16 Replies Latest reply: Dec 3, 2012 2:25 AM by reezewahab RSS

Spain or Dubai?

kchandler Silver
Currently Being Moderated

My husband and I are talking about a trip this spring.  We have talked about going to Dubai for years but will probably bring the kids along.  We noticed there have been a lot of new properties added in Spain with the AC acquisition.  If anyone has stayed at Marriott properties in both locations, please let us know your thoughts, especially if you've travelled in April/May?  Any particular hotels that come highly recommended?  Not sure if Spain will be warm enough or if Dubai will already be too hot?  What things should we be aware of traveling in each location with children ages 10 and 3?  We like to keep a family travel blog www.worldfamilytravellers.blogspot.com to talk about the locations we've been and have gone to either.  We've traveled a ton through Asia and always felt safe but not quite sure of a trip to Dubai.

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Spain
  • Re: Spain or Dubai?
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    KC,

     

    Having been to neither place, I can't say. 

     

    Why don't you send Jasper a note and hear what he has to say.  He's been to over 70 countries and has a lot of experience that may be of help.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Spain or Dubai?
      kchandler Silver
      Currently Being Moderated
      Thanks Jerry.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spain or Dubai?
    jasper100 Alumni Steward Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Yes, I have been to both Dubai and Spain..In fact, I lived in Abu Dhabi for three years and my daughter was born in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, a short distance from Dubai. Dubai is a very interesting Arab City but to me is somewhat artifical. They have incredible hotels there including Marriotts. When I stayed there on one of my trips, I got upgraded to an incredible suite at the Marriott. Dubai is a very safe place to go, but if you decide to go there you should rent a car and go to all seven Emirates if you have the chance. With a three year old though, it could be more difficult to do this. I would save this trip for when your children are a little older.

     

    But to me, Spain has a lot more interesting History to it and to me a more exciting place to visit. I rented a car in spain and toured throughout spain and included Granada, Seville (an incredible city), and Madrid...

     

    My vote would be for Spain!!!!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Spain or Dubai?
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Jasper,

       

      This is what I would do, even though I have never been to either place.

       

      Spain sounds so relaxing and safe.

       

      Thanks!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spain or Dubai?
    jkernitzki Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Spain.

     

    Dubai is truly wondrous, but probably would not be very enjoyable or positive for and with the little ones.  Definitely put it on the list when they get older, though, maybe when the youngest is eight or so.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Spain or Dubai?
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Agree!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spain or Dubai?
    arkwright Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Dear Kchandler,

     

    Like Jasper and others I have lived in both locations. The basic thought I'd offer is that you are looking at a choice between two places that are not remotely comparable.

     

    If you want to visit the Gulf States, then - Yes, Dubai has a number of advantages over most of its neighbours - stage of economic development, state of tourist industry, communication to and within , places of intrinsic interest as , for example, a state of the art horse race track; but you might also consider Oman, which is less commercial and much more relaxed.

     

    Spain, by contrast, is one of the great repositories of world history and culture - and, again, if you like sport, it has the best soccer team in the world. I've stayed at several AC hotels - and have offered a couple of earlier posts which you might look at. Unless you choose the "Autograph" hotels, you need to pitch your expectations realistically;that is to say, the majority are not, and do not wish to be, conventional Marriott establishments. For example, you will not find Concierge Lounges and not all offer free breakfasts to Elite card holders. They are, however, very modern - in terms of design and facilities - and well run.  Though they are nearly all "urban" in location, this does not necessarily mean "city centre": check the specification carefully.

     

    Yes, the Andalucian locations are all exceptional, as are Madrid and Barcelona, but there are other, less crowded locations too - like Valencia, for example.

     

    Have a great trip,

     

    A

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Spain or Dubai?
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      That is a very informative report!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Spain or Dubai?
      kchandler Silver
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thank you so much for this in depth reply.  It is quite helpful.  It sounds like Spain is winning quite handily.  We would like to get out of some of the major cities.  You recommended Valencia and we will look into that.  If there are other places we should check out, we'd really appreciate your advice. 

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Spain or Dubai?
        Marriott Associate Member
        Currently Being Moderated

        Hi again - if you would like some specific information about Spain (like what are the most wonderful Spanish wines, things the 'locals' like to do, etc) I can ask one of our associates from AC to weigh in...

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Spain or Dubai?
        arkwright Platinum 2 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Kchandler,

         

        Here is my "sixpenny" worth. As Jasper suggests, I'd start by spending 2/3 days in Madrid, and then consider the following:

         

        1.     Use the Spanish AVE (hi-speed) trains, wherever available, to get to, say, 3 core destinations, and then hire a car at these places to explore the localities:

         

        (I know that citizens of the US tend to be a little wary of trains, but the AVE's are excellent. If you use the RENFE web site to make your bookings, the costs are reasonable. However, a word of warning: that website isn't the easiest to use; take a look at TripAdvisor for a specific "tutorial" on how to make it work for you)

         

        2.     Have a week in Andalucia, exploring Seville, Granada and Cordoba - and possibly Jerez - with a 3 yo, you might need a drink! A critical point about the likes of Seville is that they are seriously hot in July and August - then, literally only "mad dogs and Englishman go out in the mid-day sun"! In the spring, you should be OK.

        3.     Have 3/4 days at Cuenca and Valencia; they are both on the newest of the AVE routes.

         

        4.     Have 4/5 days either at Barcelona/Girona in Catalunya, or or the north Atlantic coast at San Sebastian and Bilbao.

         

        There are AC Hotels at each of these locations.

         

        Enjoy yourselves

         

        PS: I should confess an enormous prejudice: I hate the Costas - Brava, Blanca and Del Sol - but if you like crowded beaches and alcoholics:-) - then that's where you should go.

         

        Yours grumpy

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spain or Dubai?
    Marriott Associate Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I'm with the crowd - go to Spain and leave Dubai for a two-day, adult. stopover.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spain or Dubai?
    kchandler Silver
    Currently Being Moderated

    If we're in Spain for 10 days and have no idea where to start and are open to all suggestions, what would everyone recommend?  We have a 3 year old son and 10 year old daughter.

     

    Thanks.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Spain or Dubai?
      jasper100 Alumni Steward Platinum 10 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I would start in Madrid, spend 2-3 days there and then rent a car and travel to the places you want to see. Make sure you include Seville in your plans!!!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spain or Dubai?
    jasper100 Alumni Steward Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Here is a post on Spain you may want to look at!!!

     

    http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/34484#34484

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Spain or Dubai?
    reezewahab Member 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Go to Dubai. Plenty to do for the kids too. I flew to Dubai 1-2 times a year for the past 4 years, its like my 2nd home.

    I stayed at Marriot Service Apartments at Dubai Creek.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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