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Discreet English manners. A shoe-polishing service. Fine afternoon teas. Not the kind of thing we expect from Dubai.
February 2016 is the day that the world will change its axis and the DUKES Dubai will open on the “trunk” of the Palm Jumeirah. It’ll be a five star property with attached “residences”, or villas, in Dukes Oceana which are already up for sale from today.
The hotel scene in Dubai has long been synonymous with the top global hotel brands with the likes of IHG, Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Accor, Carlson Rezidor and Hyatt firmly cementing their place across the city. With new regulations promoting mid-market hotel development, the mega hotel groups have been bringing in a variety of their brands ranging from the budget category to luxury.
However, while the "Big 7" continue to grow their footprint in the city, many developers are now looking beyond these hotel groups to either creating their own hotel brands or bringing in new, fresh brands. In other cities, these brands are considered "boutique" or "lifestyle" but in Dubai, they will be done in a very big way, with way more than 100 rooms. One such hotel is even aiming for 1,200 rooms.
Read on about this big small brands making their Dubai debut...
Hotels Doing Good / Hotel Pets / Hotel Animals / Hotel Turtles / Dubai Hotels / Jumeirah Hotels / → All Tags
This turtle stayed at the Burj Al Arab and all he got was this lousy Facebook tracking system...
Normally our hotel pets tend to be dogs. Occasionally cats. Once, in Cambodia, we’ve even seen crocodiles. But turtles? Here’s a new one.
It’s a little known fact (at least to us) that two Jumeirah properties in Dubai – the Burj Al Arab and the Madinat Jumeirah – have a turtle conservation program. The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project is run by the two hotels in conjunction with Dubai’s Wildlife Protection Office. It rescues and rehabilitates poorly turtles, releases them back into the wild, tracks them, and works with both locals and guests to educate them about the plight of sea turtles. Have a look at their Facebook page. They're doing pretty wonderful stuff.
We’re just going to let those two words – “timeless style” – taken straight from the Palazzo Versace website, sit alongside the above image for a minute. We’ll be here when you’re ready.
Taken it all in? Though we’ve spent much more than a minute looking at this and the few other visuals now available for the Dubai-based (where else) extravaganza, we continue to struggle putting into words what we think. It’s… very bright. To the point where we feel like you’d be wearing sunglasses inside. We also cannot sign off on the turquoise and the purple against the burnt sienna(ish) of the marble on the floor. Are we alone in thinking this?
Women-Only Floors / Women-Friendly Hotels / Dubai Hotels / Jumeirah Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Chopard / → All Tags
Dubai is never short on luxurious experiences. And Dubai never goes for "understated." Everything in this desert city is done bigger and better than anywhere else. So it's no surprise that the Ladies Only Floor at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers is one of the luxurious women-only floors we've seen yet.
The hotel, which was built in 2000, was one of the first hotels in the Middle East to have a Ladies Only Floor. Located on level 40, there are just 10 guest rooms (including some with twin beds #ladiesgetaway) and the entire floor is staffed only by female Jumeirah employees. Oh and the rooms come with in-suite yoga facilities, a make-up fridge, soft bathrobes and kimonos and exclusive Chopard toiletries. Yes, please.
Rates at the hotel start around $345 USD a night. Guests also get complimentary access to Wild Wadi Waterpark and the beaches at sister hotels, Jumeirah Beach Hotel or Madinat Jumeirah.
Weird Hotels / Hotel Design / Wacky Hotels / Ugly Hotels / China Hotels / Burma Hotels / USA Hotels / Viva Vegas / Dubai Hotels / → All Tags
If you’re anything like us, you’ll have read the story about the hotel that looks like an amethyst last week, and thought immediately, “Ah, there is only one place for that – China.” And you would be right. The architects envision it as a chain, but the first is being planned for the manmade Ocean Flower island currently in construction in the sea off Hainan province.
And from that came the obvious question – which country designs the maddest hotels?
Several contenders spring to mind immediately:
It was promised to Dubai residents almost five years ago that Four Seasons was going to enter the Dubai market with a spectacular golf resort at Festival City.
Unfortunately, due to a plethora of reasons, it was not to be and the luxury hotel operator’s entry into the market was called off, if only for the time being. It has been a long wait but the Four Seasons’ second attempt to enter the glitzy Dubai hospitality scene is finally over.
