Dubai is among the world’s most vibrant tourist destinations and one of the fastest-growing cities in the world…
Al-Habtoor City is a recent development in this oasis, built along the banks of the beautiful Dubai Canal. It is just 10 minutes away from the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, and the world’s largest mall, the Dubai Mall. The complex is home to three luxurious five-star hotels. I experienced two of them during my recent visit to Dubai.
1. The Westin Dubai Al-Habtoor City
The 41-storey Westin Dubai Al-Habtoor City is the largest of the three hotels and boasts 1 004 rooms.
We arrived at the hotel after an exhausting 18-hour flight from Argentina. At that stage, we would have been happy enough with a bed. What we got however was way better. Our rooms consisted of a massive suite for my husband and I, and an inter-leading twin room for the kids. A platter of decadent chocolate truffles and a plate of fresh fruit awaited us.
As someone who suffers from sleep problems, I was delighted to find that the Westin takes sleep seriously. We found little cylinders of aromatherapy sleep balm on our pillows. The hotel also has a Sleep Well Menu, which offers sleep-enhancing superfoods as part of in-room dining. I haven’t seen that in a hotel before!
The breakfast restaurant, Seasonal Tastes, was one of the biggest I’ve ever seen
There were umpteen food stations representing different cuisines. We had a hard time choosing what to eat as there were so many options available. In the evening, we dined at Il Capo, the in-house New York-style Italian restaurant where we enjoyed an amazing dinner with innovative mocktails and decadent desserts.
Other hotel facilities include a huge spa, a fitness studio, a yoga studio, three outdoor swimming pools and a kids’ club. A complimentary shuttle service transports guests to Dubai Mall and a few other locations. Guests at all the hotels in the complex have access to these facilities.
2. W Dubai Al-Habtoor City
Although we only stayed at the W Dubai for one night, it certainly made a lasting impression on us.
From the moment we first entered the hotel, we could feel the pulsating energy there. The first words that came to mind were fun, energetic and refreshing.
Everything about the W Hotel is unique and cutting edge. The check-in desk is on the 30th floor of the hotel. Bedroom categorisations include ‘Marvellous’, ‘Spectacular’, ‘Fabulous’ and ‘Sensational’. Guest service is called ‘Whatever Whenever’ because they will give you whatever you want, whenever you want it (within reason, of course). The pool is known as the ‘Wet Deck’ and there is a 24-hour gym too.
We had two inter-leading rooms, a double room for us and a twin room for the kids. A hallway of mirrors led us into the rooms. Inside, the rooms were decorated in white leather and wood, with splashes of bright colour and strategically placed mirrors.
Breakfast and dinner were at Level Seven, the hotel’s all-day Mediterranean-inspired restaurant
For the first time in my life I was given a stool for my handbag, instead of having to dump it on the floor. The food offerings were creative and inspired, and the food was delicious.
Floor-to-ceiling windows in the hotels provided great views of the Dubai Canal, the Burj Khalifa, and Sheikh Zayed Road, the longest road in the UAE.
3. La Perle
Al Habtoor City is also the venue for La Perle, a permanent live show in a state-of-the-art 1 300-seat aqua theatre. La Perle was created by Franco Dragone who is known for his work with Cirque du Soleil and Céline Dion. The brilliant show with its talented artists, death-defying stunts and special effects will mesmerise you and transport you to a magical world.
If you are looking for a luxurious family hotel, then stay at the Westin. If you want a cool luxury hotel full of personality and flare, then stay at the W Hotel. We loved both of them.
In Kruger National Park