Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Weekend Staycation at InterContinental Dubai Marina's Penthouse

"What's your plan for Caila's birthday?" my sister asked me back in January.  I replied that we weren't going to have any big celebration this year.  All my eldest wanted was to give goody bags to her friends and classmates in school and for me to take her to Dubai Mall and buy her a gift, followed by dinner with the rest of the family...just like what we did when she and Sophie each turned 3 years old. 

Well, my sister had other plans.  Remembering how extremely happy her niece was when she surprised her on her 6th birthdayAte Ning made arrangements for all of us to spend the weekend before my daughter's actual birthday at InterContinental Dubai Marina
Knowing how much they love staying in hotels, we didn't tell my girls anything because we wanted it to be a surprise.  When my sister picked them up from our home on Thursday, they just thought we were going to sleep over at their aunt's place.  So you can just imagine their astonishment when they drove up the driveway of the hotel.  They were absolutely delighted!  I remember calling them as they were in the lobby and Hubby and I were on our way from work, Caila and Sophie kept saying excitedly "Mommy, we're in a hotel! It's really, really nice and so bongga!"
The Room
The confirmation stated that we were booked in a 2-bedroom suite in the property's residential tower.  Imagine my sister's shock when they were led to the penthouse!  With 5 bedrooms (including a maid's room), 3 bathrooms (including a Jacuzzi in the master's room), a wash room, study room, kitchen, and spacious living room, it was huge! 
Welcome goodies...with a small cake eaten up already by a little mouth ☺
Living Room
Study Room, or as Sophie called it "The Boss Room"
Our Little Boss in the "Boss Chair"
Chair and lamp at the Foyer before the bedrooms
Room 1: Master's Bedroom
Jacuzzi with a view
Room 2: with Twin beds
Room 3: with a King bed
Room 4: with Twin beds
Room 5: Maid's room
Kitchen
Honestly, it took all of us quite a while to remember where the rooms were and who would be sleeping in which room.  It was confusing! 

On the other hand, since it was located at the 37th floor at the east side, the view was absolutely amazing!
Mariah Carey at the Dubai Jazz Festival
After dinner (which we had at one of the restaurants along The Walk), my sister and I went out.  That was another treat she got for the both of us that night: VIP tickets to Mariah Carey's concert for the Dubai Jazz Festival!  Woohoo!
Err, the tickets weren't provided by the hotel, if that's what you're thinking ☺

We arrived at the venue around 9:45pm so it was already packed by then.  Although the VIP Lounge was practically way at the back, the good thing about it was ticket-holders could sit down comfortably (or stand, if they preferred) and enjoy unlimited drinks and food while enjoying the show.
Thankfully, we didn't have to wait too long, and the "Songbird Supreme" came out onstage at around 10:15pm belting out hit after hit.  It was awesome and fun as my sister and I (and the rest of the concert-goers) sang along to the songs we were familiar with.
Hurray! Another bucket list item checked!
Despite going to sleep late, I woke up early the next morning. Not because the beds weren’t comfortable. On the contrary, they were very soft! It was absolutely tempting to just spend the day in bed. But since we were at the 37th floor, I wanted to take advantage of our location where we had a spectacular view of the sun rising and waking up the rest of the city.
taken at 6:15am
Some time after, the others woke up. And using the natural sunlight, we took pictures for a fresh “we woke up like this” look ☺
Breakfast at Accents
On both mornings of our stay, we always trooped down for breakfast at Accents where an assortment of food items were laid out for diners to freely choose from.
Giants standing at the entrance
There were also waffles and pancakes, sausages, hashbrowns, baked beans, rice, dimsum, noodles, and eggs cooked according to your liking. All of this we enjoyed while taking in the views of the marina.
What a great start to our days!
Pool Terrace
A hotel stay isn’t complete for our girls without a swim in the pool, so they definitely had to try it out. There were 2 pools: one for kids and a bigger one for adults.
Caila and Sophie happily splashed around and enjoyed having the little pool all to themselves.
Staff & Service
We had been granted late check-out until 4pm on Saturday, but the time flew by so quickly, it was time to leave before we knew it. It took a while for us to check-out because there were a few guests ahead of us, and one in particular took longer than usual, but it wasn’t a big deal. The same lady who had welcomed Hubby and me when we arrived and accompanied us to our room on Thursday was the same one at the counter.  I have to say that she was very professional.  On Thursday, even though Teresa had just gone with my sister and the others up to the apartment and showed them around, she happily went back with us and told us all about the hotel facilities (which I'm sure she had already explained earlier).  Anyway, on Saturday when it was our turn at the counter, she was very friendly and apologetic that we had to wait. Luckily, check-out was a breeze, and by the time my sister and I stepped out of the hotel, all our bags had been loaded into our respective cars and the rest of our family were waiting for us.

Overall, it was a happy staycation for all of us. Thanks to my sister, we had the chance to experience staying in a penthouse in a fantastic property with a great view. Caila and Sophie especially enjoyed themselves, even calling the apartment their “New Big Home” and asking their aunt if she can take us back there next year!

Uh-oh! Lagot ka, Ate!
InterContinental Dubai Marina & Residence Suites
Bay Central, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence 
Phone: 04-4466777
E-mail: res.icdubaimarina@ihg.com

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