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Review: QE2 hotel – what’s it like to stay at Dubai’s floating hotel

Review: QE2 hotel – what’s it like to stay at Dubai’s floating hotel

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Dubai is stuffed with 5+ star accommodations designed to wow however in case you are on the lookout for an iconic place to stick with a little bit of historical past to it, the QE2 lodge delivers. 

As a fan of cruising and a little bit of a historical past geek I used to be greater than a bit excited so as to add the Queen Elizabeth 2 to our 5 day break in Dubai. 

This ocean liner turned floating lodge was precisely what we’re on the lookout for after three nights on the LEGOLAND Dubai Lodge. We needed to relocate to a lodge near Downtown Dubai to see the town sights but in addition benefit from the character of our lodging.

For extra journey inspiration comply with me on Instagram

Spoiler alert, we beloved it. A lot in order that we booked one other night time whereas onboard.

Nevertheless, I don’t assume it’s for everybody. If you happen to’re considering a keep on the Queen Elizabeth 2 there’s a number of issues it is best to know earlier than you e-book. I’ll be masking them on this assessment.

However first, forgive me for indulging in a little bit of scene setting.

*This publish incorporates affiliate hyperlinks*

The QE2 – ocean liner to lodge

This former Cunard ocean liner grew to become Dubai’s first floating lodge in 2018, ten years after arriving in Dubai and 50 years after being launched by Queen Elizabeth II in Clydebank, Scotland. 

Once we determined to e-book our keep I sat down with our youngsters to look at a Historical past Channel documentary in regards to the QE2 in order that they knew the significance of the ship.

One thing talked about greater than as soon as was how the QE2 broke the mould for cruise ship design. 

A number of options that made it so standard are nonetheless replicated throughout trendy cruise ships. Its leisure areas, balcony cabins and opulent model had been what set it aside, giving it an iconic standing that resonated for many years.

It additionally hogged the headlines with a trans-atlantic bomb scare, a number of mechanical meltdowns and its position as a troop ship throughout the Falkland Struggle.

The place is the QE2 now?

Our 11-year-old daughter stood between the huge propellors of the QE2 which were removed when it arrived in the UAE
The QE2 ship’s propellors

The QE2 is moored in Mina Rashid Port in Dubai. She has a everlasting berth alongside her personal terminal constructing the place you could find the Queen Elizabeth 2 lodge reception which is furnished with authentic seating from the ship and shows about its service.

A glass case containing a captain's hat in the QE2 terminal building in Mina Rashid Port in DubaiA glass case containing a captain's hat in the QE2 terminal building in Mina Rashid Port in Dubai
The QE2 lodge terminal constructing

Who owns the QE2 now?

The QE2 cruise ship is owned by Ports, Customs and Free Zone Company (PCFC), a subsidiary of Dubai World. It’s managed by French hospitality firm, Accor, which took over the operating of Dubai’s floating lodge in 2022.

The ship was beforehand owned by Cunard from its launch in 1967 to 2008 when it was offered to Dubai World for $100m. After a number of years of hypothesis, the QE2 lodge opened to company in 2018.

Need to know extra? Afterward on this publish, I’ll share extra information and figures that made the QE2 one of many UK’s most well-known vessels.

Our keep on the QE2

We booked the Queen Elizabeth 2 ship* after spending three nights at LEGOLAND Dubai* – one thing very a lot aimed on the youngsters. 

It could be unfair to check the QE2 – it’s not geared toward youngsters – however our younger cruise followers aged eight and 11-years-old nonetheless beloved it. And us adults relished mixing up our Dubai expertise.

Arriving on the ship is much like arriving for a cruise, simply with out the lengthy passenger queues and doc checks to arrange your cruise account.

There’s a devoted terminal constructing in Mina Rashid Port the place the check-in crew take your particulars precisely like they might at a lodge and your luggage are whisked away to your cabin. 

