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The W Dubai Al Habtoor City is a hotel chock-full of personality and flare. It’s the type of hotel you come to in order to depart from the norm of having “just another” hotel experience and to experience something energetic, fun, and innovative.
I recently spent a few nights at this trendy hotel, which is home to futuristic Star-Trek like rooms and an ultra-swanky bar and lounge. After my stay, I came away with very positive impressions of the hotel and the staff, despite the fact that it’s still in its “soft opening” stage. So here is my review of the W Dubai Al Habtoor City (which is now known as the V Hotel and part of the Hilton Curio Collection).
The W experience begins as when you arrive at its brilliantly flashy entrance.
The illuminated stripes extending from the exterior welcome you to an even flashier lobby on the inside.
The jazzy effects found running across the interior walls and ceiling are showy reminders that this hotel is far from ordinary. It’s an almost trippy feeling the first time you lay your eyes on the lobby but you will get used to it as you go in and out, so if it’s a bit overwhelming to your eyes at first, just give it a little bit of time and it will hopefully grow on you.
You’ll be pleasantly greeted by staff members as you enter through the doors and approach the welcome desk. But this isn’t where you check-in. Instead, you’ll be guided up to the 30th floor, where the check-in desks are located. Your baggage will be taken from you and delivered to your room as soon as you’re settled in.
On the 30th floor, you’ll find multiple check-in desks, resembling bubbles, situated in front of the elevators. The staff will offer you a refreshing drink and you get to relax and take in the views from the 30th floor as they process your arrival.
Once you’re checked-in, it’s back down to your room level, where you’ll be guided to your room.
A wild pattern of inter-weaving silver and white lines run down the corridor floors of each level. This design drew inspiration from the many driving lanes of the main highway in Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road and is perhaps representative of the energetic pulse found throughout the hotel.
The signage in the hallway not only points you in the direction of your room, but provides a peak into the futuristic design style that your room will showcase, as you begin to take note of the space craft vibes of the hallways and rooms.
Much like the entrance to the hotel itself, the entrance to our hotel room was bright and reflective, consisting of multiple panels of mirrors which spanned from the floor to the ceiling.
Once you make your way past the mini hallway of mirrors, you’re presented with the first glimpse of your room.
It’s hard not to immediately conjure up thoughts of Star Trek when you first set foot into your room at the W Dubai. The lighting, wall decor, and sleek furniture all resemble what you’d expect to find living in a luxurious space craft. Buttons on the left and right control the lighting and the automatic curtains on the windows. Also, white (fully flexible) rods on either side of the bed offer you additional reading light.
The Marvelous room (which we were upgraded to) is set up with an open layout, so your bathtub is not enclosed in a private area, although it is situated in a small enclave next to a radiant piece of artwork.
The sink area is directly across from the bathtub and forms a separate pathway to the front door from the mirrored walls.
In that same area, behind blacked out swinging doors is the toilet and the shower. The shower comes with a high waterfall shower head along with a secondary flexible shower head.
And along with the toilet, you’ve got two bidets.
If you’re in the mood for sweets or snacks, you’ll find containers full of an assortment of them, such as M&Ms, Pringles, cookies, etc. The hotel also provides you with complimentary water bottles upon arrival and upon request, so you should never go dehydrated no matter how hot it gets outside.
We were shown around one of their amazing suites, as well. Since it’s still a soft-opening not all of the suites were completed but they will be offering several different types of them. This one had the same type of open lay out as the Marvelous room but with even grander portions and a beautiful circular bed setting.
The suites have a celebrity penthouse feel and look to them that is very impressive and the lounge-like seating areas in them seem to be a great place to gather in before getting ready for a long night out in Dubai.
The service at the W was all-around phenomenal. All of the staff members greeted us by name each time we entered and exited the hotel and were nothing short of professional and cheerful. They helped us find our way around the hotel, arrange taxis, communicate with our local tour guides, and check-in and check-out were a breeze.
The room service for in-room dining is quick and the food is tasty. For breakfast we went with the pancakes and the Belgium waffles and both were very satisfying served with fresh fruit slices (I’d go with the pancakes as you seem to get more bang for your buck).
