The Mélia Dubai, I must admit wouldn’t have been on our list of top hotels in Dubai. To begin with, what would a Spanish hotel chain know about Dubai’s ostentatious style of design and hospitality? A lot, as we discovered on our stay there last month. And then there was the umm.. interesting location. Bur Dubai, where the Mélia Dubai is located, again wouldn’t be among my top list of locations to stay in Dubai. But it was surprisingly easy to get to the places we’d earmarked for this weekend. While the Gold Souk, Dubai Museum and Dubai Creek were right around the corner, we found jetting off to the Dubai Mall or even the Mall of the Emirates super easy in an Uber.
We zipped through immigration and baggage thanks to the Fast Track cards that flydubai gives their Business Class passengers. Our driver waited while we picked up our du SIM cards at arrivals and then whisked us away in comfort. As we pulled onto Kuwait road, we spotted the Mélia towering over the other much shorter buildings ahead of us. It didn’t seem like much on the outside, and I wondered if this was a tell-tale sign of what lay within. We pulled into the driveway that descended into the basement, and were welcomed by the doorman. As the elevator doors pinged, they opened into a tall lobby. One that was dark and hushed, yet every surface gleamed with luxury. The lobby was tall and offered an ant’s perspective of the various guest room floors, all the way up to the ceiling, which was actually the glass-tiled floor of the rooftop bar. Sprawling couches and a quiet water fountain graced the centre, while we walked off to the reception on the side to check in. While waiting for our room, we popped into the tiny gift shop, tucked at the very end of the corridor, popped into the all-day restaurant for a coffee, wondering if we should have a quick nap before heading out. (After all, we’d been up pretty much through the night, since our flydubai flight duration wasn’t nearly enough to take advantage of the comfy business class seats). Whatever was in that coffee worked, because we weren’t the least bit sleepy by the time we got to our room.
Walking across the 7th floor corridor, we looked down at the lobby, and it looked splendid, sparkling through the darkness. The first thing that hits you about the room is the quiet. There’s a soft hush that seems to envelope us even before we’ve shut the door. I kicked off my shoes and padded softly across the plush Guy Laroche carpet. We’d been upgraded to a suite and the grey room was in my favourite pallet. A large window with sheer curtains that softened the harsh Gulf sun sat before us. I walked over to the bedroom, and the carpet gave way to a cool wood floor. Even before I could look over to the bed, something large, oval and white caught my minimalism-obsessed eye. Enclosed within its own glass box was a deep soak bathtub with a view. I quietly pencilled in a date with the tub for later, while Charles darted an all-knowing look at me. Pulling back the curtains, we took in the essential Dubai view our high ceiling windows offered.
Over the next couple of days, we enjoyed the rainfall shower, delicious bath products and other luxurious details. Back in the well-sized hall, a 42 Inch flat screen TV lay concealed in a mirror panel, a glass dining table offered up delightful treats from the turndown service, and small details like a piece of drift-wood provided just the right amount of decor (which is precisely how we like it).
The all-day restaurant at Mélia Dubai is Azalya, and we had the chance to experience it on several occasions while we were staying there. Starting with our quick coffee while we waited for our room to be readied, there was something to be said for the impeccable service we received here. The next day, the breakfast buffet did not disappoint either, as we realised with our go-to-test for hotel breakfasts – the eggs. There was of course a decent variety of continental, Middle Eastern as well as Indian fare. The á la carte lunch wasn’t to be left behind either. From the Soup to the Salmon, the ingredients sang through!
Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor
We were scheduled for an interactive dinner at Signature, Sanjeev Kapoor’s stunning restaurant. We weren’t quite sure what to expect of it, and stepped in with a bit of trepidation. Over the next couple of hours, we were treated to a beautiful journey as the chef walked us through every single course he whipped up right in front of our eyes. Indian cuisine done in a modern style, with stories behind the evolution of the recipes was a rare treat indeed! Every single dish was a masterpiece, a treat for the eyes and taste-buds. Charles of course, pleased the chef by polishing off every single morsel he was served.
After dinner, we decided to check out the much-talked about rooftop bar. Stepping gingerly across a glass floor, we walked over to our table from where we took in the view of the swimming pool and Dubai’s sparkly skyline beyond. We enjoyed some post dinner cocktails – a Baileys for me and a Cognac for Charles while Dubai nightlife drank, laughed, celebrated birthdays with sparklers on cakes and puffed away at Shishas around us.
Of the 7 treatment rooms at the YHI Spa, we were treated to the most special of the lot. The couples’ room has two massage beds as well as a massive Jacuzzi pool. We enjoyed the most blissful massages (it definitely ranks among the top 5 massages we’ve ever had) and then relaxed with some delicious ginger tea and dates in the bubbling pool. The perfect mid-weekend wind-down during our trip.
As much as we were loathe to say goodbye, we’d known this was to be a super-short touch and go kind of getaway, and we descended to the parking level, crestfallen. The silver lining was the super comfortable vehicle that was waiting to take us to the airport. As we pulled out of the driveway, I looked back at the towering building, with a quiet thank you for a tastefully luxurious weekend, and a promise to return.
This post was made possible by Mélia Dubai and flydubai. Opinions as always, are our own.