Hotel Review: Address Boulevard, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates
Words by Katrina Kufer
The Address Boulevard, which opened in 2017 in Downtown Dubai, has been quietly forging its identity in a city rife with 5* luxury properties as an intimate, attentive urban resort inspired by the French Riviera that embodies a sense of low-key luxe.
On paper, the Address Boulevard hotel reads grand: 73 storeys (the 38th tallest in the world and 6th tallest in Dubai), 196 rooms in 9 different formats, 500+ residential suits, and all mere steps away from the iconic Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Opera House, and the ritzy Dubai International Financial District, which houses the majority of the city’s fine dining foodie hot spots.
It also just received the 2018 World Luxury Hotel Awards for Best Luxury Hotel Design MENA. In real life, it is grand, but for all that descriptions can offer and tempt the mind with, it is Address Boulevard’s unique attitude that belies its initial pull to reveal that this is a property with refined heart, casual elegance, and a real home-away-from home feeling.
The visual appeal is striking – both discreetly glam with soaring off-white and slate marble walls, floors and many a table surface, wall-to-wall ceiling-to-floor expanses of window that let light flood in, and velvety taupe furnishings accented with dark wood details that speak to a more subtle interpretation of luxury. Designed by multi-award winning NORR architects, the effect is soothing and welcoming but not so much so that it can be taken for granted or overlooked.
There are thoughtful modern touches of sleek gold décor and hardware, as well as awe-inspiring craftsmanship in focal points such as the very large Lasvit chandeliers peppered throughout the property – a decadent touch tempered by the clever restraint exercised in the rest of the interior design. It is an excellent example of how airy, light French chic meets contemporary Arabesque, appropriately referential to it’s Middle Eastern home while still providing a universally pleasing backdrop upon which guests – or aesthetes – can enjoy.
A mood of casual luxury – or easy elegance – carries through the hotel. It’s singular F&B outlet – a choice that speaks to the clear vision of the hotel and its decision to hone its energy and talent into one channel rather than dabbling in diverse novelty – is simply named The Restaurant.
However, it is anything but. Fitted out like a Parisian apartment – complete with astute interior architecture strategy which partitions off greige-toned spaces to create zones which clearly reflect dressing, living, dining, library, foyer and dining rooms – The Restaurant fills an entire floor and gives diners plenty of space to choose their favourite corner surrounded by black-and-white photographs, butterflies presented in taxidermy-esque frames, or sculptures not dissimilar to what might be found in a collector’s home.
Whether sitting upon curved fabric couches (which complement the banquet-style table arrangements) and exploring their Friday served brunch with delicious soft scramble eggs and unctuous burrata; on the stuffed, oversized leather sofas alongside chess boards sipping on a Nick & Nora cocktail, a bourbon-based drink which comes with a palette-balancing morsel of cheese as a garnish; or the secret dining room hidden behind one of the French panelled walls complete with a vintage gramophone and private bell for service, the message is clear: get comfortable, stay for a while. And with an all-day tasty global bistronomy menu – with a Mediterranean edge from Executive Chef Rick Gonzalez – it is ready to cater to just that.
The invitingness is mirrored in the service – which is attentive and pleasant. This is clearly an outlet with regulars, and guests can rest assured that even a couple visits will have them feeling like a familiar face.
They are happy to propose tips on how to get into the Dubai Mall (one of the world’s most sizeable), which comes with its own private, carpeted entrance courtesy of the hotel’s lowest floor; suggestions on menu pairings for a special celebratory dinner and which dessert to opt for (the chocolate mousse cake); and how perhaps a Jacuzzi soak at the spa would be welcome following an afternoon out and about on your feet.
Said spa – which is unassumingly located in high-ceilinged, dark wood winding hallways that read more corporate property than exotic retreat – comes equipped with a salon and state-of-the-art gym. But it also features a private, spa-guests only infinity pool that overlooks the city’s passersby, as well as the property’s two other pools (one adults only, the other for families) and can quickly become the hotel’s most luxurious, resort-like hideaway.
There are many a corner for guests to feel unhindered by the rush of city life, but this quiet poolside, with loungers both in and out of the water and several canopy beds, is a true delight – one which ought best be followed by a spin through the Finnish and bio saunas.
Then there are the rooms. While not necessarily the city’s most spacious, they are certainly not lacking in size or comfortable and have simple touches that speak to today’s needs, including iPad room controls and Netflix, as well as leather lined drawers, nary a cable in sight, and plush bedding and flooring that beg for slippers to be thrown aside.
Starting at 47-square-metres for the Deluxe rooms, which come with balconies overlooking the bustling Downtown boulevard; through to the 280-square-metre suites which include all one could wish for and more, the mushroom, stone and off-white marble again make an appearance as the rooms provide an excellent backdrop upon which to embrace chic leisure.
But there is one last indulgence to be had – and it is an extravagance engaging a pulled back, refined approach. The Address Boulevard proves repeatedly that it appreciates and respects the art of restraint, and that sometimes toning it down and going for simple clear concepts is the way to truly elevate the luxury experience. The Club Lounge – accessible to those with Club Rooms – is a chic French bistro dream.
Offering five daily complimentary hot meals near 24-hours, accompanied by continued service of select alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, it has its own selection of discreet sitting areas, dining spaces and balconies with sleek armchairs prepped for a glass of wine, a special culinary request from the kitchen, and a cigar.
In a property that already provides personal space and intimate corners in its public zones, this is an extra level of exclusivity where despite the dynamic cityscape just in view, it exudes calm and serenity, providing a quintessential charming luxury homestay in what is – and delightfully easily forgotten – a luxury high-rise in the centre of Dubai.
Address: Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, 21447 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 561 8888