FIVE Jumeirah Village has only been open since September, but in just four months it has established itself as one of Dubai’s most talked-about hotels. The FIVE brand – which includes FIVE Jumeirah Village and FIVE Palm Jumeirah – has disrupted the five-star hotel market in Dubai, throwing out the ostentatious and focusing on parties, music, and a millennial crowd.
The hotel has over 500 rooms and 267 private pools, but despite its size, it’s running at full capacity every night – an impressive feat in a city overflowing with new hotels. The success of the hotel is partly down to its price point. Some rooms can be snapped up for under £100 per night, which for a five-star hotel is rare in Dubai. But it’s their watertight marketing strategy which has helped them cut through the noise.
A consistent stream of guests, which include Instagram influencers, models, and Love Island rejects are helping to spread the word about FIVE. Their perfectly framed Instagram pictures showcase the hotel’s view, party atmosphere, and the endless opportunities for posing.
Room options range from the smaller ‘Superior with Balcony’, to Penthouses with sweeping city views and private pools. The penthouses are mainly used for corporate events and parties, the view offering the perfect backdrop for some ‘completely natural, not posed at all’ Instagram shots.
We stayed in an extremely spacious ‘One-Bed Apartment’, with a fully equipped kitchen and separate dining area. The rooms were nicely furnished (if not a little basic); the bathroom offered a floating bathtub and rainfall shower, and the bedroom featured a king-sized bed and large desk.
However, there were a few oversights that were disappointing for a five-star rated hotel. There were no mirrors in the bedroom – which made getting ready difficult – and our bathroom sink didn’t drain properly. The toiletries in the bathroom are attached to the wall next to the shower, so if you’re in the bath, it means getting out to use the shower gel and shampoo – a first world problem yes, but annoying, nonetheless.
Double doors in our apartment opened out on to a large terrace with a jacuzzi and two sun loungers – it would have been a lovely setting had a large wall not completely blocked our view and kept the area fully shaded.
There are two hotel pools at FIVE Jumeirah Village – a main pool and a smaller children’s pool. The main pool is used for daily pool parties, so if you’re hoping for an afternoon of relaxing, this isn’t the hotel for you. Their most popular party – Bikini Loca – packs out the pool area all day on Friday and Saturday. There’s a DJ, a lively bar (as well as Sangria and G&T stations), and a whole lot of posing. If it’s your kind of thing then get there early as its extremely busy.
The location of the hotel makes it difficult to walk anywhere. It’s in the middle of Jumeriah Village Circle, a residential area that is still being developed, and it feels like one big building site. Luckily taxis are relatively cheap in Dubai, which makes getting around slightly easier. There’s also a free shuttle bus which takes you to the mall, or to sister hotel FIVE Palm Jumeirah which also has a beach.
The hotel has two main restaurants, Turn Up and Soul Street, and there’s also a coffee shop on the ground floor. Breakfast is served buffet-style at Turn Up and there’s a huge range of hot and cold options, but the sheer number of guests make it extremely chaotic. The food was actually very good, but the staff struggled to keep up with the number of people which made service slow.
The Soul Street restaurant has an extensive menu of street style food from across the globe, including fish & chips, tacos, shawarma Wraps, and paneer tikka. It’s hard to do justice to so many different cuisines, but the team at Soul St does an excellent job. Don’t miss the flavour-packed South Indian Shrimp Curd Rice and the Thai Khao Soi noodles.
The Street Food Brunch at Soul Street on Fridays (2 pm – 5 pm) is the best way to sample a large range of dishes on the menu, and there’s also unlimited alcohol. Staff wholeheartedly get involved – expect dancing on the tables, free-flowing shots, and carnival dancers. It’s a lot of fun and comes highly recommended.
If you want to workout during your holiday, try the InstaBody gym on the lower ground floor. Abysmal name aside, it’s actually an extremely well-equipped hotel gym (one of the best I’ve even seen), with a range of different machines, free weights, and both classes and personal training on offer. There’s also a spa called ReFive which offers massages and treatments in a tranquil setting (booking ahead recommended).
On our final evening at the hotel, a staff member knocked on our door unannounced and asked us to leave the hotel a Trip Advisor review – something I’ve never experience with any hotel, let alone a five-star. It was the final nail in the coffin.
As a five-star hotel, FIVE Jumeirah Village missed the mark for me. However, it’s a good option should you want to party, enjoy great food, and are more interested in rubbing shoulders with reality TV stars, than enjoying a luxury hotel experience.
Rates at FIVE Jumeirah Village start at £75 per night, based on double occupancy.
Address: FIVE Jumeirah Village Dubai, District 14, Street 1, Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubai, UAE
Phone: +971 4 248 9999