British by name, but Irish-owned, the first thing that springs to mind is the Bonnington's impressive display of wall o wall, floor to ceiling, book-match marble! Heavy and cold, the lines and materials, are too masculine to be defined as quintessentially British. The hotel's name is as British as it gets as the decor in public areas have a more contemporary Middle-Eastern feel, whereas the rooms look like a cross between the latter and Swedish design.
Images Stéphanie Poli.
Located in the emerging Jumeirah Lake Towers area, it is within a short drive of the Jumeirah beach area. The buildings around the hotel were largely still under construction when we visited, so there isn't too much to keep you busy in the immediate surroundings. There are plans to put a man-made
Newly opened in September 2009, the Bonnington is part residence, part hotel as with many hotels in Dubai. Irish-owned, the Bonnington is part of a small chain with a couple of hotels in England: the Gillette Tower near Heathrow and the Cavendish in Eastbourne. The hotel also has a well-equiped gym where most of the equipment is brand new.
Spread over 11 floors, the Bonnington has 208 hotel rooms. As you enter the lobby, it is not an exaggeration to say that the designer has gone marble-mad! There isn't a surface that isn't marble clad! The staff at reception are very friendly. To the back of the reception there is the Authors' Lounge bar furnished with a high-backed contemporary take on smoking-parlour arm chairs. The marble-mahogany decoration is broken up a little by bright orange transparent flower-pots. The Bonnington is the sort of place that has a golden eagle bought at an event like the Affordable Art Fair, perches proudly in the lobby - a gift from the owner's wife apparently.
We especially like Healey's Bar and its rooftop terrace with a large glass slab as a table top in the centre allowing guests to look straight through at the bar area downstairs! There are some great views of the surrounding skyscrapers which are great in number, so even far from the centre of Dubai, one can still feel part of the action!
The rooms, although a little dark, are very attractive in design. The masculine theme continues here with dark mahogany walls with a darker exposed grain mimicking the grain in the grey marble all over the hotel. Our favourite part however, was the designer bathrooms enclosed by frosted glass walls and sealed off by sliding glass doors, adorned with round wash basins and sliced fountain taps as well as a free-standing bath tub. All rooms also have a separate shower cubicle and Bonnington own-brand amenities. The rooms are otherwise comfortable with all the expected mod-cons including complimentary tea and coffee-making facilities, which is fast-becoming a trend in most Dubai hotels. All the rooms at the hotel are non-smoking.
In the basement there are two restaurants, one of which is still undergoing work. The Cavendish, the hotel's only working restaurant for the moment, serves à la carte lunch and dinner and a buffet breakfast. It showcases even more marble, but looks comfortable with pearly white leather banquettes lining the walls and fresh yellow flowers which helps to bring some life to the otherwise cold room. Our favourite, however, was the somewhat eccentric Healey's bar, which is a welcome surprise in this marble fortress. There is a range of imported alcohol here so guests will feel right at home here.
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