That’s quite the statement.
Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates Dubai really sets the bar when it comes to both luxury and unique hotel suites. Situated right in the beating heart of the busy Dubai metropolis and adjoining the famous Mall of the Emirates, this hotel offers both convenience and opulence in abundance.
But there is something particularly special about this hotel that sets it apart from any other five-star property in the region and that is its suites, most notably the Aspen Ski Chalets.
Apart from the three categories of ‘standard rooms’ (note: these are anything but standard) and the six categories of Suites (some of the biggest you’ll find in Dubai), Kempinski Mall of the Emirates offers five different grades of Aspen Ski Chalet.
Now, skiing and indeed quintessential ski lodges are not something that you would ordinarily associate with the United Arab Emirates but not only does the hotel directly connect with the mall itself, but it also faces Ski Dubai, the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. These Aspen Ski Chalets have been designed and recently refreshed to provide not only a typical ski chalet experience but also to offer amazing views out towards the slopes of Ski Dubai itself; an unforgettable vista for your Dubai travels.
From the studio-sized Aspen Ski Chalet with it’s perfectly compact and cozy ambiance to the astonishing size and interior design of the Three Bedroom Aspen Ski Chalet, each one of these rooms offers an experience that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the entire of Dubai, which in a saturated market of luxury hotels, is really something.
The Aspen Ski Chalets are situated in their own wing of the hotel, accessed through a card activated crystal door and with easy access to the business lounge and the notable bars and restaurants that this hotel offers.
Let’s start with the one-bedroom Aspen Ski Chalet, the smallest of the grades of Aspen Ski Chalets, although still larger than most studio apartments at 484 ft². Now I’d seen many photos of these beautiful rooms but no image can do justice to the first impression you get when entering through your authentic heavy wooden door. Beautifully rustic and instantly warming, the view of the powdery slopes greets you straight away through a focal window at the back of the room and the faint crackle of the stone faux fireplace sets the atmosphere perfectly. It’s hard not to kick off your shoes and snuggle straight up on the king size bed, make yourself a hot chocolate from the in-room facilities and whittle away the hours watching a movie on the flat-screen TV, perfectly positioned at the end of the bed. It’s so impossibly cozy. The space is cleverly divided with deep mahogany beams, allowing for both a small kitchenette and a separate sleeping area. The only thing that is perhaps missing is a big squishy sofa to sink into, although the beautifully appointed chaise lounge that is strategically placed in front of the window itself more than makes up for it. For those Dubai residents looking for true escapism, this is the ultimate staycation destination and it’s probably little under twenty minutes away from your house. And for those looking to experience an alternative Dubai, then this is exactly what you need; you couldn’t get much further away from ‘beach life’.
For even more space, the next grade of Aspen Ski Chalet up is the Duplex. We popped our heads in for a quick look and whilst it follows the same format and design as the Aspen Ski Chalet itself, the bedroom and larger bathroom are cleverly located on a separate level, offering you double the view of Ski Dubai. With a larger living area and generous sized dining table forming the first floor it’s the perfect place for devouring the specially curated in-room dining menu on, as trust me, you won’t want to leave your room for a second. Not even to browse the amazing selection of shops quite literally on your doorstep. The bedroom and main bathroom form the top level of this double story chalet and are separated only by the same wooden beam divide – not a room for the self-conscious! The free standing bathtub sits amidst a gleaming marble room, dotted only with the welcome sight of Hermes toiletries.
Now, for the ultimate in luxury hotel suites and for an unforgettable experience, you only really have one option; the Three Bedroom Aspen Ski Chalet, the crown in Kempinski Mall of the Emirates’ crown and it’s not hard to see why. At little under 2,500 ft², it’s one of the biggest hotel rooms we’ve ever stayed in – let’s call it an apartment for arguments sake. Located on three levels, you’ll need to be fit – the master bedroom is located right at the top and the lounge, dining area and kitchen on the ground level, separated only by two further ski-view bedrooms (with en-suites naturally) on level two.
