after getting an upgrade, who is complaining? Not this guy! The suite had a bathroom and sink when you entered the room on the right, a living area with a couch, TV and big window just after entering and then had a separate bedroom with a separate master bath as well. It was easily one of the nicest non-resort hotels I’ve stayed at. The king size bed was comfortable and there was both a firmer and softer pillow for your pleasure.
The Property & Grounds at Canal Central Hotel
The hotel has a great exterior and interior and really is one of the buildings you’d be likely to notice when looking at the business bay skyline that is developing as we speak. At night, it is awesomely lit with huge LED lighting arrays that change colors. On the 3rd floor terrace is where you will find the rooftop pool as well as a lounge where you can grab lunch or dinner. The lounge and pool both have an awesome view of the Burj Khalifa, day or night. Right below that 3rd floor terrace, outside of the hotel grounds, you will also find a boardwalk that you can walk or bike to enjoy business bay.
Dining at Canal Central Hotel
Dining is where the hotel really earned its rating with me. We unfortunately arrived too late for dinner at the main restaurant the first night (so we had snacks up on the 3rd floor terrace at the lounge), but we did have breakfast and dinner the following day and our mind was blown.
I had, to that point, never stayed at a non-resort hotel that offered such a spread and in such a beautifully designed space (look at that tree!). The buffet style menu rivaled or even surpassed those found at the all-inclusive resorts we’ve stayed at in Mexico, Dominican Republic and even Maldives. It was all super fresh, great tasting, beautifully arranged and the selection was huge!
The wait staff was very welcome and quick to serve, so I was more than happy to leave a tip, whether or not that is the norm in Dubai.
And lastly, the hotel restaurant has great views once again of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai skyline day or night.
Overall Thoughts of Canal Central Hotel
This is easily the best non-resort/all-inclusive hotel I have had the privilege of staying at. I don’t think anything more needs to be said. If I ever have the chance to visit Dubai for a longer period of time, Canal Central Hotel will most definitely be on the short listed of places I consider staying!
Hope you enjoyed my review of Canal Central Hotel. Have you stayed at Canal Central Hotel? What did you think? If you were to go again, would you do anything differently? Tell me in the comments below!