Hotel Review: The Dukes Hotel
“Welcome to the Dukes Dubai, Ms. Blumenthal.”
The perfume of lilies permeated the lobby as I walked through the revolving door. The lobby was decorated grandly and intimately at the same time. In the middle a round cherry wood table with the largest bouquet of lilies I’ve ever seen. On the sides, little sitting areas that reminded me of someone’s drawing room.
My bags were taken immediately as I was ushered to the reception desk. It was 11 AM, and I was there early due to having a meeting in the hotel tea room and champagne lounge. But this was no issue for the hotel. My bags were taken care of, I went to the Great British Restaurant to eat breakfast, and headed to my meeting.
When I returned after the meeting, the guest relations representative took me to my room. They had graciously upgraded me to a suite, but the room didn’t face the water, so I opted for a smaller room with a sea view. My bags were brought to my room on the 9th floor, and I settled in before heading out to another meeting.
The room was clean and comfortable. Again, the sitting chair and sofa made me feel like I was at home. The bed was large with a firm mattress, exactly how I would imagine any Duke would like it. The palette of colors was perfect, the headboard superb, and the side mirrors magnificent. As the days passed, as they do, I grew to love the Dukes Dubai. Not for its grandeur but for the service and the ambiance. Doors were held open; errands were run, food was served and not just because this was their job and they had to. I felt the pride everyone had in making the hotel the best possible. Guest relations and receptionists quickly became friends.
On my second to last day in Dubai, I was antsy. I couldn’t sit in my room and stare at my laptop any longer. I had to get out of the room. I sat in the lobby with the September issue of VOGUE and had each staff member come over to ask me if everything was alright. Eventually, I told Larissa I must get outside for at least a minute. It was hot, but I hadn’t made it to the beach or the pool yet. She brought around the golf cart and drove me to the pool so I could have a look. The largest swimming pool on the palm and it was stunning. “Islands” in the middle of the pool, a lazy river, they had it all. I was determined to get to the pool on this trip. I stopped at reception before going back upstairs for the night and asked them for a wakeup call for 7 am so I could partake in the sun and water. They sent alarms for me for every three minutes for fifteen minutes! I have a hard time waking up as my daily schedule is usually to sleep from 4 am until noon. I told them if I was not in the lobby by 7:15 am they should send someone to knock on the door. They added the note to the order for the morning staff to see.
I had no problem waking the next morning. I wanted to see what the pool looked like in the daytime! I headed down and found a chair on one of the “islands” directly facing the sun, so when it peeked out behind the building, my legs would get bronzed. I relaxed and focused on my breathing for about an hour until the sun finally hit me. I lay in the sun enjoying the heat until I couldn’t resist the water anymore. I made a circle in the pool and stopped at the lip of the infinity edge. It was stunning. I could see the beach right below us, the Dubai Marina skyline, and the houses on the Palm Jumeirah fronds. I hung over the edge, my arms keeping me in place and I fell asleep. That’s how relaxed I was…
My stay at the Dukes was not just a business trip. It became a time to recharge. I found a home. I have lived in hotels since I was eighteen, preferring them to apartments, and this is the first hotel I was proud to be part of the tradition. The Dukes has added to my life, and I hope you feel the same way during your stay.