Gulf Business‘ sister publication Business Traveller Middle East was yesterday granted first media access to Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers, the Swiss chain’s sixth property in Dubai.
In marked contrast to the horizontal Ibn Battuta property, and most of the other hotels in its local portfolio – it is the smallest of the six by room count – this 168-room tower hotel has a cosy, almost boutique feel about it and should be a convenient option for those on business in JLT and surrounding ‘New Dubai’.
It should also appeal to leisure travellers looking for a springboard to the area’s increasingly diverse retail and lifestyle amenities.
The size presents its own pros and cons; what it may lose in room revenue opportunities, Mövenpick believes it can gain by offering a more personalised service.
With the exception of the nearby Bonnington, another big plus is competition is limited, although a Pullman is coming up towards the other end of JLT.
I started the tour with a coffee in the Crema Lobby Lounge to the right of reception, passing over a pleasant walkover water feature, and it was served with a velvet handle and saucer, which was a novel and warm touch.
Alongside a scattering of lounge seating are the two hotel guest lifts in the centre. The hotel occupies the first eight floors, and above are residential apartments; tenants have an entrance to the side, although their lifts are accessed beyond reception.
The ground floor also contains two other food and beverage revenues: Nosh, which will serve up themed buffets each night of the week, and features two private dining areas and an alcohol-free terrace that can serve up to 170.
A staircase from Nosh leads directly into UBK – Urban Bar & Kitchen – a well-thought out space with bar, dining and lounge seating, and seven booths around the corner that can be partitioned, each with its own TV. A garden area is due to open in the New Year.
One convenient touch in UBK is the self-service area (you can order a la carte too) that serves a range of dishes – Wagyu beef burger and mussels pots for example. But I lunched at Nosh where I ordered the generous fish and stacked chips and sticky date pudding. Business lunches will be served from UBK shortly and given their proximity, the hotel plans to do a two-in-one function incorporating both venues on New Year’s Eve.
The first floor contains a wealth of features, possibly a few too many, with meeting rooms and boardrooms (eight in all) joined by a business centre, gift shop, spa with seven treatment rooms, which are due to open in December, and Soul Fitness Club, with the pool area beyond.
The gym has some fun motivational phrases on the floor, in keeping with the overall light/casual aura, but it’s a hotel which should equally draw in business travellers, particularly as there is free wi-fi throughout and 24-hour room service.
Leisure travellers can be shuttled to Riva Beach Club on Palm Jumeirah (Dhs100 weekdays, Dhs150 on weekends).
I liked the accent of warm colours and art on the corridor walls. The rooms seemed a good size (alongside 84 Superior rooms – pictured – are Premium, Deluxe and Laguna Suites, at 28 units each).
I had a peek at one 70sqm Laguna Suite which had a separate living room, circular dining table and compact bedroom and spacious bathroom beyond –some have 10sqm balconies.
I didn’t have any problems finding the hotel, driving into JLT from the Marina Mall flyover, taking a u-turn at the roundabout and following the road around the corner, but guests should note there is ongoing construction in the vicinity. A grand opening is scheduled for December 4.