Set The Scene
Stepping into the recently revamped 42-storey sanctuary, I am immediately enveloped by a sense of opulence. The lobby, a grand atrium adorned with majestic Lasvit chandeliers, casts a warm glow over royal burgundy and gold hues that promise a stay fit for royalty. It was love at first sight. The check-in desk featured an intriguing backdrop – a striking art piece composed of hundreds of books in a babel of languages, another fascinating touch. As I lingered, the lounge buzzed with the genteel clink of afternoon tea, while the hum of business deals floated down from the first-floor restaurants. From the golden pillars to the dramatic floral arrangements that crowned them alongside cosy grey armchairs. What I love about this place is that despite its grandeur, there is a comforting familiarity in the air.
Perched between sky and city on the upper echelons of the tower, I stayed in the hotel’s Picture-Perfect Rooms which are a cocoon of luxuriousness offering a cinematic sweep of Dubai’s skyline. My corner retreat comes with floor-to-ceiling windows framing the Burj Khalifa in a tableau so vivid it feels within reach. Plush carpets, a marble-encased bathroom, and a colour palette that whispered luxury in shades of grey and gold set the tone for a sumptuous stay ahead. The pièce de resistance was the Polaroid camera in the room, perfect to capture the sweeping vistas, while the L’Occitane amenities added a touch of Provencal charm to the urban oasis. Meditative colouring postcards provided a moment of zen, inviting me to pause and reflect amid the opulence, alongside the local art in the room that provides a reverent nod to the region. What makes these rooms stand out are their amenities which are a carefully crafted collection to pamper and purify — a Briiv Air Purifier to cleanse the space, silken Yukata robes and slippers, and indulgences like bath salts and hydrating creams to rejuvenate after a day in the city.
Amenities and Facilities
The CHI Spa offers some exhilarating Arabian-inspired spa indulgences that pay homage to the land with local essences of dates, coffee, and rhassoul mud and other signature treatments. The hotel also features health club amenities like the gym, sauna, and plunge pool, among others. Poolside on the fourth floor, the vibe is irresistibly Instagrammable, with chic white sunbeds and vibrant pink towels set against the Burj Khalifa’s backdrop. As night falls, the space transforms into a lively hub, with shisha, music, and a DJ setting the evening’s tone.
One of our favourite parts of the stay has to be the culinary powerhouse of the property. Hoi An, the Vietnamese gem, dazzled us with its crispy rolls, a delicate crunch giving way to the umami richness of shrimp and shiitake. The curries were a masterclass in balance bursting with robust flavours that have a certain depth to them.
Brunch at Shang Palace became the highlight of my foodie escapades. The crispy prawns, enrobed in mango mayonnaise, were a culinary epiphany, their tender meat ensconced with the sauce’s sweet zestiness. The golden garlic prawns come alive with just the right tinge of spice, igniting the palate without overwhelming it. The fried soft-shell crab was another standout dish, its crisp exterior giving way to the succulent sweetness of the crab within. The gentle heat of the spice brought a depth of flavour that elevated the dish to gold standards, creating an interesting interplay of texture and taste. The Dunes Café presented a breakfast that was a spectacle of choice and quality, think pastries, flaky and golden, fresh smoothies, and a globe-trotting array of hot and cold dishes. A floating breakfast at Ikandy Ultralounge is the stuff of Instagram dreams and goes heartily recommended!
At Shangri-La Dubai, luxury is palpable in every little detail, from staff that is genuinely gracious and goes the extra mile to make your day, to restaurants that are true masterclasses in gastronomy. With its old-world charm doused in unmistakable luxury, here is a property that glows from within, even among the ever-expanding empire of Dubai hotels.