Words by Kaspar Chambers
How do you stand out in a city of a thousand hotels? This is a question that many hotel producers in Dubai have sought to answer with no end of exclusive features and gimmicks. In a culture obsessed with building the world’s tallest, world’s largest, world’s most expensive, it’s certainly a daunting task! You have to offer an experience like no other and the Paramount Hotel Dubai (a franchise of the famed film company) delivers on its clear vision to do just that. Expect a crafted cinematic experience of old-school Hollywood opulence that sits comfortably amongst my top picks for places to stay in the city.
The towers of the Paramount Hotel rise up from across the water of Dubai creek in the downtown district. A sense of occasion surrounds all aspects with the lobby sparkling with gold, velvet and crystal. The check-in desks are surrounded on all sides by mesmerising wall-to-wall LED screens, constantly dazzling with Californian scenes that change in mood to reflect the time of day. Even walking the dark corridors to your bedroom is an event – back-lit original artwork from Paramount’s classic films pop out at as you lock gazes with the stars from the past.
“In this city, everybody wants to be entertained,” executive producer, Inna Gernega tells me. “Everyone wants experiences, so you have to deliver something unique. Here, we have that in abundance.” From the time I spent here I’d have to agree. The classic Hollywood theme is executed superbly. This begins on arrival with the door staff welcoming you clad in their fitted cream suits and trilby hats. No sooner had I dropped my bags was there a lad in full vintage golfing attire presenting me with treats from the in-house chocolate bar.
No detail has been overlooked in creating the private spaces. Minimalist furniture is adorned with stunning materials and each room is complete with nods to vintage film making, such as stage lamps that beautifully juxtapose with the modern finishes and glass. Touchpads offer seamless control of your room’s many capabilities, allowing you to direct proceedings with the press of a button, including choosing the perfect lighting for whatever tone you wish to set. The bathrooms are equipped with Japanese-style smart toilets, and a separate enclosed wet room houses a rain shower and bathtub with quotes from iconic movies etched into the mirrored walls.
The lavishness is dialled up even further in the variety of suites on show. Take for instance, the Godfather-inspired, Don Corleone Suite with it’s leather Chesterfield sofas and the smell of dark mahogany. To complement the ultimate gentlemen’s pad, the Carole Lombarde Suite is purpose built for a Hollywood actress. Elegant and white throughout, with an enormous back-lit vanity mirror that allows you to achieve ‘selfie perfection’ so I’m told.
The Paramount Hotel offers a range of excellent options for eating in keeping with the loose Californian theme. The Malibu Deck, which houses the pool, has an imported Californian food truck which serves up the fresh flavours of the Hispanic community such as ceviche, patacones and authentic tacos (no hard shells here), as well as Poke and classic burgers. Pacific Groove is the flagship restaurant. A Pan-American menu developed by the charming, Brazilian head chef, with a standout dish of wagyu short ribs, slow cooked overnight and bursting with flavour. Additionally, throughout the day, an international buffet caters for all palates at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The hotel offers all of the usual five-star staples you’d expect but Paramount won’t be beaten for originality. This is best exemplified with the speakeasy bar: This prohibition-era secret bar is again entrenched in theatre with a hidden entrance concealed behind a false wall that reveals the sultry dark haunt within. Revitalising the next morning, is a simple choice with the Pause spa and gym. The spa is a pure and welcoming space that notably to me includes a Moroccan-style hammam and offers a wealth of treatments options. As someone who’s spent a lot of time in cramped and under-equipped hotel gyms, this one shames those sorry token efforts. It’s massive and truly state-of-the art, with panoramic views of the Dubai skyline to enjoy while you dabble in crossfit or even powerlifting.
The hotel has also been outfitted to capture the business market with its unique take on work spaces with a boardroom and work suites inspired by the Star Trek Enterprise, designed to unlock creativity and excite the imaginations of those within. With only a short 10-minute drive to the financial centre, this makes for a brilliantly original alternative for business travellers.
However, totally unique is the Screening Room: as of yet, no other hotel in Dubai can boast a private luxury cinema befitting of a Hollywood studio. The screening room shows Paramount’s greatest films for guests and is also an excellent space for comedy shows and private film functions.
As a newly developed site on the fringes of downtown, the immediate surrounding area currently sits a little barren, but these towers are serving as a beacon for the relentless growth with pedestrianised spaces in development. Even so, in downtown Dubai you’re never far from the top attractions in a city that runs on taxis. The Dubai mall and Burj Khalifa are a short five-minute hop over the creek with the financial centre a little further at 10 minutes and the beach-side hot spot of La Mer about 20 minutes away. The hotel also runs shuttles to the mall and the La Mer beach for guests.
The Paramount Hotel is a standout example for themed hotels and represents remarkably good value for the Dubai luxury sector, with rooms starting from £64 per night until October 2020: a great opportunity for those seeking a one-of-a-kind weekend away.
Address: Business Bay – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 246 6666