Remember the scene in Sex and the City where Big complains about the apartment his new wife Natasha decorated for them: “Everything in my apartment is now beige. Beige is BS”? That’s exactly how I feel after months of confinement. No matter how trendy and bohemian my interior decor is, I find myself feeling sick of that pretentious printed abstraction, that uncomfortable dining chair (aka my new office seat), and that glass coffee table that I need to wipe my fingerprints off of between 100 and 150 times a day.
Our souls are asking for change, at least a temporary one; to dive in a totally new environment and escape the mundane for a brief moment. And there is certainly no better place for a brief reality escape than a brand-new boutique hotel with a strikingly authentic character. In my quest for a change of scenery, I visited Andaz Dubai The Palm Hotel, and I am happy to report that no excess of beige has been spotted. What I have discovered, however, are five very strong arguments for visiting this gem as soon as possible.
A Vibrant Design That Celebrates Culture, Art, and Individuality
I have a lot of appreciation for sleek, contemporary interiors, but it’s the abstract take on Arabic heritage that really “wowed” me. From the moment I first set foot through the magnificent doors carved with abstract calligraphy, I couldn’t help but notice the impressive concentration of art and culture artifacts: a soaring falcon installation, Khalid Shafar palm tree-inspired parasols, handcrafted sculptures, and Arabic prints and woven fabrics.
The authentic spaces at Andaz marry the contemporary and the traditional so seamlessly you forget they can ever exist autonomously. “Andaz” translates from Hindi as “personal style,” and there is no doubt that this authentic hotel has it by the barrel.
A Gastronomic Marvel
As a well-travelled gourmand and spoiled resident of Dubai – a city with endless gastronomic possibilities, from authentic local venues to international chains – I am by no means easy to impress. But, this is exactly what happened when I visited Hanami, one of Dubai’s newest Japanese restaurants. Located on the 15th floor of the hotel, the restaurant boasts two panoramic views: one overlooking Burj Al Arab and the other watching over The Palm. Just like the rest of the hotel, Hanami conquered my heart with its detailed, artful interiors filled with symbolism (very much like Miyazaki’s chef d’oeuvres, and this is not just our observation; take a look at the name of their ladies night offer!). Once I scanned the QR code, I found myself lost in a world of endless menu options.
But why choose when you can have it all? My exquisite appetizers came in trendy street-style packages (the miniature box in which the ‘Maguro’ pizza was served was especially Instagram-friendly). The assortment of heavenly sashimi, nigiri, and maki served in a cloud of frosty smoke made me shake with excitement. Then came the ‘Wagyu Katsu Bun’ – a tender and juicy cut of beef, wrapped in a crispy breading and cushioned in a soft roll. Finally, there were two desserts that sealed the deal: a ‘Green Tea-Ramisu’ – an absolute must for matcha lovers – and ‘Hanami’ – a heavenly kaleidoscope of sweet and sour. It was decided: I was coming back to this wonderful island where gastronomic dreams come true.
Instagram-Worthy Infinity Pool
When the sun’s rays are at their warmest and most ambient, all self-respecting Instagrammers are drawn to the most picturesque spots of their current destinations, just like moths to a flame. Although Andaz is filled with Instagram-worthy setups and views, it was at the sleek infinity pool that I struck all my best poses. Those who prefer to take in special moments as opposed to sealing them with 12-megapixel cameras were equally content: after all, there are few activities more meditative and soothing than watching how the infinity pool blends with the Gulf and then dissolves into the horizon in an impressionist gradation.
A Game-Changing Souvenir Shop
Having no interest in generic magnets, tacky plushies, or cringy T-shirts, I tend to steer clear of souvenir shops. However, I lost track of time and almost missed my dinner reservation (and that would be criminal!) while browsing the Andaz concept shop. Positioned right at the entrance of the vibrant open space of The Locale eatery, the shop presents a curated collection of colorful pillows, artful figurines, collectible coasters and cups, among other locally-crafted design items. I was particularly tempted by a stand sporting trendy eyewear.
A Change of Scenery
Workaholics, unable to resist the urge to send that email or go over that presentation (totally not us), will most definitely appreciate the spacious, yet cozy Andaz Lounge. The area reminds you of a home rather than a hotel, with its colorful art, eclectic decor, and ergonomic setups. The space satisfies just about all your interior cravings, and at the same time makes it easy to stay inspired and keep the creative wheels turning, all the while sipping on the best in-house coffee (or green tea, in my case).
For those times when you’re torn between a weekend of cultural enrichment and just kicking back for some well-deserved rest, remember that Andaz the Palm can scratch that itch and give you the best of both worlds in one exquisite package.
For more information or to book a stay at the Andaz Dubai The Palm, click here.