Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Conrad Dubai

29 May 2014 by Tom Otley

BACKGROUND

Conrad’s first property in the Middle East opened last September, joining other Hilton Worldwide hotels in the emirate including the Hilton Dubai Creek, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, and Doubletree by Hilton properties in the Al Barsha area and at Jumeirah Beach.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

A huge skyscraper with the Conrad name at the top of its 54 floors, the hotel makes a statement in the voluminous lobby too, with six giant pillars seemingly bulging with the effort of keeping the building up – although there’s subtlety, too, in the delicate floral tracery on the stone cladding.

Local dhows are referenced in the boat-like form of the central reception desk, an African onyx feature wall measures 120 sqm, and a Rosa Portogallo marble staircase leads up to the first mezzanine level.

It’s hardly understated, but stays the right side of good taste and isn’t a bad place to relax (there’s a huge list of teas).

There are two main banks of lifts behind reception, although only one of these gives access to the rooms on floors 24-46 and, at busy times, this can mean quite long waits. Smoking is allowed on the 25th, 36th and 41st floors.

WHERE IS IT?

On Sheikh Zayed Road, diagonally opposite the World Trade Centre. The metro stop is right outside and it is in a great position for the attractions and businesses of Dubai.

ROOM FACILITIES

The 555 rooms come in several categories, although most are either Deluxe (364 of these), varying in size from 46-50 sqm, or Executive (123 of these), all at 46 sqm but with upgraded amenities and access to the executive floor on the 24th level. This offers free breakfast, refreshments during the day, local and international newspapers, internet access and private check-in and check-out.

Views from the rooms are either of the city (over Sheikh Zayed Road) or across to the sea. Facilities include LCD TVs, iPod docks and Nespresso machines.

All have marble bathrooms with rainshowers, and Aromatherapy Associates or Tara Smith amenities. 

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

The restaurants offer a huge range of cuisine and dining experiences.

The restrained Marco Pierre White Grill has a singer and piano music most evenings. Ballaro serves a buffet breakfast and lunch, and à la carte Italian in the evenings. Cave serves food but really is all about the 500 wines on offer, with tasting areas set in a stone grotto with atmospheric lighting and temperature-controlled walk-in cellars.

Then there is Izel, unlike any other hotel restaurant I have visited, a huge place with live Brazilian cabaret acts, a cigar room, terrace, and delicious Latin American cuisine – definitely one for a night out or for entertaining.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES

The hotel has meeting and convention spaces totalling 4,400 sqm. The 1,215 sqm Grand Ballroom holds 1,100 delegates theatre-style and the second one, 800 sqm in size, takes 725 theatre-style.

There are 11 individual meeting rooms and three boardrooms, plus a 24-hour business centre.

LEISURE FACILITIES

Fitness and relaxation facilities are centred on the sixth floor and out on to a 5,500 sqm terrace and landscaped pool deck 40 metres above street level.

The spa has a nature-inspired theme; a water channel separates it into male and female zones, while the mosaic-tiled Hammam, hydro and relaxation pools, reclaimed oak wet area and ambient lighting make it a real escape from the Dubai weather.

Also on level six is the Purobeach Urban Oasis – a swimming pool and bar with decking, private cocoon beds, and lots of palms and lawns, making it a good place to relax in the early evening, or all day if your meetings are cancelled. The wifi works out here as well.

The gym has Technogym equipment and outside there is a teak yoga deck.

VERDICT

A fabulous addition to both the Dubai hotel scene and the Conrad portfolio.

Hilton Worldwide fans aren’t short of options in the emirate, but the Conrad takes some beating.


FACT FILE

  • HOW MANY ROOMS? 555 (364 Deluxe, 123 Executive, 44 Double Bed Deluxe suites, 20 Executive suites, two Conrad suites and two Royal suites).
  • HIGHLIGHTS  A great location, good views and excellent service.
  • PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in July started from Dhs 950 (£155) for a Deluxe room.
  • CONTACT Conrad Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road; tel +971 4444 7444; conradhotels3.hilton.com


Tom Otley


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