This original property of Hilton’s LXR assortment of top-end indulgence hotels, built in the Beaux Arts élan with a magnificent driveway leading to its portico, does not disappoint. I entered into a glittering lobby and tried to think of the word – luxurious would be an understatement. Marble flooring, an elegant glass chandelier and sweeping staircases surrounded me in an astounding blend which is part royal, part ‘other world’ altogether.
The outstanding porch attracts wedding parties and the lobby’s extensive double staircase has been a background for countless brides, often after disembarking in one of the hotel’s Bentleys.
It is a place with a great history through art and it’s clear the hotel aims to continue the practise. Behind the check-in desk a Lawrence of Arabia-like figure jockeys a jumping horse in a brilliant oil painting, while artworks underlining UAE royals are presented on frames, a nod to the hotel’s creative slant.
Two hundred and thirty-four keys counting fifty-two suites make up the hotel’s accommodation and, born out of an essential desire to achieve each visitor’s request, an exceptional butler service is extended to all room guests.
Middle East’s first Bentley suite and its stellar Sir Winston Churchill suite open up to the impressive hotel bestowing a jaunty, upbeat air with flawless attention to detail, from ornate chandeliers to the ultimate profligate fixtures. Rooms feature gorgeous marble double vanity bathrooms and hi-tech entertainment technologies. The deep sleep had to be the finest part of my sojourn, even if it was so relaxed that I ended up missing the gym session I had promised myself the next morning.
Food and drink
BQ French Kitchen and Bar is on the first floor and emanates an elegant ambience with the menu featuring uncomplicated but well-served dishes such as linguine, braised lamb with polenta and French toast. It’s also where breakfast is served, where you’ll find a pretty wide-ranging serve-yourself buffet of hot and cold food, including the full English across pastries, cheeses, fruit and granola.
Afternoon tea is available at the Sidra Lounge next door, and the Polo bar is fine for a preprandial cocktail. The award-winning World Cut Steakhouse is set in a convivial and elegant space and offers American steakhouse favourites with a present-day panache. Expect cautiously selected cuts and scrumptious seafood paired with hearty countryside sides.
Le Patio is where you can appreciate the serene mood of an al fresco piazza and savour Middle Eastern cuisine together with flavourful shisha. There are several restaurants at the Boulevard within Habtoor city and I would highly recommend trying ll Pastaio, which offers some excellent Italian classics.
Bicycles can be hired from Careem Public Rental bikes to discover the canal’s seven-mile bike trail, but if you’d rather be at one spot then head to the Technogym-equipped training room. Next to this you will find Silk Spa, which has saunas, hammam suites and the works to leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
Apart from the two rooftop pools, a bonus is admission to the pool decks of the neighbouring hotels, as well as to the 650-ft beach and pools of Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, a mere two minutes’ drive away. Thanks to its location in Habtoor City, it’s splendidly fitting for theatregoers and restaurant enthusiasts. One also gets free tickets to La Perle by Dragone, enthralling flairs show and the area’s foremost attraction.
In a nutshell
Habtoor Palace indeed is a fine example of the Middle Eastern warmth and hospitality, it integrates the traditionally excellent, large hearted and luxuriously comfortable service with staff who are intuitive of all the guests’ needs, thus making each visitor feel like royalty.
Wake up to a kingdom beyond expectation.
Room rates start from AED 1,200 for one night inclusive of breakfast. (Please note- the price varies as per availability and season)
Address: Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road, P.O. Box 124405, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 435 5555