As impressive from the outside as it is on the inside, the Shangri-La occupies a towering sky-scraper and is primarily an establishment for people on business trips. The plethora of services on offer, the Chinese cuisine, the common areas, including the magnificent swimming-pool, the impeccable service and the care taken for the smallest of details, make for a very enjoyable place to stay, ideally located at a short distance from the sea.
The hotel stands on the main artery of Dubai, the Sheikh Zayed Road, in the business district, not far from the Burj Khalifa.
The hotel has a good mix of guests, local and European. There is a shuttle service that will take you to Jumeirah beach and various shopping malls, including the Dubai Mall. You might be interested to know that the movie 'Syriana', starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney, was shot in the superb, cream and brown-coloured, 4,700 sq ft Presidential suite, built over two levels with a magnificent central spiral staircase.
The Shangri-La opened in 2003 and occupies a 42-floor building with ultra-fast lifts. The large grandiose reception area is some 75 ft high and visible through the monumental bay window in the entrance hall. The curved shape of the bay window also reveals the first three floors. The decor here is quite colourful - so quite different to most Shangri-La hotels, which tend to be sleek - and may not be to everyone's taste. On the top floor of this open space there is a business centre, for guests who come here on business, that is open around the clock and includes various cubicles in which you can work undisturbed. Next to it there is a library and small conference rooms that offer the same level of comfort. In the rooms and the common areas, cream and brown are the favoured colours and are reminiscent of the surrounding desert. The fourth floor is entirely dedicated to health and relaxation. The vast, modern, rectangular gym is fully equipped and well lit. The successful spa has been designed around the four elements (and wood) that are also to be found in the massage oils used for the treatments here; in every treatment room, the element that best corresponds to the treatment inspires the interior decor. Of the 9 rooms, one is reserved for couples and another is dedicated to Thai massage. Men and women can enjoy separate saunas OR Turkish baths (etc.) before meeting up in the jacuzzi located in a more luminous area. There is a bridge on the fourth floor that will take you from the spa centre to the terrace. The main swimming pool, which is shaped in a half circle, is watched by lifeguards and includes a large pool bar. There is a small square-shaped swimming pool for children and an adjoining round jacuzzi. A few palm-trees, mango-trees and plants brighten up the pleasant terrace. The area is separated into various sections by white veils. There are several rows of deck chairs and sofas made of synthetic raffia palm and the bar is open from 6:00 pm till 2:00 am. It's the perfect place to enjoy a drink and some chilled out music. Indeed, the bar is very popular with its touches of colour and musical entertainment provided by an expert DJ. There are other places that also offer entertainment in the evening though, including the Marrakech restaurant and its traditional music. On the top floor, there is a second fitness club with a large indoor swimming pool that belongs to the lounge club, and is for the exclusive enjoyment of VIP guests. It also includes a small terrace that affords a dominating view of the buildings in Dubai. A must-see, especially at night!
The hotel has 302 rooms, including 126 apartments with all the mod-cons. There are a total of 8 room categories, including standard rooms, suites and Ddluxe rooms. These look out onto the immense city below, the sea or the business district. They offer a totally relaxing, warm setting with their light tones, comfy chairs, king-sized beds, numerous cushions and wall-to-wall carpet, etc. The light-coloured wood furniture (curved from floor to ceiling), matches the walls. To reach this perfect nest, you have to walk along beautiful cream-coloured marble corridors. The rooms don't have a balcony nor any windows that can be opened except for a very small one. However, you are unlikely to open it very much as the noise from the avenue is deafening.You will also find a wide flat-screen television with numerous channels, discreet individual air-conditioning, a nicely provisioned mini-bar with tea and coffee-making facilities, a free safe and Internet access. As for the huge, beautiful marble bathrooms, they include a bathtub, a shower in an alcove with a separate toilet, a large mirror, a set of scales, a hair-dryer, an illuminating magnifying mirror, a complete set of hospitality products of the 'Aigner' or 'Occitane' brand, slippers and dressing-gowns. 24-hour room service and butler service is available.
There are five different specialised restaurants in the establishment, and in each one the staff serves food from their country of origin. Surprisingly, the main restaurant of the establishment occupies the huge entrance hall and is therefore incredibly big and very luminous! However, it can be a little noisy when you sit down to have your meal. The 'Dunes Café' offers delicious buffets for every meal. The restaurant also proposes an a la carte service and is open from 6:00am till midnight, non-stop. The chefs busy themselves while the guests enjoy the designer interior and copious helpings. Here, as in the rest of the establishment, the personnel is always attentive to your every need. There are other restaurant options on the second floor: the Marrakech occupies a square-shaped room with columns and zellige tiles. Various tables are laid out to provide intimacy in the nicely decorated alcoves. Just opposite there is the 'Amwaj' restaurant, specialised in Asian cuisine and seafood. The ice, elegantly laid out on curve-shaped tables, and the aquarium are proof of the importance given to the freshness of the products prepared right in front of you. Furthermore, the wine cellar exudes the wonderful smell of vines, which is also the case at the trendy Café Mezzanine, decorated with row upon row of bottles. As for the 'Hoi An', it offers Vietnamese cuisine with French influences that you can enjoy in a warm setting with orange tones. However, the star restaurant is the 'Stang Palace', according to the tradition of the Shangri-La. Red and wood blend in with circular shapes, forming fundamental elements of Chinese culture and a sign of prosperity. Everything has been designed to offer traditional and delicious cuisine, straight from Canton.
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