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Review: The Oberoi, Dubai

Review: The Oberoi, Dubai

Dubai has welcomed a flood of international luxury hotel chains in the last decade, but The Oberoi Group is the first high-end Indian hotelier to hit the UAE’s shores.

Famous for introducing the five-star hospitality to India in the 1960s, The Oberoi has since become known for its unique blend of high-glam luxury and authentic Indian hospitality.

The hotel group founded The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development, which is open to all hospitality trainees across India – Oberoi or not – so we had high hopes for Oberoi’s new hotel. After all, Dubai’s customer service can be hit-and-miss at the best of times.

We were not disappointed. The first thing we saw upon walking into the Oberoi’s sweeping entrance was a line of smartly dressed and exquisitely mannered staff, exuding just the right balance of efficiency and courtesy. Each of the hotel’s 252 rooms comes replete with its own personal butler, with the aim of answering your every wish.

While it may seem that every hotel in Dubai has some kind of service gimmick, the Oberoi stands apart with its offering. Our butler was the real deal, even to the point of being able to wirelessly fix up our iPod with the room’s sound system or, even more impressively, guiding our guests to the hotel while speaking to their taxi driver. This is no mean feat, considering that the Oberoi hotel sits in the centre of the poorly signposted construction maze that is Business Bay.

While it does feel as if the Oberoi is currently languishing in a remote sandpit, the location will be a major asset for the hotel once the surrounding construction is completed. The hotel overlooks the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and all rooms and suites have floor-to-ceiling windows that offer great views of the city’s skyline. The hotel is a few minutes’ drive from downtown Dubai and the Dubai Mall.

In addition to the pampering services of a 24-hour butler, the hotel also offers seamless in-room check-in and top-notch concierge services. Nothing is too much trouble. That same sentiment extents to the customer service in the hotel’s dining outlets – Umai, a contemporary Pan Asian restaurant, Nine7One, an all-day world dining restaurant, and Ananta, an Indian specialty restaurant.

Umai offers a stunning lunchtime buffet that can be complemented with a’la carte fare. We tasted modern twist variations on Indian, Thai and Arab cuisine, all personally recommended by the waiting staff dressed in royal blue traditional Indian dress.

The rooms themselves are the hallmark of luxury. The deluxe room we stayed in looked to be more the size of a suite, with its huge bed, bathroom and sofa set.

The room was dressed with personal touches, such as flowers, chocolates and commissioned artworks by famous artist Mrinmoy Barua, while the upholstery is bold coloured and high-quality. One of our favourite touches was the automated full black out blinds – a sure fire hit with business folk.

Another favourite for business people will be the 24-hour spa, offering round- the-clock authentic Ayurveda therapy, just the ticket for frayed travellers. All treatments can be rounded off with a swim in the waiter-serviced pool, which offers soothing sounds and epic views of the Burj Khalifa.

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