My Hotels In Dubai & Abu Dhabi

None of our hotels were more than $300 a night. All of our hotels were 5 Star hotels. You will find in Dubai most of the hotels are 5 Star and above. It was cheaper for us to stay at two hotels in Dubai as opposed to one hotel for 4 nights. This cut our costs significantly. It also allowed us to see how other hotels operated. We chose our hotels according to our activities.

Jumeirah Emirates Tower was in Downtown Dubai but it had a free shuttle bus to their private beach at their Jumeirah Beach Resort and we wanted to utilize this luxury. Al Murooj Rotana was right across the road from the Dubai Mall. It couldn’t have been more than a 6-minute walk and the Dubai mall was a sight to see. In Abu Dhabi, Capital Gate was just a funky hotel and it was at the center of everything, we couldn’t help but choose this hotel because the architecture alone speaks volumes.

Jumeirah Emirates Towers

Ky Rating: 9

Jumeirah was probably my favorite hotel. Located in the heart of Downtown Dubai, I now know what 5 star service feels like. At check in, you are greeted with a hot towel and delicious cold tea. I don’t even like tea but this was good. The check in is smooth and I was able to pay in full since I used my debit card, which was exactly what I liked. The hotel is adorned with transparent elevators that swoosh through the floors fast like lightening. It’s so weird to be in those things. We were on the 19th floor. Our room was a mini suite (in our eyes) although it could’ve been a regular hotel room to them. It had a bath and shower with a Jumeirah Rubber Duckie with shades on. The rooms had 2-full sized beds, with a lounge area and business desk area that could be turned into a vanity. For the first day of your stay, you can have complimentary breakfast; a beautiful buffet with delicious food from nations all over the world. The restaurant overlooks the pool and hot tub area, which we didn’t have any time to check out due to our hectic schedule. You also have your choice of the local newspaper (in English). On our second day at the hotel, we decided to access their Beach Resort facilities. A shuttle picks you up in the lobby and drops you to either Jumeirah’s private beach or their water park-your choice. We chose the beach which was located right next to the private beach of Burj Al Arab (one of the only 7-star hotels in the world). If ever I doubted that I was actually in Dubai, this moment reiterated it to me. Taking a nap on the beach and waking up to see Burj Al Arab in front of me-was I dreaming? We also utilized the Jumeirah’s Beach resort night life. They have a 360 Bar which we went to that night as well. An amazing experience.

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Al Murooj Rotana

Ky Rating: 6

After staying at a place like Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Al Murooj Rotana was kind of…blah. But let me try to avoid being bias. Al Murooj check-in added on extra fees to your card for incidentals which I did not like. Their WiFi is limited and only allows 2-devices to sign on in the room at a time. The hotel is beautiful, you can’t miss it. It looks like a palace but is in need of a slight paint job. They have an amazing brunch on Friday’s with hip hop music which is a plus. There’s construction going on across the street and the sight of a big yellow crane was our room view. The hotel is located so close to the Dubai Mall you can walk. That is also a huge plus. The rooms in the hotel were decent. Typical hotel room, a bit outdated. The sheets didn’t feel clean. You also had to tell the house keepers to change your sheets and towels daily, it wasn’t an automatic thing. The hotel lobby smells like fresh flowers. The pool area is restricted. Men and Women must utilize the pool at separate times-not together. Very traditional hotel.

IMG_0242IMG_0244IMG_0246IMG_0245 Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi

Ky Rating: 9

The architecture of this hotel is nothing like I have ever seen before. It defies description. I can’t explain, you have to see it for yourself. You can’t miss it. You can see this hotel a mile away, shining in it’s glory even in the day time. The price is worth it as well. The hotel is just as beautiful inside as it is outside. The room was dashing. We had a large king bed and they brought an extra twin bed since it was three of us. The room had a funky chaise lounge with abstract printed pillows. The bathroom was huge and overlooked the landscape of Abu Dhabi. It was also equipped with a tub and shower. I loved the tub although I did a little slip and slide a few times. The pool was on a deck on the 19th floor. It also overlooked the city. It had a hot tub connected to the pool and it was 1.45 meters or 4ft deep. We dedicated a whole afternoon to relaxing at the pool and it was so hard to leave. The one thing I didn’t like about this hotel was that you had to go on the 18th floor to check in and you also had to take 2-elevators to your room. Otherwise, this hotel is awesome and very chic.

