Business Tripping: A review of Al Manzil Hotel
As a city that continues to receive a growing number of business travellers every year, it stands to reason that there are an abundance of very high quality business hotels in Dubai. As a resident here, the appeal of these hotels is obviously somewhat diminished for me; Whilst I am keen to check out the leisure offerings that offer me an escape within my home city, I have no need for business services and executive facilities, no matter how high the standard.
Last month however, I was offered a stay at Al Manzil Hotel, which was made even more appealing by the fact that I had some very early morning meetings in the vicinity, some distance from where I live. Despite the clear drawback of having to work, I enjoyed the stay and was impressed with the hotel, and therefore thought I’d share my review with others who might be looking for a good business hotel in the heart of Downtown Dubai.
As with Vida Downtown Dubai, Al Manzil’s location is one of its key draw cards. It sits directly opposite Souk Al Bahar and Dubai Mall and is adjoined to Souk Al Manzil, allowing guests plenty of opportunities to visit the regions/worlds largest leisure and retail destination in only a few steps.
The pool looks incredibly inviting (although being the conscientious professional that I am, I didn’t get time for a swim), and the area is equally appealing at night, when it turns into a chilled-out bar. The hotel is also equipped with a small gym, although there are not many places better to go for a run than along Emaar Boulevard. (I was training for a half marathon so took a slightly longer loop, along Emaar Boulevard, across Sheikh Zayed Road through Dubai Mall metro station, down Jumeirah Beach Road to Jumeirah Beach Park, around Safa Park and back along SZR again – I’m exhausted just remembering!)
The room was definitely unique, with a bathtub surrounded by glass located in the centre of the room, and with only separate private cubicles for the toilet and the shower. The layout worked well, and the TV was mounted onto a unit at the foot of the bed, enabling it to swivel 360 degrees, and rendering it visible from the tub!
The quality of the food and beverage offerings meant that I felt no urge to leave the hotel. On the night that I stayed, the fortnightly quiz night was running in the hotel’s renowned sports bar, Nezesaussi Grill, pulling in a crowd of residents from the local area. Other outlets that I visited included Mokorama for a delicious and beautifully presented pot of green tea, and The Conservatory for breakfast, which we chose to take outside in the pretty little Courtyard (also a popular place for shisha in the evenings). My favourite venue has to be The Courtyard though, which although I didn’t get a chance to visit on this occasion, is normally a breakfast highlight of mine in that part of town.
Whilst I’m not planning to start business hotel hopping on a regular basis within Dubai, just to save myself an extra 30 minutes of travel time, I have to say that it was so nice to be fully prepared and in the right part of town for an early morning meeting, and getting out for a night mid-week made a refreshing change, so I could well be talked into a couple more in the future – never say never!