Hotel Check: Grosvenor House

WHAT’S IT LIKE? Dubai is
growing westwards from the Creek area, and the rapidly sprouting
mini-Manhattan that is Dubai Marina is likely to become a new
epicentre. Opened in July 2005, Le Meridien’s Grosvenor House West
Marina Beach was one of the first new hotels to open here and, for the
moment, is surrounded by a giant building site where the rest of the
marina is taking shape. Grosvenor House has chosen an upmarket 70s
retro-style which is gleaming and funky. The hotel will soon come under
the Starwood banner, which has bought Le Meridien.

WHERE IS IT? Dubai
Marina is a 25-minute drive from the old centre and 35 minutes from the
airport. The hotel is next to Dubai Media City and Internet City.

HOW MANY ROOMS? 217
guestrooms and 205 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, some with
balconies.Room categories are Deluxe (ie Standard); Premier, which is
larger than the Deluxe but has no balcony; Deluxe Suite and Premier
Suite (of which there are only seven).

ROOM FACILITIES:
Apartments make up three sides of the 45-storey hotel and the rooms are
all on the sea-facing side with excellent views; when I stepped onto
the balcony of my deluxe room on the 30th floor, the Palm Dubai (a work
in progress) was at my feet. Rooms are  modern, comfortable and
understated and are equipped with hi-tech functions: from a control
panel by the bed I was able to operate the lights, temperature and do
not disturb button (but despite much fiddling I was unable to work out
how to reduce the air conditioning from its frosty setting).

Rooms
have an electronic safe, plasma screen satellite TV with pay movies and
minibar, as well as tea and coffee-making facilities, bathrobe and
slippers and marble bathrooms with separate bath and shower. All rooms
have free high-speed internet but not Wi-Fi (public areas have Wi-Fi
access). Internet is available through the TV for AED75 (US$20.42) for
24 hours.

It was the attention to detail that left a lasting
impression.Housekeeping didn’t just leave fruit in my room; they left a
small card detailing interesting facts about the fruit. They also
arranged the toiletries in the bathroom in the exact places I would be
using them. And to avoid the problem of lukewarm toast in the
room-service breakfast, I was supplied with my own toaster,which the
butler even offered to operate for me (I felt I should draw the line at
that level of pampering).

Hotel rooms occupy floors 5-41. The
club rooms are on 31-41 and include in their rate access to the club
floor on the 44th floor, a pleasant room good for small, informal
meetings. Breakfast and snacks are served throughout the day.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS:
Grosvenor House has two trump cards in this area. The Buddha Bar – an
outpost of the famous Paris bar of the same name – has spectacular
decor and stays open until late (0300 on weekends). There is also an
excellent Indian restaurant, Indego (open daily 1900 to midnight) run
by Michelin chef Vineet Bhatia. Otherwise, for fabulous fish head to
the Mezzanine (open 1900 to midnight; the chef here worked for Prince
Charles for seven years) or for Turkish try Ottomans. Other
possibilities are Sloanes Brasserie,“Leaves” tearoom, the Lobby Lounge
and Bar 44 – so named because it is situated on the 44th floor opposite
the club lounge and because it has 44 types of Champagne. It also has
incredible views of Dubai.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES:
The business centre is on the mezzanine floor and has computers with
internet access and a full range of business services. Internet access
costs AED15 (US$4) for one hour. The hotel has seven meeting rooms in
total, all on the mezzanine floor. One is a ballroom which can be
divided into smaller rooms.

LEISURE FACILITIES:
Grosvenor House is not set on the shore, so guests must take a
fiveminute courtesy bus to sister hotel Le Royal Meridien’s private
beach. Grosvenor House has a spa with a gym, sauna, steam room, hair
salon and spa bath, as well as an outdoor pool.

VERDICT:
An innovative, stylish business hotel in an up-and-coming part of Dubai
with excellent restaurants. It’s lighter on the leisure side but for a
little effort you can use the facilities of its sister hotel.

PRICES:
Telephone rates for a midweek stay in February started at AED1,740
(US$473.81) for a Deluxe Room, room only, rising to AED3,000 (US$817)
for a Deluxe Suite including American breakfast. Best available
internet rate was AED1,450 (US$394,84) for a Deluxe Room only.

CONTACT: Grosvenor House West Marina Beach Dubai, tel 971 4399 8888, www.grosvenorhouse-dubai.com.

Sarah Maxwell


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