Hotel review: Hues Boutique Hotel, Dubai
Finding the recently renovated Hues Boutique Hotel is rather a mission, but once at its on-street entrance, the valet is fast and jovial. The same can’t be said of the somewhat sour-faced receptionist. We’re told that it will take 15 minutes to “check with housekeeping” that our room is ready. We end up spending 30 minutes kicking our heels, before we’re taken upstairs in a funky, open-sided glass lift. A waiter brings complimentary fresh juice, which is a nice compensatory gesture.
Compared to its down-and-dirty surrounds, the Hues looks like a spaceship that’s landed in Deira. There’s a plethora of shops, eateries and entertainment within walking distance, although they’re a cultural world apart from the hotel. There are a few malls within a short drive, including the underrated Al Ghurair Centre. Most taxi drivers don’t know the hotel, so snaffling one of the Hues’s handy business-card-sized maps proves a smart move.
Our fourth-floor “Fresh” room is plush and brightly coloured, with a king bed, Gulf views, bold contemporary artwork, mirrors aplenty and an eccentrically designed grey-and-yellow bathroom. There are a couple of inexplicable design quirks: the bathroom sink’s tap is at the side of the basin and the lighting is controlled from a central panel next to the bed, excluding two lamps that you need to get up to switch off individually. That’s generally outweighed by welcome embellishments, such as the electronic window blinds and fragrant handmade soaps. The soundproofing is another matter, in this busy area of town – street noise is barely dulled throughout the day and (problematically) night.
Apart from the check-in blips, there’s little to be faulted, and several staff break character from stiff servility – including a barman in the new, curiously named sports bar Mistakes, who has us chuckling by cheekily offering a calculator to aid our faltering maths while playing darts.
The hotel is certainly geared up as a nightlife spot. Mistakes, is rather quiet, but the facilities can’t be faulted – a pool table, darts board, fussball table and TVs showing live sport make it worth a stand-alone visit. The revamped Aurora Lounge & Terrace has an expansive bar, DJ decks and outdoor seating, from where you can see the sun come up, as it’s open until 6am. Unless you want the all-night sensation of being next door to an Ibiza club, though, don’t repeat our experience of being one floor below Aurora – for all but the hardiest partiers or narcoleptics, sleep is all but impossible. There’s also a rooftop pool and a spa.
The all-day-dining space Metro is the hotel’s only dedicated restaurant, but it’s a cut above the usual lukewarm buffets, with a well-judged mix of cuisines. The salmon seafood spaghetti is a highlight at dinner.
The design charisma, Mistakes and the above-average food.
The check-in bloopers and the blaring music from Aurora.
As an affordable anomaly in the old end of Dubai that trumps most grubby alternatives, the Hues is lively, fun and hip, with nightlong entertainment. Don’t expect much sleep, though.
The bottom line
Rooms start from Dh550, including taxes, breakfast and Wi-Fi. Hues Boutique Hotel, Corniche, Deira, Dubai (www.huesboutiquehotel.com; 04 236 5566).
Published: December 11, 2014 04:00 AM