Breaking Travel News investigates: Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk | Focus
Opening late last year, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk is an imposing addition to the local skyline.
Guests can gaze down on the interconnected Wafi Mall from the luxury Club Millésime Lounge on the top floor, drinking in the views over the emirate, including the Burj Khalifa in the distance.
The pyramid-shaped Hotel Raffles Dubai is also just a short walk away, forming the other half of an Egyptian-themed lifestyle destination at the heart of the city.
Inside, the sense of scale endures, with guests entering through the magnificent doors of a grand Pylon, the colossal gateway of an Egyptian temple.
As an enchanting journey of Franco-Egyptian sophistication begins, design inspirations from both countries are carefully weaved, creating a stunning symbiosis.
The statues of Horus, god of the sky in ancient Egyptian, are located on each side of the entrance fountain and guard the impressive golden gate of Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk.
With two sets of three statues depicting Anubis, one of the oldest and most famous represented deities in ancient Egypt and an artistic ceramic flooring showcasing the Nile river, guests are guided into timeless serenity.
Uraeus (cobras) featured on the golden main doors represent the head ornaments worn by pharaohs in ancient Egypt for protection and were designed to shield guests from the evil eye and welcome them to a royal sanctuary.
The hotel – which cost a reported $1.6 billion to complete – has spared no expense in recreating the land of the pharaohs; the size of the lobby alone is unmatched in Dubai, before you even begin to explore the property.
Ammar Hilal, who took over leadership of the hotel earlier this year after a successful stint at Fairmont Dubai, explains the opening of the property marks the start of a renaissance for the market.
He says: “Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk opened during the peak of the pandemic, and this was certainly a time where we had to re-think a lot of our touch points with many government health regulations in place.
“We quickly adapted to the needs of our guests and ensured that we attained the All Safe certification from Accor prior to opening, so that our guests could have a ‘magnifique’ experience and safe stay with us.
“We used this opportunity to ensure that we connect with our local community and partners and developed strong relationships to position Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk as one of the key landmarks in Dubai.”
Throughout the property, the Art Deco style blends with vast expanses of fabulous French marble.
The choice of marble in the hotel is key, as it is a natural stone treasured throughout time for its enduring beauty and solidity.
First quarried by the ancient Egyptians for construction purposes, later shaped into timeless masterpieces by the hands of French sculptors, today it signifies immortality and refined taste.
As the marble embellishes the hotel lobby, gleaming floors and walls seem to glow from within as they capture the light, conveying energy while magnifying opulence.
Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk features 498 luxurious guestrooms and suites starting from the 19th floor, as well as 97 furnished and serviced apartments, all providing stunning views of Dubai and a welcoming sanctuary for travellers and discerning locals alike.
Starting from 44 square metres, the guestrooms and suites are modern and spacious, dressed in neutral tones and complemented by art deco lines.
Contrasting materials such as tactile textured wallpaper in the hallways and swirl-patterned floors in the rooms represent the beautiful Arabian Desert.
Each room and suite is accentuated by works of art and provide the ultimate slumber thanks to custom-made Sofitel MyBed.
All rooms and suites boast floor-to-ceiling windows offering unparalleled and sweeping views of Dubai, not to mention an abundance of natural light.
Located on the 47th-49th floors, the property features three outstanding suites designed by award-winning firm Duccio Grassi Architects.
Ranging between 268 and 553 square metres, the Imperial Suite, Presidential Suite Cleopatra and Ambassador Suite Napoleon are the height of luxury and refinement, combining a European lifestyle design with the essence of Dubai.
With marble featuring heavily, the Presidential and Ambassador Suites are bright and airy, with a soothing colour palette exuding elegance, offering distinctive his and her bedrooms with their own dedicated washrooms, a spa room and gym.
Additionally, the Presidential suite is the only guestroom in the property with a private terrace, offering spectacular views of Dubai, ideal for hosting exclusive events up to 100 guests.
Guests will have to move fast though; the luxury accommodations are snapped up months in advance.
The 97 fully-furnished and serviced apartments offer a home created with elegant décor, attention to detail and modern essentials.
