There were still events going on in Dubai for Arabian Travel Market ATM, the reason so many luxury hoteliers had headed to the Emirate, to try to source yet more business out of the Middle East. (These travellers like to move around with their families, requiring more hotel bedrooms, so everyone is happy.) One of the private parties during ATM is hosted by CDI recruitment specialist Philip Schade and sure enough he had gathered together such notables as Accor’s Europe recruiter Thomas Robin, whom the gal had last seen over breakfast in Paris, and GMs of the calibre of Shangri-La’s Ulf Bremer – she had missed him at his Abu Dhabi base as he had temporarily decamped to Saudi Arabia.
And then it was back to my last home in Dubai – on this trip, that is. Park Hyatt Dubai is always a relaxing dream, far from the sometimes frenetic buzz of other areas of Dubai. Federico Mantoani, the GM, says he was lured to relocate here from Abu Dhabi partly because this hotel is also by the water (he is from Venice) but also because this year they are building a sandy beach out into the adjacent creek. Already a lot of money has been spent on bringing this 13-year old beauty up to date. What was formerly a two-floor Traiteur restaurant has now been divided into two separate entities. Upstairs is 70/70, a 1970s bar, with record player and stack of vinyls, and faux-fur throws over the chairs.
You can look down, through windows, into the lower level, now a proper Brasserie, headed by chef Daniele Gialluisi – yes, another Italian, from Bari (that is him, above). It has a tiled floor, in Escher-type pattern, and marble-topped tables, and, no not Italian, but Normandie dishes, say pork belly with apples. The Brasserie opens off a piazza, which also hosts, right on the creek, a Nantucket-style seafood venue, Noepe, the old name for Martha’s Vineyard (see a video, below, of Federico Mantoani explaining some of the new concept). And all around is greenery, with beautiful sculpted lawns – and the Creek, of course.
Many who stay at this luxury hotel spend much of the day around the pool, which has lots of right-angled inlets-and-corners, and a myriad of different seating areas. By the end of this year the pool will become adult-only as by then there will be an additional beach, with a lagoon for family swimming. Yes, about 350 feet of sandy beach will be added, which means that from my really super suite 1416, with its sand-dune feel sculpted carpet, will, indeed, look out at sand. The float-plane dock, which is there at the moment, has to move along to make way for the enhancement. Never a dull moment at Mr Mantoani’s hotel! AND NOW HEAR FEDERICO MANTOANI EXPLAINING HIS NEW PIAZZA, AND THEN SEE SUITE 1416