What’s it like? Just turned three years old, it still sparkles, thanks to constant high maintenance. The design is unlike the usual Shangri-Las with their Asian accents, but the service is reassuringly familiar – warm and encompassing.
Where is it? Centrally positioned along Dubai’s premier boulevard Sheikh Zayed Road.
How many rooms? 301 guestrooms, including 69 Horizon Club Rooms, occupying a 43-storey building that also contains 126 serviced apartments.
Room facilities: The first thing to catch my eye, entering my Horizon Club Premiere, was the free-standing 24-inch flat-screen TV (featuring a swivel function), which I only got to enjoy late at night after a day packed with appointments. The free broadband hooked up with no problems. The bathroom was spacious and sumptuous with two washbasins, shower stall and rainshower and a very deep tub. The desk was fine but I didn’t find the chair conducive for working as there didn’t seem to be a lever for adjusting its height.
Restaurants: Six, with the Shang Palace serving authentic Cantonese and Hoi An for Vietnamese with a French twist. All are exquisitely designed, but Hoi An could do with a bit more lighting to discern the yummy selections in the menu.
Bars: The Lobby Lounge attracts small meeting groups; Balcony Bar is Shanghai inspired and a chic place to unwind at the day’s end; and the Pool & Juice Bars (in the gym) are for the health conscious.
Business facilities: If the boardroom in the Horizon Club Lounge is occupied, request for a meeting room in the business centre (there are three, plus one more boardroom). There’s also a ballroom and three smaller venues. Wi-Fi is found in certain public areas.
Leisure facilities: Indoor and outdoor pools, gym, a large spa and grooming salon. Shuttle to a private beach is available.
Verdict: If not for my superb accommodation, matched with efficient service, I wouldn’t have been able to get through my tough schedule, which involved commuting to Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, for three days.
Price: Internet rates for a two-night stay in late November start from US$1,116.40 for a Horizon Executive Room.
Contact: Sheikh Zayed Road, PO Box 75880, Dubai, UAE, tel 971 4 343 8888, www.shangri-la.com
Margie T Logarta