It was one of the busiest days of the year for Dubai International Airport and passengers were being advised to check in three hours before the scheduled departure time of their flight.
For me this meant leaving home at 03:00 - not a pleasant prospect considering the significant drive facing me on arrival at Birmingham when I reached the UK.
So, I thought, why not check into the hotel which is situated within Terminal 3?
I could get a good night sleep and, hey presto, feel refreshed for the journey next day.
Would this work to plan?
On arrival at Terminal 3 a lady from the Ahlan concierge service greeted us warmly and took us to check in for our Emirates flight.
At 12 hours ahead of the scheduled departure time it felt surreal - it was seven o’clock in the evening and the earliest I have ever checked-in for a flight.
I enquired about what would happen to our luggage so far ahead of the flight and was assured by the EK staff that our luggage would be taken care of.
Also, we were advised we could check tomorrow at the gate on the status of the luggage.
Next it was a smooth transition through the immigration and security procedures.
Following which we were meet by the Ahlan staff who then took us to the Dubai International Hotel on level five of Concourse C.
There we were greeted with cool towels and a refreshing drink, while the hotel check-in was completed by the welcoming reception staff.
The room was next, and what big surprise, as we were introduced to the Royal Suite, of which the hotel has five.
Luxurious to say the least, including a lounge with kitchenette facilities, a majilis area, and even a massage chair which was very effective for relieving the taught muscles, it had everything.
Also on offer was with a selection of canapés, chocolates, and fresh fruit juices.
Outside of the lounge a quiet ‘reading study’ offered an elevated view down to the lower levels of the concourse – which, in early evening, saw just a sprinkling of passengers.
Then the bedroom: it was expansive to say the least, as was the super king-size bed, while the bathroom was larger than most hotel rooms.
Technology was in abundance, with flat screen HD television screens in both the lounge and bedroom, plus high-speed internet access - which delivered the promised high speed.
The entire suite was so large one needed a satnav to get around and not get lost.
The hotel offers guests use of the Timeless Spa, with various treatments, while there is also a jacuzzi, steam rooms, and sauna, as well as a swimming pool.
The executive lounge was the next port of call and offered a good selection of snacks and beverages, along with hot meals which are prepared to order.
Guests can also dine in one of the many restaurants located throughout the concourse.
We selected the Cadiz Lounge & Tapas Bar, close to gate B-26, and to ensure we did not get lost our concierge took us there.
A super place with a tasty range of tapas, meals are selected from the al carte menu and served by the friendly and accommodating staff.
Then back to hotel, walking through the Dubai Duty Free Shops and picking up a few presents on the way.
A warm welcome greeting in the lobby and our last port of call was a chat with the reception team about a wake-up call to ensure we got to the gate in time for our 07:25 flight to Birmingham.
This did not go exactly to plan - and it was quite a sprint to get to the gate before it closed!
Overall, however, it was a relaxing and most comfortable stay.
A great way to avoid a very early journey from home and the queues at check-in, immigration, and security on what was one of the busiest days of the year for Dubai International Airport.
Ideally located in the prime touristic area of Dubai International Airport, Dubai International Airport Hotel promises a relaxing and wonderful visit.
Find out more on the official website.