Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Radisson SAS Media City

27 Jan 2008 by Mark Caswell

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The Radisson SAS Media City is the newest of three Radisson hotels in the UAE, the other two being the Radisson SAS Dubai Deira Creek (formerly an Intercontinental), and the Radisson SAS Resort in Sharjah. The Media City property is spread over two buildings (the West and East Towers) and was originally conceived as a hotel and serviced apartments. The West Tower opened in January 2006, housing standard rooms, a swimming
pool and fitness centre, while the East Tower followed in February 2007, bringing with it Deluxe and Business Class rooms and the hotel’s restaurants and bars. This has resulted in there effectively being two entrances to the hotel, although the main reception is located in the East Tower and there is a covered bridge connecting the two buildings. The hotel feels trendy and fresh throughout, with Brazilian artwork on the walls and pink neon room numbers  (sounds gaudy, but isn’t really).

WHERE IS IT? As the name suggests, the hotel is situated within Dubai’s Media City, an area housing a large number of banks and businesses, including Microsoft and HSBC. Media City is around 45 minutes west of Dubai International airport (on a good day), close to the Palm Jumeirah project and ten minutes’ drive from the Madinat Jumeirah and the Burj Al Arab.

HOW MANY ROOMS? 246, including 132 Standard, 82 Deluxe and 27 Business Class rooms, as well as five suites.

ROOM FACILITIES The Media City property has not opted for the three or four room themes familiar to most Radisson SAS hotels, but has gone instead for one “contemporary style” (whites and creams mixed with rich oranges and browns), and it works fantastically. Rooms feel ultra-modern, particularly the spotless white-tiled bathrooms with their designer basins and rain-head showers (separate from the bath in Business Class rooms).

All rooms have king-size beds with huge pillows, flatscreen TVs, free wifi internet access, large glass desks with swivel lamps, air conditioning, tea and coffee-making facilities, minibar, hairdryer, and a panel of clearly labelled switches operating all of the room lights. I was staying in a Business Class room on the third floor. On top of the normal amenities, there was a Nespresso machine, complimentary water and newspaper, DVD player with free DVDs on request, upgraded bathroom amenities, bathrobe and slippers, turn-down service, and access to the Business Class lounge, which offers free breakfast, and snacks and refreshments throughout the day. The lounge is located on the second floor of the East Tower and also has a large terrace area.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The meeting facilities are mainly located on the second floor of the hotel, with five rooms in the West Tower, and six (plus the Business Class lounge) across the bridge in the East Tower. Capacities range from eight people boardroom-style to 55 theatre-style, and all have natural daylight and free wifi internet access. There is also one 190 sqm  conference room on the ground floor of the East Tower, holding up to 150 delegates for a cocktail reception. The business centre is on the second floor of the East Tower, and is open from 6am to 11pm daily.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS All of the food and beverage outlets in the hotel are located in the newer East Tower, and this is my only gripe concerning the property’s construction – if you are staying in one of the upper floors of the West Tower, you’ll need to get the lift down to the second floor, walk across the bridge and then catch another lift to the restaurants. That said, I ate at Certo (the hotel’s Italian restaurant) during my stay and it was excellent – and packed. It recently won Time Out’s best Italian restaurant in Dubai award, no mean feat given the plethora of eating options in the emirate. The restaurant serves “modern and authentic” Italian dishes in a high-ceilinged space, with a centrepiece six metre-high wine tower. Alternatively the Chef’s House offers all-day dining with Oriental-Asian and Middle Eastern dishes cooked in an open kitchen. Icon Bar shows sport on widescreen TVs and has a happy hour from 6-8pm. The Media Lounge serves coffees, juices and cocktails, while Tamanya Terrace provides low seating, shishas and Lebanese mezze.

LEISURE FACILITIES The hotel has two outdoor pools, so you can take your pick between views of Dubai from the eighth-floor East Tower pool, or the second-floor pool in the West Tower, which has the advantage of being close to the rest of the leisure facilities. These include a gym, male and female steam rooms, and the Senso wellness centre.

VERDICT An excellent hotel – not bling like much of “Dubailand”, but modern with great facilities and in an area which is rapidly taking over as the new city centre.

PRICE Fully flexible internet rates for a midweek stay in early February started from Dhs1,500 (£207) for a Standard room.

CONTACT Dubai Media City, PO Box 211723, UAE; tel +971 4 366 9111;

Mark Caswell

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