Frequent readers of P&P might remember my trip to Macau in China, which is a blend of Las Vegas meets China meets Portugal. If you want an equally eclectic experience, I suggest you take a look at Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk which blends French with Egyptian and Middle Eastern styles. The hotel opened just recently, so how is the experience?
Convenient location, French touch
Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk is located near Raffles and the Wafi mall, close to Dubai airport. It’s just a short ride from the terminal which makes it a perfect location for a layover or business. The high rise skyscraper has the shape of an ancient Obelisk – hence the name – and opened in October 2020 so everything is in very good condition. It’s a weird mix of styles because they clearly celebrate the French heritage, with the property featuring a Egyptian resemblance. Upon entering the impressive lobby you are surrounded by a wild mix of styles, resembling the entrance of an Egyptian temple with friendly associates greeting “bonjour”. The massive golden falcon statue above the front-desk reinforces the whole understatement 😉
The check-in is swift and smooth, contactless and done through tablets. The team was welcoming and professional. You can even print wirelessly from your phone when connected to the hotel WiFi which is convenient for business or having to print your mandatory PCR certificate these days.
Room with a view
The 498 hotel rooms and suites are located from the 19th floor and above, topped by an executive lounge on the 51st floor. The size of my standard room was spacious and the views torwards Sheikh Zayed road and the Dubai creek were ‘magnifique’. Connected to the double room, which features a Nespresso machine, wardrobe and a TV with Chromecast, is a superb bathroom with a rainhead shower, bathtub and nice Lanvin amenities. The only letdown was both the shower pressure and constantly jumping temperature during showering. The rooms’ curtains and lights are controlled by modern touch panels and the A/C was efficient. Complimentary still water is provided in Voss-styled reusable bottles. Plenty of storage options are at your disposal which is a great plus as I like uncluttered rooms.
Unwind at the pool or the Spa
A wonderful feature is the pool deck located on the 4th floor. Plenty of sunbeds and a dozen cabanas allow you to unwind and enjoy the evening by the pool after a busy day. The service was friendly and caring and the menu offers a nice selection of food & drinks. I was enjoying a massage at the L’Occitane Spa in the evening which I can highly recommend.
After hanging out by the pool you can always visit Wafi mall which is directly connected to the hotel and offers a small selection of stores, cafes, dining options and a (of course) Carrefour supermarket.
Heaven for foodies
Contrary to many other of my trips I had the chance to experience most of the hotel’s own food offerings on my business trip. The breakfast was amazing, served in a very nice french styled, airy and modern setting. The buffet and a la carte options were ‘superb’ and well in line with the high quality Dubai food standard. I specifically enjoyed the chia-coconut pudding and (obviously) the authentic French croissants. In the evening, a dinner at Brasserie Boulud, a French modern concept by Michelin-Star chef Daniel Boulud, is not to be missed. I really enjoyed the sunset vibe and caring team there. On my last evening I had a casual dinner at “Nine” on the lobby floor, which is a high-end sportsbar. I chose some nibbles to dip&mix and they were delicious. Full five stars for food at the Sofitel.
Passport & Palmtree conclusion
I’m not staying with Accor often, but the Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk makes me rethink. It’s a more than perfect hotel for business travel or a layover and a great addition to the dynamic Dubai hotel landscape. For exploring the city or a family stay I’d probably recommend a more convenient location. The wild mix of styles at “The Obelisk” is somewhat unique and fun if you engage in it. The professional and caring team clearly contributes to the overall positive feeling.