Review: Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre | Ballroom Options For Large, Glamorous Weddings In Dubai
Did you know that Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre is the proud owner of Dubai’s biggest ballroom? This is great news for brides-to-be who are planning a large, lavish wedding. During the summer, BCME’s Assistant Editor and her husband were given the chance to spend a night at this hotel, which, despite its convenient proximity to the airport, is not an airport hotel. Read on to find out more about the hotel, including its vast array of dining options, impressive indoor wedding venue facilities, and relatively new Le Royal Club section – all of which is bound to impress weary wedding guests traveling from afar. Enjoy!
Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre is situated in the older part of Dubai, very close to Dubai International Airport. We were really impressed with the hotel’s soundproofing, as even though you could frequently see planes flying overhead, you couldn’t hear them when inside! The hotel would make a great place for family and friends to stay when they travel to the city for your wedding; it is convenient and has plenty of dining options for tired travelers who don’t want to venture out too far.
The older part of the hotel is low level due to the airport and rules around this at the time it was built. The newer part of the hotel, which was completed in 2014, is a lot taller, as building restrictions had been relaxed by then.
The grounds of the hotel are vast. There are five swimming pools and 18 restaurants. In fact, it is quite confusing to walk around at first! In addition, there are a number of pleasant gardens and outdoor areas, which make a welcome change from the sometimes claustrophobic feeling you get from other, more high rise hotels.
Check-In & Lobby
My husband and I were allocated a room in the ‘Le Royal Club’ section of the hotel. This is situated in the newer building and has its own dedicated entrance and check-in.
The check-in process did not take too long, and we were asked which welcome drink we would like waiting for us in our room, which immediately put us in a good mood!
The lobby itself was bright with high ceilings, giving an airy feel. We later discovered that it was known as ‘The Conservatory’, and can now see why it is given this term. It really felt like the outdoors had been brought inside, without the heat of course!
All of the staff, from the valet attendants and doormen to the check-in staff, were really friendly and greeted us both from the first time we set foot in the hotel to the moment we left.
Le Royal Club Room
The Royal Club Room was spacious at 52 square metres and decorated with white furniture and purple cushions and artwork. A fruit basket and some other goodies greeted us on arrival to the room. One side of the room featured floor to ceiling windows, although, to be honest, there was not much of a view as we looked out onto a side road and were on a low floor. The room was almost dominated by a massage chair, which we wasted no time trying out! Although this was fun, it wasn’t really required and took away from any romantic ambiance that the room might have had.
The bed was super comfy and of a decent size, with clean, fresh linens. There were also plenty of places to sit within the room, and a desk to work at, as well as a television (which we did not use). WiFi was complimentary.
The bathroom was really impressive, with a rainforest shower that certainly did not disappoint and plenty of robes and slippers. There was a freestanding bathtub and plenty of space. Although glass doors separated the bathroom from the sleeping/living area, there was still plenty of privacy.
Lunch at Sukhothai
Our first port of call after spending a little time in our room was lunch at the Thai restaurant, Sukhothai. As we walked to the restaurant, I have to admit that we (well, I) got a little lost. Thankfully, a member of staff was on hand to direct us! It was hot outside, so we sat inside. Although a little dark, the wooden interiors transported us straight to Thailand – and we were not to be disappointed!
We began by nibbling on prawn crackers (hubby’s favourite) whilst we pondered over what to order. I was impressed by the variety of non-meat options on offer. Eventually, I opted for a starter of sweet potato and pumpkin dumpling with sour soya sauce. The main course was ‘Rad Nad Tao Hoo’ – wok fried kale, bok choy, and mushroom with soya bean sauce topped with crispy tofu. Meanwhile, the hubby excitedly ordered ‘Hor Moek’, which is steamed mixed seafood with red curry and basil wrapped in banana leaves. We also accidentally over ordered and shared the grilled whole Hammour with pandan leaves topped with coriander and green chili sauce – the sauce was delicious! Everything we sampled was incredible and we would not hesitate to eat there again.
Being as full as we were, we decided against dessert. The chef came out and spoke to us, impressing us with his knowledge of and passion for Thai cuisine. He even gave us some sweet treats to sample. We were very full!
Wedding Venue Tour
Following lunch, I was taken on a tour of Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre’s wedding facilities. The main thing that struck me on our walk around was how ideal this venue would be for those wanting to hold an indoor wedding, due to the number of options available. It would also be perfect for couples who are holding a lavish event with hundreds of guests. The venue’s slogan of ‘Limitless imagination’ certainly rings true!
