by CHRISTINE KARAN
The Ritz Carlton is one of the most popular luxury hotel chains and a brand of its own. But do all their properties have that flair? Oman Magazine’s travel writer Christine Karan get to know The Ritz Carlton DIFC, Dubai.
City hotels; as simple as the name suggests, they are a category of hotels located in the heart of the city, with easy accessibility to major tourist attractions and business whereabouts. This category can further be classified into the budget, mid-range and luxury hotels, depending on the features and facilities. Then there is another type called business hotels; as the name suggests these hotels cater to the busy executives.
I recently stayed at The Ritz Carlton, DIFC. Located right in the middle of Dubai’s business hub, the hotel is only a few steps away to my business meetings, shopping destinations and of course eateries. Though it is on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai’s main artery, The Ritz Carlton is surrounded by a concrete jungle. For first-timers, it may require a bit of hunting to find it but taxis are well-equipped and will drive you to the entrance. Once you’ve arrived The Ritz Carlton, hospitality starts from the doorstep; you are welcomed by an army of doormen! True to the brand’s reputation, the lobby spells luxury and elegance.
The hotel features eight restaurants and cafes serving global cuisines, and one of my favourites was Le Cirque. But more on it later. The hotel also features two swimming pools. An indoor one, for those who want to enjoy a peaceful glide with some lovely music and an outdoor pool, (which is a bit of a walk to get to). For those who want to catch some sunshine and the glimmering skyscrapers on Sheikh Zayed Road, they can head over to the 15th floor. The Ritz also has a modern wellness centre including a spa.
As a regular to the Ritz Carlton brand and a first-timer to the Ritz Carlton DIFC, I was all set for the experience.
My check-in process was very smooth and it was nice to catch up with the receptionist who was a previous resident of Oman. I was guided to my room on the 14th floor, a deluxe room of about 40sq meters, which is compact, chic and very Ritz. As I entered, the amazing view of the skyscrapers of the Sheikh Zayed Road and the DIFC kept me in awe for quite a while. It was magical.
The room was pretty much as expected, equipped with all essentials, but the highlight for me was their bathroom. Ritz Carlton has one of the best Instagrammable bathrooms! Though compact, it’s chic and stylish, oozing luxury with fully marbled surfaces wedged behind the wash area and the shower.
Now, onto my favourite spot, Le Cirque restaurant. Serving meals inspired by the best of Italian and French cuisine, surrounded by well-curated art pieces in an excellent ambience. The menu is a clever blend of the two cultures. This New York-born brand has made a name for itself in Dubai and seems a regular spot for food lovers. If you are in this eternal city, don’t you ever miss it.
Is the Ritz Carlton DIFC, an amazing property? It sure is. The location of the hotel is perfect, a mere 5-minute taxi ride will get you to your shopping destination and Dubai’s business towers. The friendly staff and the smiling faces can be seen throughout the hotel. A perfect place for business hustlers. But for a couple or families, it may seem lacking but it’s still worth experiencing.