I’m by no means an expert of brunching in Dubai, but I have been to my fair share. There is a minimum level of expectations — especially when paying for a premium package. Thus, when the Waldorf announced a Star Wars (later a ‘galactic’) themed brunch at Mezzerie, I thought, this would be an awesome way to get out with our friends who have kids — no one would be neglected! To start, by no fault of the Waldorf, it is simply too far away (other trips to this property have taken well over an hour, due to construction by the Atlantis). Past practically every other hotel on the Palm, there is a minimum AED50 (and most likely more) just to get to the front door. This was further complicated by the number of emails it took to secure the booking. Really, reservations team, when I send an e-mail through that should be the end of it and I shouldn’t need to follow up multiple times (or receive a bunch of reminders and follow ups). Thus, before I had even stepped foot in the front door, the hotel was at a disadvantage.
Our party of 11 (6 adults, 5 kids, with a range of ages) were seated back near the dedicated children’s section (something that was appreciated, especially as light sabers + wine glasses = eek!).
I could break down all the food I had and comments on each, but would rather list out what happened…
- I really looked, but could not find the Waldorf salad to save my life.
- Nor could I find Obi-Wan Kebabs, Han-burgers, Darth Vader Dark Chocolate Sundaes, Princess Leia Danish Dos, Yoda Soda’s and light sabre shots. There was a lot of punnily named food, but I didn’t see anything remotely approaching these items.
- No sushi = very sad Courtney.
- There was not a single dish I wanted more of.
- I’m not sure what was being poured as the house red, but one taste and I was uninterested in having another sip.
- The music selection was completely off. They had apparently been looking for a ‘space’ theme and missed the mark by a fair margin. We asked them to turn it down and then it was turned off entirely (no replacement music was found). Sure, it might be copyright violation, but John Williams is always a star!
- One of the only pros was the extensive pork selection.
- Some of the best food came when the team from Social by Heinz Beck offered up small samples from their upstairs restaurant (it really saved the meal). And yet, there was no follow up on how or when to book. A business card for the table would help will the follow through.
- No organization around anyone who was dressed up or how they would win.
- Being served coffee when I asked for tea.
- Tons of empty tables (for people who had obviously paid) and allegedly there was a wait list.
- I was glad to see that (apparently) the children ate free (which was a bit of a disconnect from the payment form that I had to complete to confirm the booking).
- And yet, in spite of all of the above, the families all mentioned they had a wonderful time! (?)
- A far better food selection — buffets can be done well (see, Traiteur at the Park Hyatt for an outsanding experience at a similar price point).
- A ‘weekender’ offer (like the Fairmont is rocking in Abu Dhabi).
- Follow through on promises from your press release.
- Better wine selection.
- No Pinheads (see below).
- Fun, uptempo kid friendly music.
- Offer some buy one, get one vouchers via the Entertainer app.
- An offer with Careem or Uber to bring down the cost of the drive.
- An offer to enjoy a drink at the Serafina Bar post brunch.
It’s very rare for me to hand out a 2 rating (out of 5) but given the total lack of value for money (AED600 per person for the bubbles package = this was an expensive mistake), the mediocre food and unorganized entertainment, I’m giving Mezzerie a very hard pass. Get your game together, Waldorf.