United Arab Emirates Travel Guide
The announcement was made yesterday that The Langham, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai will open on the crescent of Palm Jumeirah with 323 rooms, all with outdoor terraces and sea-front views. Fifty-three of the rooms, designed by Aedas Limited, will be either one or two-bedroom suites and 22 of those will have their own plunge pools. #todiefor
The restaurants, most of them al fresco, will range from Japanese to Arabic and Italian fusion while the Palm Court lounge will be modeled after the original at The Langham Hotel in London (remember, this was the first hotel lounge to serve traditional afternoon tea in 1865.) The hotel will also feature a Langham Club Lounge with complimentary food and beverage throughout the day, along with a dedicated concierge service. To peep on the Langham Club experience, read our story HERE.
There will even be a separate Travellers Lounge where guests can hang out before their room is ready or after check-out but before their flight. Aside from a library, entertainment options and light dining, this lounge will have showers and change rooms.
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Dreams do come true...in Dubai, where Vikram Chatwal's Dream Hotels will open in late 2014. But this won't be some regular old hotel on a city block. No, this is Dubai, where everything is done not just bigger and better, but biggest and bestest.
So in following that logic, the Dream Dubai will be housed in the Marina 101, which is on track to be one of the largest super towers in Dubai and which will make the Dream Hotel the tallest hotel tower in the world when it opens. (Sorry, JDubs. You've got competition.)
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Your fancy luxury hotel may have a mixologist crafting up specialty cocktails at bar downstairs but does your fancy luxury hotel have a Camel Milk Mixologist working there? Didn't think so.
That rare kind of mixologist can only be found at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi which just opened in March. Mohammad Daoud does pretty much what his job title implies--mixes drinks with freshly muddled ingredients infused with locally-sourced camel milk, ranging from flavors such as sweet strawberry and refreshing mint. “I wanted to create something special for the upcoming Holy Month of Ramadan,” said Daoud. “Because camel milk has a high level of protein and additional nutrients, it’s an excellent beverage to consume during Sohour, the meal taken prior to sunrise for Muslims fasting during Ramadan.”
Ramadan begins next Monday and lasts through August 7 but the hotel will continue to offer its camel milk menu in Mijana, the hotel's Arabic restaurant. There, the mixologist can help camel milk newbies guide them through their first-time tasting as well as come up with different camel milk flavors to pair with various dishes. Of course, all these preferences can be saved for their next visit.
Want to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi? Room rates start around $750 AED a night, or about $205 USD. Contacting the camel milk mixologist ahead of your stay is highly recommended at +9712 818-8282 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Camel milk not your thing? Head over to the Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay, where there's a spice concierge instead.
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A few months ago, we told you about the new Paramount Pictures movie-themed hotel coming to Dubai. And now, we have a few more details on that project thanks to a recent interview in Hotelier Middle East.
In it, the CEO of Paramount Hotels & Resorts (keep in mind, this will be the company's first-ever hotel) explains that while Paramount Pictures is one of the biggest movie studios around, and its films are very well-known, people usually aren't able to connect the actual movies to the company (Grease, The Godfather, Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, and Forrest Gump were all Paramount movies, in case you were wondering).
Thus, the hotel will attempt to kill two birds with one stone: create the ultimate movie-lover's hotel experience, and by doing so, educate people on the impressive Paramount Pictures back catalog.
The CEO told HME:
"In-room entertainment will be home theatre surround systems inside the guestrooms as a minimum because I’m convinced that this will be a top expectation from all our guests.
We’ll look at themes for the entertainment throughout the year; give each month a theme, so in February with Valentine’s Day it could be love films. The hotels will also have a screening room; a high-end luxury theatre with lounge seating, a multi-functional environment."
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The answer is: of course not! But this is The Burj Al Arab and whatever their high-paying guests want, or think they might want, they will get. Hence the new 24 carat gold iPads that are now available in all guestrooms. (No doubt, these will show the Emirates Palace just how silly their gold Christmas tree was!)
The iPad will be loaded with the Burj Al Arab's own virtual concierge software, enabling guests to order up whatever they wish through the iPad. The glittering iPad is just one of the latest high tech amenity additions to the Burj which already has iMacs in each room, plasma TVs and private butler service. Fortunately, the WiFi is free.
But as Business Insider points out--the starting room rate is $1,500 so perhaps offering up gold iPads is the least the Burj could do.
Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi generally gets most of the attention when it comes to Viceroy hotels in the Middle East. But that's all about to change, as word got out last week that Viceroy is planning to build a 481-room beachfront resort on the Palm Jumeirah.
We kinda figured one 1,500-room mega-resort would be enough, but we guess we were wrong.
