Al Seef Heritage Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton
Unique concept / design, which will create memories
Beautiful Al Seef location
Insufficient number of power plugs
Some distance between room and reception/valet through public souk
A historic style hotel, driven by Hilton and located in the heart of a heritage district of Dubai? The idea of visiting the Al Seef Heritage Hotel Dubai, branded as Curio Collection hotel, just felt too interesting when I was looking for some new hotel experience in December 2020. Thus, I decided to have two nights there and share my experience with you.
Al Seef Heritage Hotel – Location
Al Seef is located on the Southern shore of Dubai creak, right opposite the traditional area, which features the Gold Souk and other tourist attractions. You most easily reach the district by car or taxi. The reception area also has a stopping point for valid parking and there are taxis around. The next metro station, Al Fahdi is about one kilometre away from the hotel. Many old town attractions are in walking distance from the hotel.
Al Seef is a heritage souk area around the hotel. There are multiple restaurants and shops – including a bunch of touristic destinations. The area also features some popular tourist places like the Museum of Illusions.
Al Seef Heritage Hotel – Concept / Atmopshere
The Al Seef Heritage Hotel is fully integrated into the Al Seef heritage and souk district. The reception, including the valet parking, is located centrally. The different houses in which you can stay in, the so-called bayts, are spread through the area. I had a rather central house, but you may also have one at the Western edge of the district. It definitely deserves the branding as a heritage hotel, even the playground you see below is having a traditional touch.
Al Seef Heritage Hotel – Room
I booked a King Heritage Room. The two night rate, flex rate, was 844 AED, about 190 Euro. Due to my Hilton Diamond status, I received a room upgrade to a room with Souk View and free breakfast.
I was really curious about the place and how it would be like. I have to be straight: the heritage design comes with pros and cons. First of all, the room was very spacious, what I enjoyed. I loved the style of the room, it is just very, very special. I also felt that they nicely integrated the modern world necessities like a fridge, a work desk or the air conditioning to the traditional design of the room. On the down side, for example, you had a stone floor. The floor is – naturally – comparably cold and you need to have slippers all the time – which are provided. The traditional window design had some downsides as well. An door between the hall and the sleeping area might have been helpful – people coming back to their room in the night were a bit of noisy.
What I did not like, though, was the availability of power sockets: I had to plug out the work desk light to plug in my computer. Glad that I am always travelling with multi plugs and similar stuff. That part has been definitely too traditional by design to me.
The bathroom lead to about the same – mixed – feelings to me. First of all, ain’t that a beauty? I That’s exactly the look how you want it to me. On the other, there is the shower, which was by design a perfect fit – but just by that gives a bit of a fusty touch as well.
During my stay, there was a festival in the Al Seef souk area. Unfortunately, my room was right above one of the music stages – and at least on my first night they played for quite a long time. The windows and the shutters (due to their historic design) had no chance to reduce the noise sufficiently.
Al Seef Heritage Hotel – Breakfast
Breakfast was served in the Saba Cafe on the first floor of another building. The hotel had however signposted it well, so that I did not need any assistance. The cafe, which offers inside and outside seating, is a real beauty and a perfect fit to traditional design of the hotel.
You ordered breakfast from the menu. Apart from drinks and an Arabian starter platter with bread, cheese, fruit and many delicacies, you could order up to two items from the menu. There were rather Arabian dishes as well as English breakfast with eggs. I read in another review that they typically do breakfast buffet, though. The service there was lovely. I loved the Cardamon Waffle, but also the other dishes the the Arabian style granola or the traditional Baid O’tomat. The service was very friendly, so that on both mornings, the Saba Cafe has been a great start of the day.
Al Seef Heritage Hotel – Services
The hotel does not have any facilities like a gym or a pool. The Canopy by Hilton Al Seef, which I visited on the same trip, however, does offer those places to their customers and they are open to Al Seef Heritage Hotel guests as well. Depending on the location of your room at the Al Seef Heriatage Hotel, a walk between the two hotels may be about 15 to 20 minutes. The staff is also offering you a ride between the hotels.
The check-in was very friendly and the staff I met during my stay was very helpful. As my luggage was still in the Canopy after my rental car mess on that trip, I got a lift with one of their electric carts to catch it – very helpful. Due to the layout of the hotel, you don’t have too much contact to the staff, though. There was a service / reception desk at the entrance to the house my room was in, but I never spotted staff there. It felt a bit critical to me, as you could operate the elevators without your room key. There felt to be security staff around the entrances, though. WiFi was absolutely fine – you rarely have issues in Dubai about that. As a welcome snack, I got some lovely Arabic sweets and saffron milk.
Al Seef Heritage Hotel – My View
If you want to have a posh stay with luxury, a huge pool and some pictures of an impressive lobby you can share on Instagram – this is not the right place for you. This place is special – and it creates memories. I will always remember the room, the area is special and the concept is just lovely. I enjoyed these two days at the Al Seef Heritage Hotel, Curio Collection – but honestly, I was also happy that I had another stay on my trip.
It has downsides like the long walk to your car, the noise having to go outside for breakfast. That’s all about the concept. You need to be aware of that. I am not disappointed at all about the hotel, you just need to be aware that the concept turns it into a different place. If you do taxi rides in Dubai anyway, if you love to stroll through the souk every night – you will love this place!
One very special thing I need to add is also caused by the concept of the hotel. Just as you do not pass a reception desk when you leave your room, you have that less contact to hotel staff. I personally enjoy that interaction – and I missed it. You might have a very different view on that.
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