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Hotel Check: Renaissance Hotel Downtown Business Bay Dubai, UAE

Published: 20/12/2017 - Filed under: Home » News »

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Hotel Check: Renaissance Hotel Downtown Business Bay Dubai, UAE  

Renaissance Hotel Downtown Business Bay Dubai, UAE  Club Room View

HOW MANY ROOMS? 298 rooms and suites

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS This is a business-friendly hotel with a tourist-friendly location. What really makes it stand out, however, is the plethora of dining options with well-known chefs at the helm/

PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room on the random dates we checked start at $165

CONTACT Renaissance Downtown Hotel Dubai, Marasi Drive, PO Box 191984, Dubai United Arab Emirates, tel 971-4-512-5555, http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/dxbbb-renaissance-downtown-hotel-dubai/

VERDICT The developing Business Bay neighborhood puts travelers in the heart of the action. Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa is within walking distance, and the beaches, the best shopping and dining, and the main airport are all a short drive away. What’s more, the dining scene here is drawing guests from other hotels thanks to Danny Myers’ burgers and Masaharu Morimoto’s sushi at his newest restaurant. Perhaps the biggest winner is Mohamad Alshamari and his Arabic eatery with an outdoor terrace.

Renaissance Hotel Downtown Business Bay Dubai, UAE  lobby

Renaissance Hotel Downtown Business Bay Dubai, UAE

BACKGROUND Dubai’s canal system, which winds its way around the hotel, was nothing a year ago. It was created from scratch and connected the old town area with a new region known as Business Bay and drawing it all the way back to the sea. It creates a U-shape around the city center, and hopes are that people will bounce around town using boats (not just taxis or Uber anymore).

WHERE IS IT? Business Bay has several hotels, office buildings, and residential towers in its neighborhood. Best of all, views from this tower include the canal itself, Burj Al Arab hotel in the distance, and Burj Khalifa amid the city’s skyline. The hotel is in the center of it all.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? Renaissance’s brand development has been evolving quickly from straight-up business hotel to hip design center that has plenty of meeting space and corporate amenities, too. The fedora-toting bellmen, perhaps the friendliest in the city, open big glass doors into a lobby that sounds more like a nightclub than a hotel with it hip-hop music and clever artwork. Individual pod check-in stations facilitate a friendly arrival, and guests are quickly bouncing away to their rooms while dim lights, happening coffee and cocktail bars, and beautifully clad tipplers happen all around.

At the grand opening party, the who’s who of Dubai were in the house for a private concert with Gwen Stefani that also included Marriott Rewards members that bid on the opportunity with points to join. You won’t meet a friendlier staff than at this hotel, which now competes squarely with Dubai’s W.

ROOM FACILITIES These are some of the largest standard rooms in town, and none has a bad view. The canal and Burj Al Arab in the distance are on one site while Burj Khalifa and the city skyline are on the other. The higher the room, the better, and even the hallways and elevators feature thumping music that is quickly muted when you enter your room.

Renaissance Hotel Downtown Business Bay Dubai, UAE  Club king

Giant foyers give all guests walk-in closets and minibar stations before you pass large sliding doors that lead to the bright bathrooms. The bedrooms are spacious with gold metal-shaped camel motifs hanging above the cushioned bedding with thick duvets and a quartet of pillows. On either side of the bed are easy-to-use electronic controls, USB ports, speaker phones, and bottles of water replenished twice a day during morning and evening housekeeping visits. Desks line the complete wall facing the desk with a hidden panel featuring international power and USB outlets. A large mirror with built-in flat-screen cable TV and digital clock runs atop the desk. Curvy sofas sit by the windows around coffee tables, but some room types have “indoor balconies” where glassed in sofa areas jut out from the building providing even better views. Espresso machines and hot water kettles sit near the minibars, and plenty of extra closet space hide away plush robes that are softer than most stuffed animals and slippers. Bathrooms have separate water closets, dual vanities with lovely scented Amouage toiletries, deep soaking tubs, and humongous glass shower stalls with rainfall showerheads. Suites come in various categories, and all have separate living and sleeping areas. Many have half baths, kitchenettes, and some of the best views on the highest floors. Marriott’s most frequent guests and those booking club level rooms enjoy access to the 21st floor lounge with some of the friendliest staff, all-day refreshments, a breakfast buffet with made-to-order omelets, and an evening buffet with an open bar.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS Bleu Blanc, reached via an external entrance, is the David Myers celebrity eatery serving some of the best burgers and grilled dishes in town. Its French-meets-Greek island décor is casual, yet entertaining, with dual views of Burj Khalifa and the canal. This is also where buffet breakfast is served with made-to-order egg dishes, a huge spread of tasty Arabic dishes like spiced labneh, grilled halloumi cheese and gem lettuce with pickled veggies, and freshly prepared juices and pastries. Basta is the popular Italian outlet serving housemade pasta and pizza from a brick oven. Its bar produces exceptionally popular and swanky cocktails, which can also be enjoyed on the canal terrace. Bhar is the fusion Arabic restaurant serving everything from Moroccan and Lebanese spiced lamb and meat dishes to the most delicious fattoush salad this side of the Arabian Sea. People can dine on the al fresco terrace, and the homemade Arabic bread with the olive oil and zaatar dip is worth every dirham. Chef Masaharu Morimoto is making a splash for his famous sushi and sashimi menu served in Morimoto Dubai, which is soon to open. Expect guests from other hotels to line up at the restaurant’s private entrance for a meal.

LEISURE FACILITIES The infinity edge swimming pool on the third floor has gorgeous canal views and plenty of cushioned lounge seating wrapping around its edge.

Renaissance Hotel Downtown Business Bay Dubai, UAE

The life guard is quick to pass around with extra towels and bottled water. Back in the fitness center, walls of windows provide plenty of inspiration to work out on the latest equipment including free weights. There’s plenty of bottled water, fresh fruit, and towels for refreshment. The canal sidewalks in front of the hotel are perfect for jogging.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Free wireless Internet is available throughout the hotel (including by the hotel and in the waterfront bar terrace). Meeting space is plentiful with the latest audiovisual equipment. The pool terrace and restaurant areas can be used for social functions, too. There’s a boardroom with picture-perfect views of Burj Khalifa in the club lounge that is one of the best corporate gathering venues for small groups in the house.

(Pictures by Marriott Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai)

By Ramsey Qubein

Ramsey is a regular contributor to Business Traveler across all print, digital, web and social channels.  He travels more than 400,000 miles a year criss-crossing the globe to report on hotels, airlines, loyalty programs, and all things travel.

You can find more from Ramsey at http://www.ramseyq.com/, on Twitter - @dailytraveltips and Instagram - @dailytraveltips

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