One other thing I loved about the W Duabi was the “W Insider.” There’s a staff member, Vince, who is responsible for assisting guests with all of the inside information on places to go and things to do. His approach to the job goes beyond your typical concierge service and can help you find everything from the perfect lounge to visit based on your particular taste to where to find some of the top local fashion spots in Dubai.
The bar and lounge
Back up on the 30th floor where check-in is, there’s also a bar and lounge area that occupies most of the floor.
Neon purple lights surrounding the bar create a nice vibe, especially at night.
Around the bar area, you’ll find super-swanky seating options up there and at night a live DJ playing. This lounge area is designed more for a “pre-game” night experience but it can also be a nice spot to hit up for a couple of drinks with no intention on getting out to any other place due to its unique offering of drinks.
Some of the seating areas, like the ones pictured below can be reserved for parties and social gatherings.
We tried some of the cocktails at the bar and loved them, especially the Nitro-Tini Art Deco, a sweet gin drink with white chocolate and lemon juice. There are many different types of drinks to choose from and some of these cocktails created by world-class mixologists are exclusive, so you won’t find them at other place.
There’s a club still being built and we weren’t able to scope it out but judging from the appearance of everything else in the hotel, I’m sure it will be beyond impressive and probably become a hot spot for Dubai night life.
The hotel has two restaurants. The restaurant “Level 7 Dubai” is located on the 7th floor while “Namu Dubai,” serving Asian, Korean, and Pan Asian food is found on the 31st floor. Level 7 serves up all meals throughout the day and even has snacks and drinks available 24 hours a day but Namu Dubai is more of a dinner spot, open from 6pm to 12am.
I didn’t have the chance to dine at these restaurants but during my walk through I got a peak at some of the dishes and they looked extremely appetizing. In addition to the dishes, the dining environment at these restaurants was something to marvel at as well.
The pool facilities
The W Dubai Al Habtoor City’s pool area is known as the “Wet Deck” and you can access it on the 7th floor. The Wet Deck consists of a bar area with plenty of seating and a number of shallow pools that are spread throughout the area and lined with various forms of decorative seating. It’d be a perfect place to lounge around and have a few drinks and take in the sun.
Due to the heat and humidity, I took my photos at night but night or day I could tell that this would be great place to unwind and take a dip and maybe enjoy a drink or two.
Also on the 7th floor is the gym. The gym area is very big, bright and modernly designed. It’s still undergoing a bit of development so the hotel may have even more machines when you arrive, but when I visited it had everything you’d need to have a great workout including benched, free weights, presses, bikes, treadmills, mats, and everything else you’d probably expect. All of the equipment appeared to be fresh and top-notch, just like the type of equipment you’d find at a top gym in your local area.
A small door opening in the wall of mirrors (pictured below) leads to a locker room area where you can store your belongings and I believe even take a shower.
There are even a number of shelves holding towels and water bottles for your convenience.
One cool plus about the gym is that you can schedule appointments with a personal trainer that’s on staff who can assist you with your workouts. In addition, the spa treatment is available at the St. Regis next door if you are interested in relaxing after a workout.
The only thing lacking at the hotel for the moment is that the surrounding area is still under development. It’s still less than a 15 minute taxi ride to the Duabi Mall and downtown area so it’s not terribly inconvenient by any means. In another year or so, when more surrounding development is finished for Al Habtoor City, there will be more going on in the area. Because the area is still new I advise you to get a business card from the front desk to show your taxi drivers so they’ll know where to go. If all else fails, tell them it’s near the St. Regis and hopefully they’ll know that hotel as it’s been there a little bit longer (2015).
Overall, I fully recommend the W Dubai Al Habtoor City for any traveler looking for a hotel with a lot of personality, superb service, and an altogether different kind of hotel experience. It’s flashy, chic, and offers everything you’d expect from a W hotel but on the level and scale that Dubai is known for. Although it’s still functioning on a soft-opening, its futuristic rooms and suites are a sight to behold and will be worth it for any guest not wanting to settle for “just another hotel room experience.”
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.