There’s a new wave of ‘business meets pleasure’ rushing in to greet us in this post-COVID/work-from-home era: Bleisure staycations. A ‘bleisure’ (business plus leisure) stay is for those savvy and hard-working individuals who really do need a break, but they also need to “werk, werk, werk, werk, werk, werk.” And so the genius idea to kill two birds with one stone was born.
If this strikes a note of familiarity with you, then read on. Here in Dubai, there are so many hotels to choose from, we thought we’d make it a little easier on you by cherry-picking our absolute favorite hotels to maximize the rest, while still enabling you to be productive. So whether you’re looking for a place to take your clients, but catch some R&R yourself, or you’re a work-from-home-mom trying to juggle at-home schooling on top of a full work-load, perhaps it’s high time you treated yourself to a bleisure staycation without having to use up one of those precious sick days. Who knows, it may even just save you from getting sick because, as we all know, a little bit of rest and relaxation can go a long way in keeping us healthy.
Park Hyatt Dubai
For the Golfer or the Client-Facing Employee
We can’t think of a more beautiful and peaceful location in Dubai to get a little R&R, be inspired with new ideas, and bring clients for meetings or for a round of golf than Park Hyatt Dubai. From the minute you turn onto the uphill drive to the hotel, you start to feel like you’re not in Dubai anymore. The lush greenery surrounds you, and as you enter through the luxurious lobby and are greeted with the stunning views through the tall windows of Dubai’s Creek – along with the yachts that sit by the docks – it’s like being transported into another world. A world of luxury, elegance, and sophistication.
You’re here to work, so you might as well splurge for the Junior Suite over-looking the 100m lagoon and take in the mesmerizing Dubai skyline replete with unencumbered views of the Burj Khalifa and The Frame. As rich as your surroundings are, it will be hard to leave your suite and explore once you get in your room. You make a note to yourself to enjoy that large soaking tub and rain shower with the Le Labo products tonight after your day is done to help you unwind and relax before jumping into the plush bed looking out over the balcony where the calming scene of the lagoon, the Creek, and city await you. In a separate room you can find a perfectly appointed sitting room, complete with a desk/workstation to rival Miranda Priestley’s, coffee/tea station, a guest bathroom, and yet another balcony. It will be difficult to decide where the best location to work from is indeed.
Once you’ve managed to get a few hours of work in, you decide to meander down to the pools with your laptop for a change of scenery. The main pool is delicious, but you find yourself a cabana at the lagoon and sink your feet into the the super soft, white sands while you wiggle your toes in delight. It won’t hurt you to just take a little dip, so you swim a few laps, and then come back to your cabana invigorated with a new idea for that pitch. And now that you think of it, perhaps you should treat yourself to a massage at the famous Amara Spa as a reward. Scratch that. No perhaps. Just do it. You’ve earned it.
The Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club is right next door and it’s the perfect place to play a round of golf with your clients, or prepare yourself for your next work meeting on the green by booking a lesson with one of many expert instructors – we personally recommend Matt. He’s funny, encouraging, and an excellent teacher. If you have clients to wine and dine, have them meet you at NOÉPE for some exotic twists on your favorite drinks, and then head over to Boardwalk, a marine-inspired restaurant where you can sit right on the creek and feast on every seafood delicacy. The food is inspiration itself, the view cannot be beat, and your clients will be sure to be not only impressed, but unwilling to call it a night.
After you say goodbye, call a golf cart to pick you up and take you back to the hotel, or walk back along the boardwalk, with your heels in your hand as you look forward to that bath. Breakfast at Brasserie du Park and all those endless emails will be waiting for you in the morning, but for once, you just don’t mind.
For the Working Mom
We hear you, Working Moms. You’ve been keeping it together, running a household, homeschooling your kids when classes switched online, working a full-time job, and somehow finding enough hours in the day to sleep. Barely. You need a break, but the world just isn’t going to stop and let you have it. Well, we have found your answer. Pack up the kids – and the laptops – and drive the 30 minutes it takes to get to Ajman. Yes, Ajman. To the Fairmont Ajman to be exact. Because if there is one thing this hotel excels at – and there are many – it’s customer service.
From concierge, to waiter, to barkeep, to housekeeping, to poolside bar, the staff at this hotel are trained to meet your every need and they are trained well. Mama, you won’t have to worry about a thing. They will handle everything literally down to the last detail, so that you can finally take a load – or ten – off.
With wifi that extends throughout the entire property, you can pick your location to perch. Maybe you want to run math at Gioia, and count the pizzas going in the oven at the interactive open kitchen. And maybe send your older kids out for their PE lesson on the floating water park, Aqua Bounce, where they’ll have so much fun they’ll forget they’re technically in school and you will have time to yourself. Or if you have little ones, they can try out some of the daily activities at the Baby Shark Tank Kids Club like arts and crafts, face painting, treasure hunt, hopscotch, board games, or even popcorn and outdoor movie nights. That is if you can drag them away from the playground and the kids’ pool.
