Posted in Projects on 28 July, 2016

Located in the heart of Dubai’s International Financial Centre, Four Seasons DIFC opens its second hotel in the city. Can Faik explores whether the hotel has completed its aim to offer something different than other hotels in the area…

In my recent interview with Christopher W. Norton, Four Seasons President, Global Product and Operations, he hinted how the brand begins to select the next hot-spot hotel destination. “We have always pursued an approach to design that celebrates a destinations’ indigenous culture and local artistry,” he said. Dubai, to many, is a challenging location to design a hotel in given the vast competition. As with many extreme destinations, the concept of ‘less is more’ becomes somewhat blurred as each new hotel to open challenges its neighbours. Here, in the desert city of Dubai, exuberantly luxurious hotels have been – and are continuing to be – represented in a multitude of shells. Each hotel to open shifts the skyline panoramic of the city wider and sends guests’ checking in up higher. 

Surrounded by urban buildings and dynamic design, the ‘city-within-a-city hub’ Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a metropolitan jungle that stands with angular geometric units and offers plenty to international hotel groups thinking of moving in. It is a shining example for potential investors on why location is key. “Dubai is one of the world’s most important business capitals, with a growing global leisure market, so it’s important that we are very focused on the unique needs of each individual guest,” says General Manager Carlo Stragiotto, who arrives in Dubai most recently from the acclaimed Four Seasons Hotel Milano. The latest hotel to turn heads in the area is the new Four Seasons Hotel DIFC and it opens with an ambitious aim.  “Improvisation and flexibility – anywhere in the hotel, at any hour – will characterise a truly personalised style of service at the new Four Seasons Hotel DIFC, along with a sophisticated, international style that reflects this city and the Four Seasons brand today.” Its intention to put business travellers within steps of the region’s most important commercial destinations has led to the opening of the 106-room hotel that has been designed to be different.

New York-based designer Tihany Design met the task to reflect Dubai’s innovative charm and fast-paced lifestyle with a boutique-hotel style. “Four Seasons Hotel DIFC is nothing short of its clientele,” says Adam D. Tihany. “It is very personal. We wanted the feeling of an inclusive exclusivity, without the ‘members only’ attitude.”

From the outside, the hotel is a narrow, tall skyscraper recognisable from the iconic Four Seasons emblem. Just steps away from the main retail hubs and in the centre of DIFC, the hotel’s aim to be a sophisticated oasis where international business travellers in particular can unwind within is easily achieved given its central location. The challenge, with this being the second Four Seasons Hotel in Dubai, was to make this hotel different to any other in the energetic metropolis. “Our entry into Dubai has been extremely well received by locals and global travellers alike, and we are very pleased to be able to offer them a second Four Seasons experience in the city,” says Allen Smith, President and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Together with our partner Bright Start, we introduced Four Seasons to the Dubai market last year and raised the standard for luxury hospitality in this incredibly competitive market. We look forward to building on our reputation with our second hotel, at the epicentre of the financial district.”

As guests step inside, the ground lobby reveals itself with minimalistic interiors and a high ceiling. The upper lobby will take your breath away with a striking reflection of a large glass chandelier that hangs from the centre that comes from an oversized mirror wall. Surrounding the centrepiece, dark tones represent the majestic nature of Dubai and dark yellow furniture introduces a relaxing residential theme.

The guestrooms have been designed with modern businessmen and women in mind. They are characterised by impeccable craftsmanship with added bespoke details and high-tech efficiency. In each of the 106 rooms, a domestic style remains evident throughout and has been decorated with a soft palate to enhance the relaxed feel.

The Luna Sky Bar on the eighth floor offers breath-taking views of the city’s most iconic landmarks framed by floor-to-ceiling windows. Geometric patterns on both the walls and the ceilings add a quirky dimension and marry up with yellow and brown tones that come from both the low armchairs, similar styled sofas and the soft rugs that sit atop of a dark wooden floor.

The Luna Sky Bar is designed to evoke the symbolism of the falcon, a national emblem of luxury and bravery. The ceiling light fixtures mimic the bird’s coat while the back bar features rotating cage-like liquor displays. Strong black and gold colours dominate the space. Decadent Kenya black stonewalls frame the entry to the outdoor terrace, where the city’s most iconic buildings surround guests’ being able to enjoy.

Elsewhere, curved wall fins define the intimacy of the Churchill Club bar while rich wood millwork and antique materials create a masculine yet classic space.

On the seventh floor, the hotel also boasts a five-treatment-room spa with floor-to-ceiling windows so guests can relax overlooking the DIFC district.

In collaboration with celebrated chef Michael Mina, Firebird Diner pays tribute to the classic American eatery, delivering timeless dining experiences. The interiors are open and tables are separated into typical diner-style booths, feature monochromatic tiles and even a free-play jukebox that stands on the side that adds to the eatery ambiance.

The glass pool on the roof was a clever concept for a compact rooftop garden. Combined with sun loungers, canopies and luscious-green planetary. The space reiterates the unmatched viewing point over the DIFC and the rooftop is an open retreat away from the busy streets below.

It is the perfect hotel for city travellers. Marking the second Four Seasons property in Dubai, Four Seasons DIFC opens a residential style and presents calming tones throughout. From its lobby right up to the rooftop, the hotel uses every corner of space to contain bespoke details and quirky touches in all the right places – inducing the opportunity to relax.

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