There are plenty of luxury hotel openings in Dubai at the moment.
From the Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah and Marriott’s first resort in the UAE a few doors down, to Vida Dubai Marina and Yacht Club and the long-awaited Atlantis The Royal, it’s been a busy time for the city’s hospitality industry.
As the beachfront properties have been beefing up the city's shorelines, Address Hotels and Resorts' newest property has quietly been settling into life on Dubai Creek Harbour.
It opened in December and still has that new hotel smell. The National took a deep breath and checked in to find out more.
As expected from a brand of this standing, sharply dressed staff at the valet desk and concierge are quick off the mark as soon as we pull up, with front desk attendants also providing excellent service and information about the property and area.
It’s time to gleefully switch off working week mode and turn the dial to “long weekend of relaxation and sun".
In the blink of an eye, Dubai has built a new neighbourhood and I seem to be the only one who hasn’t been. “It’s billed to become the new Downtown Dubai,” a staff member reveals with a knowing grin. And, he may just be right as Dubai Creek Harbour draws in a crowd not too dissimilar in size to the herds at The Dubai Fountains on a Saturday night.
Simply speaking, it’s bustling.
At the centre of it all is Address Grand Creek Harbour — its cantilever observation deck on the ground floor stretches over the water and two outdoor bars and restaurants serve sumptuous sunset-facing vistas, with a Burj Khalifa skyline to boot. The deck is sandwiched between the property’s two buildings, one is entirely residential while floors one to 19 of the second are the hotel, with serviced apartments again filling floors 20 to 65.
There are 223 rooms and suites, including a three-bedroom presidential showpiece. Ours is a deluxe king room with creek views. Its sleek, contemporary design has a palette of muted greys and pastel blues that sit seamlessly with the blue sky views pouring in through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The bathroom, complete with a stand-alone tub, is vast and elegant and it's pleasing to find toiletries wrapped in recyclable paper packaging.
The hotel’s design is a nod to 1920s Art Deco, with vast ceilings, curves and colourful statement furniture pieces. The lobby has a central column that serves as a focal point, a grand piano and tables with faux indoor fireplaces emitting a smoke-like substance and chandeliers that hang like orchestral chimes.
The third-floor pool has an infinity edge, comfortable sunbeds and enormous fluffy towels that are perfect to curl up in on the chilly winter afternoon we visit. Thankfully, the pool’s heated. As is the nearby patio owing to fire burners (real flames, this time).
For a hotel so central, with the likes of The Dubai Mall, Dubai International Airport or the DIFC only a 15-minute drive away, it's remarkable to find some proper peace and quiet on a city break. I'm talking about that "falling asleep on the sunbed, waking up past sunset confused and refreshed" kind of peace and quiet.
On the same floor, there is a modest gym filled with exceptional equipment — some of the finest I've guilt-tripped myself into using mid-staycation — and the nearby changing rooms have saunas for a post-workout pat on the back.
On the floor below sits The Spa, where jovial therapists and their healing hands await. We try the one-hour couple’s massage, opting for the Thai fusion deep muscle stretch with extra pain (my own off-menu request, I should add). I shuffle in crooked and wonky from repeated commutes in the car and a career spent at the computer screen; 60 minutes later, I waltz out straighter than a lamppost.
The separate changing and relaxation areas also offer experience therapy showers, saunas and steam rooms and a quiet corner for contemplation.
Taking a different approach to some of its sister sites — where the likes of Zeta Seventy Seven stands tall in JBR, Ce La Vie buzzes into the early hours in downtown and Nezesaussi Grill welcomes crowds of sports fans in the marina — Address Grand Creek Harbour keeps dining options to the brand's ubiquitous names.
There are three to choose from: The Restaurant serves buffet breakfast and a la carte dinner, The Patisserie offers dainty cakes and coffees in the lobby and Luma Pool Lounge keeps swimmers and sunbathers fed and hydrated.
Thankfully, the main restaurant is more than satisfying for guests on a short trip. However, those staying longer may look to venture further afield after the first night or two.
The contemporary European menu offers a mix of steaks (Dh200 to Dh840) and seafood (Dh115 to Dh410), salads (Dh75 to Dh135) and soups (Dh50 to Dh65), pasta (Dh85 to Dh95) and meat cuts (Dh160 to Dh220) thrown in for good measure. The poolside menu is similar, with extra mezze and slider options.
Karthick, our delightfully kind waiter, and his dapper colleagues provide swift service, while the accomplished team in the kitchen serve well-executed dishes. Do not leave without trying the octopus leg starter and a pot of Karthick’s ginger tea.
There's no room for guilt at the breakfast buffet, which is included for guests, where dishes are also available to order. It includes everything from shakshouka to pastries, Middle Eastern mezze to pancakes. There's an excellent honey section, with walnut, pistachio and even truffle variations available to start the day on a sweet note, with fresh fruits, cereals, live cooking stations and a merry-go-round of staff keeping service ticking along.
Highs and lows
Service with big charming smiles and some of the finest sunset views of Downtown Dubai are undoubted highlights. Additionally, the pool feels like one of the quietest city centre hotels one could hope for — it’s tranquil and in stark contrast to the soaring metropolis all around.
While it probably won’t affect those on a short weekender, guests staying for longer are likely to find the dining options a little on the light side. Thankfully, there are whispers the hotel will soon be rolling out an afternoon tea to mix things up.
The insider tip
Eggs bennedict on the elegant balcony at breakfast with a side order of city views is what lazy mornings are made for. There are plenty of tables outside, though it’s worthwhile checking with staff beforehand to secure a spot on busier weekends.
Five-star luxury from a brand that plays to its strengths in the heart of one of the city's brightest new neighbourhoods.
The bottom line
Deluxe rooms start from Dh1,050 with breakfast; suites start from Dh1,820 including club access. Check-in is at 3pm and check-out is at noon; www.addresshotels.com
This review was conducted at the invitation of the hotel