Skip to main content

For our two-day Dubai Theme Park Stopover in January, we chose to stay at the Lapita Hotel, a Marriott Autograph hotel situated at Dubai Parks and Resorts.

Dubai Parks and Resorts is located approximately equidistant between Dubai and Abu Dhabi International Airport. We flew into Abu Dhabi and caught an airport taxi for the 40 minute ride to the hotel. The cost was 160 AED (approx. $62).

If following this path, catch your taxi from the airport rank and don’t get waylaid by touts preying by the airside exit.

The Lapita Hotel has a French Polynesian Theme, which I found a little bit odd given our location, however its effect is aesthetically pleasing and no doubt appeals to visitors.

Accommodation is spread over eight low-rise blocks located through the resort, each topped with Polynesian-style truss roofs. There are a total of 504 rooms, including 60 suites and three villas.

The resort is easy to walk and navigate, however electric buggies also run throughout the day to  shuttle guests around the resort and to the entrance to the Dubai Parks Riverland area.

Our room was very quiet and spacious, housing two double beds and a large bathroom with a comfortable bath and separate shower. There was a large balcony with chairs and we were able to have the doors open to the balcony giving us a choice of air conditioning or real air.

There are two large freeform pools and a looping lazy river. There is also a jogging track which laps the perimeter and an air-conditioned fitness centre open 24/7.

The fitness centre is very well equipped with all the usual machines you’d expect plus a separate studio with free weights, massage rollers, massage balls and steps.

There is a spa and a kids club available, however we didn’t use these facilities.

There are two restaurants, beginning with Kalea, which provides buffet style meals, plus the poolside Ari a la carte restaurant.

Our room rate (Winter Staycation) included breakfast, lunch and dinner, the latter options provided via meal vouchers which could be used at a number of outlets in the theme parks as well as the resort restaurants.

Kalea restaurant is large but was not busy during our stay. The buffet breakfast was extensive, featuring dishes from all over the world as well as all the usual offerings for a good buffet breakfast. The dinner offerings were also extensive. We particularly enjoyed the local chicken and rice dish.

Lunch at Ari restaurant was a real treat.

The vouchers provided access to a three course meal and the servings were very large! A good range of salads, dips, kebabs, pizzas and burgers were offered. In fact, what with jet lag and the large lunch, we didn’t even make it to dinner on the first day.

Fancy a cereal bowl of Hummus for your starter?

Lapita is a 15 minute walk to the theme parks. Hotel buggies provide drop off services to the gates of Riverland and from there, Motiongate is a 10 min walk.

All room rates include theme park entry, with a one-night stay providing access to one park; two parks for two nights and so on. Check-in time is 3pm and check-out at 12 noon.

Given the 24/7 operation of the local airports and a target market that includes international visitors, the hotel could afford to be more flexible with regard to check in/check out times.

We landed at 4am in Abu Dhabi and were due to depart on a 2am flight. The hotel was unwilling to allow early check in, not even for a fee. Instead, we had to add a night’s accommodation to our stay, which given there is no base room rate made our stay much more expensive than I was expecting. We paid for three nights but actually only spent one whole night on site.

In summary, Lapita is a relaxed and comfortable resort to spend a few days at Dubai Parks and Resorts whilst visiting the theme parks. It provides a welcome respite from the theme park excitement and is well set up for families with young children.

Traveltalk tips: Be aware of your flight times in relation to check in/check out times.