Rove City Centre Dubai is open
Rove Hotels, a contemporary mid-scale lifestyle hotel brand developed by the Emaar Hospitality Group, has opened its second property in Dubai. The new Rove City Centre is located 10 minutes from Dubai International Airport and is close to the City Centre Deira shopping mall.
The hotel offers interconnecting rooms, free Wi-Fi access; late checkout at 2pm; pool, sundeck and 24-hour gym; and a self-service laundromat. Dining options include an all-day neighbourhood hangout, where you can eat in or ‘grab and go’, offering coffee and globally inspired food with a healthy focus, served until late. It is also well positioned, near the souqs and traditional dhows of the older part of the city. With 270 rooms, the hotel is targeted at culturally inclined travellers as well as business guests.
Like the first Rove hotel (Rove Downtown Dubai, near The Dubai Mall) Rove City Centre has commissioned art features, reflecting Dubai’s cultural identity. It also offers flexible set-ups for meetings and events.
Seven Rove Hotels have been announced with three more to be opened by 2020 taking the total number of properties in Dubai to 10, just in time for Expo 2020 Dubai. The hotels are a joint venture of Emaar Properties and Meraas Holding. Rooms from Dh250 per night. Visit rovehotels.com.
The Metropolitan Hotel is back
The four-star Metropolitan Hotel – one of Dubai’s first hotels – relaunched last week at Shaikh Zayed Road, Exit 41. An institution of sorts, the original Met, which was built in 1979, was razed to make way for Al Habtoor City. The rebuilt hotel has 320 rooms, 28 suites and the favourite haunts of Dubai’s old-timers – The Red Lion Pub and Italian eatery Don Corleone, plus a new pool bar and all-day dining. Rooms from Dh297; 04 343 0000.
Try out British Airways ‘BOTler’
There’s no place like London for the holidays. As the temperature plummets the lights and Christmas trees go up in Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street’s myriad shops blow up with bargains, Christmas markets pop up from hipster Brick Lane to riverside Southbank, serving mince pies, hot chocolate and Christmas snacks while the West End district’s theatres churn out brand new musicals, plays and more showings of long-standing favourites. A week or two is such little time to do and experience so much, which is why British Airways has launched the British Airways BOTler, a personal Facebook Messenger BOT, that provides you with London’s ‘best of the best’ guide. The virtual butler provides personalised recommendations on top attractions, special discounts on stays at the Rosewood London and 60 per cent discounts at Biscester Village and Westfield shopping mall. British Airway’s ‘London for Less’ campaign has return tickets from Dh2,130 from Dubai and Dh1,920 from Abu Dhabi. Visit M.me/BritishAirways
Wellness in wintry Prague
A wellness vacation is a great way to regroup and prepare for the New Year, but it doesn’t have to be beachside: the Mandarin Oriental Prague’s Spa Renaissance package makes the idea of a winter wonderland and rejuvenating spa tempting. After you’ve taken walking tours of Christmas markets shopping for vanocni cukrovi (Czech cookies), purpura (Christmas potpourri) head back to the hotel’s 14th century Renaissance chapel-turned-spa for a 30-minute Signature Quintessence steam treatment and body scrub. Two-nights B&B include a yoga session, gym and sauna. From Dh1,556; firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn Mixed Martial Arts in Singapore
When the going gets tough, the tough go on a holiday. Soak up Singapore’s tropical weather and explore attractions such as the Botanical Gardens and National Gallery Museum and then fight your way to fitness with Evolve Mixed Martial Arts academy’s vacation programme. Tailored for travellers, the week-long package will see you grapple, kick and perfect right hooks under the training of professional instructors during unlimited Muay Thai, boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling sessions. The programme has partnered with an array of five-star hotels and hostels across the island, so training guests get special discounts on stays. Package costs Dh730. Visit evolve-vacation.com.
Check into Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel
The construction you’ve seen take shape this last year between the Mina’A Salam resort and Burj Al Arab has finally ended to become the Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel, the fourth hotel in the Madinat Jumeirah Arabian Resort.
The hotel has 430 rooms and 43 suites featuring walk-in rain showers, floor-to-ceiling windows and private outdoor terraces. Similar to the other properties on-site (Mina’A Salam, Al Qasr and Dar Al Masyaf) the hotel is situated among landscaped gardens, has access to a private beach, the inland waterways, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Madinat Conference Centre and Talise Spa. Jumeirah Al Naseem’s other leisure facilities include three large swimming pools and two banqueting rooms measuring 75 sq m each. Guests can visit the turtle lagoon, part of Jumeirah’s turtle rehabilitation project, access the Kids Club and visit nearby Wild Wadi Waterpark.
The hotel’s interiors take inspiration from Dubai’s landscape of sand dunes, blue skies, sea breeze as well as the emirate’s pearl diving heritage and Bedouin traditions. The rooms come with views of the sea, the resort’s landscaped gardens and swimming pools and Burj Al Arab.
It’s home to 10 new restaurants, highlights of which include Il Borro Tuscan Bistro Dubai – the Dubai branch of Il Borro, the Tuscan wine estate owned by the Ferragamo family – and a Dubai outpost of Black Tap – the insanely popular New York eatery that specialises in craft burgers and piled-high milkshakes, scheduled to open at the end of the month.
Other dining facilities include all-day dining restaurant The Palmery, Sugarmash – a Polynesian-style pool bar – and Ambar, a rooftop Arabic restaurant. Rockfish, a Mediterranean seafood restaurant by the pool is another dining attraction. Resort Deluxe rooms start from Dh1,500 per night. For booking enquiries call 04 366 8888 or email MJinfo@jumeirah.com.
Travel hack of the week
The floating markets of Bangkok and golden beaches of Phuket just got a whole lot cheaper with the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s temporary waiver on tourist visa fees. Apply for a tourist visa to Thailand until February 28 and you will save on that cost. Charges still exist for visas on arrival but have been halved to 1,000 Thai baht (a minimal Dh102). Next stop, Thailand!
Style on the go
SKIN SAFE Himalaya Herbals’ Purifying Neem wipes contain all the goodness of a facewash put into travel-friendly resealable packets. They remove waterproof makeup and lift dirt, while anti-bacterial turmeric extracts control breakouts. All this without the hassle of rinsing or packing bottles. Dh25, leading supermarkets
STATEMENT BAG Business travellers can combine airport chic and functionality with Ecco’s leather case. The perfect size for cabin baggage, its main compartment fits laptops documents and other contents and secures them with the buckled straps. Dh2,299
PLAY THE MUSIC Let your favourite tunes follow you with LG Music Flow P5 portable speaker. Impromptu dance parties on the go are possible with the rechargeable battery that lasts 15 hours. It also has a cool auto-play feature that plays music when any Bluetooth-paired audio source comes within the device’s range. Dh399