Background:

The St Regis Dubai opened in November, 2015, the first of three Starwood (now Marriott International) hotels in the Al Habtoor complex – it has now been joined by the W Hotel and the Westin, and the JW Marriott Marquis is nearby – a big draw for very large groups and conferences.

What’s it like?

The extremely grand entrance to the hotel involves driving in through gates, past a security gatehouse and landscaped gardens towards the Beaux Arts-exterior – a nod to the original New York St Regis.  It’s impossible to spend any time here without the world ‘opulent’ popping into mind. Whether you think it;s over the top or not probably depends on how many hotels you’ve stayed at in Dubai. It’s certainly not understated.

Where is it?

On Sheikh Zayed Road. As well as the hotels, Al Habtoor City is home to three residential towers and a Las Vegas style theatre on the side of the newly created Dubai Water Canal.  The hotel is around a 20-minute drive to Dubai International Airport and a 40-minute drive to Al Maktoum International Airport, traffic permitting.

Room facilities:

The 182 rooms and 52 Suites  are traditionally furnished in a grand style, with chandeliers, marble bathrooms and art works. They are all very large – entry level Delxue Rooms are an astonishing 55m2 with suites starting at 84m2. Since the other two hotels in the complex are also of a high standard, I suppose this means the St Regis has to really distinguish itself, something it also does with all rooms having the “Signature St. Regis Butler Service”. I’ve used this in previous St Regis and not been very impressed – the butlers seemed badly-trained and unable to help with simple tasks (cold milk for some tea, for instance), but this wasn’t the case at this Dubai property. I asked to get my suit and shirt pressed on arrival and it was done swiftly. It was also included in the price of the room, which had complimentary pressing for two items daily (for the next day). All of the rooms and suites have the St. Regis beds which are very comfortable, and the bathrooms have Remède toiletries. Signature suites include the three-bedroom Sir Winston Churchill Suite with its own private pool and the Middle East’s first Bentley Suite.

Restaurants and bars:

The hotel has sevendifferent restaurants, though since you can also sue the restaurants in the other hotels, this rises to more than 20.  In the St Regis the options are the St. Regis Bar, which is a classic New York bar with a good cocktail menu (and excellent waiters to explain them and sell them to you – there are some attractive buy one get one free offers), a cigar lounge (and a terrace to smoke them) as well as wines, spirits and cognac. Level one is the J&G Steakhouse is “a sophisticated collection of steakhouse classics as reimagined by Michelin-starred chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten”. There’s also the Brasserie Quartier – a French Brasserie and a patisserie. The lobby lounge – the Sidra Lounge – meaning ‘heavenly tree’ in Arabic, has the St Regis tea options, while the Champagne Lounge on the first floor also serves snacks with a wide range of champagnes on offer. On the second floor is Le Patio – a 1930’s style Parisian café with an open air courtyard, Café Fleuri, also 1930’s Parisian café décor and with access to the central courtyard, with an interior of wooden flooring, marble tops, a bar counter with a mirror wall and art work featuring photography and prints of Parisian cafes and culture. The Roof Gardens is a rooftop open-air venue set next to the two swimming pools.

Business and meeting facilities:

The hotel has six meeting rooms, including the 800m2 Astor Boardroom.  The outdoor Roof Gardens is a pleasant venue beside the hotel’s two swimming pools.

Leisure facilities:

The hotel has a gym on the second floor and alongside it the Iridium Spa with six treatment rooms (three male, three female), two Hammams, and separate female and male areas with a steam room and sauna.

Verdict:

A sumptuous luxury hotel, but it’s the staff that make the difference – able to help with every request and seemingly happy to do so.

Contact:

Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road, PO Box 124405, Dubai, : (971)(4) 435 5555 ; http://www.stregisdubai.com/