I’ve always remembered Address Downtown in Dubai to be enduringly handsome. When the 10-year-old hotel reopened this June after it was closed for renovation in 2015, my husband and I set out on a recent Friday afternoon to enjoy its second act that’s speckled with stylish new interiors and sensational art. We arrive at the 63-storeyed building, designed by UK-based architectural firm Atkins, that holds its own in the presence of the mighty Burj Khalifa.
Inside, a multisensorial experience abounds; New York-based Meyer Davis and Dubai’s SSH Design have dreamt up the interiors that are equally attuned to the principles of classic sophistication and the needs of a modern hotel. The lobby is leavened by whimsy with a central glass globe chandelier sparkling against the dreamy, uninterrupted expanses of marble, perfumed with the hotel’s signature aroma of vetiver and cedar.
Address Downtown lobby
The reception desks rest before a wall covered in five paintings that British artist Beth Nicholas hand-painted on-site, each recalling the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi that means appreciating the beauty of imperfection. We walk through the lobby that’s akin to an enchanted garden, where the walls and floors are clad in marble, the furnishings are sleek, and art and fashion gems are abundant. Dotting the space are hanging paper sculptures by Dutch artist Peter Gentenaar, and 44 high-fashion vitrines featuring brands such as Prada and Dunhill.
Hanging installations titled Giant Fantasy Butterflies, by visual display artist Stephen Stefanou behind US-based Venue Arts, flutter free, hand-painted in tones of pink, blue and green and crafted with synthetic glass. “The gardenesque feel and butterflies are installed to create a sense of the surreal, and to add another dimension to the corridor areas that link The Restaurant at Address Downtown, the lounge and meeting rooms,” explains Caroline-Jane Houston, the hotel’s General Manager.
The Spa At Address Downtown
We stay at the Premier Fountain View Room, perfect for tourists who have much to relish with uninterrupted views of Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain from the terrace. Below us, the sapphire blue water of the hotel pool scintillates in the Dubai sun, with fronds of palm trees shading the daybeds that line the poolside. The space features wood and marble accents in neutral tones of grey, white and blue with a king-size bed in crisp linens. The bathroom is done up with a rain shower, bathtub, vanity and dressing area, stocked with Lorenzo Villoresi Firenze toiletries and the latest Dyson Supersonic hair dryer.
After a quick nap, I head to The Spa at Address Downtown, bedecked with a statement crystal chandelier and offering nine treatment rooms relaxation areas, a hammam, steam room, and signature spa suite. I’m greeted with a refreshing concoction of cucumber, lemon and mint, and indulge in a relaxing massage for the next 60 minutes, with body oils made of sandalwood, jasmine and patchouli that help alleviate stress and muscle aches – just what I needed after a long print deadline.
Address Downtown poolside
That night, we dine at The Restaurant, one of the nine dining and lounge concepts at the hotel, that offers a beguiling French and British menu in a polished, urbane setting. Among the highlights is the flavourful Scottish salmon and beef wellington seared to perfection, which we round off with coconut and soya panacotta with a wild berry compote that pack a punch.
We leave the next morning after enjoying a wholesome breakfast at The Restaurant, feeling rested, re-energised and ready to visit Address Downtown again. With its handsome old bones and spectacular new marrow, the hotel has made a fantastic second impression that merits it a spot on your Dubai itinerary.
Premier Fountain View Room starts from Dhs1,470. Prices are approximate. Special thanks to Address Downtown for hosting this review. Addresshotels.com