Our 11-year-old daughter sat with a boom on her lap in the QE2 hotel terminal buildingOur 11-year-old daughter sat with a boom on her lap in the QE2 hotel terminal building
QE2 library in terminal constructing

Earlier than going onboard you possibly can browse across the ship’s memorabilia which incorporates a number of the 6,000 books that had been as soon as a part of the QE2 library.

You’re free to take any of the gangways – we stumbled throughout the automotive elevate, full with a shiny Rolls Royce, and wandered by means of the vacationer class cabins earlier than discovering the steps upwards. 

There are deck plans at most junctions across the ship however don’t count on to get to know your means round in 24 hours. We struggled even with 48 hours onboard. So, for those who’re into cruising that’s fairly acquainted.

If you happen to’re not an everyday cruiser you’ll wish to give yourselves a while to get between locations – don’t stress, simply drift. We discovered a number of superb areas by simply following our noses.

Issues common cruisers will discover (and probably miss)

The QE2 is run by the Accor group which suggests it operates extra like a lodge than a ship, so that you’ll discover there’s: 

no cruise accounts for company. You may pay as you go or add bills to your room
no picture playing cards for company, however you’ll get a key card on your room
no muster stations drill or life vests in your cabin
no bulletins out of your captain or cruise director. The ship now has a microphone shy lodge supervisor
no cabin steward. Your room is serviced every day by housekeeping however you’re unlikely to satisfy them
no every day publication, however there’s a web based information to your keep onboard
not full board as commonplace, however there are offers so as to add breakfast and different meals to your reserving
no daytime or night leisure. There are theatres however tickets for reveals must be purchased individually to your keep
no excursions, though here’s a shuttle bus to the Mall of Dubai and Outdated Dubai.

One thing you’ll discover, whether or not you’re a cruise fan or not, is that the QE2 smells like a ship relatively than a lodge. That is completely different to trendy cruise ships that we have now sailed on the place the communal areas have a scent extra like a lodge. 

It’s not disagreeable – we’ve been on ships which have had unhealthy stink points. I’d liken the scent to an outdated stately house with a whiff of diesel engine. It’s a reminder that the QE2 is an outdated lady.

The bow of the QE2 seen from the wing bridge overlooking yachts in Mina Rashid Port in DubaiThe bow of the QE2 seen from the wing bridge overlooking yachts in Mina Rashid Port in Dubai

It’s exhausting to disregard that the outside areas aren’t very effectively maintained. Wooden work might do with a varnish and the decks want a repaint.

The within areas are principally effectively taken care of, particularly across the eating places, that are open to most people.

The entire ship remains to be a piece in progress, so maintain this in thoughts if you e-book.

Captain’s Room with Balcony

Our Captain's Room with Balcony. there is a king sized bed and seating with two floor to ceiling windows looking out on the portOur Captain's Room with Balcony. there is a king sized bed and seating with two floor to ceiling windows looking out on the port

We booked two Captain’s Rooms with Balconies with interconnecting doorways. These had been situated on the Sign Deck on the prime of the ship simply alongside from what would have been the QE2’s Captain’s cabin.

Had we been crusing onboard the QE2 in her heyday these rooms would have value about the identical as a mean UK home on the time.

Decor and facilities

Our rooms had been mild and spacious with massive patio doorways onto a large balcony. The king-sized mattress was very snug and there’s a settee, desk and bench to offer further seating.

One thing I do know will get common cruisers excited is that these cabins include a set of huge attracts in addition to a full size wardrobe. These are sometimes left of cabin design specs for some cause.

There’s additionally a fridge, espresso machine and protected and all of the lighting is managed with contact display screen panels.

Within the rest room there’s a big stroll in rainfall bathe with further bathe head, twin sinks and QE2 bathrobes. 

The coffee and tea station in our Captain's Room. There is a coffee machine with water bottles and glasses on the side board. Underneath is a draw contains various flavours of tea, two mugs and wine glassesThe coffee and tea station in our Captain's Room. There is a coffee machine with water bottles and glasses on the side board. Underneath is a draw contains various flavours of tea, two mugs and wine glasses

It was nice to see a dedication to being plastic free with biodegradable espresso pods and glass water bottles that had been refilled every day. The lavatory toiletry bottles had been additionally refilled.

