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After being “stuck” in Emirates First class on ONLY a 777, we made our way to our hotel for one night, the Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek.  Although we had flown in Emirates First Class, which typically gives you Emirates chauffeur service, because we had booked the flight with Alaska Airlines miles instead, Emirates is no longer allowing you to book chauffeur service if you book with Alaska miles.  So we took the Dubai metro (subway) which was totally not a problem once we figured out how to do it!  The Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek is right near the Union subway stop, 5 stops down from the airport.

Arrival at the Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek

We had booked our one night stay at the Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek using an e-certificate that Club Carlson had given to members who complained when the Bonus Night feature of the credit card was removed back in April.  I’m a Club Carlson Gold member which is their mid-tier status that I got for having the credit card.  Gold members ARE entitled to a room upgrade though, and since one of the things I value most in hotels is lounge access (in hotels that have a lounge) and I actually emailed the hotel before we stayed seeing if we could be upgraded to a Royal Club room, which has lounge access.  I was told

Reference to your email below kindly be informed that your complimentary upgrade is always subject to availability upon check in, and if you wish to guarantee an upgrade there will be an additional amount of AED 468 nett.

Thank you but no (AED468 is approximately USD$125!) – I figured I’d take my chances at the desk.  When we got there, I inquired about being upgraded to a club room, the desk agent said that she could upgrade me to a Royal Club room but without the actual club access!?!  Funny – on the hotel’s website room description, there doesn’t seem to be any such distinction


She again offered the club access for AED460, and I again politely declined.  I was not welcomed as a Gold member and I thought that I did not receive the “welcome amenity” that Golds are supposed to receive, though Carolyn reminded me that they brought a tray of dates, mints and date juice while we were checking in, so maybe that was it (typically I am expecting it to be something in the room).  Though when we were checking out (they did give us a late checkout of 3pm, which was appreciated), it certainly seemed that the tray of dates and juice was being given to all guests as they checked in.

The room at the Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek

The room and bed were pretty standard – I would say that it was SLIGHTLY bigger than a standard hotel room


Our room at the Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek did have a balcony with a decent view of Dubai Creek


though if you looked down from the balcony, you could see (and HEAR!) the construction workers working on renovating the swimming pool


One problem with the bathroom was that the water temperature in the shower was not well-regulated – you’d get it to a temperature you were comfortable with and then a little while later BAM it would be super hot on you!


Facilities at Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek

The pool at the Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek as I mentioned is under construction, and the fitness center is down a hallway that is under construction and in a totally separate building.  We went up to the lounge anyways just to take a look around and it seemed nice if you can get access to it.  Similar to our previous 3 hotels that we stayed at on this trip (Hyatt Regency Tsim Tsa Shui, Conrad Centennial Singapore, and Hilton Doubletree Johor Bahru), they serve breakfast, an afternoon “tea” and an evening cocktail.

There didn’t appear to be any type of concierge only 2 people taking “Restaurant Reservations”.  There was also a “Travel coordinator”.  We went by there and asked about tickets to see the Burj Khalifa (bucket list item!) and were told that the tickets were AED165 for the “standard” hours.  Later we found out that you can buy tickets directly at the Burj for only AED125, so apparently there is some sort of referral / commission through the hotel, that was totally adequately disclosed… NOT!  Reminds me of certain folks in our own travel blog industry! 🙂

Am I really just whining about my lack of an upgrade?

Before I start whining about my lack of upgrade (again), let me also whine about the fact that even though my room was free on points (technically an e-certificate), they charged me a 15AED “tourism fee” aka city tax hotel scam.

But yeah I probably am just whining.  Here’s my thing though – don’t say that something works one way and then go out of your way to subvert the system so that it does NOT work that way.  If Club Carlson Gold members are entitled to a complimentary room upgrade, then GIVE THEM A ROOM UPGRADE!

To me, this feels like this is just the hotels playing games.  Something like the Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek hotel is I assume owned and operated by a 3rd party.  As such, the hotel is contractually obligated to give Club Carlson Golds a “room upgrade” but they do it in such a way so that it doesn’t cost them anything.  From what I could tell, they’re essentially MAKING up a class of room that does not exist on their website or anywhere else (Royal Club room that does not get lounge access) so that they can SAY they gave a room upgrade when really it isn’t any such thing.  I should also point out that the elevators required room key to access and our room key DID have access to the 10th floor where the Royal Club lounge was located.

Contrast this nickel and diming behavior to the Hyatt Regency Tsim Tsa Shui, where I also hold mid-tier status (Hyatt Platinum).  They not only upgraded us to an Executive room with lounge access, but gave us a HUGE suite!

This is NOT the room I got at the Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek

This is NOT the room I got at the Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek

For that, I would have to say that I do NOT recommend the Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek and will NOT be staying there if/when I am in Dubai again.

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