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Travel With Bender

Uncovering the best family holidays

United Arab Emirates

Who Can Resist a Hotel With Free Chocolate Hour?

We’ve stayed in a lot of hotels in the past 19 months and this was our last stop in Dubai before we headed back to Australia for a much needed rest.

Our first 3 nights dragged by as we had chosen Gulf Oasis Hotel Apartments near Dubai Marina. It was not my favourite place to stay in and, well, my mum always said if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Enough said.

When we moved to Movenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers I could have cried with joy. This hotel was barely a month old and just the greeting from the staff at the front door was enough to instantly make us feel at home.

We were given two rooms on the 5th level overlooking the scenic man-made lake. The rooms were not interconnected which caused some concern for me, so we ended up each having one child and one room, but honestly they were so big we could have all fitted in one fairly easily. The hotel does have interconnecting rooms, however was fully booked during our family vacation.

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I could tell you about the super comfy bed, my rain showerhead or the bowl of delicious fresh fruit that was topped up daily, but let’s face it, you read the heading of this blog post and you want to know about the chocolate. 

Movenpick are a Swiss brand with their own unique fine chocolate. We scored 4 blocks one day when we returned to our room. There was also plenty available to buy from the in-room mini-bar and the turn down service each night left a chocolate on the pillow. These seemed to magically disappear very promptly and the kids innocently denied any wrongdoing while leaving some of the evidence on the sides of their mouths.

If this wasn’t enough, one afternoon we stumbled into the hotel weary and tired from a day full of adventure. At first my eyes were deceiving me as I gazed upon the oasis of multiple levels of flowing milk chocolate. Then I spotted the sticks with strawberries and marshmallows and the decadent sign made from chocolate with the words… “Chocolate Hour”. Gasp!

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Every day at 5pm in the lobby Movenpick hosts a free, yes free, Chocolate Hour. It changes daily from fondue to chocolate mousse to chocolate chips in the classic dark, milk and white varieties.

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My daughter ran directly for the eye-catching tower of chocolate and attempted to dunk multiple marshmallows (and even her fingers) before we caught up and tried to use grown-up restraint and self-control. Actually, all we really wanted to do, of course, was join her in dunking and eating as many strawberries as we could.

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Everyday Mia asked if we would be back in time for chocolate hour and it certainly became something we strived for. I’ve never witnessed any other hotel to offer free chocolate and they all should, I mean it’s a winner. Who doesn’t love chocolate? Especially free chocolate!

We were greeted by name by most staff members and while it caught us by surprise at first, it soon made us feel like we belonged. Breakfast was delicious with made-to-order eggs, healthy wheatgrass shots or delicious pastries. The range of food would satisfy even the most refined palate and in fact, it was one of the best hotel breakfasts we have ever experienced. The chefs lovingly produced top notch, flavourful food, and the friendly staff bent over backwards to please. From remembering Mia’s hot chocolate preferences each morning to proactively moving the sun shade as soon as we sat at our table. I couldn’t fault it at all.

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The Internet connection was fast and reliable. They have a free 24-hour complimentary service, which was slightly slower, but you can upgrade for a few dollars to the higher speed internet if desired.

My only concern was the hallway music that was surprisingly loud and I had trouble sleeping when “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” was coming through my door about midnight on the first night. I kindly asked if they could turn it down and it was down in seconds. The second night the same thing occurred, but on the third night we had no dramas, I could not hear it once the door was shut.

But one cannot be too cranky with party music in the hallway when you are high on the chocolate endorphins. And the staff were so amicable and fast to action, it hardly seems worth mentioning.

On the last day we spent a couple hours by the pool and the kids relished being in the warmer weather again.

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Movenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers was the perfect family travel location. We could walk to the metro station within ten minutes and within a few stops we were at Mall of Emirates or in half an hour we were at Dubai Mall. 

I am not sure how I could ever visit Dubai again without my kids and my husband begging for Movenpick and it’s chocolate hour. It made our desert holiday feel like a heavenly oasis of sweetness. 

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Here's what you have to say...

"I respond to every comment by private email. So please leave me comments, I love chatting to you" -
Posted by Katie on
Wow I think every hotel needs a chocolate hour!!
Posted by ayngelina on
Wow, that looks like one nice hotel, and nope, no one can resist free chocolate!
Posted by Sarah Ebner on
This looks gorgeous! We recently experienced a chocolate buffet in Jamaica. I'd love to do both now!!
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