Set to open in 2017, Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah will be a mixed-use development, with an adjoining 220 pre-furnished luxury residences, a spa, private beach club, 3 outdoor swimming pools, and the hotel itself. Of course, plenty of this already exists in Dubai, but this is a city practically founded on the concept of one-upmanship, so there's always room for something bigger, better, and more bombastic.
Raffles Dubai put the world's most expensive dress on display last fall, and leave it to them to outdo themselves in a matter of months (who else could, really?). This spring Raffles is introducing what they call the Middle East's most luxurious floor - a 21,500 square-foot "space" that takes up most of the 14th level of the hotel. That's right, a private floor with six rooms, a spa, hair salon, majlis (that's meeting room, in basic terms), three private kitchens and a cinema that seats nine. Damn! (but watch your language if you see it, ok?)
Not impressed, you snort? Pfft. Fine. How about access via a private elevator, 24-hour check in, a private limousine service and chauffeur, customized linens, a private chef, and a dedicated butler? Sound good? Sounds like another case of Dubai being as flossy as they wanna be. Don't hate!
"A lot of the hotel guests travel with a big entourage and sometimes book half a floor," a hotel employee has said. "The Dubai Floor is perfect for this type of guest as they'll have a whole floor for themselves and privacy. This what makes it unique."
You bet your
as bippy it does.
So we wonder why celebrity DJ David Guetta received such a shock when he checked into his suite at the hotel recently. He griped to 7 Days In Dubai:
"My room is so crazy I’ve never seen anything like it. They gave me a room where the bedroom is under the aquarium. I’m sleeping with sharks and stingrays and I had to close the curtains because I couldn’t sleep, it was freaking me out."
And here's another one to add to the list: last Wednesday, Rosewood Abu Dhabi opened as the first Rosewood property in the UAE (though there are three others in the Middle East, with a Dubai property on the way). The 189-room hotel no doubt hopes to profit from an expected influx of visitors to AUH thanks to the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2015, and the Guggenheim in 2017 (both designed by Frank Gehry).
Though we had initially reported that Paramount Pictures' first batch of movie-themed hotels would pop up in places like Brazil, the UK, Russia, and Qatar, it looks like the brand's premier hotel will actually be in Dubai.
The city is hardly in need of yet another flashy, Western-themed resort, but Dubai is also exactly the kind of place where something like this would take off. And we're not just saying that. Last week, when the first phase of residences went on sale (the 540-room tower will include both a hotel and luxury residences), they sold out within hours, according to Arabian Business.
Paramount Hotel & Residences is set to open around the end of 2015, and will be part of a complex featuring four 820ft-tall towers. In the center of the complex will be a multi-level plaza featuring restaurants, meeting and event facilities, a screening room, a fitness center, pool, kids club, and retail outlets.
A Paramount Pictures merchandise shop will be a necessary part of this equation too, so if it's Raiders of the Lost Ark* t-shirts you're after, then you're in luck.
It's a known fact that Kempinski likes to do things big. Who got chosen as management for North Korea's most-famous-hotel-that's-never-opened, the Ryugyong Hotel? Kempinski. Whose property opened last month with the Dalai Lama's blessing? Kempinski.
Even when their employees are extorting money from guests' credit cards, they still manage to do it in style.
So it kinda makes sense that one of the brand's most iconic hotels, Kempinski Dubai Mall of the Emirates has decided to cement their renegade status by installing an 18 foot high "snow wall" along one side of Aspen, the hotel's cafe. As you can see in the above photo, the surface looks like it could be the lower strata of the iceberg that sank the Titanic, or possibly just some beautifully textured abstract wall art.
Not that the hotel is short on conversation pieces. The Middle East's first and largest indoor ski resort, Ski Dubai, is attached to the hotel; hence the 'snow' theme of the brand new installation. In fact, the snow wall's designers, London-based Solomon&Wu, built the shimmery wall out of glass-reinforced plastic in order to simulate "snow drifts and rock formations." Looks like they pulled it off.
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By now an inseparable fixture of the Dubai skyline, the 77-story twin tower JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is gradually introducing itself into the city. After an initial November opening, this month, the hotel begins service at its nine restaurants and five bars, including Vault, a cigar lounge and bar occupying the 71st and 72nd floors of the hotel.
Think that's too many restaurants and bars for one hotel? Think again. Guiness Book of World Records officially recognized the JW Marriott Marquis as the world's tallest hotel, with a current total of 804 rooms.
And don't forget: that's still only half of the hotel. Though we expected the final unveiling sometime this year, the second tower isn't expected to open until late 2014.
That will bring the hotel's total room count to a whopping 1,600, allowing major conventions and meeting groups to house their attendees all under one roof. Like a giant slumber party, only instead of making popcorn and watching Sixteen Candles, guests will be gobbling steak at Prime 68 and whiling away their evenings soaking in the tub overlooking the twinkling lights of Business Bay.
Rates start at $217/night.