Meliá Dubai a hidden treasure in Bur Dubai
“Are we looking for a secret entrance?” my travel buddy asked as we drove past Meliá Dubai, looking for an entrance.
It turns out that the five-star business hotel in Bur Dubai has a rather unconventional one. A small sign outside the hotel that says “enter” guides motorists down the basement car park, which is actually how you enter the hotel.
The concierge will offer to park your car for you before leading you to one of two elevators, or a glass staircase leading to the ground floor where the lobby and reception are located.
Apparently, the entrance has been designed that way to allow guests to “park and go”, which probably makes sense in this part of modern Bur Dubai since there aren’t really any scenic or cultural places near enough to warrant a walk.
But inside is an architectural marvel by Milan-based architect and interior designer Marco Mangili. We weren’t surprised to see most of the guests taking selfies here.
A water feature is the first thing that greets you as soon as you step out of the elevator. There’s also a tiered lounge area where you just want to sit back, relax and look up to enjoy the modern, minimalist interior décor, which looks like an abstract painting in wood, metal and marble.
The 164-room Spanish hotel is the first in the UAE and the Middle East and was designed by Milan-based architect and interior designer Marco Mangili. For our 48-hour review, the hotel hosted us in a standard Meliá Guestroom that is pretty spacious at 43sqm, with a very comfortable bed, separate bathtub and walk-in closet, as well as the toilet and shower room that can also be sectioned off.
The flat-screen TV from a glass wall that also doubles as a full-length mirror if the TV is switched off was already flashing my name in a big e-welcome. We had a view of the garden and Bur Dubai highway.
We could not miss celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor, which serves modern Indian cuisine. We dropped by for dinner after making reservations. We loved the innovative dishes here and the fact that you can ask the chef to adjust the spices level.
The modern gastronomy they dish out is a feast for the eyes and the palate, starting with the papad and chutneys served on glass cone containers. The chicken tikka masala is also a must-try.
Breakfast and lunch were at Azalya, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant. The buffet was modest but well-stocked, with a good mix of breakfast staples such as turkey bacon, sausages, beans and scrambled eggs.
I asked the chef from the live cooking station for two eggs, sunny side up. I also ordered a smoked salmon salad separately and it was absolutely delicious with crispy greens and some dill and capers. The service here is also upbeat, with energetic and friendly waitresses with fun names. We were served by someone called Sweetheart and another one called Jesebel, whose name sounds like the Philippine version of The Little Mermaid.
Up on the rooftop is where the action is: There’s a swimming pool with amazing views of Dubai, a health club and Yhi Spa. Since it’s summer, I only took a 10-minute dip on the temperature-controlled pool and then proceeded to Yhi Spa for much-needed pampering. The spa has 7 treatment rooms, a spa boutique, a saloon, a Moroccan bath and a Jacuzzi.
I was given a 60-minute Swedish massage to relax my muscles; the hint of jasmine in the room already enough to put me in a relaxed state. The therapist expertly kneaded my muscles, almost intuitively knowing where my stress points were. The massage was rejuvenating. Afterwards, I was led to the relaxation room where I was offered a delicious fresh ginger tea, which picked up my mood even more.
WHAT WE LIKED
Hanging out at the cozy lobby, dinner at Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor, lounging in the rooftop pool area after a quick dip in the pool and enjoying a view of Dubai’s spectacular skyline, soaking in the egg-shaped bathtub in the sexy glass-walled bathtub area next to the bedroom and just lying in bed and catching up on the latest movies from the full-length mirror that also doubles as a TV screen.
Dh311.60 per night
FACILITIES AND SERVICES
Ballroom for up to 80 guests
2 dedicated fully equipped board rooms for up to 10 persons each
Wireless Internet throughout the hotel
Laundry and Dry Cleaning service
Doctor on call*
24-hour taxi service
Limousine service on demand
Dedicated hotel parking
Roof top swimming pool
SPA* and Health Club
Airport shuttle bus*
Beach shuttle bus
Cigar smoking room
Lounge dedicated for “The Level” guest with personalized service
Limousine service for airport transfers for suites only
VIP Welcome at the airport on demand
* At an additional cost
Category: 5 star
Type: Business hotel
Address: 23, Kuwait Street, Dubai – Port Rashid
Telephone number: (971) 4386 8111
Check-in: 2 p.m.
Check out: 12 p.m.
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