The West

Al Bustan Rotana makes a comfortable spot for a Dubai layover. Picture: Supplied

When I check into a hotel, I always hope there will be a bath in my room - it just doesn't seem right to me without one. But in this case, my fingers are crossed particularly firmly.

I've just arrived at Dubai International Airport from Boston and I've arranged to spend my 7 1/2-hour layover not browsing duty free in the terminal or even in the very comfortable Emirates lounge but at the nearby Al Bustan Rotana hotel. Not surprisingly, after 12 hours on a plane, I've a strong hankering for a bath and a nap.

It's about 7.45pm and the queue for immigration is virtually non-existent. My suitcase is checked through to Perth, so I've no need to wait by the baggage carousel.

And so, perhaps no more than 30 minutes after I get off the plane, I'm settling into my hotel room. Outside the window, I can see the airport a few blocks away. Front desk has promised to call my room about half an hour before I need to be back at the airport in case I oversleep.

And the best part - there's a tub in the bathroom.

I've plenty of time before I need to return to the airport - more than enough for a bath and a cup of tea, some work and a nap.

My room is quiet and cool, clean and comfortable, and I can charge my phone and my computer, and change my clothes. If I want dinner, there's a number of restaurants downstairs, or room service. If I'd remembered my bathers, I could have a dip in the pool. There's also a gym but watching the TV in my room seems rather more my speed.

True, most of these amenities are available in some form or another in the terminal. But here they're all in one place, and I have my own private space to enjoy them, away from the crowds of jet-lagged travellers.

Some hours later, I'm back at the airport, refreshed and ready for my onward flight home. It's the middle of the night and there are plenty of tired faces - but mine is not one of them.

Gemma Nisbet was a guest of Emirates airline and Dubai Tourism.


Al Bustan is one of over 85 hotels operated by the Emirati Rotana group, including 15 in Dubai, and is the group's flagship hotel in the emirate. Combining traditional Arabian hospitality with modern luxury, the five-star hotel has 275 rooms and suites, from 600 dirhams ($174) per night, plus service fees and taxes.

The West Australian

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