One hotel in Dubai is looking to hone in on the popularity of eSports by launching a dedicated room that caters towards hardcore gamers.
Rove Hotels has introduced its Gamer Cave, created in partnership with Dubai tech company Playtonia and powered by Razer, which is known for its gaming products.
Completely decked out with a top-spec computer and dual curved monitors, as well as impressive Razer accessories to help elevate the gaming experience, the room category is set to be popular with those into the scene.
Rooms are available to book from Tuesday at two locations: Rove Downtown and Rove at the Park.
Ahead of its public opening, The National was invited to give the Gamers Cave a test run and, since my partner is a gaming aficionado who is always levelling up in World of Warcraft or honing his skills playing Fifa, we were happy to be among the first to check it out.
This is what gamers can expect
The powerful gaming rig has impressive specs such as an Intel Core i7-11700k processor, Nvidia RTX 3070 graphic card and Asus Z590P Prime motherboard. There are also two curved 27-inch AOC screens that are ideal for those looking to stream while playing or who prefer to use two monitors.
The computer set-up is also enhanced with top Razer accessories, such as the Blackshark V2 headset, Huntsman V2 Analog gaming keyboard, Viper 8KHz gaming mouse, Razer Seiren Mini streaming microphone and Kiyo Pro camera for Twitch or YouTube streaming.
Games pre-installed on the system include popular titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valorant, Red Dead Redemption 2, Overwatch, Doom, Dota 2 and Grand Theft Auto 5.
First impressions of Rove's Gamer Cave
Stepping into Rove Downtown, our first impressions are good. The lobby is colourful, with hip decor and artwork, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows that let in plenty of natural light. Unsurprisingly, it is also full of people.
There are guests on their laptops, others enjoying snacks from the 24-hour shop and some simply waiting to check in. Thankfully, everyone is socially distant from one another, thanks to the spacing of tables and chairs.
We arrive a little before the 3pm check-in time, but don’t have to wait too long until our room is ready. We are given a corner room on the second floor and, as soon as we enter, it’s immediately apparent that the room is geared for gamers.
There's gaming-themed wall decor and bright neon wall lights, plus an LED strip light on the back wall surrounding the bed frame, which adds an extra ambiance that most gamers will be familiar with.
The room is the same size and layout as all of the others in the hotel, with the computer desk in the corner, replacing the mini-fridge and tea-making facilities found elsewhere.
A glitch in the system
We turn on the computer and are slightly dismayed to see the previous guest’s information has not been properly deleted. We’re told that the hotel is working on a programme to automatically delete all guest info once the computer turns off, but it has not been fully implemented yet.
We restart the computer to see if that will help clear things, but have trouble with the password and, after numerous failed attempts, are locked out and unable to use the system.
While this is admittedly a frustrating start to the visit, it is saved by the helpfulness of Playtonia and Rove management in resolving the issue. After a few phone calls and a visit from a technician, the problem is resolved and we have a powerful, working gaming computer.
Downloads and Discord
Once it is working, my eager partner settles into the Iskur gaming chair to try it out. The Nvidia RTX 3070 graphic card gets his compliments.
As he's not using his own PC, for some games he needs to download his own versions, such as the classic World of Warcraft (which is not pre-installed on the system). Luckily, thanks to the hotel's speedy internet, downloads are quick and it only takes a few minutes.
Logging into Discord is easy, for gamers looking to chat with friends while playing. It's worth noting that you will need a pre-existing account to log on to sites such as Battle.Net, Epic Games or Steam to access them.
Away from the games
As it's a standard-sized room, the addition of the gaming system in the corner means that guests inevitably lose a little floor space, but this didn't impact our stay.
Another thing to note is that the lighting in the room is designed to create a gaming ambiance, and if it's not something you're used to you might not find it dark enough to easily fall asleep.
While most of the lighting can be turned off when required, there are some elements that remain dimly lit at all times, which may be an issue for fussy sleepers.
Rove Hotels can offer a second room if needed and subject to availability, for those who prefer to sleep in the dark (or perhaps those looking to get away from a noisy gamer).
Outside the "cave", the hotel has a host of other facilities for when you need a break. There's a swimming pool, 24-hour gym and an area for other recreation, including mini golf, foosball and table tennis. There's also a Reel Boutique cinema inside the hotel where you can settle down to watch one of the latest films, with a bill similar to those found in mainstream theatres.
The final verdict
Despite some teething problems, once these were resolved it was nice to have a powerful gaming rig right there in our room.
We tested out War of Warcraft, Hearthstone and Call of Duty, as well as YouTube and some retro computer games that we remembered from our younger days.
The powerful graphic card and core processor is evident while using the computer with smooth gameplay all around. Before we checked out, we also tested shutting off the computer and rebooting it, and were pleased to see that our information was deleted.
So, if you're looking for a getaway but can't bare to leave behind your favourite games, then the Rove Gamer Cave is worth a visit.
Rooms from Dh250 per night. More information at rovehotels.com