One look at Four Seasons Dubai at Jumeirah Beach and it is not hard to understand why it took the company this long to enter. They waited for the right partner, identified the right location and orchestrated the right product mix. Everything from the warm welcome, the color palettes and the well-designed amenities and facilities, (including the spherical vodka bar we told you about last week), the Four Seasons was not going to get their second chance wrong by a long shot.
Here are a bunch of photos of the Four Seasons Dubai to keep you occupied all weekend long. So many photos. So, so, so many photos. You're welcome.
[Photos: Aditya Rajaram/HotelChatter]
It’s on. In September we told you about Jumeirah’s plans for a new millennial-targeted brand, Venu Hotels. The first Venu, as reported then, is still expected to be on Bluewaters Island in Dubai – and should be confirmed by the end of this year. But according to Travel Daily, Jumeirah is also looking at other sites, with a second Venu in the UAE expected to be announced within the next six months. The article reckons that it’ll likely be in the Dubai Design District.
According to Travel Daily, Jumeirah also has its eye on Abu Dhabi – and, following the UAE expansion, it’ll be planning some European Venus, with London, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Berlin on the cards.
On the heels of themed-restaurant competitor Planet Hollyhood's announcement of its new digs in India, Hard Rock International has revealed plans to build a hotel in Dubai, the Hard Rock Hotel Dubai Marina.
The project will be Hard Rock's first built in the UAE and the Middle East. The entire structure will be a huge 101-floor tower that includes residential units, and the hotel will have 281 rooms and occupy the first 33 floors. Its location in Dubai Marina puts guests within launching distance to Jumeriah Beach, Dubai Media City, the Mall of the Emirates, and other restaurants, shops, and attractions.
No, we're not sure where it'll fit, either
The “luxurious urban resort” will be on Jumeirah Beach and will open in 2017. The 200 rooms and suites will, of course, undoubtedly be stunning, but the category to really get excited about will be the overwater villas, accessed via a private bridge, each with a private infinity pool and “swim platform”, allowing you to jump straight into the Arabian Gulf. Yes please!
It’s not all bad for the relative paupers in the rooms and suites, either – there will be a “variety of infinity edged pools leading down to the beach”. You’ll also have the run of nine restaurants and bars, including one on a pier with its own private dock. What’s more exciting than that? The signature cake shop, that's what.
Hotel Hype / Hotel News / Millennial Hotels / Jumeirah Hotels / Dubai Hotels / Venu Hotels / → All Tags
Oh lawd. Do we have another millennial-friendly hotel brand on our hands?
This morning, Jumeirah announced its plans for a “new contemporary lifestyle brand”. It’ll be called VENU, and the first hotel will be on Bluewaters Island in, fittingly, Dubai.
Here’s why we think it’s millennial-friendly (the first inkling was the logo):
VENU is designed to appeal to the modern traveler whose expectations revolve around their own lifestyle – clean, contemporary, cool and effortless… The essence of the new brand is that of a ‘social catalyst’ – a social place where good things happen, where people feel welcome and at ease, surrounded by a crowd they love, a smooth machine that offers everything they need and nothing they don’t.
Coming to a VENU hotel will be an intuitive experience, built around and anticipating the needs of the modern, savvy traveller.
Travelers [will] be inspired by the energy of the VENU brand… where technology is seamlessly integrated into the hotel experience, where the world comes together – a happening place full of energy and a cosmopolitan crowd.
It is simple and unpretentious, modern and creative, offering a sense that everyone who visits, stays at or works within a VENU space has the freedom to write their own story, create their own narrative, build their own scene.
Hotel Design / Zaha Hadid / ME by Melia Hotels / Dubai Hotels / ME Hotels / Melia Hotels / → All Tags
When we shared some early images of the upcoming ME Dubai back in March, it was hard to wrap our heads around the undulations and contortions that are a staple of Zaha Hadid Architects.
With this new batch of renderings, we continue to look (gasp) in amazement and wonder at the hotel’s visual evolution. If space is still the final frontier, then the ME by Melia, Dubai, opening in 2016, seems like a good prototype for a hotel in space--it is just that way out there. It's also gonna be expensive to build.