Love a freebie? You may take house your QE2 slippers in addition to an assortment of complimentary objects branded with the ship’s identify.

General, the rooms had been very effectively maintained and positively 4 star commonplace.

Wooden deck chairs with blue and white striped covers on our cabin balconyWooden deck chairs with blue and white striped covers on our cabin balcony

Exterior, the balcony railing and furnishings had been in want of a revarnish. Nevertheless the chairs had been authentic and really comfortable.

How many individuals can a Captain’s Room sleep?

The Captain’s Rooms are marketed as sleeping two adults and as much as two youngsters or three adults and one little one for those who request an additional put-up mattress.

You might match one further single mattress within the room however definitely not two. So, as is the case in a number of Center East accommodations, what they count on you to do is all share the king-sized mattress.

An open door between our rooms onboard the shipAn open door between our rooms onboard the ship

None of us is especially small so we opted for the additional connecting room. 

We did think about reserving the Officer’s Suite as there’s a king measurement mattress and couch mattress as commonplace. However after I contacted the lodge about this room’s configuration for a household of 4 they prompt the couch mattress was solely large enough for one little one. 

There’s additionally a Duplex Room which might match households. This has been created by combining two cabins on on a special decks. There’s a bed room and a residing space with couch mattress.

And there are additionally two Royal Suites which might sleep households with further beds.

Is the QE2 family-friendly?

The Tin Box family doing a selfie on the balcony of one of their rooms onboard the QE2 hotel. There is a view of Dubai's port in the backgroundThe Tin Box family doing a selfie on the balcony of one of their rooms onboard the QE2 hotel. There is a view of Dubai's port in the background

I’ve already talked about that our ladies had been very excited to remain on the QE2, particularly after we watched the documentary. Nevertheless, its household services aren’t a patch on those we’ve skilled on trendy cruise ships. 

If you need splash parks and children golf equipment the QE2 is just not for you. However, there are plans to reinstate the outside swimming pools sooner or later.

Once we visited in April 2024 there was a small indoor pool situated within the fitness center.

What our youngsters loved was exploring the ship, each independently with us and on a fact-filled organised tour.

Discover out extra about QE2 ship excursions beneath.

Our ladies additionally love a buffet. We had breakfast and dinner buffets in addition to an al carte lunch within the Lido Restaurant. The fish and chips was the perfect we’ve had exterior the UK.

There are excessive chairs within the eating places and the restrooms close by have been up to date with child altering services. Elsewhere the restrooms are extra retro and fairly small. Anticipate to see ash trays in the bathroom cubicles!

There are lifts which might accommodate a pushchair.

Dubai is clearly a playground for all ages, so in case you are staying on the QE2 with youngsters there’s loads of leisure ashore.

Try these enjoyable actions for youths in Dubai.

QE2 ship excursions

The QE2’s Curator and Heritage Coordinator, Brandon Clark, speaking in front on the controls on the bridge wingThe QE2’s Curator and Heritage Coordinator, Brandon Clark, speaking in front on the controls on the bridge wing
QE2 bridge wing

The entire ship is a residing historical past museum. Many of the fixtures and fittings are authentic, and you’ll e-book afternoon tea within the Queens Grill precisely how it will have been served when the QE2 was crusing.

One thing we extremely suggest doing throughout your keep is a ship tour. There are two every day, at 11am and 5pm, and they’re accessible to lodge company and day guests.

We lucked in with a tour led by Brandon Clark, the QE2’s Curator and Heritage Coordinator. 

Over two hours he entertained us with tales in regards to the historical past of the QE2, its crew and passengers. All of us, together with the children, thought the time flew by as we had been fed information and proven particulars we’d missed whereas exploring by ourselves.