The Falcon Ballroom
Our first step was the Falcon Ballroom, which can be used to hold celebrations with up to 550 guests in a banquet style, or 800 guests for cocktail purposes. The ballroom is accessed from a gorgeous courtyard, complete with marble flooring, a scaffolded section for lights, and a water feature. This would be the perfect place for guests to mingle both before, during, and after the wedding.
Inside, the ceilings are relatively low, with chandeliers adding to the feeling of glamour. What’s more, the Falcon Ballroom is also divisible into two separate ballrooms. This is ideal for weddings where men and women are seated separately. Falcon Ballroom one holds 350 people (banquet) or 450 people (cocktail), whereas Falcon Ballroom two is slightly smaller, hosting 200 (banquet) or 300 (cocktail) people. The two rooms can also be hired on an individual basis, depending on the size of your party.
The Great Ballroom
Of all the venues I was shown, I was most impressed by The Great Ballroom. As ballrooms go, I was truly wowed, both with the size of the space and the facilities on offer. As a whole, The Great Ballroom can hold a massive 1,000 people in a banquet setting or 1,600 people in cocktail style. The ceilings are 9 meters high, which gives an air of opulence, particularly when paired with the stunningly delicate lighting features. With a fairly neutral décor, the space is a great place to make your own and truly personalise for your big day. Long white curtains cascade down the walls; however, these can easily be pulled to the side to reveal large show kitchens (these will definitely impress your hungry guests!) and a vast stage. There are different lighting options available and, of course, a range of different setups on offer.
Again, The Great Ballroom can be divided into three separate ballrooms. This gives couples the choice, depending on the size of their wedding, of taking one or two rooms, or of utilising The Great Ballroom in its entirety. The dividers make the room feel like a space in its own right, and soundproofing is guaranteed.
Another of The Great Ballroom features that I really liked was the vast foyer. From the moment one enters the high glass doors into the light, airy foyer, you just know that glamour is guaranteed. As with the Falcon Ballroom’s own separate foyer, this is the perfect place for mingling, on a much grander scale.
For those who are subdividing The Great Ballroom, another unique feature that I think couples and guests would appreciate is the fact that each part of The Great Ballroom has its own dedicated entrance. This means that guests from different wedding parties will not come into contact. Arrival to all of the ballrooms at Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre is via dedicated entrances, meaning that guests do not have to go through the hotel, unless, of course, they are staying there.
But by far my favourite feature was upstairs. The VIP majilis area was truly remarkable and the epitome of VIP! With grey marble dressed in low purple lighting and chandeliers, this area, which can hold up to 50 people, is the ideal place for the bride to make her final preparations with her close friends and family.
From here, not only can you look down towards the foyer below, but you can also peep out of the window and gaze down onto the ballroom itself, to watch your guests (and groom!) awaiting your arrival. Not only does this add to the excitement of a grand entrance, but it also gives brides-to-be a final chance to ensure that everything is in place before the big day commences. To either side of the majilis lie a small, multi-purpose room that would be ideal for the bridal party, and, on the other side, the bridal suite.
The Great Ballroom’s Bridal Suite
Ideally situated above The Great Ballroom, the bridal suite is the perfect place for the bride to prepare for her big day. With a large lounge area, walk-in closet and huge mirrored area, it is definitely designed with the couple in mind. I would not describe this as the most romantic bridal suite I have ever seen (after all, this is not a beachside hotel, so there are no gorgeous views or cute balconies), it is certainly convenient and most definitely spacious.
The dedicated Events Hub team are able to take care of a couple’s requirements for their big day.
After my epic wedding tour, I met my husband, who was busy sunning himself at Le Royal Club’s dedicated pool. Located on a high floor, the pool is a good place to relax, with plenty of planes flying by from the airport. There are some comfy seats by the edge of the pool, and a Jacuzzi feature, which we very much enjoyed! Sweeping views of the city, including the Burj Khalifa/Downtown area are visible, although as we visited during summer it was quite hazy. As mentioned above, there are other pools at Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre. We didn’t have time to check these out, but walked by them. The garden setting, to me, was preferable to the rooftop pool at Le Royal Club.
Dinner at Casa Mia
Finally, after showering and enjoying some complimentary canapés in the Conservatory (one of my favourite spaces in the hotel), we made our way over to Casa Mia, the hotel’s Italian restaurant. As the weather had cooled down, we opted to sit outside. Although I was pretty full from lunch and the canapés, I’m not one to turn down a hearty Italian meal (or carbs!) and so I went all in, promising myself that I’d hit the gym extra hard over the next couple of days!
