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July 20, 2013

Dubai’s Date With Luxury

Text by Sohini Datta.

Proud of its Indian heritage, The Oberoi, Dubai is an international luxury, business and leisure property. Verve checks out the distinctive experiences and suave service of the swanky newly-minted hotel

  • The Oberoi, Dubai
    The Oberoi,  Dubai
  • The Oberoi,  Dubai
    The Premier Room
  • The Oberoi, Dubai
    Nine7One, World Cuisine Restaurant
  • The Oberoi, Dubai
    The Lobby Bar
  • The Oberoi, Dubai
    The Presidential Suite Dining

When you are asked to experience a hotel as new to the city as you are, it is quite exciting. The hotel automatically becomes your friend, even before you arrive. So it happened that The Oberoi, Dubai opened its doors to select guests around the same time that I got myself a one-way ticket to Dubai. The Oberoi, Dubai is the Group’s first property in the United Arab Emirates. Located at The Oberoi Centre, it is a contemporary luxury hotel that embodies height, light and space. The hotel overlooks the iconic Burj Khalifa and each of the 252 rooms and suites have floor to ceiling windows which afford spectacular views of the city’s skyline.

Maybe the hotel gods knew that I was a tad homesick and too proud to admit it, because when I walked in through the doors of the Oberoi, Dubai, I immediately felt at home. The hotel is proud of its Indian heritage and yet it stands tall as an international luxury, business and leisure property quite at par with its international counterparts that populate this city. I can imagine that it is quite a bold step to go from the hero of hotels and land in the city of them. Quite like me, not really a heroine back home but the first week did feel like the first day in a new school. It’s exciting and intimidating. The fact that no one knows you means that you can be anyone…and the fact that you come laden with a reputation means you can’t just be anybody. And that is what The Oberoi, Dubai is….distinctive in its own taste and palate, promising the international traveller a home away from home. Centrally located, Downtown Dubai and Dubai Mall is only a two-minute drive away.

In keeping with the Group’s pioneering tradition, The Oberoi, Dubai brings an ethos of service without compromise to the UAE with key team members who have been trained at The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development. The Oberoi, Dubai has seamless in-room check in, 24-hour butler and Les Clefs d’or concierge services.

The design is very, well, Oberoi. Creams, beiges and accents of red and black run through the hotel. Elements of it flow in and out from the carpets to the walls, giving the property a sense of fluidity.

A spa experience is a spa experience, anywhere in the world, honestly. I would tell you more about it, but I fell asleep as soon as it started and woke up to the sound of my own snoring. You can imagine how good that was. I almost reached nirvana in my sleep. For yoga at the hotel, they don’t just have any instructor, but one who has won gold medals at the Olympics! What is amazing about this spa is that it is open 24 hours so if you have landed from a midnight flight, don’t worry about rejuvenation, it’s only a few floors down.

Culinary highlights at The Oberoi, Dubai include an array of sensory experiences – Umai, a contemporary Pan Asian restaurant, Nine7One, an all-day dining restaurant which offers the best of world cuisine and Ananta, an Indian specialty restaurant. While they recommended trying the Indian restaurant Ananta, which attracts a lot of the local Arab crowd, I opted for Umai, the pan-Asian restaurant. Live kitchens run through all their restaurants because The Oberoi, Dubai believes the experience of enjoying your meal is enhanced when you can also see the fresh ingredients being prepared in front of you. I couldn’t agree more, and almost shrieked in delight when their in-house Kung-Fu Tea Master came in to serve tea. I never had so many cups of tea before. The Japanese is as best as it could get and unlike most editors out there, my experience was extra special because I refused silverware and through the course of the meal, learnt how to use chopsticks. Talk about a life-changing experience. With a rooftop lounge, world-cuisine, smoking lounge, there is something for everyone. And if you are not dazzled enough, there are two stunning floor-to-ceiling crystal chandeliers assembled piece by piece on site at the lobby.

All the rooms come with expansive bathrooms and views while the top floors host the meeting and boardrooms fit for those who take their business seriously. And now, the most important part of it all, the service. It can make or break a hotel and let me tell you that this one not only makes it, but what sets it apart. You feel at home here because of the staff, everywhere you go, someone is there to make you feel comfortable, attended to. Before you need something, someone gets it for you. What is a vacation, if there is no one to attend to you and pamper needs you didn’t know you had!

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