Trip Report: Umrah in the last 10 nights of Ramadan 2015
- Didn’t see this coming! Umrah in Ramadan Overview
- Muslim friendly Zurich: An evening in Zurich & what to do on a short layover
- Hotel Review: Raddison Blu Zurich Airport
- Etihad Business Class Studio Dreamliner 787 Zurich – Abu Dhabi Review
- Etihad Airways Arrivals Lounge Abu Dhabi
- Review Aloft Hotel Abu Dhabi
- Gulf Air Nightmare
- Gulf Air A320 / A321 Abu Dhabi / Bahrain / Jeddah Business class
- Hyatt Regency Makkah Hotel Review
- Intercontinental Hotel Dar Al Tawhid Makkah
I really wanted to check out the Intercontinental Dar Al Tawhid Makkah.
I have seen great reviews and people have great things to say and undeniably the location is the best thing. Only steps away from the entrance of the Haram, literally in the courtyard, it is one of the oldest properties in Makkah. I had seen the trip Advisor reviews and the photos and I was excited; yet didn’t know what to expect. The property is always very expensive and when I booked it was £200 for the night or 35,000 points. No brainer I used the points for a free stay.
We checked out of the Hyatt and literally just walked across the road to the entrance for the Intercontinental Dar Al Tawhid.
The entrance is grand and you can see an old flare around the property.
Big chandeliers, water feature and the oud (arabic scent) smell can take you aback. I particularly wasn’t very keen on the smell and it was very strong to the point that I was nauseous.
There were two Arab males at the reception but only one was checking in. The whole process was a little slow and definitely not the experience I expected. I am an IHG Gold member and I didn’t expect any upgrades or anything since I am not an Ambassador and the Intercontinental properties have their own loyalty program.
There lobby is not very big and on the side of it is the restaurant and the lounge with a nice Haram view.
The elevators also were very interesting and the first time I have seen them. You call the elevator from a stand with all the floors and then you walk to the indicated elevator.
Quite an interesting way of calling an elevator but actually efficient since you don’t have to keep guessing which one is available. You already know and when it is busy it can manage the flow of people faster.
Our room was on the 7th floor and we did have a courtyard view.
I believe it was a normal room and we didn’t get upgraded.
We did however have some dates and fruit.
The room had this old victorian style, grand designs on the walls and bathroom. Personally it is not my taste of decor and I didn’t like it. It felt like a mausoleum for me, but again this is a personal choice.
There was also a smell of cigarettes and dampness in the air and it made for a very heavy atmosphere. I didn’t request to move rooms because we only stayed one night and we were leaving early in the morning.
No doubt the property is the best for close proximity to the mosque. It has a great view to exit your hotel and see the Haram; being able to just be in the courtyard. Even if you want to pray in your room you still feel part of the crowd especially in Ramadan when it is busy with people.
I loved the separated wardrobe space as I think this is important for Makkah. People come with a lot of luggage and in group when there are more than 2-3 people sleeping in a room it can become very cluttered. So it is good to have somewhere to put your luggage.
Overall I believe this property left a lot to be desired when it came to customer service, room and experience. For a property that costs so much a month and in some nights it can be £1500, I would expect better. I definitely prefer some of the other properties in Makkah, Hyatt is the newest and then the Hilton Towers, Hilton Hotel which was also considered very close within the courtyard.
If you like grand and extravagant options for your hotel you might like the Intercontinental Dar Al Tawhid. Considering that it was a free stay for me and the cash equivalent was £200, I believe it was overpriced. However if you have lots of IHG points or you have some of the free night certificates with their current promotions then it is a bargain no doubt.