The good old days

The ar­gu­ment for re­mem­ber­ing how much of a gem Le meri­dien dubai ho­tel and con­fer­ence cen­ter was, and STILL is

Virtuozity - - Destination -

ho­tel’s up­grades is the new Le Royal Club sec­tion of the ho­tel, which was opened in 2014. It was launched as part of a AED 450 mil­lion ex­pan­sion plan, and fea­tures 196 new, lux­u­ri­ous rooms at the ex­clu­sive Le Royal Club an­nex build­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the ho­tel, guests of the new, eight-storey an­nex can en­joy some of the largest rooms in the city - spa­cious, sim­plis­tic yet equipped with modern com­forts. We’ll get to whether that’s true in a mo­ment, but what is ac­cu­rate is that the an­nex’s per­son­alised check-in lounges po­si­tioned on each floor re­ally adds to the feel­ing of be­ing wel­come and re­laxed.

The stan­dard rooms at Le Royal Club are 52 square me­tres in size, and they do in­deed fea­ture a modern, min­i­mal­is­tic in­te­rior set-up. Other ho­tels can and do of­fer rooms of this size, but of­ten the space is lost through badly placed, and cho­sen, fur­ni­ture and gaudy de­signs. Here, things keep an air of clas­si­cal el­e­gance, with the beds, while lux­u­ri­ous not be­ing vastly over­sized, and desks not tak­ing up too much of the liv­ing space. As a re­sult, the rooms are light and airy, but still com­fort­able enough to feel home-like.

Ob­vi­ously, it goes with­out say­ing that the new rooms are equipped with the lat­est in tech­nol­ogy. Large, flat-screen TVS come as stan­dard, as do high-qual­ity sound sys­tems

with smart­phone com­pat­i­bil­ity.

The fit-out work on the bath­rooms is breath­tak­ing, with much mar­ble adorn­ing the walls, floors and basins, and no cracks to be seen any­where. You’d ex­pect to see even a lit­tle wear and tear, given the rooms have been open for two years, but they’re com­pletely flaw­less. What’s more, the bath­rooms are enor­mous, es­chew­ing the same sense of space that the rooms them­selves pro­vide. And clever light­ing and the use of fine ma­te­ri­als com­bine to pro­vide a truly lux­u­ri­ous ex­pe­ri­ence.

The thing about this par­tic­u­lar Le Meri­dien, how­ever, is that you likely won’t be spend­ing that much time in the rooms. The ho­tel com­plex is some­thing of a large cam­pus, with var­i­ous wings, restau­rants and clubs to whet the ap­petite of any guest. Even in the Le Royale Club, there’s a rooftop pool and an ex­clu­sive Club Lounge.

There’s also the Nat­u­ral El­e­ments Spa, which of­fers the Le Royal Club Ham­mam Ex­pe­ri­ence. The Moroc­can Ham­mam is a rel­a­tively new ad­di­tion to the spa’s menu, with the fa­cil­ity be­ing in­tro­duced at the end of 2015. The treat­ment is not only detox­i­fy­ing,

but it’s also supremely lux­u­ri­ous, with the space hav­ing been cus­tom-made for the ho­tel.

Even if a ham­mam isn’t for you, the spa is worth spend­ing some time in - El­e­ments Spa of­fers an ex­ten­sive ar­ray of spa treat­ments from anti-ag­ing and slim­ming to the an­cient Ayurveda.

Fol­low­ing a re­lax­ing treat­ment, it’s worth head­ing into the com­plex to sam­ple the ho­tel’s vast ar­ray of eat­ing op­tions. Ever since it was first built, the Le Meri­dien has al­ways been a go-to des­ti­na­tion for food and drink lovers, and that’s as true to­day as it was back then. The Ware­house is a chic venue with great food and a lively at­mos­phere, while Dublin­ers is the quin­tes­sen­tial Ir­ish pub. These venues are Dubai main­stays, but there are other restau­rants at the ho­tel that, while not as fa­mous, are just as worth your time.

Long Yin Restau­rant, for ex­am­ple, of­fers tra­di­tional Can­tonese & Schezwan food at its best. Its menu boasts all-time favourites and a ded­i­cated menu sec­tion of­fer­ing 34 fried and steamed dim sum. Seafood lovers have the op­tion to se­lect the ‘catch of the

And for mu­sic lovers, the Mex­i­canPhilip­pine restau­rant, Jules Bar, is a reg­u­lar haunt for some of Dubai’s best bar bands.

There are other nice touches at the ho­tel, too. For ex­am­ple, upon check-in, you’re told about the process called ‘Un­lock Art’. Es­sen­tially, guests re­ceive lim­ited-edi­tion room keys de­signer ex­clu­sively for the ho­tel by an LM100 artist. These keys also pro­vide com­ple­men­tary ac­cess to Hu­nar Art Gallery.

And that’s the crux of the ar­gu­ment for the Le Meri­dien Dubai Ho­tel and Con­fer­ence Cen­ter. Its long-term stand­ing as one of the best lux­ury ho­tels in Old Dubai has en­grained it into the com­mu­nity. Long-term res­i­dents of the emi­rate view the ho­tel with a sense of en­dear­ment, and that en­dear­ment has been re­warded with a real in­volve­ment in the lo­cal com­mu­nity. That - with its lat­est up­grades and ex­ten­sions - the ho­tel of­fers supremely modern lev­els of lux­ury is just the ic­ing on the cake.

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