Last Updated on August 1, 2023
The Shangri-La Dubai is one of the most well-known hotels in Dubai thanks to it’s amazing central location and even more impressive view. You may not have heard about the Shangri-La Dubai hotel before, but you’ve surely seen a photo from its famous Level 42 outdoor terrace.
We spent 3 days here and put together this Shangri-La Dubai review, to help you decide where to stay on your next visit to Dubai!
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Disclaimer: Our stay at the Shangri-La Dubai was complimentary. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and as always, all our opinions on this Shangri-La Dubai hotel review are our own. Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. Click here for the full disclosure statement. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!
Table of Contents
Shangri-La Dubai Location
The Shangri-La Dubai is located in a very central area of Dubai, on the main thoroughfare, Sheikh Zayed Road. This is located an easy 15-minute drive from Dubai International Airport. This area is perfectly located as a base for exploring Dubai, just 10 minutes from Downtown Dubai, which includes the famous Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain, and Dubai Mall.
The Shangri-La Dubai does not provide shuttle service from the airport. You can book a transfer to your hotel from as a private airport transfer.
Taxis are readily available at Dubai airport, and cost around 150 AED ($40 USD) for the 15 minute drive. Uber and Careem are the popular ride-sharing apps in Dubai, and both offer good services for similar prices. Depending on your destination, it might be better to open the apps and compare costs.
Shangri-La Dubai Arrival
When you arrive at the Shangri-La Dubai, you will first be greeted by the bellman at the short curved driveway at the street level in front of the hotel. Note that if you arriving by taxi or a rideshare, you will arrive at this entrance, however if you are driving yourself, take the driveway on the right immediately after the hotel and drive around the back to find the valet.
The rear entrance is where you will leave your car with the valet for complimentary parking and the bellman will take your luggage. The lobby is easily accessed through glass doors.
The lobby is large, with lots of marble finishings and ceilings that are multiple floors high. The concierge and check-in desk is located on the left, where staff will help you with the check-in process and explain all of the features of the hotel.
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Shangri-La Dubai Rooms
The Shangri-La Dubai is a 302-room hotel, with all rooms located throughout the upper floors of the tower. The rooms in the hotel are fairly similar, with the main distinction being what view you have. There is the option of a Deluxe Sea View, Deluxe Burj Khalifa View, or what they call the Picture Perfect Room, which has corner windows facing the iconic Burj Khalifa.
During our time at Shangri-La Dubai, we stayed in a Picture Perfect Room located on the 37th floor, which is one of the highest floors. The room was nicely appointed, with a lot of unique touches. As you enter the room you will find the bathroom just past the door.
It is not overly large, but has everything you need, including a marble rainfall shower, large soaking tub, and the small size is made up for with the large bedroom area. Further in, the room expands to reveal substantial storage areas, a comfortable king-size bed, desk area, and finally a cozy sitting area with floor to ceiling windows that feature the Burj Khalifa as a backdrop.
Inside the room you will also find a kettle for tea and coffee as well as a stocked mini-bar and plenty of water that is replenished daily. One of the unique touches in the room that we loved were the custom Shangri-La Dubai coloring postcards that can be used for some spontaneous creativity, and then mailed home to a loved one.
Shangri-La Dubai Amenities
One of the great features of the Shangri-La Dubai is the complimentary valet parking, although this is a relatively common feature among many hotels in Dubai. The true stand-out feature of the Shangri-La is Dubai is the outdoor terrace and view from Level 42, not surprisingly on the 42nd floor. Here you can access a small outdoor terrace which has one of the most iconic Dubai views with the Burj Khalifa directly in front, and the sprawling Dubai highway system in the foreground.
On Level 42 there is an exclusive indoor pool area, but the real excitement is visiting the outdoor terrace, which is very popular with photographers day and night. If you would like to have a morning to remember, you can reserve an unforgettable terrace breakfast so that you can start you day with incredible views of the Burj Khalifa.
