Bold design, drinks and dining – we check into the hot new hotel in Dubai Marina.
Wherever in the world you are, there’s something fashionably familiar about a W Hotel. Whether it’s the statement logo or signature service, promising you whatever, whenever, you know you’re in for a stylish and satisfying stay. The brand already has two much-loved hotels in the UAE – W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island and W Dubai – The Palm. So, we were excited to check into its latest five-star hotel: W Dubai – Mina Seyahi.
The first W opened in New York in 1999 and later joined the Marriott family. Today you can see the W gleaming across the world, from Australia to South America and, of course, Dubai. Combining music, design and fashion, the hip hotels are traditionally aimed at a younger demographic, and the latest Dubai offering brings that to luxurious life.
W Dubai – Mina Seyahi is situated in the heart of Dubai Marina and on the Jumeirah Beach coastline. Located 30 minutes from Dubai International Airport and 20 minutes from Al Maktoum International Airport, it’s within easy access of many of Dubai’s spectacular sights.
Architecture and design
W Dubai – Mina Seyahi stands out from the skyscraper crowd. While it’s not the supermodel of buildings – it’s short by Dubai standards and stands at only 31 stories tall – it has curves in all the right places, as its sleek swooping white frame beautifully encases the gorgeous glass architecture.
The venue boasts a cool Arabian aesthetic – sure, there’s the modern W worldwide style stamp but also traditional local touches that reflect its location. The hotel knows how to make an entrance, as it’s tucked away off of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, with a porte-cochère – a covered driveway for vehicles leading to the lobby.
The Arabic hospitality vibes start right at the reception, as the smiling staff offer us a welcome drink and fresh towel. When you enter the hotel lobby, or what it likes to call W Lounge, it’s a cross between a Middle Eastern souk and majlis. Thanks to the DJ as well as design, with colourful cushions, bronze accents, and ornate carpets on the floor and wall, it is for more than just passing through.
Rooms and suites
W Dubai – Mina Seyahi has 318 rooms including 27 suites, which have views of the Arabian Gulf as well as Dubai landmarks such as Ain Dubai, The Palm Jumeirah and, well, Barasti Beach. We check into the spacious corner guest room, which is ideal for couples: it includes a king-size bed, two wardrobes, a sofa, and a balcony facing the sunset. Plus, the bathroom is big enough to fit a separate shower and bathtub with a sea view.
The bohemian yet youthful design might not be to everyone’s taste, as it verges on kitsch and is a case of more is more. There’s the expected: calligraphy artwork, dangling lanterns and treasure chest-like tables. Then the unexpected: white leather headboards, a bright red carpet and a vanity mirror you turn “on”.
The room feels like a place where you can meet for cocktails and a catch-up, as there’s an actual bar (that is definitely not mini) in the middle. Cocktail glasses, mixers and a shaker are on display. So, settle and sip on the dhow-style sofa, while wearing the smart slippers – no flimsy paper-thin ones here, thank you.
Restaurants and bars
What W Dubai – Mina Seyahi lacks in restaurants and bars, as not all of them are currently open, it makes up for in its statement spots. The rooftop lounge ATTIKO will open later this year, and Malakite Beach Club opens next year.
We visited the Pan Asian restaurant, Ginger Moon, which is where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served. While the breakfast menu is on the smaller side, the buffet has enough to keep you busy. The urban beach club vibes start here and extend outdoors, as there’s a rooftop bar, tables and a pool with a view. And, as it’s an adults-only playground, there’s nothing distracting you from the entertainment, which includes DJs, percussionists and fire dancers.
The W Lounge’s snug bar is jungle chic, as it includes rainforest-style wallpaper, animal sculptures and lampstands shaped like snakes. The travel-inspired cocktail menu is just as playful – try the rum and whisky sour nights, which you’ll snap before you sip, as a glass jar is lifted to reveal your drink in a cloud of smoke.
Spa and facilities
When you want to pamper and chill, visit the recently opened Bar-B spa. We were one of the first people to check out the spa, which offers everything from facials to massages. While you can book some me time, it’s also a hot hangout, as you can have tipples and treatments.
We book the performance massage, which uses 111Skin’s May Chang. The blend of turmeric, eucalyptus and ginger is massaged deep into your muscles, which relieves tension and improves circulation. While most spas are in dark basements, what sets this apart is the light-filled space on the 30th floor. If there are two of you, request the couple’s room with Palm Jumeirah views.
W Dubai – Mina Seyahi doesn’t play it safe, and we love that it has taken risks. As a result, it has enough character across its suites, spa and bar to make for a memorable stay.
GO: Visit www.marriott.com for reservations and more information.