In a central Oud Metha location, close to the Old Dubai areas of Deira and Bur Dubai yet handy for the Sheikh Zayed Road malls and financial district, the Raffles hotel is unbeatable. The adjacent Egyptian-themed Wafi Mall, which has the same owner as the hotel was one of Dubai’s first and is home to 300 shops and 30 restaurants. The lush palm-shaded Creekside Park is a short stroll away, while the airport is a convenient 15-minute drive outside rush hour.
The dramatic Egyptian themed pyramid-shaped edifice houses sumptuous interiors. In the imposing marble-clad lobby are enormous round ottoman-style sofas with cushions, massive urns, mashrabiya panels decorating nooks, and pillars featuring carved reliefs.
Guest rooms are extremely spacious and more contemporary in style. The plush 252 rooms and suites, all come with a butler service and retain some handcrafted decorative elements, such as the mashrabiya technique used on the bathroom doors and shutters, and traditional motifs on the carpets and boast balconies or terraces. The Diplomatic, Presidential and Royal suites are some of the most indulgent in Dubai.
Of the hotel’s half dozen eating and drinking venues, two are particularly noteworthy. In the basement, Fire and Ice is a superb steak and seafood restaurant with décor inspired by steakhouses in New York’s Meatpacking District. Think: bare brick walls, dark polished floorboards and leather seats plus and an award-winning wine list. At the pyramid’s pinnacle, with spectacular views of the city skyline, TOMO is a Japanese izakaya inspired restaurant and a favourite of homesick expats.
Surrounded by lush private gardens, Raffles offers a tranquil haven after the exerts of a days shopping. An outdoor pool, a state-of-the-art gym, the exceptional Raffles Spa - with 7 treatment rooms including a couple’s suite - and the exclusive Raffles Garden complete the picture.