Saturday, Jan 23, 2021
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Above The Clouds

When we think about city escapes, our natural inclination is to envision a short trip out of the metropolis that leads to a quiet, out-of-the-way locale—perhaps by the beach or in the wild expanse of the desert.

But what if we’re going about the idea of city escapes all wrong? What if, instead of getting out of the city, the best breaks involve getting above it?

That’s the sort of break you’re looking at with a stay at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, or as it’s otherwise known, the world’s tallest hotel. The twin towers of the Marriott Marquis are 17 floors taller than Dubai’s previous record-holder, the Burj Al Arab.

And while it may not be a self-proclaimed seven-star property, the Marriott Marquis is certainly one of the most well sorted five-star hotels in the world. Indeed, architecturally designed like the date palm, the two towers of the JW Marriott Marquis have become iconic in the Business Bay skyline.

Certainly, that’s the impression that you get when walking into the imposing lobby, which feels every bit worth the towers’ Dh1.8 billion building cost. From door to check-in, there’s an expansive sea of marble flooring, broken up by islands of fine carpets and the odd service desk.

At the edges of lobby, the marble continues upwards several storeys, creating a vast cavernous space made out of stunning materials. Businessmen, tourists and hotel staff bustle about—the hotel’s so large that it’s more akin to small town, and the lobby is the main square.

As should be the case in every five-star hotel (even though it often isn’t), checking in is a cinch. The staff are friendly and on their game, running through their guest interaction scripts with the grace and expertise of a Shakespearean actor.

It also appears that the staff are trained to deal with questions and problems on the spot, rather than asking to get back to you once more information is provided. The Marriott Marquis might be a great place to escape from the city, but its fast-paced attitude of getting things done lives on through the hotel’s staff.

Which is a good thing, seeing as the Business Bay area in which the hotel resides has come to epitomise that attitude—except now, the area is infinitely cooler.

Everyone always knew that the neighbourhood was up-and-coming, but its transformation from being a shoddy construction site into being as on-point as a runway model’s handbag seems to have happened overnight. Roadworks are (near-enough) finished; landscaping has begun; and most of the surrounding towers are standing tall in all their glory.

Granted, this means that, directly outside the hotel, you need to suffer the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle just as you would anywhere else. But because the twin towers are so tall, it’s easy to retreat away into a serene haven among the clouds.

For the full review check our latest issue.


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