Tips and must-visit places, including staycation offers.
There’s a new hotel opening up its doors in Business Bay on July 17 and from the little private tour Friday has had of this fourth DoubleTree property in the UAE, we can tell you this, it’s music for your eyes. You read that right: Elements of the oud, the traditional Arabic instrument that has been the design inspiration for the DoubleTree by Hilton, are ubiquitous throughout the hotel, from the artwork adorning its corridors and rooms to the bowl-like reception counters mocking the lute’s hollow body. But nowhere is its influence more evident than the lobby, quite aptly named The Oud, with its string-like striped screens, dark timber panelling and a oud player who will be belting out tunes daily by the lobby café once the hotel is open.
‘We’re a generous brand. You’ll see’, general manager Remco Werkhoven tells us during the tour and this hotel is plenty generous – from the signature choc-chip and walnut cookie that’s handed to every guest at check-in (they have nut- and gluten-free treats too), the free Wi-Fi, to the spacious 195 guest rooms that come with roomy walk-in showers a sizeable bath tub, springy double beds and the brand’s pride and joy: Specially designed sleek sofas that open up into double bed at the gentle tug of a concealed handle. It’s an ergonomic revolution that is also an economic perk – a family of four get to sleep in a room with no extra charge.
Room service has cleverly tied up with local eateries in and around the neighbouring Bay Square development, so you can order in a shawarma from Lebanese eatery BouBouffe or Japanese food from Sushi Counter. That said there’s more than one F&B option inside the hotel that will keep you rooted – Pizza Express Live and Belgian café Le Petit Belge are set to open later; both standalone venues will focus on live music acts keeping with the hotel’s musical dreams. Oh, and Nini Italian Ice Cream will scoop out gelato for guests in the lobby from no ordinary ice-cream van but – wait for it – a Vespa. The two in-house restaurants, My Square, the sleek bistro-esque all-day dining venue, and Bay Club, the rooftop lounge – have been infused with enough personality and individuality by executive chef Gary Rodricks to stand out on their own.
My Square’s 30-minute business buffet lunches should attract droves of hungry office-goers with its promise of freshlycooked main courses that will take you only half an hour to finish including placing your order; they cost Dh75. What gets this restaurant a double thumbs-up from us is their sustainable approach to food – ingredients are locally sourced as much as possible and they only use sustainable seafood that isn’t endangered by overfishing – so no hammour on the menu here.
My Square has other cards up its sleeve, such as themed experiential nights that will combine food and activities – think an Arabic language class by The Arabic Language Centre followed by a manakish-making class.
Bay Club intends to turn heads with sharing platters, one of which is a metre-long sausage platter, and bar bites that pair perfectly with the giant rooftop screens for big games broadcasts (they will be screening Wimbledon matches) and the open pool.
Like the little details, DoubleTree Business Bay has also got down pat their location – it’s minutes away from Dubai Water Canal, DIFC and The Dubai Mall and the 12 suites all overlook Burj Khalifa. In a neighbourhood filled with five-star hotels this offers the perks and service of one, at the prices of a four-star – perfect for family getaways, business trips or just a night out on the town.
Get a 25 per cent discount on summer rates. Rooms from Dh349. Visit doubletree3.hilton.com.
The new hotel in Dubai’s Bay Square blends local vibes with gelato, warm walnut cookies and rooftop big-game screenings