Marriott has Opened A New Hotel In Dubai: W Dubai – The Palm (And I Hate It Already)

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Marriott has announced the official opening of the W Dubai – The Palm located on Palm Jumeirah.

The new property is being marketed as a “W Escape” which Marriott describes as “W brand’s playful spin on the traditional resort experience“.

I’m going to hold my hands up right away and admit that I’m not generally a fan of W Hotels as I see most of them as perfect examples of ‘style over substance’…..and quite often they have abysmal styling too.

Most of the W Hotels I’ve visited (I can’t remember the last time I actually stayed in one) resemble a cross between a South Beach night club and Hollywood Housewives over-the-top home – whoever designs them had a taste bypass quite some time ago.

Sadly the W Dubai – The Palm appears to be no different.

First the basics….

Here’s where the property is located….

…and here are the highlights:

  • Category 7 property – 60,000 points per night (a the time of writing)
  • 350 rooms and suites
  • WET deck
  • AWAY Spa
  • FIT (gym)
  • 2 dining facilities including:
    • Torno Subito (Italian)
    • Akira Black (Korean/Asian)
  • SoBe – adult only rooftop bar

Things start off looking ok with the property’s footprint looking good:

Image courtesy of Marriott

The WET deck and heated pool look nice….

Image courtesy of Marriott
Image courtesy of Marriott

…and even the first glimpse of a “spectacular room” looks promising:

Image courtesy of Marriott

But the first signs of the property trying to be hip/trendy/funky/whatever they call it nowadays comes in the bathroom of the spectacular room where the lighting isn’t exactly relaxing.

Image courtesy of Marriott

Things start to get worse in the corner suites which appear to have views across a roadway (can you imagine paying for a suite only to find out your balcony faces traffic?)….

Image courtesy of Marriott

…along with walls that reflect everything (who needs mirrors?) and a vanity area that defies description:

Image courtesy of Marriott

What is that??!!

The regular suites appear to have a bath at the foot of the bed….

Image courtesy of Marriott

….and walls that make me question if I’m looking at a bathroom or sleeping area.

At least these suites don’t look out on passing cars.

Image courtesy of Marriott

Things don’t get much better in the communal areas.

Torno Subito is one of two restaurant on site headed up by a Michelin-starred chef and is the first Massimo Bottura restaurant outside of Italy…..but the decor is atrocious!

Image courtesy of Marriott
Image courtesy of Marriott

There’s noting subtle, classy, elegant or chic about the restaurant’s appearance and it’s almost as if they let a color-blind monkey pick out the color palette before building the floor out of flattened zebras.

“Is that a Michelin-starred restaurant floor or a crosswalk?” shouldn’t be a question that ever comes to mind!

Then there’s the SoBe lounge which is meant to convey the “audacious South Beach vibe & revel from sun down to lights up“.

Image courtesy of Marriott

I’ve been to South Beach quite a few times but, while I’ve seen my share of neon lights and Art Deco facades, I don’t recall anything there that looks like a Victorian greenhouse crossed with a Westerner’s idea of what a bedouin tent should look like with a few biker-inspired cushions thrown in.

I could go on and on but I really can’t be bothered – I’ve given this place enough of my time already (you can check out the full details of the resort on its homepage via this link).

Promotional Offer

If I haven’t managed to put you off (you can’t say that I didn’t try) the property is offering a “lavish grand opening package” called “HIT ESCAPE” for bookings through December 2019.

“Book a Wonderful room for 2 nights or more and get upgraded to a Spectacular Room with unbeatable views of the city skyline. Indulge in breakfast at LIV, relish afternoon tea at W Lounge and head to an adrenaline-fueled dinner for two at Akira Back. Minimum length of stay 2 nights. AED 1750 (approx. $477 US) per night.”

You can book HERE now.

Bottom Line

From the images provided by Marriott the W Dubai – The Palm sums up everything that I associate with the W brand….and that’s not a good thing.

With so many classier, nicer and better located hotels in Dubai (a few of which are Marriott properties) I cannot understand why anyone with taste would want to stay here…..but then perhaps I’m getting old.


  1. SO you hate it and have not even bothered to stay there before you publish this “review”. I didn’t know you were such a well known hotel critic, WOW

    • Firstly please point me to anywhere where this post claims to be a review.

      Secondly, this is clearly clearly an opinion piece based on personal taste – if you din’t figure that out from the tone and the content of the piece I’m not sure I can help you.

      I don’t like the decor and I end the post with a comment suggesting this may be down to my age – what’s your issue with that?….or are opinions not allowed anymore?

  2. I think the pictures actually look good- it sits in a good place between whimsical and corporate. My only complaint with The “W” brand is that the staff seem completely unaligned with the guest experience. Of every W I’ve been to, each one has the worst possible staff when compared to other upscale hotels. It’s almost like they train their people to be awful at their jobs. So, having been to Dubai several times, would I stay there? Well, maybe in a pinch with a great rate. Otherwise, I’d recommend/stay with Jumeirah.

    • Just goes to show how varied tastes can be…and proves that Marriott (and legacy Starwood) knows it can sell rooms at properties like this.

      Regarding the staff: is it possible that the staff think they’re there to be cool rather than to serve? (honest question as I have absolutely no idea)

      • Yes, the attempt at “coolness” is absolutely a factor, but with a twist of incompetence. During my last stay, the staff checked me out and somehow “forgot” to add the taxes (I don’t even know how this is possible) , resulting in a separate folio ( two weeks later) and separate expense report (pain in the rear). Also, while at the restaurant, the waiter left for the day in the middle of our meal and didn’t hand us offto anyone; then when I went to pay the bill (because no one delivered the check), they attempted a 20% service charge (there was literally no service for half of the meal). While this is just one example, issues like this have followed me at every W I’ve stayec with.

  3. I agree with Mfb123… It looks pretty nice…

    Now is it too trendy? Yes, for sure.. They should tone it down a bit, but people are constantly driving the prices up at these properties,

  4. Glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t get the W appeal. When you have to come up with new cryptic words for swimming pool and gym, you’re trying too hard. It’s the kind of hotel college students aspire to stay at someday when they finally get a paycheck.

  5. Regarding their promotional offer, “adrenaline-fueled dinner for two at Akira Back.“ Huh? Is it a race to see who finishes first?

    • I was assuming that you have to dine in a shark tank or perhaps a lion enclosure to get the full effect the W is going for 🙂

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