Indeed, the XVA is Dubai's only boutique hotel, which also functions as a popular art gallery and cafe. Located in Bastakiya, the city's scenic "old quarter," XVA is cut off from the glitz and glare of more hotel-dense areas like DIFC and the Marina, and is surrounded by a maze of clean-swept stone alleys, old-fashioned windowless homes, and even the odd bamboo hut.
Mixing historical Dubai architecture with edgy, contemporary art is all part of XVA's appeal. And though there exists a proper gallery, the hotel itself is chock-a-block with cool art to discover.
Some of it exists as furniture in the rooms themselves, like an antique wooden chest we found in ours. Or a cool wire piece shaped like two hands waving, set upon a shelf near the couch.
A central outdoor courtyard doubles as the breakfast room, and around here, hidden under eaves or along corridor walls, guests can find little bursts of color or form to stare at. Like a series of tiny wrapped mummies installed along the wall of a passageway connecting our room to the main courtyard. The shock of pink was a nice contrast to the sand-colored walls, green leafy trees, and wooden furniture.