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Dealing with Anticipation…Ahhh!

I don’t know many first-time to Europe travelers who wouldn’t be anxious about their upcoming trip. I couldn’t wait. I counted down the days, and did many things to distract myself including hosting two events and becoming completely involved in my projects and work obligations in hopes that time would pass by faster. I just wanted to go already!!!! Anyway, in true Kydee fashion I did some “corny” things to prepare for my trip which I share below:

  1. Watched “Mahogany” with Diana Ross in preparation to sing Do you know where you’re going to do you like the things that life is showing you…” while in Rome
  2. Watched Sex and the City-American Girl in Paris Part I and Part II. Carrie was so miserable, but it didn’t take away from how beautiful the city of Paris is. It actually illustrated to me the importance of being in Paris with the right person or people.
  3. Watched Spice World just because the group travelled all over London and I wanted to get a feel for it too…#dontjudgeme
  4. Read an excerpt of A Belle in Brooklyn by Demetria Lucas which told a story of chance encounters while in Paris.
  5. Spent my Sunday afternoons in Barnes and Nobles reading about all the countries I would soon be visiting.
  6. Google Maps became my best friend. Did you know you could discover the make up of a country or city using this? It gave me the exact feel for where I was going.
  7. Fashion for this trip was important, like Carrie from SATC said going to Paris (or Europe for that matter) meant bringing out those once in a lifetime outfits. I literally created a fashion collage on my walls.
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I eventually started dressing like a parisienne, imitating their style and love for hats…this was about 2-wks before I finally left

Hotel. Motel. Holiday Inn…Say WHAT?

One of the hardest parts about planning a trip to Europe is finding the right hotels. I can’t even begin to count the amount of hours spent on hotel research to ensure that the accommodations were just what my friends and I wanted. We didn’t want to stay in hostels and although hotels are expensive in Europe, I felt I could find some well within our budget (and modern as per my friend’s requests).

Ky Facts

  • Airbnb is great, however I feel like this site is best for people who are staying in a certain place for an extended period of time (more than 3-days) and unfortunately we were only in each city for 1-3days so it didn’t make sense.
  • Google Hotels started out as my source to finding hotels but they weren’t giving me totals on prices so I didn’t really use this once I found other websites.
  • Booking.com, is where I found all the hotels we stayed in because it’s reliable and gives the total price of the stay. It’s very accurate and although I booked all of our hotels on the actual hotel website, it equipped me with the information I needed to move forward with the reservations.
  • Tripadvisior, was excellent when I wanted to see the actual pictures of hotels that guests took.
  • GoogleMaps, is excellent. I found our hotel in Venice via GoogleMaps. I was using the site to look at the area by the Santa Lucia train station when I discovered Hotel Papadopoli.

London
Tune Hotel Westminster
Kydee Rating: 6.0

I liked Tune hotel but it’s quite small. There was construction going on outside of our hotel room door which was a bit distracting but what can you expect for the price? They charge for everything including television and towels. There is also no daily housekeeping service. We requested the handicap room/bathroom but the shower was terrible. Water would leak out of the bathroom and into our room at times. If I was to ever stay here again, I would definitely get a regular room with a regular shower and toilet. Although it sounds like a terrible hotel, it really wasn’t that bad. The location was great, right across from the Lambeth North tube stop and 3-4 blocks away from the London Eye. It was very easy to get around, as buses were also within close vicinity to us and we were able to get from Picadilly Circus to our neighborhood in about 7mins. We also walked from the London bridge and Buckingham palace back to our hotel which proved our hotel was in an awesome area.

Tune hotelParis
Hotel De La Place Du Louvre
Kydee Rating 7.5

The Hotel De La Place Du Louvre was a small but gorgeous boutique hotel, located in front of the Louvre museum. I can’t begin to describe how close this hotel was to the Louvre and to the Rivoli Metro. The hotel itself is petite. The elevator is the equivalent to what Polly Pocket might use; two people at once would be pushing it. However the rooms are decent; very simple but cozy. The shower is the best part of the room and almost feels like it shouldn’t be in the room. The hotel offers breakfast and the service is awesome.