On the fourth floor of the hotel you can find the Health Club which has a fully equipped gym, but also squash and tennis courts, and Chi, The Spa. Opposite the Health Club is an outdoor passageway to iKandy ultralounge and the outdoor pool that is situated on the roof of the parking garage. Here you also have a great view of the Burj Khalifa, and this is the perfect place to spend a morning, afternoon, evening, or even the whole day!
The Shangri-La Dubai offers a floating breakfast experience at the pool, as well as live entertainment and special events on weekends. This is one of the popular lounges in Dubai due to its great location, stunning views, and great vibes day and night.
Can you Visit Shangri-La Dubai Level 42 Without Staying at the Hotel?
Yes! The Shangri-La Dubai offers the ability to visit Level 42 even if you are not staying at the hotel. The Shangri-La Dubai offers non-hotel guests the ability to visit the outdoor terrace at Level 42 by offering a 1 hour terrace package for two people for 250 AED ($68 USD). By itself, it is quite costly just for the view, however the cost of the package can also be applied towards any restaurant at the hotel! So you can go for lunch, dinner, or some drinks at one of the Shangri-La Dubais many restaurants, and if you spend more than 250 AED, you will have complimentary access to Level 42.
Ikandy Ultralounge as the Best Dubai Dayclub for a Long Layover
If you find yourself with a long layover in Dubai of 8 hours or more, why not get out of the airport and have a relaxing time poolside at the Shangri-La Dubai? The ikandy ultralounge is open in the morning until late at night and offers poolside service for drinks and food. In addition, you have showers to freshen up after a long flight, and plenty of outdoor lounge chairs to enjoy the warm Dubai weather. The cost of a day pass is 150 AED ($40 USD).
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Shangri-La Dubai Dining
When you stay at the Shangri-La Dubai, you of course have the enormous number of international cuisine restaurants in Dubai, close at hand, however the hotel itself also has 6 different restaurants and bars.
For breakfast, a large buffet is available at Dunes Café, located on the ground floor on the right-hand side of the lobby. There is a large selection of items on offer, with a Mediterranean and Middle East section, hot Indian foods, hot Asian foods, and hot Western breakfast options. Additionally, there is a nice assortment of breads and pastries. If you are interested in ordering items off of the menu, or customized coffees, this can all be done with your server. We always love the diversity of food on offer at Dubai hotel breakfasts, and the Shangri-La Dubai did not disappoint.
For lunch, Dunes Café is an option, with a selection of international food options. In addition, you have the Shangri-La speciality restaurants such as Shang Palace, which features a large selection of Chinese dishes, including their signature dish, Peking Duck. Shang Palace also has a large Dim Sum offering, and is a pleasant place to enjoy many popular Chinese dishes for lunch.
For dinner, you can again choose Shang Palace, for an extensive selection, or try Hoi An, serving up Vietnamese specialties each evening. Both Shang Palace and Hoi An are located one level above the lobby level. We loved the fresh spring rolls and Pho soup, which can be enjoyed in smaller portions if you also want to try some other items on the menu.
Throughout the day, the both the Lobby Lounge and Balcony Bar are open for a quick bite or drinks. The Lobby Lounge specializes in cakes and sweets as well as their afternoon tea, whereas the Balcony Bar is where to go for a pre-dinner or after-dinner cocktail.
Not to be forgotten is the ikandy Ultralounge located at the outdoor pool. Ikandy is open from the morning until late into the evening for drinks and lighter bites poolside, or in the outdoor dining area near the pool.
In addition, room service is also available 24 hours a day when hunger strikes at that late night hour, or you prefer to stay in the comforts of your room.
Shangri-La Dubai Conclusion
Staying at the Shangri-La Dubai will be unforgettable if you make sure to spend some extra time on Level 42. This is the highlight of the hotel and what really makes it stand out from other hotels in Dubai. Overall the hotel offers a nice exotic selection of restaurants, and friendly service, on top of a great location amongst sprawling Dubai neighborhoods. We recommend selecting one of the rooms with a view or the Burj Khalifa, which is a wonder to stare at day or night.
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