TRAVEL NEWS

Friday - - Contents -

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

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