Raffles reaches the ripe old age of 10 this year but has maintained its grace, and serves to underline the elite Raffles Hotels & Resorts group’s dedication to delivering high-end hospitality.
Raffles Dubai’s location is perfect for busy business travellers. Connected to WaFi Mall, the airport is less than 15 minutes away, Downtown Dubai is five minutes away and it’s also close to the Convention and Exhibition Centre. Designed with Egyptian inspiration, the hotel’s pyramid-like structure is unmistakeable and when you enter the property, you’ll appreciate just how vast and spacious everything is.
On TripAdvisor, Raffles Dubai hovers in first or second place, receiving rave reviews. In a market as competitive as Dubai, this is a big deal. Although the hotel was at close to full occupancy when I visited, there was an air of serenity throughout the light-filled lobby, aided by the immaculate private garden surrounding the hotel that acts as a buffer to the high-speed energy of the city.
Being on a business trip does not have to equate to terminal-style check-ins and undue stress. Raffles Ambassadors can zip straight up to the 10th floor for VIP check-in. This invitation-only programme offers perks such as personalised concierge service and room upgrades at Raffles Hotels & Resorts worldwide – very nice to have if you’re a frequent global traveller!
The rooms have been designed with Middle Eastern and Asian influences and to get a feel for them, I toured the Signature Room, Diplomatic Suite, and the Ambassador Suite. The Ambassador Suite is a dream but the amply-sized Signature Room won’t disappoint.
The elegant rooms are thoughtfully laid out so that each section is clearly defined – sleep, chill, work – and you won’t be lacking in space, whether on the private terrace or in the walk-in wardrobe. Enjoy the complimentary high-speed internet and interactive in-room system controlled via iPad, and with no shortage of plug points, you’ll be able to keep all your gadgets charged up at once.
In true Raffles style, no corners have been cut: annual maintenance on the property ensures everything is kept crisp and fresh.
The hotel’s third floor houses the business centre (with three small meeting rooms) and a library with comfortable sofas and dark wood furnishings. The hotel has nine meeting rooms (accommodating four to 180 delegates) and a ballroom.
When you need to eat, grab lunch at airy Azur or schedule a business dinner at award-winning Italian restaurant, Solo – both are conveniently located on the third floor – or head down to Raffles Salon for afternoon tea. The seven dining options, including Japanese restaurant TOMO, accommodate practically every palate.
Finally, remember to carve out some time for yourself and book a massage at the spa, which stocks Aromatherapy Associates, Shiffa, and Kerstin Florian. I can recommend the muscle de-stress massage, the perfect remedy for those muscle kinks that are part and parcel of the business traveller’s lifestyle.
Raffles Dubai has around 380 staff, more than 30% of whom have been with the hotel for five years or more, allowing frequent travellers to spot familiar faces. So here’s a shout-out to the spectacular staff who help make a stay at the hotel special.
And in case you’re not already sold, close to 40% of the hotel’s guests are repeat visitors, so Raffles Dubai is clearly doing something right.