Okku is The Monarch's modern, split-level Japanese restaurant. Okku is The Monarch's modern, split-level Japanese restaurant.

BACKGROUND: The Monarch Dubai opened on November 1 and is part of Refad Hotels & Resorts.

THE ARRIVAL: As you turn off Dubai’s main road and perform a u-turn on the service road, there is nothing obvious about Number 1, Sheikh Zayed Road that would make you think you are about to enter a luxury hotel.

However, as soon as you walk through the doors, the impressive majilis with towering palm trees and tasteful architecture leave you feeling you are in safe hospitality hands. The check in was smooth and the staff incredibly helpful and polite. I was shown to my executive suite on the 29th floor and provided with full details of the suite’s services and functions.

ACCOMMODATION: The suite was incredibly large boasting fantastic views over Sheikh Zayed Road. There was office space and a lounge that could comfortably seat six people. The bedroom boasted a flat-screen television and I particularly liked the chaise lounge situated next to the floor-to-ceiling windows. The bathroom also sported a television and a bath that provided even better views of Dubai’s main strip.

RECREATION: The Quantum Health Club has state-of-the-art gym facilities and an outdoor pool and jacuzzi.

The gym staff were enthusiastic and friendly and also offer health checks and suggest workout routines if you wish. The outdoor pool area featured comfy hammocks and although there is construction taking place to the side of the hotel, this did not cause any interruptions as the tropical foliage and wall partition pool create a sufficient barrier.

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The Mandara Spa offers a range of spa and beauty treatments. Post-treatment there is a relaxation room where you are given a heated neck collar and can drift off to sleep if you so wish. Guests are then offered a tea menu and some water before being shown to the steam room and Jacuzzi.

F&B: F&B highlights include Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse — bespoke décor, a perfectly in-keeping soundtrack and exceptional staff. The ‘Cowboy Rib-eye’ was beautifully broiled and the cheesecake for desert was big enough to feed four people. The restaurant was packed as a mixture of tourists and residents tucked in to their steaks. There’s also Okku — a split-level Japanese restaurant and bar boasting DJs, jellyfish and a good-looking crowd.

PRICES: from AED 1299 (US $354) for a Deluxe Room to AED 42,800 ($11,632) for a Monarch Suite.

SELLING IT: It’s a great base for corporate and leisure travellers visiting Dubai.

BOOKING IT: All GDS systems are linked to the LHW website and can booked on there or call +971 4 501 8800; e-mail reservations@themonarchdubai.com; or visit www.themonarchdubai.com 


Facilities and services aside, it was the staff that really made the best impression. None of the niceties were forced and you weren’t being talked to as if it was endlessly rehearsed. The hotel is relaxed and far from stuffy and if you want to eat or drink at one of the outlets and let your hair down, you can. It is testament to the design of the building that the loud areas do not impinge on the quiet one — in fact you wouldn’t know they were there. If you have a client visiting Dubai on business or one looking for refined elegance, I would thoroughly recommend The Monarch Dubai.