Ah, finally it’s okay to write about the place where we stayed for 3 whole months, as we’ve moved out to our new home 😉 This little article is for the families who have been put in Grand Millenium as their ‘first home’, having flown from halfway around the world. It’s also for the companies who are wondering which hotel they should put their new employees and their familes in after shipping them to Middle East….:)
1. Great transfer services
I remember arriving at DXB Terminal 3, after having flown on Emirates Airline’s A380, and being greeted by the driver holding out G’s name. We were then ushered to a BMW with a smile, and taken to Grand Millenium Hotel. Ah, the nice feeling of being ‘taken care of’. No jumping into the tube with a million others and trying to make sure your luggage doesn’t tip over 😉
First impression wise – to be honest – GM was just ‘okay’. Reason is because it felt like it was in the ‘middle of nowhere’, and this was past midnight….
2. Comfortable Rooms with all amenities
This impression was very soon changed as we were greeted by friendly smiles and then checked into our 1-bedroom apartment on the 12th floor of Tower 2. Ah, the space! That is, if you compare the little hotel rooms we were staying in in London before coming over here, ha ha. The 1-bedroom apartment has a really spacious lounge, walk to the corner and you’ll find your dining room table, and then a nice fully equipped kitchen. The bedroom is also really spacious with a little work desk that we never really used, and an attached bathroom.
3. Good quality kitchenware
This might not be very important to the fellow men there who’s going to be eating out all the time but for us ladies who cook, and will be spending a considerable amount of time in the kitchen – this is definitely one important part 😉 We were provided with Tefal cooking pots and pans, which had no problems over the next three months. Nice white Lucerne dinnerwares, probably more than you’ll need! We did however need to buy little things like washing detergent, sponges, kitchen towels, etc. No biggie though 😉
I’m going to quickly run through with you, what you can possibly do/see if your other half has been sent here for work and you’re by yourself at home, wondering what to do, and where to go 😉 I spent quite a few weeks doing this before I started working. It’s nothing scarier than to be in a foreign country all by yourself, and your other half is at work for most of the day and you’re sitting in the nice hotel room wondering, what the heck am I going to do today?
4. Great shuttle service
Grand Millenium provides shuttles to most malls in Dubai. If you go downstairs (get out of the room! :P), go to concierge and ask them for the timetable. I think I can memorize the shuttle times now ha ha but surely it has changed since. There are shuttles for MoE (Mall of the Emirates), which is about a 10min drive up north. Sometimes the shuttle doesn’t come and they will get their boys to drop you there 🙂 Just remember to catch the blue shuttle back to GM, but note that it will take about an hour before you get home because it does a big loop to a few hotels like Atlantis (!). Probably okay if you want a little free tour but if you’ve got groceries that needs to be put in the fridge straight away, I suggest you take the taxi back. Note – taxi costs 15AED to MoE/back.
Shuttle to Dubai Mall is provided by GM. They’ll drop you across the road though so make sure you bring a hat or little umbrella. They’ll pick you up at the same place after, so make sure you go back there and get there EARLY! 🙂 Taxi there/home is about 40-50AED. Alternatively you can take the bus to the metro and metro to Dubai Internet City stop, and then walk back to GM. Or if you get back at the hour, you can give concierge a call as they supposedly to runs to the metro every hour 🙂
Shuttle also goes to Wafi Mall and Ibn Battuta Mall. Note: Wafi is quite far from GM so make sure you take the shuttle home, otherwise it’ll cost you a fortune (50-60AED). Dubai Healthcare City metro stop is real close to the mall so you could take that home if you don’t want to pay for a taxi. Just make sure you remember to change at Khalid Bin Al Waleed!
5. Great spa/pool facilities 🙂
And after a days of shopping 😉 I suggest you check out the pool on Level 18! They have a really nice gym, and a beautiful pool that shuts at around 9pm. You can also ask them to turn on the jacuzzi (in the female area) while you swim, so by the time you get out, you can jump into a nice, hot jacuzzi. Ah… luxury 😉 And then you get out, and go into the sauna/steam room. It’s really clean. And well-maintained. Take a shower after that, and you can relax in the ‘relaxation room’. It’s in the “Locker Room”. I never got around to trying the Spa but I hear good things about it. I think you get a discount if you’re staying there so maybe you can check it out and let me know?
6. Yummy breakfasts
If you package comes with breakfast, aw, lucky you. We had three months of fresh orange juice, personally made pancakes, omelettes, eggs, you name it. The cake are yum, they have a good selection of cereal if your little one is there with you, and a good selection of cooked breakfasts too. Ryan makes awesome pancakes. Ha ha. I don’t remember the names of the other two guys (sorry!) but they’re pretty good too.
7. Amazing Japanese buffet at Toshi
We went to try the Sushi Night at Toshi on Tuesdays one night and…….. *sigh*.. I wanna go back! Haha. You really have to try this one out. I’m not gonna write anymore. Just go!!
8. Friendly concierge and hotel staff
I think Grand Millenium’s perks has definitely got to be its amazing hotel staff. Their concierge boys are really helpful and friendly. You be nice to them, okay! 🙂 If you’ve missed your shuttle, don’t give them a hard time – you should’ve came down earlier! 🙂 If you need someone to help you move you luggages, give them a shout. If you’ve bought too much groceries and your other half is still at work, they’ll take it up to your room for you. If you need another adapter, another this, another that, give them a call. To the boys – Arif, Boniface.. to the shuttle boys, Kumar, Mukesh, thanks. We cannot remember everyone’s names but we definitely remember your face!
Grand Millenium definitely provided an awesome first home to us. I had a lot to do before I finally found work. I actually met a few other ladies who stayed in the apartment blocks and we ended up going shopping together most days, ha ha! I’m sure you’ll meet a few quite easily – just take the shuttles to the malls and say hi to that other lady. I’m sure she’s in the same shoes as you and would like a little company 😉 If you’re not so much of a social type, just do your own thing, go use the pool, the spa, go relax 😉
We still miss the crew sometimes. We’ll definitely go back and and say hi. If you’re wife is staying there and you’re at work and you’re a little worried that she might be just bored, tell her to read this article. Other than the malls, and the facilities, I can suggest to you that she goes to the Expatwoman Coffee Groups at 10am every morning. Google it 😉
To Grand Millenium, thanks 🙂