Think 3-star hotel, think basic: a place to lay your head down for the night.
Well, think again.
Newly open in the neighbourhood of Al-Seef on the South bank of Dubai Creek, Zabeel House MINI, Jumeirah seeks to redefine the 3-star hotel experience with its chic design, comfortable lodging and experiences that can rival even more expensive hotels.
Located close to the charming, historic Dubai Creek, the Al Seef district is the brainchild of Meraas, creators of family, couple and tourist-friendly neighbourhoods across the city, such as Kite Beach, City Walk and BoxPark. That means lots of shops, cafes and pop-ups on the doorstep, blending into the city’s past.
Hop in a taxi at Dubai International Airport and be checking-in 15 minutes later – leaving plenty of time to explore.
Guests who wish to do so can opt for self check-in, or ask for help from the staffed front desk. While there are no valets or bellboys, there is an underground car park directly beneath the hotel, as well as a large artwork on the ceiling of the lobby spelling out ‘You are welcome’ in Arabic.
Instead of the dark, hushed tones of some hotel lobbies, Zabeel House is designed with cheerfulness in mind. Like the rest of the hotel, it is quirky, stylish and made for Instagram, with a different story to discover in every corner. Furniture and airy partitions replace walls to delineate spaces that are washed with light.
When you’re ready to head out, look for bikes at the entrance and take one for a ride around the neighbourhood – for free. Al Fahidi and the Textile Souk – two of Dubai’s historic attractions – are only a short trip away. The nearby Burjuman Metro station means it is an easy ride to other attractions around the city. Alternatively, take an abra across the creek to the Gold Souk. You can also loan instant cameras and return the resulting snaps to a staff member – it might just make the ever-growing display at the lobby.
For a perfect perk-you-up before heading out, catch the roaming barista serving a special Ethiopian Boon coffee blend.
The young and young at heart will love the menagerie of arty animals around the hotel. Giraffes remind guests to look at the world from a different perspective, flamingoes to relax in style, and the monkey climbing around the swings that hang from the lobby ceiling are there to encourage guests to embrace their inner child and enjoy the hotel as they wish.
After a long day out exploring, retire to one of the hotel’s 150 Pocket Rooms, decked out in soothing white linens and interspersed with bright splashes of fun colours. Every inch of the 23-square meter space has been engineered to ensure a light, roomy experience, reminiscent of a hip city apartment.
The pop-art map of Dubai on the ceiling is perfect for planning your adventures as you lay in bed, while the the ‘suite-pad’ iPad that controls the flatscreen TV and provides an A-Z of Dubai’s attractions. There is a bright red SMEG mini fridge and Nespresso machine in every room.
An open rail instead of bulky wardrobes, a full length mirror on the back of the sliding bathroom door – everything is space saving and makes the room appear much larger. The towel rail is made from a faceplate of a 1970s amplifier, while the light is held up by a fish hook and hemp rope.
When it comes to food, dining options aplenty. Restaurants C.U offers a mix of Pan Asian and Middle Eastern dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Across the lobby, MishMash offers elevated street food from around the world, and for those who want to get out and explore the neighbourhood, there’s a Grab-N-Go for picking up a perfectly packaged meal.
Relax at the Courtyard, a vast outdoor space where you can lounge with a laptop, coffee or book. The plunge pool is up on the roof with a sunbathing area, bean bags and hanging chairs. There is also a small gym that is open 24-hours a day.
Zabeel House MINI by Jumeirah is the first hotel to open in the Zabeel House by Jumeirah collection. Labelled ‘upscale casual’, the hotel features sharp design and smart service, and are informal in approach with a moderate price point.
Book by 14 June for stays until the end of September at a special rate of AED 280.