The all-new Intercontinental hotel opposite the Festival City marina has what it takes to turn rivals green with envy! Some parts of it are vast; others more intimate, but its multiple styles and modernity are plain for all to see. Don't miss out on all the restaurants and facilities here, indeed, every effort has been made to ensure the height of luxury and make yours a comfortable and pleasant stay. The fine design, bay windows, lighting effects and grand furniture combine to make this an ulra-stylish hotel that has successfully lured some of the world's best chefs to prepare its cuisine, including the Frenchman Pierre Gagnaire. The somewhat outstanding rooms also deserve a special mention.
This hotel review is a translation from the French published on our French site Easyvoyage.com.
A 10-minute drive away from Deira, Dubai's historic centre, the Intercontinental hotel is next to Festival City, Dubai's second largest shopping centre (with over 600 shops and around 100 restaurants and cafés) and the 18-hole Al Badia golf course. The international airport is just a 5-minute drive (a little over a mile) from the hotel.
There is direct access from the Intercontinental hotel to Festival City.
Smoking is prohibited in this hotel. Tai chi classes are given on Mondays, and cookery classes can be organised on request.
All common areas have WiFi internet access. The conference centre covers 2 floors and a total area of 41,000 sq ft.
Ask for a room that overlooks the marina!
This tall glass tower opened in 2008, with the highly luxurious 36-floor Intercontinental on one side and the Crowne Plaza on the other. They are linked by a long corridor and have direct access to Festival City shopping centre. The voluminous and high-ceilinged reception area is bathed in natural light and the traditional Arabic boat on display provides a contrast with the modern design of the area. Visitors cannot help but be impressed by the long walkway with its high ceiling supported by tall, wide, cream-coloured columns and lined with various restaurants and public services. The design shows sobriety, with ample spaces exuding style, and the prominent use of glass all the way up the building means that there is an abundance of natural daylight and views. A huge, superb spa opened in November 2008. Thanks to its design, which was created by a Singapore firm, it is a unique setting. A black hallway with generous sprinklings of stardust marks the entrance to this world which is dedicated to well-being, with the keywords being calm, relaxation and comfort. All the natural elements are brought together in the 8 treatment rooms (with their respective showers), and there are also two suites for couples, which have private reception rooms (with a sauna and hammam in each). It is a kingdom of luxury (with lovely views), where you can even choose the lights and music that you want depending on your mood. Why not go the whole hog and choose one of the most famous treatments, the diamond dust scrub! No expense has been spared on the huge gym, either. Split into several sections, it is packed with the latest in innovative technology, including the most recent 'Kinesis' machines. A large and sophisticated relaxation area can be found upstairs, outside, which is perfect for reading! The large terrace includes an 80ft-long swimming pool and various smaller pools (including two jacuzzis) set one after the other. On the one side which has been covered with a Plexiglas wall, you can even see under water - it's a strange feeling! The pool is just as sensational, with its huge aluminium flower-shaped sprinklers squirting water in all directions, much to children's delight! The terrace also has well spaced out wooden tables and deckchairs with thick cushion covers, and palm trees. Be aware that the terrace of the Crowne Plaza, which is open to guests at the Intercontinental, can easily be reached from here. The 'Igloo' (which has a heliport on its roof), is a large white tent opposite the hotel on the marina that is used for events during the week and is converted into a night-club at the weekend.
The 498 large rooms in the Intercontinental manage to be sober whilst remaining sophisticated, comfortable, bright and highly original. In addition to the standard rooms, there are 121 suites, three presidential suites and one royal suite. The beautiful materials used in the rooms and their refined design are signs of the luxury of the interior decor. The private rooms are made to feel even larger than they are by their bay windows and the space is as open-plan as possible, with the well-designed bathrooms completely integrated into the rooms, offering a large panoramic view out over the marina, Creek, town and Festival City shopping centre. In some of the rooms, the bathroom area is directly in front of the king size bed, with the big white bathtub positioned behind transparent glass, alongside the tall, wide bay windows. This allows the sun to heat the room, which is decorated in rather cool colours. Another most unexpected designer touch is the way the sophisticated bathtub fills up with water trickling in from the ceiling. Everything is in place to ensure that you are comfortable, with a 'chaise longue' and a host of chairs and armchairs. The bedside lamps drop down from the ceiling to bathe the immaculate bedding in their light, and there are also reading lights by the bed and remote controls to adjust the various sources of light. The list of other facilities includes a large wide screen television, quiet individual air conditioning, a superb and particularly well stocked minibar with coffee-making facilities and wine glasses, a telephone, an Ipod, a DVD player, a safe (free), a cable internet connection, an iron and ironing board, a hair-dryer and a full range of Elemis hospitality products. As well as the bathtub, there is a tropical shower in another glass-paned area, and a toilet, which is separated from the room by frosted glass panels. The only regret is that the rooms have no balcony due to security concerns. Room service is available 24 hours a day here.
There is no hiding the Intercontinental's ambition! Most of the hotel's many restaurants are on the ground floor, which affords a good number of them the luxury of expanding onto a terrace on the promenade and enjoying a view over the pretty marina. The six different buffet counters in the 10,000sq ft main restaurant 'Anise', present dishes from the world over (Mongolia, China, India, Japan, etc.). After the buffet serving times, dishes can be ordered 'a la carte'. The open kitchens liven up proceedings in the restaurant which is open from 6:00am until about 2:00am. 'Bistro Madeleine' recreates the friendly atmosphere of an unpretentious Parisian cafe. French pastries and dishes can be ordered 'a la carte' and enjoyed in this traditional and unembellished setting. The breads are especially well chosen, and this is also the place to come if you are looking for other specialities or one of the many wines made in France. The famous cafe atmosphere is recreated with wooden tables and typical chairs, and food can also be ordered on the terrace. At the popular 'Al Sultan Brahim Beirut' Lebanese restaurant, fish caught the same day is displayed on ice for diners to choose which one they want to have cooked for them! Wine lovers will also be tempted to select a few glasses from the wine list. Pierre Gagnaire, a star among French chefs with 3 Michelin stars to his name, mans the helm at 'Reflet par Pierre Gagnaire'. Having already opened restaurants in Paris, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo, this is his first restaurant in the Middle East. The grey and purple Starck-influenced setting combines with the traditional and modern elements found in the dishes prepared at the 'Gagnaire', and the pearl curtain, lavender Murano glass chandelier, Baroque furnishings and Louis XIV rosewood chairs make for an experimental style. The chef and sommelier, who are on site 24 hours a day, are French. The very sophisticated 'Eclipse Champagne' bar on the 26th floor is the perfect excuse to try a selection of cocktails not to be found anywhere else. Red is the dominant colour in this place, whose structure and trendy layout are conducive to both a relaxed chat among friends or more serious conversations among businessmen and women. The curving bar in the middle of the room is presided over by the barmen. Don't forget that there are other restaurants to choose from at the Crowne Plaza.
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