It was not always this way. Before Wilby took over several years ago the hotel languished at number 36 in the hotel chain’s charts. But the superb location on Jumeirah Beach was always an asset waiting for management with flair and imagination and an owner willing to provide the funds for development.
This is what happened at the Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa Dubai. The original 236-room hotel has been expanded with the 108-room club extension and the 154 lavish rooms of the upscale tower.
At the same time the hotel has added a second and third swimming pool to its extensive gardens that run on to the beach. And the most recent addition is a signature modern Mexican restaurant under the wing of American top 20 celebrity chef Richard Sandoval, which has a delightful terrace for al fresco dining.
However, this investment in the physical infrastructure of the hotel has been matched by an investment in staff training and an attention to detail that is down to first-class management.
In the tower rooms, for example, guests choose from a list of complementary wines and the canapés are exquisite. Outside the variety of seating means you can associate with a large family group or find a quiet corner to snooze in the garden. Rabbits play on the lawns.
There is more than 1,000 staff, so that means two per room and constant attention to your every need. The morale is high and staff retention is good despite the massive expansion of the Dubai hospitality sector.
Indeed, the Le Royal Meridien is one of the hotels setting the service standards for Dubai, and this is one reason why so many guests return year after year, enjoying the new facilities each time.
For business too this hotel is a good choice as aside from the Le Maya, there are several other notable dining options such as Fusion for excellent Asian food, a fish market style seafood restaurant and high standard steak house. Entertaining business clients is therefore easy and impressive.
And proximity to the Dubai Internet City and Media City as well as the Jebel Ali Free Zone make the Le Royal Meridien a practical choice given the traffic problems in accessing these areas from the downtown at certain times of day.
This year the Le Royal Meridien is also largely free of construction noise due to the completion of the Jumeirah Beach Residence behind the hotel, and the hotel itself has also taken a break from adding new facilities, apart from its completely refurbished main kitchens which ensure guests get the very highest standards of modern cuisine.