Some hotels simply cry out to be splashed all over Instagram. Edgy newcomer Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens is a prime example.
Words by David Dunn
Every shelf, corner or wall seems to present something that demands you point a smartphone in its direction, from quirky furniture and slick fittings to the countless messages and phrases that appear on everything from crockery to shower panels.
While that could seem gimmicky in the wrong hands, the quality and clear extent of thought that has fed the curating behind the myriad details make for a very cool concept indeed.
Besides all the social media snap bait, Zabeel House presents a distinctive and almost daring, rewarding style that mixes casual luxury, urban chic and modern comforts with ease. The effect is a refreshing experience that has Zabeel House standing out from many contemporaries.
This latest hotel from Jumeirah’s emerging mid-market brand, following success at Al Seef, beside Dubai Creek, appeals to both the value conscious and millennials with an eye for detail. But the concept can easily touch anyone who seeks something other than marble floor-driven sumptuousness in a template that could readily adapt to any city.
The Greens hotel provides the area with its first district-dedicated place for housing family visits that exceed apartment space – and residents with a great staycation/weekend battery recharge address.
In contemporary pan Asian restaurant Lah Lah (pictured below), the adjacent community – and the rest of Dubai – has a cool new bar and eatery that serves great food in a street-style setting. The menu takes its cue from across Southeast Asia’s cuisines and delivers in an unfussy format that suits the urban design of the surrounds.
This includes a generous outdoor seating area flanking a good family-friendly pool area. Here you’ll find a wide range of sunbathing options, from old school deckchairs and hammock seats to wooden cabanas and funky coloured loungers.
Lah Lah also services this area with refreshments, but the full menu really should be checked out. Our highlights included spectacular “signature feed” spicy tuna cucumber and crispy shrimp wontons with an addictive ‘secret’ sauce, mouth-watering Malaysian-style sweet and sour fish and “best-seller” Thai chilli and cashew nut chicken.
The restaurant occupies part of an expansive fourth-floor ‘rooftop’ area which includes an al fresco screen with seating for sports screening and a short sprint track attached to surely one of the largest hotel gyms around. Alongside the latest art exercise equipment, interior designers have again been at work on the decor, including rocking chairs demanding their own Instagram moment.
A corridor dotted with quirky artwork leads to a compact, but bright kids play area.
Head higher and a mix of room grades are served by corridors that again defy basic functionality; from a Scrabble-inspired room number guide outside cool black, wood panelled lifts to individual wall plant displays and recessed lighting, this space is another visual treat that nicely tees up guest rooms.
In our Popular Room, a largely black and white palate was softened by a plush padded bed headrest, natty rug and trendy seating – all watched over by a shiny pink ceramic monkey.
Black accessories – kettle, cups, safe, Smeg minibar – sit beside an open wardrobe, opposite a bathroom lent New York minimalism courtesy of white brick tiles contrasted by black fittings, including rain shower controls.
This fun and funky styling is hinted at on entering the ground floor lobby. A collection of curiosities that includes old telephones and papier-mache Dachshunds.
To one side, Social Company (main image) continues the theme with walls of plants edging an urban dining space. Presented as a ‘neighbourhood gathering spot’, this is also where breakfast happens, bolstered by an admirable and consistent anti-plastic water bottle policy and cereal bowls embossed with the message “make today amazing”.
After a night spent at these brilliant on-trend Dubai digs, it’s hard not to fulfil such expectation.
Dubai Week stayed as a guest of the hotel.
Need to know: Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens is at The Onyx Tower 3, Sheikh Zayed Road. A one-night stay for two people in a Popular Room, costs from AED 300 (excl taxes, fees, breakfast, price correct when writing). For reservations, call 04 519 1111 or visit www.zabeelhouse.com