QE2 ship's tour guide showing guests the chartroom behind the ship's bridge. Everyone is smiling at an open draw of old electrical equipment that was the bridge's junk drawQE2 ship's tour guide showing guests the chartroom behind the ship's bridge. Everyone is smiling at an open draw of old electrical equipment that was the bridge's junk draw
QE2 Chartroom

The tour is the one method to entry the ship’s bridge and chartroom. They’re fascinating. Charts, log books, CB radios and even the compulsory junk draw have been left simply how they had been on the day the crew stepped ashore for the ultimate time.

There are plans to open the engine rooms later in 2024 and new exhibitions are being created on a regular basis. 

The latest show, ‘Particular Relationship’, was opened by HRH Princess Anne in March 2024 and tells the story of the QE2s bomb hoax of 1972.

Our girls looking at the 'Special Relationship' exhibition. Old newspaper clippings are mounted behind a glass caseOur girls looking at the 'Special Relationship' exhibition. Old newspaper clippings are mounted behind a glass case
Particular Relationship exhibition

British particular forces had been dramatically flown throughout the Atlantic to look the ship. No bombs had been discovered however the navy personnel loved an expensive cruise house.

After our tour we had been free to discover extra of the ship by our ourselves together with the QE2 Theatre, the Grand Lounge, the on line casino (the machines are disabled), Mid Ship Foyer and Chartroom Bar.

QE2 lodge eating places

The Queen Elizabeth 2’s eating places might be booked whether or not you’re staying onboard or not. 

Breakfast is served within the Lido Restaurant on the Quarter Deck and is precisely what you’d expertise on another cruise ship with cold and hot buffet choices and a spread of cuisines for the worldwide market.

The Lido can also be open for al a carte lunch and you’ll e-book afternoon tea within the well-known Queens Grill on Fridays and Saturdays. Kids over eight can dine on this restaurant. Afternoon tea is on my want checklist for after we subsequent go to Dubai.

Dinner is on the market as a buffet within the Lido or you possibly can e-book a desk for extra formal eating within the Queens Grill.

A view across the outdoor Pavilion dining area to the flag flying at the stern of the shipA view across the outdoor Pavilion dining area to the flag flying at the stern of the ship
Pavilion eating space

Alternatively there’s mezze, seafood and Arabic combine grill on the menu within the Pavilion outside eating house on Deck 1.

For one thing much less formal there’s bar snacks in The Golden Lion which, since arriving within the metropolis, has claimed the title of deliver Dubai’s oldest pub. Underneath 21s aren’t allowed inside however Mr Tin Field and I snuck in for a fast completely happy hour drink.

The crests of Royal Navy and Service provider Navy ships line the highest of the bar space.

Discover out extra about all of the eating choices for company and walk-ins.

What’s the gown code for the QE2 in Dubai?

If you happen to’ve sailed with Cunard you’ll know that there’s a gown code for all events. The identical applies to the QE2 and visiting Dubai typically. Nevertheless, it’s not as formal as you may count on.

It’s advantageous to put on lengthy shorts or a knee size skirt and a t-shirt across the ship throughout the day. Within the evenings lengthy trousers or skirts are anticipated within the eating places. If you happen to’re eating within the Queen’s Grill you may wish to glam up a bit. The gown code is ‘sensible informal’, so there’s no want on your black tie or ball robe.

We dined within the Lido throughout Ramadan and company added a bit of additional sparkle to their Iftar outfits.

Me sat on a bar stool in the Chartroom bar. I'm wearing a long green and sparkly dress fit for IftarMe sat on a bar stool in the Chartroom bar. I'm wearing a long green and sparkly dress fit for Iftar

Don’t neglect that you’re in a Muslim nation, so quick shorts and strappy tops are much less acceptable. Nevertheless, we discovered Dubai’s clothes norms way more liberal than Oman the place shorts, uncovered higher arms and, dare I say it, cleavage will offend.