To start, I had a delicious Burrata and heirloom tomato salad. It was simply divine, with an incredibly generous serving of Burrata, which I had to get hubby to help me out with. My husband had opted for the Porcini Mushrooms muffin, but unfortunately found it a little dry and had serious food envy over my dish.
Moving on, our mains consisted of handmade ravioli with caciotta cheese and marjoram with a light tomato sauce for me, and pan-roasted monk-fish medallions for my husband. The dishes were once again delicious, although our meal was slightly spoiled when some smokers sat right next to us, despite having the large outdoor area to choose from. It would have been nice if the staff had taken the initiative to kindly direct them elsewhere upon seating them, but instead, it was us who had to change seats, halfway through our meal.
Despite being ridiculously full by now, in the interests of research (ahem!), I decided to sample a dessert and went for the warm apple strudel. My husband very sensibly sat this one out. Again, I was not disappointed, although I certainly pushed my food boundaries that day.
We then took advantage of one of the hotel’s outdoor bars, before calling it a night.
The following morning, we made our way to breakfast, which, for Le Royal Club guests, is served in the Conservatory from 06.30-10.30 am. Both buffet and A’ La Carte were available, along with tea, coffee, and a selection of yummy fresh juices.
Sadly, I had to rush my breakfast due to my spa appointment, but I left my husband there, in his element as he sampled nearly everything on offer. As far as hotel breakfasts go (and he has a lot, due to his work), this was one of the best he had ever had.
Moroccan Hammam at Natural Elements Spa
Before checkout at midday, I was able to experience a Moroccan Hammam at Le Royal Club’s spa. On its own dedicated floor, the spa itself smelled amazing and certainly had a ‘royal’ feel about it with white décor and low lighting. I checked in for my appointment and quickly got changed into my robe before meeting my therapist and making my way to the Hammam itself, which was a large marble room with two huge heated marble slabs in the centre.
To begin, I was rinsed with water before my therapist tried to apply a henna substance to my body. At this point, I had to stop her, as I have a severe henna allergy and didn’t want to risk the substance going anywhere near my skin. To be honest, I was a little disappointed that upon entering the spa, the process was not discussed with me, nor did I have to fill in a form detailing allergies, as is usual practice. The experience put me slightly on edge.
Next, I went to rest in the steam room, which was just to the side of the main hammam. My therapist kindly provided me with some water to sip on as I waited for the steam to do its magic for about ten minutes.
Following on from this, I returned to the marble slab where the main treatment began. Using a large glove called a kessa glove, my entire body was exfoliated to remove the dead skin. This was not an entirely pleasant process, but I was amazed at the amount of skin that was removed, which I assumed could only be a good thing! I was then rinsed off again and my hair was shampooed, the therapist showing me every product so that I could check that there were no henna ingredients sneakily hidden within, which I really appreciated.
Finally, a type of mud mask was applied to my body, and I once again reclined on the marble slab for some fifteen minutes, before it was rinsed off again.
Having never experienced a Moroccan Hammam treatment before, I have to say that it was quite an eye-opening experience and certainly not for those who are self-conscious! In hindsight, I would have much preferred a relaxing massage, but this is just a personal preference.
Couples may enjoy the NE Speciality Massage, which includes a foot massage and full body massage alongside an energy balancing forehead massage (AED 600 per couple), or an Executive renewal package, which consists of a one-hour Swedish massage, express body scrub, and a refresher facial (AED 1200 per couple). This offer is available until December 2018, and also means that couples receive 25% off any other treatments from the spa menu.
After finishing up at the spa, I made my way back to the room and finished packing up before effortlessly checking out.
Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre is ideally situated for couples who are either planning a destination wedding in Dubai or for those who want a convenient wedding venue for guests who are flying in from abroad. The spacious surroundings and 579 rooms mean that there are ample options when it comes to accommodation, and, as previously mentioned, lots of variety for dining.
This hotel is not surrounded by the sea, pretty beaches or gorgeous greenery, and as such the views from the windows are not exactly inspiring. However, this cannot be helped, and what it lacks in surroundings outside it makes up for with lush greenery and landscaping inside the hotel grounds.
The indoor wedding venues are a real highlight, and are absolutely perfect for large, lavish weddings or for weddings were men and women celebrate separately. I would highly recommend that those holding a summer wedding tour the ballrooms, as there are plenty of fantastic options. If budget allows, hiring The Great Ballroom, with its majilis and Bridal Suite, would be my top tip.
The great food and super friendly staff really add to the experience, and I’m sure that these two things combined would be a big highlight of anyone’s wedding day.
To inquire about booking your wedding event at Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, visit the Events Hub page here for more information. You can also see Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre’s BCME vendor listing by clicking here.
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