Date of Last Visit: Late March, 2011
See Dad, they have hotels in Kuwait. They even have — gasp — MARRIOTTS.
I thought Kuwait City was pretty awesome. I though the JW Marriott was even more so. Mainly because of the lovely staff. The rooms were a bit dated and the Internet in the rooms was only Ethernet (although there was wifi in the common areas), but the people who work for this hotel are really some of the nicest hotel staff I’ve ever encountered. By the end of my stay, they all knew my name. That’s impressive. Most impressive of all though was that everyone seems to have worked for the hotel since it opened more than 20 years ago. That’s BEFORE the war, for those of you up on the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
There’s a Japanese restaurant in the hotel called Kei. I had lunch there late one afternoon after a long day of meetings, when I couldn’t get up the energy to head out into the 90+ degree weather and find something else. For a Japanese restaurant in the middle of Kuwait City, you really couldn’t ask for better. This was unexpectedly excellent. The salmon was like it had just been caught and cut up moments before. What a surprise. A pricey surprise (hotel food! sigh.) but a nice surprise nonetheless.
The only downside to the Marriott was that it was pretty expensive. (And of course, just my luck, it was the only business-class hotel with rooms available while we were there.) I got talking to one of the sales guys later in my stay and he explained that hotel prices in Kuwait are more or less fixed. So if you’re a certain class of hotel, you have to charge a certain price. This means they can’t really be as competitive as they’d like to be.
If I do go back to Kuwait, I would stay here again mainly for the staff. And maybe because I plan to buy a Louis Vuitton bag. (The hotel is attached to the most upscale mall in Kuwait.) That being said, I hope I make my millions before returning so that I don’t blink when it’s time to pay the bill at checkout.