Review: Shangri-La Hotel Dubai: A delightful city escape well worth indulging in

How do you find time to take a breather and put your mind at ease, even if it’s just for a short period of time? For many, it seems like hotel staycations have become the best option. Belonging to the group that’s all for staycays, we recently tried the Shangri-La Hotel Dubai and were wowed by the overall experience.

First impressions
Enter the atrium-style lobby with Lasvit chandeliers and beautiful shades of gold, ruby, and sapphire, and it’s love at first sight. Behind the check-in desk is a striking artwork featuring hundreds of books in various languages. It’s a buzzy space, with a popular lounge for afternoon tea and overlooked by the first-floor restaurants.

The property’s 302 rooms are located on levels 20 to 40, with large picture windows offering views of the world’s tallest tower or the Arabian Sea.

Our Deluxe room with Burj View boasted some of the best Burj Khalifa views in town. While the hotel is popular with business travelers, there’s plenty to tempt holidaymakers, including refurbished rooms, a sprawling spa, palm-fringed pool area, and a great mix of restaurants.

Sun, spa and splendour
The fourth-floor pool area has a glamorous feel, with white sun loungers, hot pink towels, and amazing Burj Khalifa views (and some inevitable traffic noise). The poolside bar is popular after dark, with shisha and DJ tunes. On the same level is Shangri-La’s own-brand CHI Spa with Arabian-inspired treatments using ingredients like dates, coffee, and rhassoul mud, and a health club with gym, saunas, steam rooms, plunge pools, tennis, and squash courts. In addition, clubroom guests can access a fantastic private health club on level 42 with an indoor pool and suntrap terrace.

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We tried the incredible Signature Asian blend massage that combined traditional Asian techniques, including Thai pressure points, Balinese & Malaysian strokes, and Chinese energy flow and couldn’t stop swooning at the excellence of treatment, products, the therapist’s techniques, and more. It definitely soars high on our list of best spas in the city.

One of our favorite parts of the stay has to be the gastronomic excellence of the property. Alongside high-end Chinese and Indian restaurants, there’s a top-notch Vietnamese specialty restaurant, Hoi An, that serves up delectable crispy rolls with shrimp and shiitake and ravishes Vietnamese curries with aplomb. A brunch at Shang Palace was beyond exceptional as dishes like Crispy Prawns with Mango mayonnaise, golden garlic king prawns with chili, and handmade Chinese dumplings were unlike anything we had. Before!

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There’s also an incredible buffet breakfast served at the refurbished Dunes Café, with a wide selection of pastries, fresh smoothies, and eggs cooked to order, plus Indian, Chinese, Arabic, and Western hot and cold dishes. At the hotel’s stunning Ikandy Ultralounge, we devoured a top-notch pizza and burger by the pool- another experience we heartily recommend.

With the finest staff who go the extra mile to serve you with love, the entire experience only shines. At CHI, The Spa, indulging in cutting-edge wellness treatments for a few blissful hours of ‘me time’ may well be the cherry on the cake at this exquisite, exceptional property. With great restaurants, luxurious accommodations, showstopping views of the city, and incredible staff, this one offers delightful touchpoints worth returning for.

Note: The hotel hosted the critic, but all opinions are her own.

Where: Sheikh Zayed Road, P.O. Box 75880, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Phone: 00 971 4 343 8888

The luxe factor is:

9 Room
9 Food
9 Hospitality
9 Activities
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