One gets very nostalgic when talking about the QE2. Or even Concorde. Iconic British (o.k, and French) superstructures and magnificent engineering feats and overwhelming luxury. – (in the 80’s.)
You can’t fly on Concorde anymore – but you can stay on the QE2. How so?
Well, a few months ago I heard a radio interview on the Emirates flight – and the discussion was the soon to be opened QE2 Hotel! Wait… whaaaaat?
So right now – I am posting this from the QE2….
The UAE bought the QE2 back in 2007 and have been ‘fixing her up’ ever since. Lot of changes internally but lots of the ships original features have been preserved. The lounges, furniture, paintings, wall signs… lots and lots – as it was back in the day. Except now it has wifi.
The QE2 doesn’t officially open until October. However, the ‘soft’ opening was a few months ago. Some of the rooms are available, not all. Most of the restaurants and bars are not yet open. Most shops are still under construction. The view outside looks like a building site. Probably why you can get a room for $60 per night.
The (cheap) rooms are pretty basic. So are the deluxe rooms. Personally, I prefer the Four Points.
The room service is virtually non-existent. Some toasties and a muffin or something. I did venture to the ‘Convenience Store’ – where they sold Instant Noodles and Curried Chicken Samosas. Don’t expect prompt service though. The cashier spent most of his time sitting at a table, playing with his phone.
I was hoping for a gift shop. Maybe buy a T-Shirt with the QE2 logo? Nada.
The location isn’t great either. Not much can be done about that really. Need water.
Forget it if you think you can go for a little stroll into the town. Or a shop or restaurant.
One thing I found rather novel, is that all the novels from the QE2 library were kept – and can now be found in the lobby.
Four times per day – there is a (free) QE2 tour. A little chap speaks of the history and takes us for a wander. As most of the ship is not ready, we couldn’t see the good stuff – like the Bridge or the Engine room. Just some old Ball Rooms, theatre and Casinos. Pretty impressive for the 70’s.
Out on deck, well, it was a bit grubby. I do hope they give the old girl a good clean. I can’t help but feel let down by the presentation. This is the QE2 goddamnit!
If you want a quiet/romantic night on board – it’s perfect. You’d not want to stay longer. Not at the moment. Once it’s properly up and running maybe. Thing is – once you’ve spent a night or two on the ship, the novelty wears off.
There will be Friday Brunches here after October – but I get the impression it’ll be a Family type of Brunch. I might give it a go.
Another one off the bucket list.
Speaking of lists…. here is one taken from the website.
A WORLD WITHIN REACH
• 224 refurbished rooms and suites
• An interactive exhibition on the QE2’s history
• Dubai skyline and oceanic views
• Five restaurant and nightlife venues
• A chic shopping arcade (coming soon)
• A spa (coming soon)
• Live entertainment, a theatre and cinema (coming soon)
• Concierge services
• Complimentary shuttle bus services (coming soon)
• Airport transfers
Even though I was unable to enjoy a fully opened QE2… it’s still pretty cool to be able to say I stayed here.
The biggest problem.. and I have no idea how to address this…. was that there was no ‘buzz’ factor. Does that make sense? I didn’t feel any excitement or atmosphere.
I remember being in the presence of Concorde when I was younger – and I was in awe. I don’t know…. something is missing for sure.
Will I be back? Maybe around Christmas time.