Those familiar with Dubai’s many districts might not associate Al Mankhool with plush boutique hotels.
But the Grayton is just that in the heart of Bur Dubai, channeling much of what Dubai does well, but doing it in a way – and price – that could have rivals looking over their shoulder.
Opened during Ramadan, this latest four-star addition to the city’s hotel portfolio has just 96 guest bedrooms, offers upmarket comforts and facilities and is conveniently placed for Dubai International Airport and to older and newer parts of the city.
It’s within walking distance of Burjuman metro station, has a bus service just outside and provides a shuttle service to La Mer beach, Dubai Mall and Burjuman shopping centre.
Five room grades to choose from bear traditional influences with a modern twist, all surprisingly spacious with high ceilings, plenty of sockets and USB ports for your devices and a generous flatscreen TV facing a sumptuous bed.
Three contrasting refreshment opportunities stop guests going hungry, of which Bukhara is the shining star specialising in top-notch North Indian cuisine.
Trendy interior design accompanies traditional dishes re-imagined via a menu featuring familiar names given a fresh spin, among them chef’s special Dal Bukhara and a chicken tikka masala you’ll want to mop up completely with perfect breads from copper-clad tandoors in the show kitchen.
Paneer Makhani and creamy boneless chicken Murgh Malai kebab are equally moreish and shouldn’t be hurried – and there’s a chance to recreate them at home courtesy of Master Class cooking sessions under the auspices of amiable Ameya Deshmukh and his team.
Across from Bukhara, all-day dining outlet Citrus O2 is also the destination for breakfast, while off the ground floor lobby G&T Lounge works as a smart coffee venue in the morning and a bar in the afternoon onwards. It has a varied food menu and is non-smoking at all times.
Should you not wish to leave your room, the Grayton’s promotional room service menu features popular items at reduced prices, designed to stall a trend endured by some hotels where guests order in via the likes of Deliveroo – even though hotels discourage outside food as it hits F&B bottom lines.
“If a client insists, we have the delivery come through to our room service department, who will deliver the package to your room, along with utensils, plates etc,” says Walter. “For this, we charge a Dh20 service fee.”
Measure this against the Grayton’s in-room menu of dishes, such as burgers, curries and pizza at just Dh30, and takeaways no longer make economic sense.
What you’ve saved you can spend on pampering in the Tamara SPA, a new to Dubai brand offering massages, facials and foot rubs for both male and female guests.
Featuring home blended treatments and applications at competitive prices, Tamara SPA is located alongside a 24-hour gym and stairs to a rooftop pool.
Dark wood decking and loungers surround a dedicated kids pool and a larger one for adults in a pleasant setting flanked by a living wall.
All in all you’re getting quite a lot for your dirham at the Grayton, especially when compared to other hotels occupying the boutique bracket, which makes this ideal for an “Old Dubai” staycation or for hosting relatives when home space is under pressure.
Walter confirms the Grayton is “completely different” to other hotels in their location.
“We have had a great response…most can’t believe that a product of our caliber is in Bur Dubai. I believe Bur Dubai needs products of our nature, to accommodate markets looking for quality in ‘old town’.
“As a boutique hotel, our focus is not on attracting the masses and, as such, we don’t appeal to all. Our market is ‘niche’.”
INFO: Find the Grayton Hotel at 12A Street, Al Mankhool, Bur Dubai and via www.graytohotel.com. Classic king room prices start from Dh225 for one night (based on 23rd October check-in). BOOK in via reservations 04 401 0000.