Dubai's newest adults-only hotel, W Dubai — Mina Seyahi, has officially opened near the marina, having been in soft launch mode since April.
Designed with Dubai as its inspiration — drawing on everything from the treasures found in souqs to more modern marvels — the hotel pays homage to a city that has evolved into a modern metropolis in a relatively short amount of time.
The National checked in to see what it has to offer.
Driving in to W Dubai — Mina Seyahi, valet staff greet us warmly as we park beside a larger-than-life tree offering shade from the scorching sun. Our car and luggage are both swiftly taken care of as we make our way to the reception.
The lobby design is inspired by souqs in the Middle East and features the warm hues and gold accents often associated with these traditional markets. At the entrance, is a giant Al Hakawaty book — said to be the book of the storyteller — while there's a comfortable seating area to the right. The setup has been inspired by the al halaqa (storytellers’ circles) that brought people together in days gone by. The lighting in the form of a transitioning flying carpet instantly catches the eye.
In an ode to the snake charmers found inside many a souq, there are a few reptilian touches in the lobby such as the mosaic-tiled path resembling snakeskin that leads us to the check-in desk and the textured walls in the lobby, which take inspiration from the inside of a snake basket. Our check-in is quick and smooth and we are in our room within 10 minutes.
As we make our way to the elevator, we pass a giant beaded installation featuring names of the stories from the 1001 Arabian Nights — another nod to storytellers in the Middle East.
Located about 30 minutes from Dubai International Airport, the property sits on the Jumeirah Beach coastline in Dubai Marina, one of the most buzzing neighbourhoods in the emirate.
Barasti Beach, a long-standing social spot, is right next door in Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Waterpark, and The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina is also within the Marriott complex. The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence is a few minutes away by taxi. Dubai Marina Mall is the closest shopping centre and offers dining options and a cinema.
We stay in a Spectacular Room, and the first thing we notice are the stellar views of Ain Dubai, the Marina, Palm Jumeirah and the Arabian Gulf thanks to huge floor-to-ceiling glass walls. The room, which is designed by Blink Design Group, features a king-size bed and distinctly Arabian touches — the lights are reminiscent of ancient lanterns, a treasure chest serves as a bedside table and Arabic calligraphy runs from the top of the headboards to the seating area.
A large television faces the plush (and we can confirm) very comfortable bed, with a luxurious brass and dark blue mini bar to one side and dressing table on the other. There is also a sizeable balcony with outdoor seating, perfect to take in the views from.
A magsafe phone charger on top of a digital clock is a handy addition when you realise you've forgotten your own charger and a master switch on either side of the bed allows easy control of all the lights in the room.
The walk-in closets are enclosed with curtains featuring the hues of beautiful desert sunsets, and this little passageway leads to the bathroom, where Arabian influences continue in the form of black and white calligraphy. Davines toiletries are stocked in the glass-enclosed shower area and a freestanding bathtub also offers views of Ain Dubai, with the option to pull the blinds closed.
The very dim lighting in the hallways (representative of sailing in the dark night) leading to the hotel rooms is a little spooky and left us a tad confused about the thinking behind it.
The staff at the property are incredibly friendly and helpful. Our server during dinner at Ginger Moon deserves a special mention for offering excellent recommendations and alternatives when anything is less than perfect.
During our visit, there are two dining outlets open at the property. Ginger Moon is the main all-day dining restaurant and is attached to the al fresco Wet Deck that offers poolside drinks. The restaurant has a relaxed boho vibe with wicker and wooden furniture and bright turquoise walls. Breakfast is a feast with a selection of cold cuts and cheeses, and healthy options such as mini jars of salads, fresh juices, fruits, chia puddings and quinoa granola. If you’re looking to treat yourself, breads and sweet baked treats abound. There's also an a la carte menu for egg preparations and a few other dishes.
Dinner at Ginger Moon offers a selection of mostly beef and seafood options, but there are a few vegetarian dishes on the menu as well. We try the kimchi potato mash (Dh40), tamarind sea bass (Dh175) and lamb ribs (Dh220). The potato mash is absolutely delicious and just a touch spicy from the kimchi, and is surprisingly good with the fall-off-the-bone lamb ribs, which are flavoured with garlic, rosemary and paprika. A combination of mango, red chilli salsa and mint-cilantro perfectly complements the crispy fried seabass.
The property is also home to the W lounge, which offers Mediterranean cuisine and features outdoor seating where sheesha will be served in the cooler months. There is also a café serving speciality coffee in the lobby and Asian restaurant Attico is due to open next month.
W Dubai — Mina Seyahi is designed for adults-only, meaning it's a buzzing, day-to-night hotel with great music and lots of space to unwind. Towering over the marina inside a sparkling glass tower, the hotel is home to a small infinity pool at Wet Deck that's great for drinks and sundowners. It's also where you'll find the brand's signature giant W sign.
Taking pampering to the next level is boutique spa Bar-B on the 30th floor, where guests can enjoy drinks while enjoying treatments — which include massages, facials and nail services.
Guests staying in the hotel have access to the sprawling swimming pools, private beaches and other recreational activities at the two sister Mina Seyahi hotels.
Highs and lows
The location is definitely a big plus for the hotel — with a number of hotspots only a stone’s throw away including two other Marriott hotels on site.
While we aren't bowled over by the dining options at Ginger Moon, we're hopeful that now the hotel is out of soft launch there will be more choice for diners.
The insider tip
Ask for a corner room for an amazing 360-degree view of Ain Dubai, Marina, Palm Jumeirah and the Arabian Gulf.
The hotel is an ideal getaway for adults looking for a Dubai weekend away without any little ones running amok. It's also pet-friendly (size restrictions apply), which is great for fur parents. Its location offers guests the chance to explore one of the city's most popular neighbourhoods with ease.
The bottom line
Rates at W Dubai — Mina Seyahi start at Dh1,999 per night, plus taxes, for a Fantastic Room. Check-in is from 3pm and check-out is at noon; marriott.com
This review was conducted at the invitation of the hotel during the global coronavirus pandemic. It reflects hotel standards during this time, services may change in the future.