One thing to notice is that sporting swimming costumes across the higher deck would have regarded a bit misplaced after we stayed as there wasn’t an outside pool or any solar loungers. Nevertheless, as soon as the pool areas have been reinstated swimwear could be acceptable.

Right here’s some concepts for what to pack for a cruise that will help you plan for the same journey.

How a lot does it value to remain on the QE2?

We had been shocked at how cheap it was to remain within the QE2 lodge. We anticipated such a novel lodge to return with a premium value level, however it was comparable with and even cheaper than a number of different 4 star Dubai accommodations*.

Our Captain's Room with Balcony. there is a king sized bed and seating with two floor to ceiling windows looking out on the portOur Captain's Room with Balcony. there is a king sized bed and seating with two floor to ceiling windows looking out on the port
QE2 lodge Captains Room with Balcony

There are 447 rooms within the Queen Elizabeth 2 lodge.

Once we booked in April 2024 our Captain’s Rooms with Balcony, together with breakfast and a buffet dinner, value 649 AED per room per night time – that’s about £140.

There are costlier suites and less expensive exterior cabins. Sooner or later inside cabins are additionally being made accessible.

So, for those who’re on the lookout for a funds place to remain in Dubai the QE2 lodge is price a glance.

With my cruiser’s head on, there are issues are aren’t included like leisure and full board, so you possibly can’t evaluate the worth with a cruise. However as a lodge, the worth stacks up fairly effectively.

Details in regards to the QE2

QE2 ship alongside at Mina Rashid Port in DubaiQE2 ship alongside at Mina Rashid Port in Dubai

Right here’s some enjoyable information in regards to the QE2:

The QE2 accomplished 1,419 voyages between 1969 and 2008, travelling six million miles
The QE2 is 294m lengthy – 25m longer than the Titanic
It’s prime pace was 34 knots after its engine was refitted with a diesel-electric energy plant
The QE2 welcomed 2.5 million passengers whereas seagoing
Well-known company included members of the British Royal Household together with Queen Elizabeth II and the now King Charles III, Elton John, Nelson Mandela and George Harrison.

Summing up our QE2 lodge assessment

Staying on the QE2 lodge went above and past our expectations. When it was in service it was described as a vacation spot in itself and I believe, for followers of Cunard and cruising, it continues to be simply that.

The sunken mid ships lobby seating area with a compass pattern in the carpetThe sunken mid ships lobby seating area with a compass pattern in the carpet

It’s nostalgic whereas additionally offering excessive commonplace lodging, meals and repair. It could make an ideal pre-cruise keep in case you are becoming a member of a ship in Dubai. 

We’d wholeheartedly suggest staying onboard and hope to have the chance to take action once more, or at the least return for a type of Queen’s Grill afternoon teas.

Nevertheless, for those who’re on the lookout for a contemporary cruise expertise with all of the services of a model new ship then e-book a cruise*.

And in case you are on the lookout for a Dubai lodge with state-of-the-art services there are many different choices.

The ship is drained in locations however it’s nonetheless underneath renovation. It could be actually attention-grabbing to see the way it appears to be like in a number of years.

A model of the QE2 in a glass case. It shows what the ship will look like when it is fully refurbished with pools and seating on the top deckA model of the QE2 in a glass case. It shows what the ship will look like when it is fully refurbished with pools and seating on the top deck

Contained in the Particular Relationship exhibition there’s a mock up of how the QE2 may look sooner or later, full with swimming pools and seating on deck. This can make what’s already a novel Dubai lodge much more interesting to a wider market.

Tempted? E book your keep at Dubai’s floating lodge*

You may also like our assessment of LEGOLAND Dubai Lodge.

Extra cruise studying

Love cruise life as a lot as us? Right here’s some extra posts you may like:

Want extra assist planning your subsequent cruise?

Disclosure: this publish incorporates affiliate hyperlinks marked with a *. If you happen to click on on certainly one of these and make a purchase order I’ll earn some fee. This doesn’t have an effect on the worth you pay.

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