With a name that commands attention, The Four Seasons group of hotels is known to have the most recognisable and respected luxury properties across the world. I often sit down to type out these posts, and I sometimes feel like I can’t do the Hotel justice when I put it to screen. But here we are and I ‘m hopeful that I am able to transform my over-the-top city experience into a relatable hotel review.
On a previous trip, we stayed at the Four Seasons Jumeirah (review here) which blends Arabic design with cool, contemporary style – creating an atmosphere of light, sophisticated luxury. We traveled with our kids so we wanted a chic and relaxing beach resort.
Our needs for a hotel were rather specific on our last trip to Dubai; we wanted something that was city-based with quick access into and out of most attractions.
The DIFC community is a dynamic destination in itself, featuring some of the city’s most high-profile restaurants, and we wanted to try as many as we were able to during our time there.
The experience of staying at Four Seasons Hotel DIFC is almost like being in a luxury boutique-style hotel. At first glance, the hotel presents itself as a modern and contemporary business hotel, located amidst a plethora of skyscrapers and highways, but after a week long stay at the Hotel, the staff created the ambiance of living in a private home, rather than just another hotel occupant. Everyone knows and greets you by name; and at the end of your stay, they are genuinely disappointed to see you leave.
Even though the hotel has a sophisticated vibe and never feels crowded, it is definitely lively. There are 2 entrances for Hotel guests or visitors, making the hotel accessible from the DIFC and roadside. The roadside entrance is mostly the taxi drop-off and pick-up and the main reception area when you check in. The decor is simple and neat.
The hotel is located in one of the most prestigious business locations in Dubai; the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) with its deliberately business-like scene. The area is more popular for its high volume of skyscrapers and nightlife with considerably good dining highlights located in the DIFC.
Getting to the Hotel from the airport:
The airport is a 20 minute drive away. You may request a transfer arranged with the hotel (at an additional cost), take a taxi or utilise the Emirates Chauffeur service if this is applicable to the class that you are traveling on.
We had a late check-in when we arrived from Paris. The procedure was quick and efficient and we were upgraded to one of their Studio Suites (a 64 m2 open-concept room). The design of the room articulates its opulence primarily through the hand-tufted carpeting and a custom metal mashrabiya that frames the windows. The Suite was luxurious, and adventurous; with only a glass wall separating the bathroom from the bedroom.
Although I expected a high-design room, the interiors have definitely shown off with some style; offering a satisfying sense of being transported out of the ordinary. It’s sleek, modern and definitely upscale.
What did we think about the Suite:
The first thing that we noticed as we walked in was the massive wall to wall glass window overlooking Zabeel Park. It almost lengthened the room and created extra height making the space feel larger than what it already was. Large windows allow abundant natural light into the room, while blackout curtains mean a later wake-up time, or some rest if you plan on sleeping in. There are bedside controls for lighting and motorized drapery. The space is divided into two ‘sections’ by a workstation; the lounge and seating area and the bathroom and bedroom area. There is no separation between the two making it one large space.
I always appreciate personalised correspondence left for me in my room. This has become a standard offering at all Four Seasons Hotels (it appears).
The tea and granola bar was placed in our room before we arrived. It was quite tasty, and a bite just enough to enjoy whilst unpacking.
Thecake was a very thoughtful and generous gesture. It was Mohameds birthday the next day, and this awaited us when we checked in to our Suite.
Our table set up for us after we returned from dinner; a bottle of complimentary sparkling grape juice (our details are noted and remembered on the system of not consuming alcohol)
The bathroom is spacious (expected!), with a glass that soon frosts up if you require it to for added privacy. Amenities include bath products by Roja Dove (considerably good sized products which are replenished daily), a hairdryer, a (large) glass-enclosed shower, a stand-alone bath tub and a lighted make-up and shaving mirror. There is ample space for all of your own toiletries and a large (overuse of the word large in this post) full length mirror as you step out of the bathroom. Everything about the bathroom is seductive and luxurious and the design seems to move seamlessly into the bedroom. There are ample towels placed in the bathroom and robes are for your usage during your stay.
I honestly don’t believe there is a bed in all the world that comes close to a Four Seasons bed! The quality of the sheets, bed size, firmness of mattress and size and feel of pillow is perfect (there aren’t many words to describe it!). In fact, I could barely get out of bed! I came across a few interesting points after my stay:
The Four Seasons Foot fold: Housekeepers tuck each flat top sheet with an 8-inch pocket along the bottom so guests can easily move their feet.
The mattress is custom designed with exclusive temperature regulation technology and three unique topper options—Signature, Signature Plush or Signature Firm. These beds will slowly make their way into each Four Seasons hotel over the next few years.
Sheets are said to be 300-thread-count Dobby Sateen cotton sheets. Each bed has a plush duvet and four pillows (a choice of feather or non-allergenic). You may select your preference from the pillow menu and simply request it from the Four Seasons App (or by calling Front Desk).
