In a place which prides itself on its ‘bigger is better’ mentality, it’s no surprise that Dubai is home to the world’s tallest hotel. The impressive JW Marriott Marquis towers over Sheikh Zayed Road and the upcoming Business Bay area and casts a shadow over its neighbouring five-star hotels in more ways than one.
With over 1,500 rooms and standing at 72-storeys high, this clearly isn’t your ordinary hotel. With two-iconic twin towers which are said to have taken their design inspiration from the traditional date palm, it’s a property that many are already familiar with, however, there is so much more to take in than just it’s striking façade.
Attractive to both business and leisure travellers alike thanks to its wealth of facilities, this hotel manages to be a little bit of something for everyone and still succeeds in exceptional levels of service.
JW Marriott Marquis is a hotel of numbers: Aside from its lofty proportions, the two ballrooms and 32 meeting rooms showcase why this hotel is such a favourite among local and international business travellers and the 14 restaurants and bars are consistently winning awards for their creative culinary excellence. In short, if you haven’t visited, ask yourself why not.
It’s naturally a busy hotel and the lofty lobby is filled with animated chatter as the hotel’s discerning guests come and go. Checking-in initially appears to pose a problem such is the queue, but with a swift wave of a hand you’re ushered to an empty VIP desk so as not to waste a moment more of discovering what the hotel has to offer.
With a hotel of this size you’d be correct in assuming that there are several categories of room to choose from. From the perfectly proportioned Guest Rooms, Executive Suites with lounge access to the stunning 2-bedroom penthouse, each type of accommodation remains beautifully appointed with just the right amount of mod-cons.
Décor is elegant with a neutral colour palette of teak, mahogany, white and greys with just a splash of vibrant yellow for good measure. Whilst some of the rooms offer scenic views out towards Dubai’s ever-evolving skyline, others boast picturesque water views of the recently opened Dubai water canal; each angle of this property offers an entirely different perspective on the emirates’ energy.
For lengthier stays or to relax in unrivalled comfort, the Executive Suites are highly recommended and if possible, opt for a corner room to take advantage of the multi-aspect windows. With a separate living and sleeping area, these suites offer the utmost in privacy and space. There’s a walk-in closet for convenience, a desk flooded with natural sunlight and a huge, luxury marble bathroom with oversized bathtub and walk-in rain shower. Rooms and suites on the Executive Floors are permitted access to the Executive Lounge, located on level 37 of the hotel in Tower A. The Lounge is a great place to work from day or night, or recharge after a busy day in Dubai. Enjoy complimentary food throughout the day including an extensive breakfast buffet (we even spied a donut wall), afternoon tea and evening hors d’oeuvres selection. In addition, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages are offered during happy hour.
If you’re not on the Executive Level however, do not worry for this hotel hosts some of Dubai’s best restaurants and bars and has created a reputation for itself as a destination in its own right.
Kitchen 6 is where the action happens and is frequently cited as Dubai’s “best all-day dining restaurant”. Winning several awards over the years, Kitchen 6 features an astonishing array of international cuisine and one of the best breakfast buffets we’ve ever seen. The open kitchen adds a sense of magic to the atmosphere and the weekend sees the talented chefs put on a display of interactive cooking for the culinary connoisseurs that descend upon it with brunch hungry eyes.
Bridgewater Tavern offers hearty gastro pub cuisine with a relaxed sports bar atmosphere for those days when you need some comfort food and a taste of home and elegant Positano transports you to the heart of Italy with its elegant offering of all your Italian favourites from handmade pasta to crispy and flavourful pizza. Just don’t forget the gelato.
Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar needs no introduction as Dubai’s best fine-dining Indian Restaurant and Prime 68 elevates the steakhouse to new heights with its perfectly prepared cuts of meat and some of the best views of Dubai in the entire emirate.
In fact, Prime 68 offers one of the best brunches in Dubai with its James Bond themed 068. Despite its name, you can keep your ball gown at home as this brunch is a laid-back affair for the grown-ups with more food than you can eat, and all of it exceptional quality.
Come nightfall, JW Marriott Marquis comes alive and whether you keep your feet on the ground at Square, a Berlin-style nightclub on the ground floor or treat yourself to a taste of the high-life at Vault, nestled right at the top of the hotel, your experience won’t be like any other you’ve had before.
During the daytime, the outdoor pool area is a great place to soak up the Arabian sun with the backdrop of those all-important Burj Khalifa views and there is a fully equipped fitness center should you need somewhere to burn off all those extra calories you’ll consume at the hotel.
For those that prefer taking it easy, the Saray Spa not only boasts an extensive menu of traditional and contemporary restorative treatments but is also home to Dubai’s only salt water floatation pool. Tucked away on the 6th floor of the hotel and hidden among a labyrinth of passageways, the Saray Spa draws inspiration from the historic Caravanserais located along the silk trade routes of yesteryear. Whilst much attention is given to ensuring that men and women do not mix here, there are separate couples treatment rooms for sensory journeys as a two.
A sanctuary of calm in stark contrast to the bustle of the hotel, the Saray Spa has restoration and rejuvenation in its soul. Taking over the entire 3rd floor of both towers, it’s not hard to comprehend that there are such an array of facilities here. 15 treatment rooms are inclusive of two private Hanmans and the private, luxury spa suites are in fact, spas within a spa, each providing its own hydro-soak tub, steam room, private wash and changing rooms, relaxation center and side-by-side treatment tables.
For a unique yet relaxing spa experience treat yourself and someone special to one of the Arabian Body Rituals that source inspiration from the healing salts of the Dead Sea and exotic perfumes of Rose and Jasmine, it’s a journey through the very heart of Arabia to your own sense of personal wellbeing. The Saray Signature Dead Sea Journey takes place in the one-of-a-kind treatment room which is equipped with its own Dead Sea Flotation Pool. Your journey beings with an energizing full-body scrub using aromatic Dead Sea Salts followed by a mask that coats your parched skin in therapeutic salt minerals. After immersing yourself into the warming waters of the floatation pool, your journey concludes with a nourishing body oil massage. Bliss.
JW Marriott Marquis is a hotel of contrasts yet it remains entirely true to Marriott’s brand philosophy of exceptional service. You could spend days, weeks even, at the hotel and still not discover all that it has to offer and yet you have a nostalgic feeling of being at home here. This is a hotel that proves that bigger really is better.