An architectural treasure, Sofitel The Obelisk is the ideal sojourn for history buffs and design lovers. This new, perfectly-situated hotel boasts 595-rooms, stands magnificently in the vibrant old district of Dubai, and is within a stone’s throw away from Dubai International Airport. An iconic new landmark in a city rich with modern design wonders, this mighty Obelisk shaped tower, topped with a gold pyramidion, compliments the Egyptian pyramid design of Raffles Dubai next door.
The decor combines modern French art de vivre and ancient Egyptian heritage. As I stepped inside the lobby, it was like walking through the doors of a grand Pylon—the colossal getaway of an Egyptian temple. I couldn’t help but marvel at the attention to detail along with the large scale structures. There is a mighty gold falcon sculpture that stands at 9-meter-wide and 4-meter-tall above the check-in counter. The national bird of the UAE, it is a nod to the rich bedouin culture of the UAE.
The rest of the lobby decor welcomes you like the Valley of the Kings and Queens in Luxor, with large pillars covered in hieroglyphic and pictorial carvings, delicately painted ceilings adorned in Egyptian design, and magnificent sculptures that all pay homage to Ancient Egypt, and transport you back into a time capsule of a civilization long gone.
Another standout feature are the two stained leaded glass chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, inspired by French Tiffany Lamps in the shape of the Nile lotus flower that have been handcrafted in Egypt.
The lobby is inviting without being too stuffy and if you are a lover of design then expect to be immersed in history without feeling overwhelmed. The plush seating and fast internet will make you want to pull out your laptop and settle here for the rest of the day.
After check-in, I went straight to my room and was greeted by the floor-to-ceiling windows that offered plenty of natural light and panoramic views of the stunning Dubai skyline in the distance. The large room is striking with a cozy lounge space, formal work corner, and most importantly, a comfortable bed. Decorated in muted colors, the style is complemented by Art Deco lines and contrasting materials and swirl patterned floors in the room that are representative of the Arabian desert—it absolutely exudes warmth. The modern marble-clad bathroom is just as tranquil and comes with high-end toiletries, a rain shower, and an inviting bathtub.
My stay began with an invitation to Le Goȗter (French Afternoon tea) at Bijou patisserie. Perfectly executed, the food was served inside a beautifully constructed box that came with its own key that I had to unlock. Inside were the most delightful and delicate sweet and savory bites. An absolute treat that included everything from quiche Lorraine to lemon tarts, it was accompanied with artisanal tea and specialty coffee.
In order to soak in the afternoon winter sun, I then headed over to the Soleil Pool & Lounge. The stylish outdoor pool is in the shape of an Egyptian ‘key of life’, and the decor is inspired by Mediterranean waters and the French Riviera. Guests can pick from daybeds or a choice of private cabanas, two featuring their own Jacuzzi. Located on the fourth floor, it is a peaceful retreat from the hectic city life below.
Once the sun went down, I headed over for the much-anticipated spa treatment. The wellness section of the hotel has a modern urban style, with clean lines and neutral colors. Sofitel spa is a calm oasis that offers treatments in collaboration with the renowned French brand, L’Occitane. Giving guests a taste of that quintessential Provencal retreat, the spa includes eight treatment rooms, including a couple’s room, female and male relaxation rooms, Hammam facilities and Sofitel fitness offering state-of-the-art gym equipment and a studio. I was treated to a 50-minute deep tissue massage that left me in a complete state of bliss and absolute relaxation.
I planned dinner at Taiko, a popular restaurant from Amsterdam with its first outpost in Dubai. This contemporary Asian restaurant offers a unique culinary experience with playful dishes made with quality local produce and with a touch of Middle Eastern ingredients like Persian saffron, black lime from Oman and fresh local Pistachios. From the wasabi melon to the Peking duck gyoza, the food was simply outstanding.
The following morning, breakfast was another wholesome affair and served in a greenhouse-inspired space filled with sunlight and beautiful foliage. The perfect way to start a new day, there is a variety of healthy smoothies, juices and mains to pick from. Hands down they definitely serve the best French toast in town.
In my short 24 hours stay I didn’t have the chance to check out the other famed eateries but plan to return soon to try them out. These include the popular Brasserie Boulud, a French modern concept by Michelin-Star chef Daniel Boulud. The diverse dining options are another added bonus, as depending on your mood and budget you can pick a place. Apart from the quality dishes, each of these restaurants is also styled to fit the theme and transport you to the different corners of the world they represent.
The friendly service means that late checkouts are permitted and access to the pool is also allowed for the rest of the day. We can leave at our own leisure without the usual 12 pm deadline.
A stay here will leave you feeling inspired and refreshed. Located next to the luxury Wafi mall, and just a few minutes away by car, from Dubai’s contemporary art institution, Jameel Art Centre, it really is a great option for a short stay.
Sofitel The Obelisk is the epitome of comfort and luxury. The property stands out not only in its unique design aesthetic, but also its hospitality. The perfect destination for residents, tourists, business travelers, and creatives—oozing style and glamour all in one.
For more information on Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, click here!
Words: Saira Malik
Images: Courtesy of Sofitel the Obelisk