Hashtag Life visits Dubai’s leading hotels in the Financial District and Jumeirah Beach: The Four Seasons DIFC and the Four Seasons Jumeirah
The Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach will welcome the world renowned Ballet Under the Stars for two evenings of exceptional ballet, dance and dining this March. For an evening at the stunning open air beachside theatre, beneath the stars, click here.
I’ve always described Dubai as a place of the future; Sheikh-Zayed, a 14-lane highway connects all the Emirates together, and, especially at night when the city lights up, weaves seamlessly high and low through a futuristic city. I am often transported into a sense of galactic adventure and excitement. Yet soon after, a guttural pang of nostalgia veers through me and I yearn for the things of old; something familiar and not fleeting, to pace myself with. Herein, I go in search of the places which embrace Middle Eastern culture for its age, its depth and its true richness. In a city of excess, it can be difficult to strike a balance between modern luxuries and the roots of old.
Enter effortlessly, the Four Seasons. I’ve often described them as a ‘hotel for all seasons’ but the Dubai outlet of the ancient wisdoms (wizards? witches?) who design and implement one of the worlds best hotel chains have turned this into a hotel of all wonders. What I mean by this is, as someone who serendipitously finds herself wandering through the corridors of some fairly fantastic hotels, it is easy to become attuned to the typical box-checking exercises of any luxury 5+ etoile establishment. There is a distinctive skill the Four Seasons Jumeirah, and as well at their sister property in the cities Financial District, the DIFC, have mastered. Its the ability to sense what you want before you know you want it. From the amenities, to the set up, to the services; your stay becomes a race to make your requests known to staff, before they offer it to you. On the off-chance you beat them to the punch; think of as crazy a gesture you can, and they’ll nod with a smile at your mere-mortal request, and with a smooth, controlled, efficacy, ask you how and when you’d like it delivered. Frankly speaking, you won’t win at trying to fault this hotel; it embraces a meticulous sense of hospitality like oxygen, and the ability of it’s staff to communicate kindly, calmly, and with utter professionalism, blew me away.
Here are a few of my favourite things:
The DIFC Property
Hosts a breakfast of Royals.
At first glance, everything was ‘finger food sized’ and I couldn’t understand why. Us Arabs have large appetites. We like portions the size of our face. Shortly after, I learned that it’s all in the flavour. I have visited Chefs and Michelin restaurants which ‘grow their own micro-foods’ – a food where you can pack as much organic flavour into as small and adorable a physical substance as possible (enter my newfound love for the micro-brocolli). In short: well-sourced, qualitative ingredients fill this hotel’s buffet spreads. In a world of every biologically and chemically enhanced foods, presented with pretty garnishes but of poor substance, it is an effervescently impressive feat to receive high quality produce at an establishment which is what it says it is. If you’ve traveled for 7+ hours for a business trip to stay at the DIFC; you deserve qualitative produce. Here you receive it. Add to that an impressive and attentive a la carte menu, and you’ll be set for the day ahead.
MINA Brasserie, takes this impression to new heights come evening. On the night we visited, a Thursday, the weekend was heralded by a wonderful restaurant manager named Ivo, and the selection of plates he chose for us ranging from the softest burrata to equally soft veal chops and resident Chef Matt delivered a sinful but spectacularly sweet dessert to end a meal of Jazz sounds, loosened ties, and weekend-welcome vibes to all four walls of the restaurant, and the pedestrianised streets beyond it.
The rooms are as comfortable and luxurious as you’d expect; and a glass water pool on the rooftop, over-looking all the aesthetic from the outside, solemn from the inside, buildings of Dubai’s ‘city-mile’ allows you to at the very least, begin the day in utter sunlight and supremely self-indulgent relaxation. Just the way we time-poor, business-goers like it.
Come the weekend, or if you are traveling for pleasure solely, there is only one alternative venue to answer to:
The Four Seasons Jumeirah.
As for the aforementioned nostalgia of eras and eons past, combined with the modern uberism of the present; you will find it here in spades. Bright, airy spaces encapsulate this hotel. The ‘living areas’ such as SUQ and Shai Lounge welcome all to a backdrop of laid-back luxury that makes you feel more at home, than when you’re actually at home. SUQ itself, throws the Friday Brunch of the century. Brunch itself in Dubai is, I’ve learned, a weekday of it’s own. Fridays are blacked out, pencilled in, and double-highlighted with this special B word, and I suspect, no weekend is complete without one. And although I haven’t attended too many myself, I suspect that in the city-wide battle-of-the-brunches, the Four Seasons takes home the gold medal for SUQ’s phenomenal display. Lined with every high quality, internationally sourced produce, at each food station (including one solely dedicated to my heart – I mean – to plates of handmade WAGYU tataki) and garnished with the perfect outdoor setting smiling straight into the sunshine and the most viscerally calming sounds of a resident Sax-player – you are in Friday heaven. Can all weekends, globally, begin on a Friday please? Asking for the public.
The Four Seasons suites host you as if you are a long lost family-member who absolutely must be smothered with the feeling of ‘mi casa es su casa’. I have never so deeply felt such dismay to leave my room to join the living each day! The beachfront is worth the separation-anxiety however. The richest sunsets you will encounter take residence at the FS Jumeirah Beachfront, also home to a sandy (Maldives-sand imported, to be exact) beach, with wide spaces, comfortable cabanas and beach umbrellas, and gorgeous resort and Dubai city backdrops-to-boot.
Whilst staying at the FS Jumeirah, you will constantly feel as though you are looking the gift horse in the mouth; waiting and waiting for the other proverbial shoe to drop. And yet, it never does- from the world class cuisine you will find at SeaFu, the Asian inspired fine dining restaurant overlooking the pristine beach, to the Cleopatrian indulgence, self-care, and relaxation the hotel embodies. Come for a weekend, come for week, or come, as we wish to – for an eternity – neither will leave you disappointed.