The only notable negative was the distance of the tv to the bed (if you plan on watching tv durimg your stay – we didn’t put it on once). You would need to sit on the sofas instead.
The work station location in the space dividing the two areas of the room had all necessary plug points, telephone and writing equipment that one would require during their stay. Wifi is complimentary, simply ask the receptionist to advise you on how to connect. My husband appreciates the addition of a workstation in a room and this was large and kitted out with enough points to charge all necessary devices. This is definitely more appreciated if you are staying as a business traveler. The Hotel also offers the following to Business travelers:
- Airline reservation service
- International newspapers
- Secretarial service
- Translation and interpretation service
- Wired or wireless Internet access (complimentary standard Internet connection)
Tea and coffee making facilities are neatly placed in cupboards in the center of the room. There is a large closest for storage of luggage.
Dining within the Hotel:
We were invited to experience the Afternoon Tea at Penrose Lounge. Afternoon Tea is serve between 3pm until 6pm and is priced at AED 160 per person. The Lounge offers an elegant and unusual afternoon teas.
More than a typical afternoon tea, Penrose presents a unique four-tiered, bespoke-design tea stand replete with every craving imaginable.
The Savoury selection includes Mini Smoked Salmon Bagels, Boston Lobster Roll, Foie Gras Mousse (ask them to replace it with something else), Truffle Egg and Beef Besaola Muffins. The Scones were the highlight of the afternoon tea; they arrived hot – Walnut Orange Scones and Cheddar Cheese Scones with Devonshire Clotted Cream, House Made Jams and Orange Butter. The Sweet items were placed on a large stand; Assorted Macarons, Raspberry Fiancier, Royal Opera Tarte, Chocolate Marqais and Strawberry and Cream Verrine.
We requested 2 tiers between the 5 of us and we were still left with extra tarts to take home. Portions sizes are generous. The seating is on couches and chairs. You may choose to sit alongside the windows at a table instead of the couches (it’s more comfortable to do so). There is also an outdoor terrace with views of the Burj Khalifa.
You may request to experience breakfast in your room, or go down to the Firebird for breakfast.
The Firebird Diner is designed to mimic a classic American eatery. Seating includes plush booths, or counters where guests may enjoy American diner favourites. Although the concept is great, and the food is superb, the dining experience wasn’t what I was expecting from a Business-style hotel. I appreciate a breakfast buffet with soft music in the background creating an ambience, but instead we felt like we were at an American eatery and nothing as special as what a traditional Four Seasons breakfast is like.
We actually didn’t bother to dine there after and ordered room service instead (the food comes up from the Firebird). It just felt nicer eating it in our room. The choice of dining experience is a personal one; I recommend trying the Firebird on your first morning and making your decision from there. Whilst the service and food is all top notch, it just didn’t suit what I had or expected in my mind.
Keep in mind, room service is 24 hours, which is great if you need something to snack on after midnight.
The exterior of the hotel; what is there to do once the sun settles?
The rooftop and Gym was located on the same floor as our Suite (7th I think). The rooftop pool is an above the ground, glass-walled tank, (it looks pretty much like the pool is an aquarium during the day). There are lounge chairs with cabanas lining the pool deck, with a large heated whirlpool that is set on an adjoining raised platform. If the weather is suitable, you may request your drinks and meals on the rooftop. It is private and great retreat after a long day out.
We haven’t had many Shisha experiences in Dubai, but this definitely stood out for both of us in terms of quality and privacy. Make your way through Penrose Lounge, located on the upper lobby floor and ask your waiter to prepare your shisha. There are fantastic mocktails available too and blowers to keep you cool. They are on the pricier side, but the quality is great. Views extend over the city and you can generally find couples seated out there.
What did we appreciate about the location of this hotel:
- The atmosphere of the hotel and the DIFC feels like a lively big-city neighbourhood. The DIFC is a walkable pedestrian enclave, connected by laneways and courtyards with over 40 cafés and restaurants located within the DIFC. It features some of Dubai’s most high-profile dining, including La Petite Maison, Roberto’s and Zuma – literally just a few steps from Four Seasons (featured in my previous article). I really love the convenience of going out for the evening and not having to travel by car back to your Hotel.
- There are well-established galleries located within the DIFC, showcasing works by Middle Eastern and international artists. This is really great of you want to experience something different during your stay, or take some time out to browse art.
- The airport is a 20 minute drive away.
- Travel time to the city center, Dubai Mall and Souk Al Bahar is 5m by car.
- Taxis are requested by the Concierge and take no longer than 2-4 minutes for one to arrive.
The Hotel is not aimed at children, but neither does it exclude them. If you have a few days in Dubai and plan on spending most of your time out of the hotel (which in itself is a shame), this makes it an ideal spot for a city break. I loved the personalised service, size and space in the room, the facilities along with its prime location. We were very focused on staying at a hotel that afforded us the convenience of dining at the DIFC and quick stops to the Dubai Mall. All our boxes were ticked.
Building 9, DIFC
PO Box 507027
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reservations Email: email@example.com