Arrival/Check-In: It was Dubai Fashion Week, and the host hotel turned out to be The St. Regis. A runway had been set up out front, and there was a tremendous buzz about the place. Check-in took a few minutes, but we were escorted to seats and offered refreshments while staff caught up with those who had arrived just before us. Within a few minutes we were seated at the check-in desk and taken to our room. The hotel is grand, with Beaux-Arts architecture reminiscent of The St. Regis New York; the interior takes you back to 18th-century classical design. Sweeping staircases in the lobby immediately attract your eye to the upper floor and the ornate design and venues located there.
Guest Quarters: We stayed in room 442, one of the property’s 181 guestrooms and 51 suites. No expense was spared with the construction; heavy doors and marble with wood accents provide the feel of luxury. The room featured several nice touches, including a large wardrobe area for hanging your clothing and storing your bags — constructed into the walls with drawers made of dark wood reminiscent of the Churchill era. The bathroom was also smartly designed with white marble and opposing his and hers sinks. A large, freestanding soaking tub in bright white porcelain occupied the far back wall, and the shower stall featured a heavy, metal-rimmed glass door. The shower was well-appointed with an overhead and handheld device and a built-in foot rest/seat. Sadly, I had water leaking continually out of the shower and had to mop up outside the door after each use.
The king-sized bed came with signature St. Regis bedding, very comfortable. One corner of the room was dedicated to a minibar with a coffeemaker, which followed the room design nicely. A small desk and chair were placed in the far right side of the room near the window, and on the far left sat a comfortable, overstuffed chair and ottoman. The window looked out to the front of the property, and we could watch the preparations for the fashion show. At one point it began to rain and the wind was blowing (unusual for Dubai), and guests and models had to scatter for cover. An interesting sight to watch!
One of the night tables held a lovely chocolate amenity of a complete backgammon board; it was a kind touch and tasty as well.
Services/Amenities: The team at The St. Regis went above and beyond when it came to the level of service, and I was particularly impressed with the restaurant venues. We made sure to try the St. Regis Bar to see how it compared to the one in New York City. The bar boasts a cozy, clubby feel with warm wood and leather. Try one of its signature Golden Bloody Marys and finely crafted cocktails. The Champagne Lounge offers a unique venue with nightly “Champagne sabering” — running a saber along the bottle to open it with flair. The Champagne Lounge team member conducting the sabering the night we were there was attempting it for his first time, and he did it with great panache! We then enjoyed the fruits of his drama. I highly recommend this experience. I am even considering sabering at my next dinner party at home.
J&G Steakhouse by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is a lovely restaurant, offering the best cuts of meat from all over the world. Australian beef is flown in for the signature tomahawk cut, the bone of which must measure more than a foot long. The team is expert on the marbling score of each cut of beef or lamb and can discuss the cut to best meet your expectations. The steak was plump, juicy and complete with showmanship, including a fine selection of intricately designed steak knives, each having its own uniqueness.
◆ Witnessing the sabering of a Champagne bottle is a must.
◆ This is a lovely new hotel in a desirable Starwood complex that includes a W and a Westin.
◆ Be sure to enjoy the great steak at J&G Steakhouse.
The St. Regis Dubai
Al Habtoor City
Sheikh Zayed Road
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
tel 971 4 435 5555
Even if you are not familiar with Chicago, you may already know the Wicker Park neighborhood is one of the city’s “eat like a local” destinations, especially among young professionals whose idea of local is actually quite global. After a decade of high-concept comfort food and gastro-pubs, the Tan family took over a homey space on North Avenue to mix things up with the opening of Cebu. Cebu is not just a Filipino restaurant, but one focused on Cebuano regional cooking along with its Chinese and Spanish underpinnings.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
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Miami’s South Beach is set to welcome a new luxury hotel.
This summer, The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles began highly-anticipated enhancements. The property celebrates its 10th birthday next year and the renovations are the largest changes the property has ever seen. They impact the hotel lobby, all 123 guestrooms and suites, corridors and Club Lounge.