St Regis Dubai
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