Located from the eighth until the 17th floor are the studio apartments, one-bedroom suites, two-bedroom suites and three-bedroom suites.
Blending the essence of French art de vivre into every apartment, graceful and innovative designs, along with Art Deco lines, are echoed and characterized by bright colours, bold geometry, and decadent detail work.
Beautifully appointed furnishings, along with smooth and polished surfaces, complement the fixtures and bring French charm to life.
The floor-to-ceiling windows in each apartment offer a scenic view of Dubai while ensuring plenty of natural daylight and a spectacular view of the city lights.
This being Dubai, capital of fine-dining in the Middle East, there are a number of wonderful eateries included with the property.
Chief among them is Brasserie Boulud, which provides a stunning refuge from city life as well as a true French experience.
A prevalent art deco design theme is apparent throughout the venue blending modern style combined with fine artisanship and rich materials.
Featuring bright royal colours of white, black, gold and burgundy, the restaurant creates a space reminiscent of a Parisian brasserie while the open kitchen offers a multi-sensory dining experience as the chefs showcase their skills.
Incomplete patterns on the marble floor, reflective of flooring seen in Egyptian temples today, transport guests to the historic temples of Luxor – a tribute to the charming Ancient Egyptian design theme present throughout the hotel.
Nearby, Taiko Dubai is the first international outpost of the award-winning restaurant of the Conservatorium hotel in Amsterdam.
In keeping with the concept of the Pan-Asian lifestyle restaurant, the design of Taiko was curated by the local design specialist firm, Atelier EPJ who was distinctly inspired by traditional Asian materials, formalism and craftsmanship set in a contemporary context.
Atelier EPJ created a dramatic ambience of magical mystery, the darker Asian style interiors with red touches take patrons on a journey into the vernacular and lore of Asian culture.
Hilal continues: “As a distinctive lifestyle destination, we provide exceptional dining experiences such as Brasserie Boulud and Taiko Dubai through partnerships with celebrity chefs like Daniel Boulud and Schilo van Coevorden.
“We have also engaged in partnerships with L’Occitane en Provence for Sofitel Spa and created a dedicated Le Petit Prince kids’ program.”
He adds: “We are pleased to see that the market has started to resume, and that there is a great desire and urge to explore our beautiful world again.
“Right on time for the start of Dubai Expo 2020, the greatest show in the world – our opening could not be a better opportunity, as we are certainly another great reason to come and visit Dubai.”
For British travellers, the interior design of the Nine will appeal.
As soon as they walk through the door, guests immerse themselves in ancient Egypt as they discover three inverted triangles hanging from the ceiling, representative of the three pyramids of Giza; Menkaure, Khafre and the Great Pyramid of Khufu.
Symbolising the nine lives of a cat, the dining venue highlights the life story of the goddess Bastet – the ancient Egyptian goddess of protection and cats, reflected by cat drawings at the main bar area as well as inscriptions of her legend on the walls.
Bastet was the warrior daughter and defender of Ra (king of gods), who sent her to fight his archenemy Apep.
As a guardian, she was seen as defender of the pharaoh, and is associated with protection, provider of good health, music and arts.
As cats in Egypt were highly revered, a festival for Bastet was celebrated every year with feasts and drinking.
Finally, the modern, elegant and sophisticated, Bijou is set in the heart of the hotel lobby and welcomes guests into a paradise of sweet indulgence.
With bold geometric forms visible on the ceiling, an overall ivory colour palette, curving furniture and smooth polished surfaces, the art deco theme is palpable. However, what truly takes centre stage is the prominent, marble counter brimming with an array of delicate pastries and countless delicious treats.
Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk offers the ultimate in leisure and relaxation.
Featuring an outdoor swimming pool in the shape of the key to the Nile with the symbol of Wafi engraved in the center of the pool in Arabic calligraphy, the pool is neighbored by a sail shaped bar and a series of private cabanas with two featuring their own Jacuzzi.
Frequent Sofitel visitors will be wowed by this property, it instantly becomes the flagship for the brand in the Middle East and maybe the world!
Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk is nominated for a number of top titles at the World Travel Awards.
The winners will be revealed during a special event on October 17th.
Find out more about the property on the official website.