BACKGROUND Dukes Dubai opened in April this year as the iconic British luxury brand’s first venture overseas.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? The hotel is decked out in the same classic décor as its London sister, though glitzy flourishes such as the lobby’s 1,610 Swarovski-crystal chandelier do a good job of reminding you that you’re in Dubai, not London. In contrast to its cosey, dimly lit lobby in London, the space here is tall and spacious, flanked by shelves of weathered novels and gilt ornaments, while in the central area, pairs of button sofas and silk armchairs cluster around coffee tables enlivened by pots of fresh white lilies.
WHERE IS IT? On the west trunk of the Palm Jumeirah, about 35 minutes from Dubai International airport (allow longer at peak times).
ROOM FACILITIES The hotel’s 279 rooms, which include 64 suites, are spread across 15 floors. Still in the works are the upper 16th and 17th floors, though these are expected this December. An additional 287 studio and one-bedroom residences are also on offer for extended stay guests. There are 12 room categories ranging from the entry level Dukes rooms, situated on floors 1 to 13, to the lavish 203sqm Ambassador suites which can accommodate up to four people.
I stayed in a 32 sqm Superior room, regally decorated in rich navies and coffee hues, and brightly lit by a traditional lamp chandelier, deep mahogany fittings and artwork showing London cityscapes.
All rooms come with a wooden work desk, a 48-inch Samsung TV a Nespresso machine and tea making facilities. Ours had a cream sofa and armchair tucked into an alcove next to the bed. Bathrooms are fitted with sleek black and slate tiling and come with rain showers, and deep bathtubs in Superior rooms and above. The hotel has partnered with a number of well-known UK brands including perfumers Floris, Andrew Martin furniture and Liberty fabrics in the 20 rooms on the women-only Duchess floor.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS The hotel has three restaurants, a cigar lounge and champagne and tea lounge, alongside the brand’s iconic Dukes bar. Located on the ground floor is GBR, the hotel’s all-day dining outfit, where an impressive breakfast is laid on each morning – highlights include the pancake and waffle station and a range of obscure tropical juices. The space is stylish and modern in design, featuring a monochrome checkered floor, half-crescent leather booths and whimsical lamp fixtures on the walls and surrounding columns.
Khyber is an outpost of the award-winning Mumbai flagship, a north Indian restaurant that has hosted the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Richard Gere and Demi Moore. We had a fantastic meal there one evening, with an assortment of delicious curries and grill dishes.
The Dukes Bar juts out over the lobby on the mezzanine level, and is accessed by sweeping staircases that lead up from the lobby on either side.
MEETING FACILITIES The hotel has seven “British styled” meeting rooms and banqueting spaces with capacity to host between 10 to 150 guests.
LEISURE FACILITIES There is an 18-metre indoor pool and gym on the 14th floor. There is also an outdoor pool, alongside a 200-metre private beach and kids club. Yoga classes take place by the indoor pool each week. Marisa Cannon
VERDICT A classy option that stands out among Dubai’s flashier five-star segment. Staff are eager to help with any request, and the dining offering is first-rate.
PRICE Internet rates for a Dukes room in November started at AED964.
CONTACT Dukes Dubai, Oceana Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. dukesdubai.com