Arrival/Check-In: A chic doorman helped me out of the taxi, and I was welcomed into the lobby of the Armani Hotel located in the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world. I was asked to sit on one of two semi-circular sofas, where a “lifestyle manager” took my check-in information.
While I waited for my room key, I realized I didn’t remember the name of the hotel’s restaurant where I had lunch reservations. I started to look for the concierge and realized there wasn’t one, nor was there a front desk. I must have looked puzzled, as another smartly dressed staff member asked if I needed anything. He explained the concept behind the Armani Hotel: There is no central front desk or concierge, but any member of the team can help guests with any need at any time. Within moments, he located my reservation. My lifestyle manager returned with my room information, guaranteed my luggage would be delivered and showed me to my lunch reservation. I need a lifestyle manager at home!
Guest Quarters: At first glance, everything in my premier suite looked muted. Decorated in browns, tans, woods and blacks, the room had big rounded windows letting in the natural sunlight that Dubai is never without. The room was sleek and modern with couches and chairs upholstered in exquisite fabrics; the furniture is custom-made for the hotel in conjunction with Armani Casa. Sliding walls maintained the minimalist look, concealing the TV, minibar, coffee area and even the bathroom doors. The bathroom, decorated in wood tones, was beautiful, with a dual sink, huge rain shower and separate bathtub. The king-sized bed and linens rivaled the best beds I’ve slept in around the world.
Services/Amenities: The staff were almost intimidating in their finely tailored Armani uniforms, but they were all ready to lend a helping hand and went out of their way to make sure no detail was left out. Naturally, I waited until the last minute on a weekend to make the reservation at At.mosphere Lounge on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, but the lifestyle manager made the impossible happen.
The business center was like none I’d seen. The attendant’s desk seemed to almost float, surrounded by the dark walls. The attendant escorted me into another room where I felt like I was in a spaceship. A row of comfortable chairs attached to desks faced dark walls with televisions broadcasting news stations from around the world. The manager brought me a laptop; as I printed my documents, I heard the machines behind the wall. I found this work environment productive.
The restaurants are on different levels of the hotel, each with a different atmosphere. I had lunch at Peck, where the black-and-white floors and great food reminded me of Milan. The all-day Mediterraneo kept the minimalist theme, not distracting from its unobstructed view of the world’s largest fountain, which puts on a choreographed show throughout the day — a must-see in Dubai.
At the spa and fitness center, the spa attendant offered to tailor-make a spa treatment for me based on the time I had — a huge bonus for a business traveler in need of a spa treatment.
The Experience: Once I explored the hotel and the way it operated, I couldn’t get enough. I loved the attention to detail, the fine silks, linens and leathers that characterized each piece of furniture and amenity. Much of the design was symmetrical, so it was easy to get lost at first, but it created an atmosphere of chic, understated urban elegance unique to Dubai. Being a true city girl, I liked being in the center of downtown and attached to the Dubai Mall, which never left me at a loss for down-time activities. I look forward to checking into the world of Armani again.
- Reasonable arrival-to-room time
- Separate tub and shower
- Large vanity
- High-quality towels
- Large, flat-screen television
- Large desk with convenient outlets
- Complimentary WiFi
- Ample lighting
- Quality bed linens
- Choice of pillows
- Powerful, unattached hair dryer
- Iron and ironing board
- Easy-to-set alarm clock
- On-site restaurant and bar
- 24-hour room service
- Coffeemaker in room
- Large, complimentary laptop safe
Armani Hotel Dubai
tel 971 4 888 3888
After driving through the arts and entertainment district of Delray Beach, I was expecting the lively and vibrant energy to follow me to my doorstep at Crane’s Beach House that evening. I was pleasantly surprised when the spirited rumble of a night downtown halted right at the front gate. As I walked the pathway to the front office for check-in, I was welcomed by a quiet rustle of the greenery and flowers that guided my walk, strung with lights and colorful, tropical décor. At check-in I was provided with a complimentary parking pass; although I would only be there for one night, I much appreciated this unexpected perk. I received my room information, including a pass code that would open my door. Keyless entry was a nice touch.
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