Sher­a­ton Dubai Creek a ho­tel with his­tory and five-star cre­den­tials

The National - News - - BUSINESS IN DEPTH - David Dunn The writer was a guest of the ho­tel

There is rarely a time when Dubai doesn’t have a new ho­tel name or a branded new­comer vy­ing for the city’s busi­ness or tourism travel dirhams.

The Sher­a­ton Dubai Creek Ho­tel & Tow­ers, how­ever, has one ma­jor at­tribute in its ar­moury that most mil­len­nial-tar­get­ing prop­er­ties strug­gle to tout – his­tory.

As the city’s de­but five-star ho­tel, it is some­thing of a hos­pi­tal­ity land­mark on the banks of Dubai’s birth­place wa­ter­way.

Yet this vin­tage ad­dress more than holds its own in a city ho­tel port­fo­lio that has ex­panded be­yond even the wildest Dubai ex­pec­ta­tions since check­ing in its first guests 41 years ago.

The Sher­a­ton does not rest on its his­toric lau­rels, even if man­age­ment lays claim to some ul­tra-loyal guests who’ve clocked up more than 1,200 nights in the prop­erty.

The ho­tel un­der­went a facelift in 2015, in­clud­ing re­fresh­ing its 268 rooms to ex­pected stan­dards, such as plen­ti­ful USB and reg­u­lar charg­ing points de­manded by the mod­ern trav­eller along with strong free Wi-Fi.

Ju­nior suites of­fer the usual tra­di­tional com­forts and decor that is fairly time­less and generic, with warm tones. Dark wood fur­ni­ture and rich fab­rics give a homely feel.

A gen­er­ous bath­room in­cludes a stand-alone tub and spa­cious walk-in cu­bi­cle with a re­viv­ing rain shower.

Ju­nior suites fea­ture a king bed, ex­ten­sive stor­age, with a safe, hairdryer, iron­ing board and robes. In a con­nected se­cond room you’ll find a prac­ti­cal work desk with lamp, USB and HDMI con­nec­tions, and Eth­er­net or LAN ca­bles avail­able on re­quest.

Both rooms of­fer a view of the Creek and Down­town. Eas­ily ac­cessed from a gate be­yond the pool area, the quay­side is suit­able for early morn­ing runs, post-work walks or cy­cling – the ho­tel rents bi­cy­cles from be­side the ho­tel’s gym, which is mod­estly sized but well stocked with on-trend aer­o­bic equip­ment and free weights.

De­pend­ing on your room type – a ju­nior suite costs Dh677 per night (in­clud­ing taxes) based on one adult stay­ing on Novem­ber 17. You can ac­cess the Sher­a­ton Club lounge be­side main re­cep­tion with the op­tion to check-in at ei­ther.

You are likely to meet Jo­ce­lyn, the VIP guests man­ager and one of four staff mem­bers who be­tween them have clocked up 100 years of ser­vice at the ho­tel – another rar­ity in a fa­mously tran­sient sec­tor and city.

The Club Lounge is a com­fort­able quiet area that serves drinks and re­fresh­ments, of­fers a calm place to catch muted TV news as well as the lo­ca­tion for af­ter­noon tea. There are also two desk­top ter­mi­nals in a dis­creet workspace, and com­fort­able seat clus­ters for in­for­mal meet­ings.

Hand­ily placed, The Lobby Cafe is another work­ing area with two raised desks served by Len­ovo desk­top com­put­ers, and a reg­u­lar level desk with six chairs, in­ter­net con­nec­tions and a phone.

For­mal con­fer­ence rooms are avail­able close to the main en­trance. The ho­tel of­fers nearly 1,300 square me­tres of events space in­clud­ing a flex­i­ble, full ser­vice ex­ec­u­tive con­fer­ence cen­tre. Plan­ners can choose from six meet­ing suites flanked by four break­out rooms and a huge ball­room for larger gath­er­ings.

Th­ese are catered, but guests also have five reg­u­lar din­ing op­tions, in­clud­ing au­then­tic In­dian out­let Ashi­ana and Creek­side Ja­panese Res­tau­rant. The set­ting of stylish Ital­ian out­let Vi­valdi steals the show, how­ever, with ex­ten­sive glass walls al­low­ing sweep­ing views of Dubai Creek.

While the Creek oc­cu­pies the old part of Dubai, it re­mains eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble from Dubai In­ter­na­tional Air­port – just 10 min­utes away from the Sher­a­ton by car given favourable traf­fic lights.

Among the cor­po­rate guests in ev­i­dence dur­ing my stay were sev­eral in­ter­na­tion­als in town to ex­hibit at Gi­tex at Dubai World Trade Cen­tre.

If they fan­cied swap­ping tar­mac for waves, wa­ter taxis op­er­ate from nearby creek ter­mi­nals, in­clud­ing to Dubai Ma­rina, which takes 45 min­utes.

There are sev­eral float­ing restau­rants creek­side of­fer­ing rea­son­ably priced night cruises for po­ten­tial client en­ter­tain­ing.

Sher­a­ton Dubai Creek gen­eral man­ager Ro­nan Fearon con­firms the ho­tel busi­ness and leisure guest split as about 50/50. “Dubai Creek has al­ways been a cen­tral place for both types of vis­i­tor,” he says.

“Walk­ing down the Creek you can see the trad­ing ships un­load­ing, which in­di­cates there is plenty of busi­ness go­ing on in this part of town.”


Water­side views and re­lax­ing am­bi­ence

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