W DUBAI, AL HABTOOR CITY, DUBAI
W Dubai Al Habtoor City marks the brand’s debut in the Emirates, and boy have they set off with a bang. W Dubai is a vibrant, colourful and playful hotel with provocative and quirky design. Tonje Odegard from SPACE explores the intriguing interiors…
Part of the ambitious Al Habtoor City project, the Emirate’s first fully-integrated urban resort, W Dubai rises 33 storeys above the vibrant Sheik Zayed Road, overlooking the newly built Dubai Water Canal. The development project also features the St. Regis Dubai, which opened November 2015, and the Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City.
Housing 356 guestrooms and suites, the hotel was designed by Singapore-based design studio Silverfox Studios and the in-house W design team. Inspired by the city’s connectivity and gateway location, the design is bold and futuristic. Showcasing the vibrancy and energy of Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road, the interior’s linear patterns reflect the city’s social rhythm and constant flux.
30 floors up the tower, at the rooftop W Lounge, the brand’s reinterpretation of the staid hotel lobby, guests are met with a jaw-dropping panoramic view of the shimmering city, especially breathtaking during night time. It has got nothing on the interiors of the entrance though, which is an explosive burst of colour. Resembling a glossy dance-floor, the overwhelming entrance area is alive with inter-changing colours of purple and blue. The huge signature W-statue in white is also placed here.
The lounge has a dramatic and eye-catching art installation in the ceiling, hovering over the bar. The huge, dark and glossy piece has curved edges – shapes that are revisited in the guestrooms. The relatively dark room is lit up by an illuminated bar desk and a glimmering embossed wall.
Another striking feature in the lounge is the giant triangular-shaped chaise-longue in sky blue, filled with plush cushions in black and gold. Set against a disco-coloured carpet and a diamond shaped-patterned wall in different shades of wood, the room is completed with enormous shards of Moroccan wall separators.
The pulsating signature WET pool deck ignites the buzzing heart of Dubai’s social scene. Boldly landscaped, the WET pool deck transforms from a glamorous place to lounge by day, with outdoor pools and private cabanas, to an evening hotspot after dark.
Custom furnishings double as abstract art and a bright, vivid colour palette is set against the sleek lines of each minimalist guestroom, highlighted with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame views of the city and the ocean. The rooms carry the same theme throughout with its curved, ultra-modern shapes.
The design team has been clever in their use of light and portrayal of lighting. Using the curved shapes in the ceiling and on the walls, the lights are hidden underneath layers of plasterboard, creating a captivating effect giving associations to spaceships.
Shimmering disco colours with a strong presence of cerise pink and bright blue, run as a theme for the soft furnishing in the bedrooms, with exciting prints on pillows, art and furniture. This works when the furniture is white and mellow in base. The clever use of mirrors in the guestroom bathrooms also creates a fascinating angular effect that helps reflect the colourful art on the walls.
The Extreme Wow Suite, the brand’s take on a Presidential Suite, spans an impressive 690 square metres and occupies both the 27th and 28th floor, offering outstanding panoramic views of Dubai’s stunning skyline. Including a spacious lounge area, bar, DJ booth, dance floor, catwalk ramp, pool table and kitchenette.
The Sensational Suite, covering 449 square metres is set on ‘only’ one floor, but is anchored by a bar with an adjoining majlis-style lounge, also complete with a DJ booth, dance stage, bar and kitchenette.
The Fantastic Suites are characterised by their circular beds. One carries the shades of gold and taupe brown, contrasted by bright bed linen and metallic details. The eye-catching bright-orange desk and cabinet brings it all together.
Bathed in the glow from the dramatic desert sunset over the Arabian Gulf with views to match, destination restaurant Namu, located above the W Lounge, offers an original fusion of Japanese and Korean flavours. The setting is futuristic with asymmetrical furniture.
Level Seven serves Mediterranean cuisine from a theatrical open kitchen and features a chef’s table and crudo bar. The area is adorned with a natural Mediterranean-inspired décor of wood, steel and vintage art. A centrepiece chandelier, almost functioning as an art installation, made out of steel pots and pans with reflective lights, immediately grabs your attention. Rows and rows of vintage light bulbs inside large, curved glass jars help brighten up the place.
The gigantic oval-shaped Great Room, boasting a stunning 725 square metres, have walls and a ceiling that converge in an absorbing spiral effect, illuminated in gold. The screen, where high-definition imagery and videos can be streamed, makes the space truly impressive.
Born from the bold attitude and 24/7 culture of New York City, W Hotels have been putting their intriguing mark on properties around the world for over two decades. In line to have around 75 hotels in their portfolio by 2020, W Dubai – Al Habtoor City surely stands out, and for all the right reasons.
The interiors at this hotel make it a destination on its own, with elements constantly grabbing your attention and pleasing the senses. A fun, interesting and top-quality hotel, W Dubai – Al Habtoor City is a real treasure.