At the start of 2021, Accor’s Pullman took over the former Steigenberger property in Downtown Dubai. Two years on, the hotel has undergone a multi-stage thorough renovation and refurbishment exercise that extended to all its rooms, common areas and leisure facilities.
Where is it?
An absolutely prime location, it is located on Marasi Drive and is not more than a 10-minute drive from key destinations including Dubai Mall, DIFC and the Dubai World Trade Centre. It isn’t close to a metro station, so getting here by public transport would likely require you to take a taxi instead.
What’s it like?
The lobby has tall ceilings and the art installation behind the front desk is carried over from the property’s Steigenberger era. There are cosy seating areas along the edges of the lobby. The elevators to the right of the check-in desks, just beyond the entrance to Brothaus Bistro and Bakery (another Steigenberger legacy feature) will whisk you up the 19-floor property.
We stayed in the Deluxe suite which we were told was previously two rooms, but now combined into one suite with one room serving as the living area and the other as the bedroom. The refurbishment of the hotel was carried out under the 1980s Memphis design theme – which would explain brightly-coloured geometric shapes and patterns along the headboards above the bed. There were two large TV screens in the suite – one each in the living room and bedroom. The TV, housed within a large wooden frame, had Netflix inbuilt, and pairing my device to it took not more than 20 seconds. A floor-standing cabinet in the living room also had the Memphis-design vibe to it and was stocked with a mini fridge and Nespresso machine. Our room looked out onto the serene Dubai Water Canal.
Food and Drink
We dined at the Couqley French Brasserie. The hotel’s operations team takes care of the buffet breakfast there, while Couqley’s own team steps in to handle the lunch and dinner service. Couqley is an excellent French restaurant with refined service. Worth a special mention are the Onion Soup Gratinée, the Filet De Boeuf with the tenderloin done to our exact specifications, and a mighty shout-out to the excellent Pain Perdu, hands down one of the best we’ve had in Dubai. Lunch can be a leisurely informal affair poolside at Lolita Pool Bar and Lounge with the nachos, maki rolls and chicken katsu bowl all being great choices to order.
On the first level of the property, there are three meeting rooms – two of which can be combined to accommodate larger groups. On the same floor, you will find a large ballroom with the capacity to host around 200 guests. Meanwhile, to one corner of the lobby on the ground floor, a co-working space is free for the hotel’s residents to use. For those whose room package includes access to the executive club lounge on the 19th floor, that space too could be used to conduct meetings.
On level three, there’s the Belladonna salon to your left as soon as you exit the elevator. Turn right and you will head towards the spa which has four treatment rooms. Go past the reception of the spa and you’ll find the well-equipped gym with Life Fitness equipment, which is also from where you can access the squash court – the hotel rents out rackets for Dhs20. The pool, with great views of the Burj Khalifa, has a spa bath alongside the main pool.
This is a hotel that has done a great job of refurbishing and revamping itself to give it a far more contemporary and “Pullman” edge allowing it to fiercely compete with the many luxury hotels in Downtown Dubai.
Best For: Views of Downtown Dubai and the Canal from the rooms
Don’t miss: A quintessentially French dinner experience at Couqley
Price: Internet rates for a midweek stay in November start from Dhs1,275 for a Deluxe suite
Contact: Marasi Drive, Dubai; + 971 4 369 0000; pullmandubaidowntown.com