Hotel Insider: Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre

The welcome The hotel is in building 9 of DIFC’s Gate Village, accessed by car from the ground floor at Al Saada Street. Here, there’s a small, businesslike lobby. My car is swiftly valeted, I’m checked in promptly, then escorted to my fourth-floor room. There’s a more homely reception area linked to a majlis-style lounge […]

The welcome

The hotel is in building 9 of DIFC’s Gate Village, accessed by car from the ground floor at Al Saada Street. Here, there’s a small, businesslike lobby. My car is swiftly valeted, I’m checked in promptly, then escorted to my fourth-floor room. There’s a more homely reception area linked to a majlis-style lounge on the podium level.

The neighbourhood

Gate Village is a very attractive location, with shaded walkways, corporate offices, art galleries, cafes and high-end restaurants. The Dubai International Convention Centre, Dubai Mall and Sheikh Zayed Road are easily accessible.

The room

My room is a “studio suite” on a corner, with a view of the Burj Khalifa and, in the distance, the Zabeel Palace. Floor-to-ceiling windows, a luxurious curved sofa and glass dining table, separate desk, tea-and-coffee making area, large dressing area and customisable bed all make it exceptionally comfortable. A well-edited selection of modern classic novels and coffee-table books further elevate the experience. The only niggle is that the hotel, which opened in March, still hasn’t received its full inventory of foam pillows – and those provided were not optimal. The air also seems a little stuffy.

The service

Efficient, assured and personal. Staff are ever-present, but because they have personality, it doesn’t feel too intrusive. On arrival, I ask for a copy of The National, foam pillows, and which channel I can watch a football match on. The pillows arrive, but the channel information isn’t forthcoming. I receive a Press Reader print out of the main section of The National, but not the others. I do receive a print copy the next morning, but it’s unclear whether The National is normally available.

The scene

In contrast to the enormous nearby Ritz-Carlton DIFC, the Four Seasons has only 106 rooms, and is more like a boutique hotel. The compact rooftop, with daybeds, a small bar serving food and a glass-sided swimming pool, is lovely, as is the Luna Sky Bar and the ground-floor Firebird Diner. Guests are a mix of international businesspeople (mostly men), and short-stay leisure guests from Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany and the United States. The spa, bars and restaurants are also used by Dubai residents.

The food

The main restaurant is the startling Firebird Diner by Michael Mina, an American celebrity chef who was born in Cairo. The concept is a classic American diner with premium ingredients. The tuna tartare, in a dressing of sesame oil, mint, Asian pear, garlic and chilli, served with thin toast (Dh95), is excellent, as is the all-American burger with secret sauce and romaine onion marmalade, served with duck fat fries (Dh110), and the side orders of macaroni and cheese (Dh40) and hickory-smoked mushrooms (Dh40 each). The milkshakes are also dangerously good: I try the chocolate and pistachio with cream on top (Dh25). Breakfast is served in the same setting; I like the steel-cut oatmeal (Dh70) and “California dreaming” – a croissant with avocado, egg white, tomato salsa and cheese (Dh75).

Loved

The location, rooftop and the Firebird Diner.

Hated

The pillow situation, which should be rectified soon.

The verdict

An almost fantasy Dubai base.

The bottom line

Double rooms at the Four Seasons Dubai International Financial Centre cost from Dh860 per night (next month), including taxes.

Source: uae news

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