Shangri-La Hotel Dubai, United Arab Emirates
“An elegant retreat in a desert sanctuary”
Dubai, in the least, could be described as ‘exciting.’ Towering skyscrapers, high-speed motorways and what seems to be interminable development, are interwoven with stunning mosques, traditional souk markets and a culture in constant pursuit of luxury. It can be exhilarating and overwhelming, energizing and exhausting, and we’re grateful beyond words that our residence for our time here is in the peaceful oasis of the Shangri-La Hotel.
Located only 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport, and five minutes to the World Trade Centre, Dubai Convention Centre, Dubai Financial Centre and the mind-boggling centerpiece of downtown Dubai, the Burj Khalifa, we can be in the buzz of it all within moments, but also just as quickly retreat. Making it even more convenient is free shuttle transport to the Dubai Mall.
The warmth of Arabian hospitality is evidenced in room design and amenities provided. All 302 guestrooms are swathed in warm earth hues, complemented by light grained woods, and adorned with vibrant local art pieces. From entry-level rooms of 45 sqm up to luxurious two bedroom suites, all categories feature tall wall windows with panoramic views of the sea or city. Complimentary Wi-Fi, cable TV, in-house movie channels, writing desk, electronic security box, hair dryer, mini-bar and hot beverage making facilities are also standard.
Food and Beverage
Dunes Café is where we start our mornings. We’ve stayed in numerous Shangri-La properties around the world and the buffet breakfast has never failed to impress. In true Dubai style however, the hotel outdoes itself in the display. Rows of freshly cut produce, live cooking stations, an incredible mix of international hot and cold dishes, juices, smoothies, hot beverages… the line up continues. We marvel at how on earth they get all of this food in one place when we’re surrounded by desert!
|Executive Chef Darrell Oneill Ensures There's Something Exciting Always Happening in the Food and Beverage Outlets|
I delight in my usual fresh fruit selection, but too relish the vegetarian dips such as hommus and herbed cheese, and a fabulous bakery section. Not only does the spread include wholegrain, unprocessed, fresh and organic items that I highly appreciate, but they too have an entire gluten free section and even have quinoa, soy, and almond milks in addition to the regular and low fat options. Hubby is spoilt with multiple helpings of pancakes and eggs made a la minute and gives me the don’t-say-a-word look when I eye his repeat plates of meat straight off the grill. For more photos of the delicious spread follow this link.
Hoi Ann restaurant gives us a taste of Asia with its modern Vietnamese menu. There are some ‘don’t-miss’ recipes found here so follow this link to see prices, photos, and our personal favourites. For a more casual feel, Ikandy Ultralounge is ideal for a chilled evening. In the hotter summer months, the Lobby Lounge and Balcony Bar offer cool respite and refreshment. Cantonese cuisine can be savoured at Shangri-La’s signature Chinese restaurant, Shang Palace, and again we go into greater exploration of the menu and make recommendations of what to order here.
As mentioned earlier, Dubai can be both thrilling and taxing, and after a fatiguing full day, The Spa seems to answer all of our desires. It would be fair to say that we’re spoiled with spa treatments in our Asian home base. But, at risk of sounding overindulged, it is refreshing to visit a spa that draws on European methods for some variance. Natural ingredients from the UK are combined with French technique to create a balanced spa menu including massage, facial, body treatments and packages customized to realize “personal health and wellness goals.”
|Massage Room in The Spa|
Apart from relaxation, we both highly value fitness in living a well-rounded lifestyle. Quality in-house exercise facilities are something we look for in a hotel: essential for balancing out all of our wonderful food adventures. Shangri-La Dubai does not disappoint, and we’re both pleased with numerous opportunities to stay active.
The fitness centre is equipped with cardio and strength machines, free weights and other useful exercise aids such as yoga mats, balls and bands. Cold water and towels are provided, and although it’s a business hotel and we expect the gym to get busy early morning and evenings, there’s plenty of equipment so we never have to wait.
Even though we don’t find the time to use them, the tennis and squash courts get hubby’s tick of approval. A few more days in the city and I’m sure he would have found online a tennis partner to give them a workout. Steam rooms and saunas are amenities within the changing rooms, and they do get a trial run during our stay.
Stunning vistas of downtown Dubai are viewed from the outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi. Resembling a desert oasis, the lagoon shaped pool is lined with palm trees and rimmed with deck chairs. The hours just after dawn and surrounding dusk gift magical lighting and milder temperatures to fully enjoy the setting.
|Some Stunning Views from the Pool|
I’m not sure if it’s one extremely effective training program, an excellent recruitment process or a combination of both, but without fail, no matter in which country we stay in a Shangri-La property, the service is always faultless. Everyone smiles. Everyone greets. Everyone seems to truly want guests to have a positive experience. We feel cared for here. And it’s that, the people, perhaps even more than the facilities and finishings, that make the Shangri-La hotels sanctuaries that we feel drawn to return to again and again.
Reasons to visit: extremely convenient location; peaceful oasis amongst the city buzz; ideal for both business and leisure travelers; superb signature Shangri-La service.
Shangri-La Hotel Dubai
Sheikh Zayed Road
PO Box 75880
United Arab Emirates
+971 4 343 8888