Dukes in Dubai
The number 15 bus to Tower Hill looks at me, framed and gilded. The Union Jack waves and the telephone kiosk makes the call to my homeland. Positioned side by side these prints portray the Britishness of my hotel room in Dubai.
Fashionably located off the trunk of the Palm Jumeriah, British hospitality awaits with aromas of traditional fare, and hops from various brews. Add tiled flooring, portraits of English Aristocracy in privileged positions looking out to an understated lobby dotted with chesterfield sofas, bookcases and a Swarovski chandelier – welcome to Dukes Hotel Dubai, the first outside London.
Dukes Dubai offers its guests double benefits. There’s the hub of the trendy Palm and a cosmopolitan island community. There’s also a private beach bragging panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai marina and an infinity pool complete with a lazy river ideal for a spot of floating for both children and adults
At the heart of the hotel is the Great British Restaurant, a brasserie with live cooking stations serving fish ‘n chips and classic dishes. Cossetted one floor up, from a discreet staircase and behind fringed curtains is Dukes Bar. It’s cosy and dimly lit and decked out in black marble and mahogany resulting in the appropriate ambience for its renowned martinis served, according to tradition, from the drinks trolley. As a salute to its London Bar, legend has it that it inspired Ian Fleming’s concoctions of James Bond’s signature martini.
Traditions live on, even in Dubai, with a dedicated Cigar and Whisky Lounge which feels more like a private members club partnering fine malts and bourbons with decadent
cigars on the 3rd floor.
The original Dukes Hotel in St James’ London is just five minutes from Buckingham Palace. The hotel dates back to the 16th century when King Henry V111 built his palace and has been the exclusive retreat of writers, musicians, politicians and royalty. The Dukes London carries a wealth of history and reputation abroad. And with its first property overseas in Dubai, it represents royal connections and commands a presence in a place crowded with opulence and luxury.
British hospitality has been brought to what was once desert and sea, to reclaimed land in the form of Dukes Dubai. It’s a reminder of home with its images of red double-decker buses and aristocrats, martinis and cigars. And there is of course Dukesy, the dashound, the hotel’s mascot sitting on the mantlepiece awaiting curious guests.
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