St Regis Dubai

Business Traveller (Middle East) - - Tried & Tested -

BACK­GROUND The St Regis Dubai opened in Novem­ber 2015, the first of three Star­wood (now Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional) ho­tels in the Al Habtoor com­plex – it has since been joined by the W and the Westin, and the JW Mar­riott Mar­quis is nearby – a big draw for very large groups and con­fer­ences. WHAT’S IT LIKE? The ex­tremely grand en­trance to the ho­tel in­volves driv­ing in through gates, past a se­cu­rity gate­house and land­scaped gar­dens to­wards the Beaux Arts-style ex­te­rior – a nod to the orig­i­nal New York St Regis. It’s im­pos­si­ble to spend any time here with­out the word “op­u­lent” pop­ping into mind. Whether you think it’s over the top or not prob­a­bly de­pends on how many ho­tels you’ve stayed at in Dubai. It’s cer­tainly not un­der­stated. WHERE IS IT? On Sheikh Zayed Road. As well as ho­tels, Al Habtoor City is home to three res­i­den­tial tow­ers and the Las Ve­gas-style La Perle by Dragone the­atre on the side of the newly cre­ated Dubai Wa­ter Canal (open­ing this year). It’s about a 20-minute drive to Dubai In­ter­na­tional air­port and a 40-minute drive to Al Mak­toum In­ter­na­tional, traf­fic per­mit­ting. ROOMS The 182 rooms and 52 suites are tra­di­tion­ally fur­nished in grand style, with chan­de­liers, marble bath­rooms and art­works. They are all very large – en­try-level Deluxe rooms are an as­ton­ish­ing 55sqm, with suites start­ing at 84sqm. Since the other two ho­tels within Al Habtoor City are also of a high stan­dard, I sup­pose this means that the St Regis has to re­ally dis­tin­guish it­self, which it does – all rooms of­fer the ho­tel brand’s sig­na­ture St Regis but­ler ser­vice. I asked to get my suit and shirt pressed on ar­rival and it was done swiftly.

All rooms and suites have St Regis beds, which are very com­fort­able, and the bath­rooms have Remède toi­letries. All wifi is com­pli­men­tary and high speed, and the mini­bar has full- and half-size bot­tles of pre­mium brands (there’s also free tea and cof­fee). Sig­na­ture suites in­clude the three-bed­room Sir Win­ston Churchill suite, which has its own pri­vate pool, and a Bent­ley suite, the brand’s third worldwide. RESTAU­RANTS AND BARS There are seven food and drink venues, although since you can also use those in the other ho­tels, this rises to more than 20. Here, op­tions in­clude the St Regis Bar, which is a clas­sic New York bar and a cigar lounge (with a ter­race to smoke them). It has a good cock­tail menu as well as wines, spir­its and co­gnac.

On level one is the J&G Steak­house, serv­ing “a so­phis­ti­cated col­lec­tion of clas­sics as reimag­ined by Miche­lin-starred chef Jean-Ge­orges Von­gerichten”, and the Brasserie Quartier – a French brasserie and patis­serie. The lobby lounge – the Sidra, mean­ing “heav­enly tree” in Ara­bic – of­fers the St Regis af­ter­noon tea ex­pe­ri­ence, while the Cham­pagne lounge on the first floor serves a range of snacks as well as fizz that can be dra­mat­i­cally opened us­ing a sabre.

On the se­cond floor, 1930s-style Parisian in­spired Café Fleuri can be found, fea­tur­ing wooden floor­ing, marble ta­ble tops, a bar counter with a mir­ror wall, pho­tog­ra­phy and prints of Parisian café culture. It also pro­vides ac­cess to open-air court­yard bistro Le Pa­tio, which is sim­i­larly styled. MEET­ING FA­CIL­I­TIES There are six meet­ing rooms in­clud­ing the op­u­lent 800sqm As­tor ball­room. The out­door Roof Gar­dens is a pleas­ant venue be­side the ho­tel’s two swim­ming pools. LEISURE FA­CIL­I­TIES In ad­di­tion to the pools, there’s a gym, and the Irid­ium spa, which fea­tures six treat­ment rooms, two ham­mams and sep­a­rate men’s and women’s ar­eas with steam rooms and saunas. Tom Ot­ley

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