With man-made islands, the world’s tallest building, lavish parks and resorts, Dubai is known to be an expensive tourist destination. Thus, making it unattractive to budget travelers. But after nearly 7 years of living here, we’ve found ways on how to enjoy the city on a budget – from cheap yet tasty food, thrift shopping, free things to do up to finding a cheap staycation getaway. As you’d know by now, we love staying in hotels during weekends. So it certainly a delight when Centro Barsha of Rotana hotels let us experience their property for 2 nights.
Apart from the eat-sleep-swim (repeat) routine we did here, here’s how we find the hotel a good option for budget travelers and to business travelers as well.
Just like any traveler would do, the first thing to check in an accommodation you’ll be calling home for a few days is the location. Centro Barsha is conveniently located 500m (7 mins. walk) from the shopping mall of Mall of the Emirates (where the Ski Dubai’s located) and with the red line metro train Sharaf DG station. Dubai metro train gives you access to the most popular attractions of the city. And for those who are doing business here, the property’s nearby the well-known business districts of Media City and Internet City.
Rooms and Suites
A comfortable room is another essential for travelers who would get dead tired (we knew this feeling guys!) after exploring the city. And with Centro Barsha’s 243 rooms and suites, sure that anyone can find a suitable room here. We stayed in a suite which is very spacious at 44 sqm with a comfy queen bed and a living room. The room oozes style and sophistication with its contemporary design and modern fixtures. I love how it was cleverly designed to maximize the space even more!
The suite also comes with a kitchenette which is another plus for budget travelers since you can prepare or heat up food in the comfort of your hotel room.
With the bathroom, there are basic toiletries included, rain shower but there’s no bathtub (husband got a little sad about it :p). But seriously, it certainly has more than you could ask for in terms of comfort and relaxation while discovering a city.
Appropriate for business travelers or techy and “internet dependents (haha!)” guests like us, we love the fast WiFi connection of this hotel. The room also have a multi-channel 32-inch LCD TV in the bedroom and living room, basic hotel room amenities such as tea and coffee making facility, complimentary bottled water, hair dryer, iron and ironing table, IP phone and safe box.
The lack of in-room dining service doesn’t make the hotel less since they have dining options any traveler would need for a convenient stay. The C.Taste International which serves as Centro Barsha’s all day dining restaurant, C.Mondo Bar and Bites and the C. Deli, the hotel’s innovative 24 hour take-away dining concept that can be delivered to your room for a certain fee – fresh and fast!
Trying the restaurant for two breakfasts and a Friday brunch (you can’t be in Dubai and not try any brunch), we clearly see how some of the menu was changed and experience different types of international cuisines. May it be Arabic, Asian or Western variety – this restaurant have something to offer for any nationality visiting Dubai.
The restaurant setting looks intimate yet creating an airy atmosphere as the tables and chairs was arranged just the right distance. I hate it when my chair will bump to the next seat! Also the natural sunlight passing through the tall glass ceiling added to the bright space.
Breakfast options aren’t many but completely satiating. It was just the right amount of carbs to start the day. Make sure to have a waffle or two just like what I did 🙂 *Click photos to enlarge
Now with the Friday brunch which certainly a must for anyone visiting Dubai, options range from Arabic, continental cuisines to international ones. While there’s an endless choice of restaurants and cafes serving different types of cuisines here in Dubai, trying out authentic Arabic food is what truly makes any visit in the UAE fun and memorable.
My favorite from the brunch was the pasta live station, mini-burger which is actually from the kids menu and of course the dessert corner with the chocolate fountain! As usual, my husband like the Arabic main courses and the sushi.
With the funky and vibrant setting, live-cooking stations, kids corner, accommodating staff, it’s definitely a brunch to try out when in the city. You can enjoy the brunch from 12:30pm to 4pm. Priced at AED 85 with unlimited soft drinks, or AED 175 if you opt to have the buffet with unlimited selected spirits.
C.Taste restaurant timings is from 6 am to 11:30 pm. Yes! They served food this late which I guess is perfect for travelers who usually stay out late (self-confess here!).
C.MONDO Bar and bites
Meeting up with a client or having a drink with friends is way convenient in the hotel’s bar. Of course, the price of their snacks and cocktails are cheaper as compared with luxury hotels. With its fab setting, affordable price and great food, anyone could enjoy some chill time here. Opening hours is from 12 noon up to 2 am.
C.DELI – Deli
Perhaps my favorite concept would be their 24 hour store as it was the perfect option for travelers who would rather buy food to go than sit down and take time in a restaurant. Also if you forgot anything like a charger or adapter or any basic necessity, it comes handy in this shop. Besides, this is a rare concept in Dubai hotels.
Any travelers especially the first time visitors of Dubai would rather go out and explore more of the city’s attraction. I feel you guys, this is very us 🙂 But when the weather prevents us to go out or it’s in the afternoon around 11am to 4pm, we choose to stay in the accommodation. As you’d know, such time isn’t that good for photography. So when you find yourself confined in Centro Barsha’s vicinity, you don’t have to worry as they provide facilities for you to relax and don’t get bored. But when it’s time to go, remember that they offer complimentary shuttle to Mall of the Emirates, Jumeirah Beach and Sharaf DG Metro.
Sip on a refreshing beverage while lounging or swimming in the hotel’s rooftop pool. It looks inviting with its refreshing setting of cool whites, bright accents and ample sun loungers to laze with. The pool is also open for day visitors or to those who wants to do swimming lessons. Opening hours is from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm.
Open for 24 hours, the hotel’s gym looks compact yet it has the facilities for a good workout. They also offer gym memberships and personal training sessions.
Centro Barsha has 2 well-equipped meeting rooms designed to cater for business executives. As the staff had informed us, the common guests here are business travelers. The design and equipment here have all been carefully selected to ensure efficiency. The hotel is actually more popular to business travelers because of its contemporary environment and innovative facilities and high speed technology.
This post can’t be labelled as a budget stay if not for the affordable price. Checking the hotel’s website with dates when the weather is fine in Dubai – October 10 – 12. The cost of the basic room is AED 300 per night including WIFI. They also have super saver packages like the one with Ski Dubai, Desert safari, shopping or the one with buffet breakfast. As long as they keep the prices within this range this will be the place to go for a basic but comfortable and very functional stay. We’d suggest you to book earlier to get a cheaper rate.
Staff and Service
Travelers would always feel exhausted after a day of sightseeing so definitely a warm gesture can make a difference. It feels good to come to a place where the staff genuinely welcomes you as you arrive and leave. Despite being very busy last weekend, they don’t forget to ask how your day was or if you need anything. This has something to admire with the staff of Centro Barsha and all Rotana hotels we’ve been to. They’re all friendly yet don’t cross the line asking unnecessary questions, very on-hand, courteous and efficient. I can continue using more adjectives to describe these guys. We’re greatly amazed with the service here! Thanks to the wonderful team of Centro Barsha 🙂
Our Centro Barsha experience could be defined in two words – relaxing and convenient. With highlights of modern, contemporary architecture and facilities, strategic location, no doubt it’s a perfect spot for business travelers but it can also be a place to relax and can be a leisure traveler’s home for a few days while exploring the city. The personal touch, attention to details and warm staff added to the great experience we had last weekend. So guys, if you’re looking for a city break or a Friday brunch without breaking the bank, then it’s the right place for you 🙂
Centro Barsha Details
*Thanks to the wonderful team of Centro Barsha for hosting us. Opinions as always are entirely our own.