Jumeirah Emirates Towers has always, since its opening in 1999, appealed to the high-pressure commercial world. It is attached to Emirates Towers and all the businesses therein, it is across the road from Dubai IFC International Finance Centre, and it is handy for the World Trade Center. It knows the more senior CEOs prefer quiet breakfasts, in the 42nd floor club lounge, rather than the comparative activity in the re-done, and well-thought-out Mundo restaurant, down on the ground floor. This is a luxury hotel that knows that some female guests like extra privacy, says the gal, so it has a Chopard-themed women-only floor.
I have stayed in a Chopard-floor room and, honestly, I do not need that extra security, especially in UAE where security is taken for granted: every hotel has literally hundreds of CCTV cameras positioned around public areas, and monitored 24/7, and the number of cameras here, in what is a 51-floor building, must be huge. The triangular-shaped building has one glass facet, and the 400 rooms are set therefore, in what is the V formed by the other two facets. Rooms in the apex of the V, those in the -01 series, are especially memorable as the bedroom is in that apex, with a triangular lounging cushion in the point. The bathroom leads off to one side, and this visit I detected a sense of humour coming into play. Look at my bath toys, in the photo to the right.
The GM here, Sven Wiedenhaupt, is an admirable German who personally leads complimentary spinning classes three times a week, six a.m, for an hour. Find your way through to the Talise gym, five minutes’ walk through the mixed-use tower behind the hotel, and you are in a really first-class gym. I did not, fortunately or unfortunately, coincide with Sven Wiedenhaupt teaching a lesson but he does not let up on the other days – he too was working out, shortly after the gym opened, at 5.30 a.m. After that, his typical breakfast is three boiled eggs, all the better to come up with creative ideas. Now that he oversees the hotel’s Rib Room restaurant, he seems to be churning out inspiration faster than ever.
Oh the Rib Room. I love the original one, in a sibling luxury hotel, Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London. I love this one, too, with its simple A3 menu, its named Laguiole steak knives. Sven Wiedenhaupt is putting in enhanced lightning, and bringing in a pianist. After I had breakfast with him, he showed me how he and some of his team have repainted grey corridors, behind scenes and out of the public eye, in icecream colours, with gold stair banisters. And then I had yet another meeting myself, to hear from the Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council, Gerald Lawless, about WTTC, and then it was time to move on. SEE MY ROOM, BELOW