Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Park Hyatt Dubai

1 Apr 2006 by Tom Otley

What's it like? A boutique five-star property, which is the flagship for the expansion plans of the 25-strong Park Hyatt chain in the Middle East, with plans for several more properties in the near future including Cairo, Doha, Saudi Arabia and Beirut. It also completes the Hyatt range in Dubai,joining the well established Hyatt Regency and Grand Hyatt.

The Majlis-style lobby has huge windows opening onto verdant grounds below. You enter the main lobby area over a covered bridge, which has views of the pool area. At night, this 25-metre swimming pool has flaming lamps lit to surround it, while waterfalls and fountains enliven the outdoor areas.

Where is it? Set in its own extensive grounds next to Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and overlooking Dubai Creek. Approached along a tree-lined,winding road among golf villas, it is a spacious property, and even when it's full you see few people around – the only exceptions being in the restaurants in the evening, which are rightly popular.

How many Rooms? There are 225 rooms (including 35 suites) divided into several categories over the low-rise development. Park rooms – of which there are 50 king and 20 twin – measure 52sqm excluding the balcony area, and are slightly misnamed as they don't have park views but much better ones overlooking Dubai marina. Park deluxe rooms (63 king and 49 twin rooms), meanwhile, have creek views and are close to the Amara spa and pool. There are also eight Park spa rooms with a massage bench, beauty treatment chair and steam room. The suites are all over 100sqm. All rooms have a freestanding oval bathtub and separate walk-in rain-shower (apart from the Park spa rooms, which have steam rooms).

Room facilities High-speed internet access costs AED110 (£17) for 24 hours and room shave a minimum of three IDD phones, as well as a 30-inch flat-screen TV with 50 local and international channels plus movies on demand and multi-system DVD, CD and MP3 player.

During my visit the service was superb. A malfunctioning TV was replaced within 30 minutes; likewise the missing batteries from the weighing scale in the bathroom, and staff without exception were friendly and helpful. As with most new properties there were teething problems. The cascade showers were amazing but flooded the bathroom, and the corridors echoed the noise of passing guests – only those with jet lag going to bed early may notice.

Restaurants and bars There are several options: Traiteur serves modern European cuisine in an architecturally stunning setting with a double height ceiling and a bar reached via a long metal staircase suspended from the ceiling. The walls are of polished wood in a crystal-like design while one section of seating is arranged in some kind of whalebone structure (see below).Thai Kitchen is inexpensive and serves food "family" style, with tapas-sized dishes. In the evening the restaurant is kept quite dark,with candles providing pools of light on the tables, and all attention is focused on the three open kitchens. It's a good place for the solitary business traveller to dine, as the flaming woks, sizzling food, scurrying waiters and steaming won ton baskets all create a busy and yet intimate atmosphere which is quite at odds with most hotel restaurants. The breakfast buffet is huge and is served in Cafe Arabesque, which has the option of both open-air dining or under cover in the summer. There is also The Terrace, a bar and restaurant set by the creek.

Business centre and meeting rooms Unusually for a Park Hyatt, there are five meeting rooms, including an 840sqm ballroom.

Leisure facilities A large gym is open 24 hours with the latest generation of Technogym equipment (staff are good at explaining it). It is complemented by the Amara day spa with its eight private treatment rooms, all of which feature a private garden with rain-shower, and treatments and products by French beauty house Carita. The hotel is a short walk along the creek from the 18-hole championship Dubai Creek Golf Course, a major draw for golf enthusiasts, especially with a floodlit driving range available until 2200. There are also private fishing and charter yachts available from Dubai Creek Yacht Club.

Verdict An excellent new property, convenient for meetings yet well away from the all pervasive construction work in Dubai.

Price Internet rates for a midweek stay in April started at AED1,350 (£210)for a Park king room, rising to AED1,590 (£247) for a Park deluxe king room and AED3,510 (£545) for a Park suite.

Contact Park Hyatt Dubai, Dubai, tel +971 4 602 1234,

Tom Otley

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