This impressive three-bedroom Aspen Ski Chalet can accommodate up to six adults making it an ideal place for either a family getaway or a group of friends. Walking through the door is like walking straight into Courcheval. Huge floor-to-ceiling windows lining the communal area, the crackling fireplace exudes warmth and your eye darts between the ornate artifacts that line the authentic furniture and the piles of fashion and art related books on the side tables. Think lots of dark wood, brick clad walls, neutral decoration and fur soft furnishings. It’s the epitome of sophistication and ever so stylish. The low-level lighting, not more than a slumber-inducing glow from the oversized lamps envelopes you into this impossibly inviting space. Spend the day cuddled up on the huge L-shaped sofa under a woolen blanket marveling at the skills of enthusiastic skiers gliding gracefully down the slopes from the window and smile to yourself at the small children zorbing over the snow – the temperature and time of year outside no longer matters, it could be 0 degrees or 50 degrees for all you’ll know or care, because right there in that moment, you’re in your own cozy world, just you and your loved ones and a dedicated personal butler on call to attend to your every whim.
The master bedroom found on the top floor is the main point of difference. Facing out towards the city with views over the hotel’s swimming pool and out towards the sea, this room complete with four poster bed, writing desk, dressing room and a beautiful en-suite bathroom is so perfectly designed, you’ll wish you could stay hidden away here forever. From the giant metal plant pots sitting proudly yet discreetly in the corners of the room to the jovial elements that are thoughtfully added such as a giant magnifying glass, it’s as if every single part of this space has been so painstakingly curated with such specific attention to detail, you’re transported to a place that you never even knew could exist in this part of the world. A glance inwards says you’re in Europe and outwards towards the Burj Al Arab reminds you that you’re so very far away. Take a long relaxing soak in the focal metal bath tub hidden away in the alcove of your personal bathroom before climbing into the cushion covered bed and having one of the best nights sleeps of your life.
My favourite part of the entire Three Bedroom Aspen Ski Chalet has to be the grand staircase that separates the three levels; adorned with photos of skiing legends on the walls tucked between cute quotes such as ‘Live.Love.Ski’ hanging from rustic style plaques, it feels like a true home away from home as you pad around in your fluffy socks. The focal part of the staircase is the immense light structure that hangs proudly from the ceiling – almost the height of the stair case itself – lighting up the space like a beacon and proudly highlighting the ski slope view through open bedroom doors.
One thing we haven’t mentioned is that all the Aspen Ski Chalets come with access to the hotel’s Executive Lounge, a peaceful haven on the 11th floor of the hotel, reserved only for certain hotel guests. Here you can enjoy unique benefits throughout the day such as coffee, cocktails and evening canapes. You can also use the Executive Lounge for a swift and private check-in and check-out as well as laundry services and complimentary internet access.
If you do make it out of the luxury of your Aspen Ski Chalet, we highly recommend that you try one of the hotel’s renowned restaurants, in particular Olea. The main dining space of the hotel, Olea presents a real taste of the Levant with some of the best Middle Eastern food we’ve had the pleasure of trying – in fact, this wasn’t our first time to the restaurant, being one of our favourite ‘hidden gems’.
This sensory restaurant is as proud of they come; the delightful staff are passionate about the cuisine they serve and are more than willing to offer recommendations, with some dishes just appearing at your table because they are a ‘must try’, courtesy of the chefs themselves. Dishes are prepared by traditional cooking methods and signature meats and breads are beautifully presented at the table. It’s a welcoming restaurant further enhanced by musical live entertainment on some nights. Thursday nights start the weekend off with The Levantine Linner ; delicious flavours of authentic Levantine cuisine are on offer through live cooking stations and food trolleys, including a popular shwarma stand so you can feast on as much as you please. After your meal retreat to the outdoor terrace for a spot of shisha under the glittering lights of the Dubai skyline.
Kempinski Mall of the Emirates Dubai is a hotel unlike any other, a place where the sand meets the snow and where the Kempinski brand really show off their hospitable excellence. Even without taking into account the uniqueness of the Aspen Ski Chalets, this is a hotel that is a serious contender as the best in Dubai and when you take these special suites into consideration, it takes some beating. Ideal for those looking for a different kind of Dubai experience or an escape from every day life in the sandpit itself.
If there’s ever something to add to your UAE bucket list, it’s staying in one these ski chalets.