FACT DISCOVERED CONTEMPORARY ARABESQUE BOUTIQUE HOTEL, MANZIL DOWNTOWN, AS THE TRUE HEART OF DUBAI WHICH ULTIMATELY LEFT OUR HEART’S BREAKING AT CHECK-OUT. DON’T HATE THE PLAYER, HATE THE GAME…

The Downtown area of Dubai with its bustling tourist trails taking in the delights of the Burj Khalifa, the transfixing display of the dancing fountains, sophistication of the Opera District scene and the array of luxury products on offer at Dubai Mall is also home to one of the most unique lodgings in the fast-paced Emirate.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

Manzil Downtown is confident and charismatic. It blends tradition with crisp clean lines and contemporary styling. Upon arrival I had to take a moment to muse whether the beautifully crafted soaring cylinders of glass were a lighting feature or indeed a piece of modern sculpture. I settled on a bit of both! In addition, starburst style chandeliers make the lobby area very memorable and a space in which guests want to linger as opposed to pass through.

When selecting your room you will be torn between gazing at the elegant Burj Khalifa or perhaps overlooking the inviting St Tropez-style pool area. Unlike many hotels in and around Downtown, views seemed equally impressive in all directions. When Stella McCartney mused “Everyone can do simple things to make a difference and every little bit really does count” she could have easily been referring to Manzil Downtown. Each tiny element has been carefully styled and thought through to enhance guest experiences.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL

My key card embellished with a charming selection of Arabic phrases and handy greetings delighted me. Had I been a first time visitor to the UAE then I dare say the effect would have been even greater. So, smiling down at my key card, I headed off to my room passing further Arabic wall etchings as I glided through the hotel.

Despite the property firmly saluting Arabic tradition and culture, much of Manzil, particularly the rooms, will remind you of an array of art deco spaces. Flawlessly white walls, grey and black accents and furnishings complementing enviably pristine bed linen really set the rooms apart. The accommodation is both functional and homely, high-spec yet not clinical. Businessmen, couples and families will find themselves equally at home here. I gazed down at the pool area with its curtained, candystriped loungers and felt an overwhelming sense of both relaxation and contentment.

ALL ABOUT THE FOOD Dining

Dining, refuelling and recharging are tantamount at the hotel. The most exquisite space has to be the sumptuous Courtyard with Shisha Lounge and the best of Mediterranean morsels to tempt you. Reservations are a must as this touch of tranquillity amidst the heart of a metropolis is much sought after. The expansive tiled area is furnished with inviting wicker chairs which ergonomically hug the contours of the patrons.

You may wish to sit within the vast Ottoman-esque arches draped in scarlet velveteen. Whichever it is, ensure you are seen in THE place to be seen at in Downtown Dubai! I both breakfasted and dined in the evening in Boulevard Kitchen. It was once said that ‘All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast’ which must certainly make Boulevard the font of all happiness! The selection of fresh produce and freshly made dishes left me in awe. Warm, crusty, artisanal breads nestled alongside sweet pastries and brioche, whilst traditional dishes such as cheese or zaatar saj were replenished readily. In addition, the ‘egg menu’ allows guests to create bespoke dishes such as poached eggs with smashed avocado on freshly baked bread.

Certainly a mouthful to devour not just to explain these mouth-watering delights. What a way to start your day! By night, Boulevard seems to be transformed by subtle lighting which draws your gaze upwards to the incredible industrial-inspired panelling and huge colourful canvasses. Boulevard is impeccably presented with stylists blending tradition, nostalgia and Arabia with art deco, cosmopolitan, and western nuances. Once again, the brilliance lay in the detail at Boulevard. Quirky grocery store bags brimming with fresh bread were delivered to the table whilst luscious, seared steak sat in a resplendent fashion in the centre of a large black platter surrounded with an exquisite elixir and tiny roasted tomatoes, ready to explode in the mouth. I feared for Boulevard as I ventured down to dinner – how could it possibly surpass breakfast? I need not have worried!

HEART OF HOSPITALITY

Perhaps the most striking thing is that I felt a strong sense of identity within Manzil Downtown. All too often modernity strips hotels and resorts of any sense of whereabouts or locale and as you look around you could literally be anywhere in the world. Not so at the Manzil Downtown. When visiting Dubai you will enjoy the best of Arabic tradition and hospitality whilst admiring the stylish contemporary décor and cutting-edge service. There will be no doubt where you are and where you will return many times. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder and we’re about ready for another Manzil staycay! ✤

GO: CALL (0)4 428 5888 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. FOLLOW @MANZILDOWNTOWN ON INSTAGRAM FOR ALL THE LATEST FROM THE HOTEL.