Four Seasons Hotel Dubai DIFC Near+Far rating: 8/10
Why stay at Four Seasons Hotel Dubai DIFC
Few hotels are as discreet and well-located as Four Seasons Hotel Dubai DIFC. The property is often missed as cars pull up to Gate Village or whizz on to ICD Brookfield place, marked only by a few subtly elegant flags. Situated in the heart of the financial centre, spilling out onto the glitzy promenade home to Gaia, LPM, Christie’s and many more, the hotel is the best place to stay for business travellers. That said, it’s a spectacular hideaway for holidaymakers and staycationers, too.
Opened in 2016, Four Seasons Hotel Dubai DIFC is the smallest of the Canadian brands’ two Dubai properties – the city centre little sister to the glossy, sprawling main character: Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach. Guests enter the discreet, polished lobby and head up to quiet, gold-tinged corridors leading to classically comfortable rooms and suites – complete with classic old-world American furnishings and the Four Seasons bed – and levels hiding a fine dining restaurant, lounge, rooftop bar and swimming pool and wellness area. Small, but offering everything you need from a five-star city break – plus the brand’s award-winning service makes you feel at home, in comfortable and safe hands. Plus, those over a weekend can use the beach and facilities at the iconic beach resort– one of the best hotels in the city.
Four Seasons Hotel Dubai DIFC has a fantastic location and couldn’t be closer to DIFC and Gate Village. From the second-floor entrance, guests simply wander onto the walkway to find Christe’s, Sotheby’s skin clinics, galleries, and the city’s best restaurants – including a World’s 50 Best Bar alumni, Galaxy Bar. It’s a five-minute walk from the hotel to ICD Brookfield Place, its emerging restaurant and fitness centre and offices, a 15-minute drive from Dubai Airport and a seven-minute drive to Dubai Mall. Guests are smack bang in the bustling city centre and financial hub, yet feel tucked away, hidden from sight and cocooned in signature Four Seasons luxury.
The vibe: 8/10
This is a hotel for people who want to hide away, get stuff done, not worry about anything – or want for anything – and not working and quickly move around the city and its key business hubs. Common areas are peaceful, yet there’s always a gentle buzz, so spaces don’t feel energyless. Mina Brasserie, an upscale Parisan-inspired affair, is constantly abuzz with well-heeled guests and business meetings, while the poolside is relaxed – for sunbathing, reading books and sipping cocktails. An older crowd gather in Luna Sky Lounge and the Churchill Lounge – again, popular with business meetings.
Rooms and suites: 8/10
Rooms and suites at Four Seasons Hotel Dubai DIFC are plush, comfortable, well-appointed and traditional. The colour scheme includes taupes, creams, greys and wooden touches, which can feel a little outdated – but also reflect the classic nature of the Four Seasons brand. Big floor-to-ceiling windows fill rooms in sunlight but have multiple curtains and lightweight screens for privacy – necessary with views onto the bustling DIFC roads and Gate Village complex. There’s everything you’d need – a coffee machine, glassware, a working desk, and the signature marshmallow-like Four Seasons Bed – arguably the best hotel bed in the world. White marble bathrooms have soaking tubs and are stocked with luxuriously fragrant Diptique amenities.
Our Burj Khalifa Studio Suite was the perfect hideaway for a weekend escape or business trip: one large open space with alcove living space – not too big, so cosy and inviting with everything in view, and a dressing area and, of course, views onto Burj Khalifa. The hotel shines in its housekeeping and room service: expect requests to be dealt with in mere minutes, and turn-downs offer the sort of discreet organization top hotels worldwide strive for. The thoughtful housekeeping team love to surprise, and a handful of sunglass cleaners appear after clearly spotting a pair of smeary lenses. Entertainment is a little lacking in the room, thanks to an older television with basic news channels, plus a handful of others – and updated technology like in-room speakers, chrome cast and a more extensive entertainment system would bring the property in line with the brand’s leading properties.
Food and drink: 9/10
Guests can enjoy a curated edit of a restaurant, two lounges and bar – keeping life simple when it comes to dining at Four Seasons DIFC. Surrounded by some of the best restaurants in the city, guests can easily pop out to one of the dozens of spectacular eateries – The Guild, LPM, Amazonico, and Hutong are all a short walk away – but it’s imperative to enjoy dinner at the on-site Mina Brassiere, at least one night of their stay.
Michael Mina’s French bolthole is a sumptuous affair – the space designed by Martin Bruzinksii with his signature Art Deco feel – the gilded bar, the wood panelling, the moody sconce lighting. It’s akin to a hideaway in the City of Light itself. The menu is indulgent – foie gras, tartare, king crab linguine – but lighter dishes are also on offer. Mina is the setting for spectacular diners – popular with both in-house and external guests (thanks to a separate entrance from Gate Village) and one of the city’s best hotel breakfasts. Served until 11am – delightfully leisurely for a city business hotel – there’s no buffet – so no rushing to avoid the scaps – instead, it’s a la carte. Green juice, chia pudding, omelettes, Arabic breakfast- order as much as you’d like as you gaze out onto Burj Khalifa and the bustling street below. Elsewhere, the elegant Penrose Lounge is a spot for coffees, afternoon tea and catch-ups, while Luna Dubai is the hotel’s rooftop bar, opening at 5pm for panoramic sundowners and nightcaps. The sultry Churchill Club is also a sport for late-night drinks and cigars. 24-hour room service is highly popular: comfort food, and hotel classics from the privacy of your plush room.
Spa and facilities: 8/10
Small yet perfectly formed, Four Seasons DIFC offers everything for leisure and business travellers. A dedicated wellness floor houses a fitness suite – stocked with icy fruit-flavoured water, crisp apples, cold towels, and Technogym equipment – and the oasis-like Pearl Spa. True, the term gets thrown around a lot, but surrounded by the financial district, with thick glass windows, the soothing, intense-scented spa feels like a different world – and a massage is a must. The hotel’s pool area is one of the most picturesque in the neighbourhood – a small, glass-walled rooftop offering lined with a handful of private cabanas, just two rows of sunbeds on a terraced decking and, for a more discreet, separate alcove with jacuzzi and bed with views over Zabeel Park. The rooftop is intimate and peaceful, service is fantastic – ice water on arrival – and views across the city make you feel connected to the energy, while simultaneously removed.
Private, well-trodden, perfected, comfortable and classics – Four Seasons Hotel DIFC is the best of the brand in an unmatched business and lifestyle location. Sure, rooms could do with an update, but in many ways, that’s part of the charm – and guests feel comfortable and safe in this cocoon of classic luxury. While one restaurant, the restaurant is a triumph – taking you from airy breakfasts to sultry nights – with the Martin Brudzinski design. For business travel, a weekend escape in the heart, or even a classic Dubai vacation (thanks to the use of Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach’s beach and pools), Four Seasons DIFC will not do you wrong.
DIFC, Dubai, UAE; doubles from AED1,250 per night; fourseasons.com