Dubai is renowned for its luxury hotels and service, which is viewed as the best in the world by many. Celebrities and royal families flock from all over the world to Dubai. Where do they stay? Raffles. Why? Quite simply, imagine the best hotel you can possibly think of. Raffles exceeds this in every way. It is quite an astonishing feat, but they manage it.
This is a seriously striking hotel that impresses from the moment you arrive. Built adjacent to Dubai’s Wafi Mall, it continues the Egyptian theme of the mall throughout the hotel. Yes, the hotel is shaped like a pyramid and has its own granite obelisk outside, but the decor is executed to the finest possible standard throughout. Many trips to Egypt were made in the design process. It must be the heaviest hotel in Dubai, as practically the entire interior is decked out in marble.
The lobby is seriously dramatic with breathtaking features which wow guests as they arrive, incorporating the four elements of life into the design, something that continues through the hotel. Guests are greeted extremely warmly – the service at Raffles is genuinely second to none at all points of contact with staff – from the Front Desk, to the Concierge and even to housekeeping – friendly and helpful, making you feel like a regular by remembering your name and offering to help in every possible way from the minute your stay begins.
The rooms are really large, from the smallest rooms to the suites, which are favoured by Middle Eastern dignitaries and royalty, who regularly book out an entire floor for their entourage. Suites automatically come with a butler who is available to help you at any time of the day and night.
The hotel has a gorgeous pool, complete with bar and a gilded water clock and a really lovely outdoor jacuzzi. There is plenty of room to sunbathe and enjoy the gardens featuring an exceptionally wide range of plants. Inside, there is a great gym, salon and spa, which offers heavenly treatments. The couples treatments are particularly special, such as the romantic retreat which offers a private Jacuzzi experience, followed by a couples’ massage, all in the comfort of your own private room. Bliss.
One thing’s for sure, your privacy is guaranteed here – it is an exceptionally private hotel – you need not leave your room if you wish. Balconies come with tables, chairs and your own sun loungers, and are absolutely not overlooked – they are just the perfect place to enjoy the sunset with a stunning view.
The food is simply amazing at Raffles. Breakfasts are lovely – they can be taken inside or out, and the choice and quality of food available is superb. Fire and Ice, the hotel’s restaurant is one of the very best in Dubai, with a wide choice of exceptional meat and fish on the menu. The restaurant itself is highly atmospheric, with subtle lighting, dark wood panels and an open kitchen, and wide-reaching views across the city from the windows. The marinated feta with watermelon, aubergine caviar and peppers is a standout starter, and the Seafood Mix Grill is a sumptuous main. Excellent homemade gluten free bread is provided for guests, too.
Even here, in the middle of the desert, you can enjoy an excellent afternoon tea. Currently a fashion afternoon tea is offered for guests and non-residents in the ground-floor lounge, which is popular with locals returning from a shopping trip to the adjacent Wafi Mall. It was not a surprise to learn the Head Chef is English, such is the quality of the scones and fresh cream served. Raffles also offer roast dinners at weekends and sumptuous Christmas feasts for guests over the festive period.
If you are after exquisite luxury and the very finest service, you absolutely can’t beat Raffles.