Georgie Bradley checks into a recently refurbished suite at the Shangri-La Hotel in downtown Dubai which practically touches the sky…
The Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai has an extraordinary location. Everything you could ever want from a city property is at your doorstep: Dubai Mall, DIFC, Dubai Design District and The Burj Khalifa. The hotel’s exterior is unassuming and could be another office tower along a line of similar buildings but when you enter the lobby, it’s as if you’ve set foot into a modern palace. Considering its location on Sheikh Zayed Road, there is a business feel to the lobby but not in an impersonal way – there’s sleek style and character – the reception has a walled backdrop of literary writings spread across in torn out, age-stained pages which gives the area soul and class.
Although there’s a reception on the ground floor, I am whisked up to the 41st floor for a Horizon Club check-in. This sophisticated space is akin to a business meets pleasure environment. You get your home comforts with all day snacks, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as having a nice lounge to do your work in or to simply relax.
Epitomising refined luxury, the Two-Bedroom Presidential Suite at Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai which I called home for a few days, commands superb sea and city views. The Presidential Suite is furnished with contemporary décor and equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Highly-trained butlers provide discreet yet convenient service, ideal for conducting business, hosting events, or simply enjoying unique exclusivity with loved ones. I loved the button operated blinds and curtains as they gave a sophisticated touch and did not require me to get out of my plush bed as I fell asleep.
The Acqua di Parma designer bath amenities were super luxurious and left me feeling soft as a baby after enjoying a bath in my deep tub. The expansive views of the needle like Burj Khalifa from various aspects of the suite always caught me by surprise and is honestly, a breath-taking feature. Being in Dubai for meetings meant that I was constantly in and out of the hotel but every time I got back ‘home’ I was welcomed back with much warmth and attention from the lobby staff to the Horizon Club staff, I was made to feel right at home.
And after my long days, one evening I stepped into CHI, The Spa for a spot of rejuvenation. I opted for a signature massage which involved a gentle yet penetrative palm massage focusing on vitality, clarity and peace of mind. There was a good deal of acupressure applied during the massage which relieved bags of tension. The spa itself is a wonderful haven and embraces the principles of vitality, fitness and beauty as the keys to achieving inner balance and wellbeing. The spa journey begins as you walk down the candlelit walkway, lined with tranquil rose petal pools, to meet your expertly trained therapists – from then on, you’re in good hands.
When it comes to dining options, the most revered and for my tastes at least, the most authentic outlet at The Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai is Shang Palace which offers genuine, not-washed-down, Cantonese fare. I started off with a hearty set of crispy king prawns with walnuts, mango and wasabi mayonnaise – crunchy where you want it be, oozing with flavour in all the right places.
The mango and wasabi mayonnaise combination is an unlikely pairing but works so well. This was followed by an adventurous pot of wokfried scallops with shiitake mushrooms and assorted vegetables in XO sauce. I have a particular penchant for scallops (it’s a texture thing) and the idea of them wok-fried (an absolute novelty) was enough to make me dive in without hesitation. Accompanied by a crowd-pleasing bowl of vegetable fried rice, that hit the spot in the most satisfactory way – it was an experience that pretty much came off the streets of downtown Shanghai.
Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Near Financial Metro Station,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates +971 4 343 8888