Live in luxury at Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai
When looking for staycation, I usually hunt for places away from the city. Why? Simply to cut off from the noise and to basically digitally detox. Downtown Dubai is quite accessible from all places across the city. So when I was asked to come down for a staycation at the Renaissance Downtown, I questioned what makes it staycation-worthy? Plus a getaway means getting away far from the city madness. So, can I get that inside a hotel?
Armed with my masks and clothes for the day, I made that 20-min drive from home. It was just like driving to a lunch place on a weekend. Greeted with sanitisers, masks (although I had mine on) and smiling faces, the check in took less than five minutes. I was quickly escorted to my deluxe suite.
The Deluxe Suite
The room boasts of luxury accommodations like floor-to-ceiling windows, plush bedding, walk-in closets, marble bathrooms and large work desks that promote productivity. Next to Burj Khalifa, the view was stunning even during the day. Decked in gold artefacts on walls and in the room, it was obvious that a lot of consideration was taken into designing the look of the room - from comfort to aesthetics. It made known that you are in Dubai.
The room was comfortably cold to ensure that I was not blown away by the difference in temperature. The good thing is I was given a room that was not pre-booked. The sanitisation kit - masks, hand sanitiser, gloves - on the bedside was an added bonus. The huge bathroom has a Jacuzzi, a shower and a separate toilet, and two separate sinks so that brushing our teeth was not a waiting affair.
Bleu Blanc Oysters & Grill
After a brief stay in the room to check my emails, I went down to the Mezzanine floor to dine at the Bleu Blanc Oysters & Grill for the Belle View Brunch. The restaurant recently revamped its Southern French farmhouse style bistro complete with rustic interiors and vintage-inspired décor. As soon as you enter, you would like to believe that you are in France. The dimly-lit restaurant with the latest tracks was very inviting for a Friday afternoon.
I started with their famed mussel pot and oysters. The Oysters served with zesty chilli sauce was the perfectly combined. Many of us are way of how a raw food may taste. So for me the best way to begin is that if the rawness is overpowered by a strong flavor, which in this case was just that. Full points.
Next came the wagyu beef burger, walnut and apple salad with beef tenderloin tartare. You will be pleasantly surprised that even after the five dishes I was longing for more food. This is how light the appetisers were. For the mains, there are equal choices for vegetarians and non-vegetarians - chargrilled brocolini, roasted baby potatoes and mushrooms. If you are a grill fan and a non-vegetarian, do not leave the brunch without tasting the chargrilled king prawns and the prime rib.
For desserts, there were generous portions of crème glacee, chocolate tart, baba al ron (yeast with whipped cream on the top). It was magnifique. After the hearty meal, I went for a short walk next to the creek. The private walkway next to the hotel was under some maintenance but still clean to walk along.
In the evening, I headed to their Italian restaurant Basta for dinner. Dinners are always small for me so I went for the Plank Roasted Salmon and Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini. If you like seafood and grills again, I recommend Basta at Renaissance. Plus, the Italian music and the view of the dhows on the Creekside are to die for.
Six Senses Spa Dubai
Staycations means relaxation, which means spa. Hosting one of the world's best spas - Six Senses Spa, the deal just gets sweeter. Tucked away on the fifth floor of Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, Six Senses Spa Dubai offers six different treatment suites, each dedicated to a different sense.
I opted for a 60-min full body rejuvenation massage and was guided to the touch suite. Once with the formalities in place with wellness therapists taking me through the massage routine, my therapy started. The soothing Thai music and the gentle massage was aimed at increasing circulation, relieve tension, reduce stress, relieve anxiety, improve sleep, and promote relaxation throughout the entire body. And at the end of the session, I did not want to get up. That was the effect. The good news for all those who want to try it is 40% off if you book between 2pm and 4pm, from Sunday to Thursday until November 2020. The room has a salt-infused steam shower for after the session.
The room has floor-to-ceiling windows offering vivid views of the Creek waters, while you relax in the spa's custom-designed rooms that borrow their palette from the desert dunes. After the pampering package, I headed down for breakfast. Since most hotels have discontinued stand-in buffets, the same can be said for the hotel. The set breakfast menu at Basta was comprehensive and the service quick and pleasant. The staff at Basta is very friendly, and I was really delighted how they took care of your dietary habits. I am not very fond of red peppers and they ensured that the dish be modified to potatoes. This is what makes Basta a place to remember.
After a 24-hour plus vacation in town (yes the hotel offers flexible check out timing until 2 pm), all I could tell the host that they have to live up to the standards that they are now. With super deals, now would be a good time to take a weekend break away from your home into another.
For reservations, call 04 512 5555
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