The Shangri-la is at the very heart of new Dubai, with an unrivalled position a stones throw from the Burj Khalifa, the World Trade Centre and with easy links to the Marina, the Shangri-La plays its position well.
This has always been a favourite hotel of mine and one I’ve stayed in numerous times the past few years and for obvious reasons. The main one being, that the Shangri-La brand is synonymous with luxury and you know regardless of where in the UAE or indeed the world you are staying, whether Dubai, Abu Dhabi or London, that you will experience some of the very best hospitality and comfort like no other. Shangri-La is in short, a hotel brand to be reckoned with.
Dubai is by definition a city of contrasts with modern skyscrapers side by side with ancient mosques and traditional souq markets and the Shangri-la Dubai follows suit. On one hand a sophisticated business hotel and on the other a forefront on Dubai’s entertainment scene with award-winning restaurants that see the city’s insiders flock in their droves. It’s a lifestyle hotel, a hotel that gives you whatever you want to take out from it.
The exterior and lobby of the hotel are relatively nondescript, encapsulating traditional Shangri-la elegance the design is neither gaudy nor ostentatious. Intimate groups of business associates busily discuss their days in the lobby bar and traditionally dressed staff greet and guide you through the open space.
Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai offers some 302 guest rooms and suites, making it a relatively large hotel. Each spacious room is Arabian-inspired with rich dark sycamore furniture and warming earth tones. Local artworks adorn the walls adding to the traditional sophisticated of the hotel. Each room and suite is comforting, a home away from home, a space that you are happy to be in. I stayed in a Deluxe Burj Khalifa View room and if there is availability I thoroughly recommend you opt for accommodation with this spectacular view. With a long corridor and floor to ceiling mirror, the 45 square metre room leads onto a living and sleeping area with oversized bed taking centre stage in the room. A desk by the window offers an excellent opportunity for catching up on work without missing out on the fantastic cityscape below. If you can ask for a room on a higher floor to take full advantage of the vista. The bathroom is one of my favourite parts of the room, a deep soaking tub lays alongside a separate rainforest shower.
From one bedroom to a presidential suite,upgrading has never been more appealing. Offering contrasting views out across the Arabian Gulf, the vast suites are double the size of the already impressive standard rooms and come with separate living and dining space.
If you’re room falls under the Horizon Club you are entitled to a wide range of facilities including a personalized meet and greet and chauffeur service from the airport, private check in and check out and exclusive access to the Horizon Lounge which a range of all day services and dining options on offer which are there solely for the purpose of making your life easier and more pleasurable.
The Shangri-La Dubai is not just a superb business hotel but also a great leisure destination for those looking to make the most of the best Dubai has to offer as well as the glorious year round sunshine.
Whether you want to relax or rejuvenate, the Shangri-La has something for you. A fully equipped health club offers state-of-the-art training and weight training systems and the Spa offers a wide range of treatments and services to aid in your personal wellbeing. The rooftop swimming pool on the 4th floor offers spectacular views out across the city and boasts all day sun, open until 10pm. There are also jacuzzis and a plunge pool for those that prefer to leisurely take to the water.
Despite all these exceptional facilities, the Shangri-La Dubai still has more to offer namely through its fabulous dining outlets, some of the very best in the entirety of Dubai. From traditional Chinese cuisine at the signature restaurant Shang Palace to my personal favourite, Hoi An which serves up traditional Pan-Asian cuisine and has won numerous Middle East Awards for its fare. Named after the quaint Vietnamese fishing port, Hoi An is actually the only authentic Vietnamese restaurant and a firm favourite among Dubai foodies. This stylish restaurant is a great place for intimate dining and before you know it the hours will have flown by as you are your loved one feast on the delicious and extensive menu. All dishes are served on traditional style bamboo platters and lotus leaves which make for a unique touch and the overall effect, coupled with the traditional decor is one of authenticity as opposed to tackiness. What’s great about Hoi An is the entire team are actually Vietnamese and clearly take a strong sense of pride in their work, happy to offer recommendations on dishes.
One of the newest members of Shangri-La Dubai is The Act, which you may be slightly surprised to find in the hotel. After the sun sets, the night owls descend on this New York City inspired venue which possesses a unique concept that combines theatre, nightlife and dining in one. This sprawling multi-level venue sitting at the top of the hotel makes it the highest theatre venue in the world and throughout the week (except weekends) expect eccentric shows combining dance, theatre and all manner of entertainment as you dine in style. Once the clock strikes midnight, the venue descends into one of the city’s most decadent nightclubs.
Another favourite with the fashion set is the iKandy Ultralounge which offers a more relaxed atmosphere on the rooftop. This funky outdoor lounge offers yet more incredible views of the Burj Khalifa and live DJs play throughout the evening as you relax and enjoy signature cocktails, shisha and light bites.
Insider secret: High up on the 43rd floor lies arguably some of the best views of Dubai. If you ask the manager on duty of the private spa ever so nicely, they might let you out on the terrace to witness quite an incredible sight. Come face to beautiful face with the Burj Khalifa in all its shining glory, just don’t forget your camera! For the best view head out at sunset or nightfall when the city becomes ablaze with the twinkling lights of the world’s tallest building and the busy roads of this vibrant metropolis.
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