The only problem with this hotel is that no more than two people can be in the room. If you say you are going to have 2-people in the room make sure it’s 2-people. We tried to act like we didn’t understand english when we were questioned by the mean concierge as to why so many of us were in one room (as you may already know it was four of us). After 11PM the hotel completely shuts down and it’s almost impossible to get back in without waking up the mean concierge. However that doesn’t take away from all the positives of this hotel which was the location, location and the location. It’s right by the Rue Rivoli which is filled with amazing parisienne shopping and also within close proximity to the Seine River and the love lock bridge; Hotel De La Place Du Louvre is truly a gem.

Hotel De La Place Du LouvreVenice
Hotel Papadopoli Venezia-MGallery Collection-Accorhotels
Kydee Rating 8

Since we weren’t staying in Venice for long, I decided it would be best to find a hotel in Cannaregio or Santa Croce which is within the vicinity of the Venezia S. Lucia train station. Believe it or not I found Hotel Papadopoli while looking at the area surrounding the Santa Lucia train station and Hotel Carlton which is another hotel on the Grand Canal. I probably wouldn’t have discovered it because it’s a relatively new hotel and up until the Google Maps discovery I didn’t see this hotel anywhere. It is a beautiful and rich hotel. The elevators were small but our room and bathroom were to die for; traditional Venice with a modern feel to it. Each of us received a robe from the hotel. The décor was that of a royal and decadent mansion. The service was exquisite. The free drinks at the bar were amazing and the candy that they keep at the front desk is still being craved by my sweet tooth. In terms of the location, it was perfect for us. We walked just about everywhere, and in the morning when it was time to catch our train we just walked across a bridge to the station.

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Kolbe Hotel
Kydee Rating: 10

When booking for Rome, I wanted to make sure I found a hotel that was in the midst of the Roman Ruins and the coliseum. Although I now know that Rome is a booming and fast-paced city I still wanted to feel like I was in Rome, and ancient Rome at that. Kolbe was about 15 minutes from the Rome Termini train station and 35minutes from the Airport. It was probably the most amazing hotel I’ve ever been to in my life. The front looks like a regular hotel, decked in brick seemingly archaic architecture. However when I got inside the room I was awe-stricken by its massive interior. The room had 2-stories. The first floor has a pull out couch, beautiful bathroom and a desk that was decked with a welcome present which included sparkling water and a basket of fruit. On the top floor were two twin beds . The walls were brick and the furniture was a mixture of cloth and leather. In the morning, we were treated to a buffet breakfast which included eggs, bacon, sausages croissants, cupcakes fruit and so much more. I was in utter awe and didn’t want to leave Rome. Our hotels were just getting better and better

Kolbe HotelBarcelona
Hotel Barcelona Princess
Kydee Rating: 8.5

Hotel Princess was a great hotel however it’s location…not so much. I was doing so well on our hotel choices in Europe but I didn’t do enough research on Spain to know that Diagonal was not the area we wanted to be in…DARN! But, I can’t take away from the hotel. It was a nice hotel with 2-pools and a cute girly common area where we spent one night drinking wine and having girl talk. Overall the hotel stay was pretty cool and cheap about $413 total for 3 nights however, it wasn’t in the lively part of Barcelona which took away from the experience. After a day there we learned to maneuver the train system to our advantage and were in Las Ramblas and Barceloneta in no time.

Hotel PrincessAmsterdam
CitizenM Amsterdam
Kydee Rating: 9

CitizenM hotel in Amsterdam Schiphol is amazing. The décor is so weird and funky. The colors seemed like it shouldn’t be together but it worked. Everything is high tech. Check in and check out is done by a computer. The room is controlled electronically by a single remote. The colors of the room changed with my mood. It would go from pink to green to blue…so cool. The shower and bathroom is pretty futuristic as well. To get into the city, I took a bus because the trains were out of service, it was pretty simple. I would definitely stay here again. The price didn’t hurt either 88 Euro for a night.

CitizenM amsterdamIf you want exact prices for each hotel email me at travelbyky@gmail.com I’ll send over the break down. Nevertheless each hotel per night was between 88-185 Euros