As for you, splurge on one of the private cabanas. Not only will you have a luscious bed to relax and recharge between dips in the pool and trips to the beach, but it’s the perfect place to set your kids up to do their schoolwork while you catch up on your emails. Not only is it secluded (i.e. no distractions), but in addition to the private cabana, there is a little seating area with a table for working and couches for lounging …ahem… we mean working.
Once you’ve spent the day alternating between pool, cabana, and open ocean, wash up for dinner with the personalized Le Labo products and head down to Kiyi, the hotel’s signature restaurant in the Turkish style. Feel the stress melt away, and when you finally wake up from the softest bed you’ve ever slept in, step out onto the balcony — not just for the delicious morning air and a cup of coffee and a cuddle with your early-riser, but to see the giant message of love that the staff have drawn into the sand to greet you in the morning. Your only problem will be convincing your kids it’s time to go home.
The Palazzo Versace
For the Workaholic
Nestled in Jaddaf, the magnificent Palazzo Versace stretches along the Dubai Creek. Hints of Arabic architectural elements are woven into the Neoclassical Italian style – all of which is evident from the moment you set foot in the opulent hotel lobby. Not just any opulence – we mean Versace opulence. The high-ceiling, marble-floored palatial lobby – much like the rest of the property – is adorned with the Versace touch. The brand’s signature Medusa symbol and the Greek key motif are omnipresent, leaving no doubt that the decor and furniture – down to the bedding – has been designed by the House of Versace. Mosaic wall decor and tiles installed in the rooms and bathrooms further accentuate the Italian vibe.
While the decor resembles 16th-century Italian style, the in-room facilities are as modern as it gets. The Palazzo Versace rooms are equipped with smart TVs, touchscreen room control panels, media docking stations, smart blackout curtains, and a jacuzzi bathtub.
For bleisure seekers, the magnificent property makes the perfect place to rest, rejuvenate, and of course, meet those deadlines. Speaking of deadlines, a suite booking grants you complimentary access to the Executive Lounge. Alternatively, you can set up your office on the living room couch, on the desk, or in the uber comfortable bed – with some snacks, of course. Talk about living your dreams. But, why work from anywhere else when you can work from the poolside? Featuring not one, not two, but three pools – ‘Ischia,’ ‘Capri,’ and ‘Portofino’ – at Palazzo Versace, not only can you work from the pool, but you can also choose between three locations. Fancy some poolside snacks? The Amalfi restaurant at the West pool will be happy to serve you.
A quick walk through the landscaped gardens, and you’ll arrive at one of the eight restaurants. Make a reservation at Vanitas to enjoy a sumptuous Italian meal or sign yourself up for a High Tea experience like no other at the Mosaico Lobby Lounge. Those looking to enjoy the tastes of Persia can dine at the Persian restaurant, Enigma.
If waking up to a blissful view of the Dubai creek wasn’t enough to make your day, the flamboyant breakfast buffet at Giardino surely will. The marble terrazzo flooring and Versace jungle print wallpapers make the breakfast setting at Giardino fancy, to say the least. The menu features breakfast favorites from around the world – Indian and Oriental cuisines included.
Say goodbye to stress with a quick trip to the Versace Spa. Featuring seven treatment rooms, a spa suite, and Moroccan hammams, the Versace Spa offers the ultimate relaxation experience. The hotel also houses a nail studio and a salon where you can get a makeover from renowned hairstylist and image consultant, George Massoud.
The Meydan Hotel
For the One Who Needs to Escape
Located a quick 20-minute drive away from the heart of bustling Dubai, The Meydan Hotel promises a quiet getaway without actually having to leave the city. Designed to resemble an ocean wave in motion, the hotel overlooks the prestigious Dubai racecourse. Guests are welcomed in a glossy 10-story atrium lobby. The grand reception area flaunts high pillars, a lobby lounge, and modern glass elevators on either end. While an obvious equestrian theme runs throughout the property, the rooms feature sleek, contemporary furnishings. Spacious and comfortable, the Meydan suites are equipped with a marble bathtub complete with a small TV screen and a walk-in rain shower. Slide open the balcony doors and you’re treated to unrestricted views of the lush horse racetrack and the distanced Dubai skyline.
The Hotel is home to a variety of restaurants, a lounge, and even a sports bar. Located on the lobby level, the Millennium Lounge opens out onto an outdoor deck overlooking the racetrack. Famous for its signature tea selection, pastries, and Arabic mezzahs, the lobby lounge makes the quintessential high tea destination while at Meydan. Appreciators of Middle Eastern cuisine can head to the Farriers restaurant to enjoy an authentic Arabic platter. The restaurant even offers a delicious breakfast buffet complete with European, Indian, and Arabic cuisines.
The real star of the hotel, however, is the rooftop infinity pool. Situated on the eighth floor, the temperature-controlled pool offers guests unparalleled sunset views, all while enjoying a relaxing dip in the water. The sundeck allows guests to relish snacks and beverages from the Equus pool bar. The property also hosts a well-equipped gym and a spa, both of which are accessible to guests.