There are two interesting guys in the image, above, taken on the first floor outside terrace of 25hours at One Circle, Dubai. The one on the left – obviously transmogrified – is controversial Bavarian actor Helmut Fischer, star of the still-trending 1982 German television series Monaco Franze. On the right is a non-controversial Dane, Mads Wolff, a long-time chef who ‘did’ the various circuits of top Asian hotels and who is now GM of this, 25hours’ first Middle East property.
It’s unique in this lifestyle Ennismore brand in that it has 434 bedrooms and, as well as all those who sleep over, it seems to be regular daytime haunt of a multitude of locals who use it as their work office. Every day you see dozens, if not more, sitting at communal tables dotted round the spacious public areas or lounging on beanbags in a corner somewhere. They WFH for free, adding to the community that is a pillar of the property.
There’s always so much going on. A pop-up meeting of drinks suppliers has taken over one of the hotel’s three courtyards this week. There could be a display of sneakers. This is a happening place, a marsupial to the giant One Central office space, and less than ten minutes’ walk to The Museum of the Future and Emirates Towers.
But you can stay onsite for entertainment. The massive Cinema Akil, one of Dubai’s most popular, is part of the structure. A two-floor wall in the hotel lobby is a giant bookcase, holding a mix-match of heritage radios and computers – the overall design theme is Analogue through to Digital. If literature’s your thing, there is no shortage of words. Mads Wolff reckons there are at least 10,000 books around the hotel. All the bedrooms have books, and hammocks. It’s this kind of place. Some, artist studio themed, have supplies of brushes and canvasses on easels – one has wall graffiti by a previous guest. The corridor on that floor has historic postmen’s satchels and ladies’ hand mirrors on its walls.
Indian fusion or brewhouse for lunch, asked the GM. Ernst Biergarten it had to be, if only to be served by a mature Swede in lederhosen (the space has a boutique selling lederhosen and dirndls). A Biergarten sausage tasting produced mini bites of various veal sausages, with mustard and horseradish and pretzels. As Girlahead sausaged in the sun, eHrr Fischer looked on, unemotionally. No controversy there.
Every floor of rooms has delivery bicycles with stacks of books. Swop one, or take one and give us one in exchange another time.