Hotel Review

Hotel Hotspot: SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences

The chic new address ranks as one of the tallest buildings in the city and is located a stone’s throw from Burj Khalifa in Dubai’s bustling Business Bay district.

SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences has become an instant landmark on the city skyline thanks to its striking honeycomb facade and alluring rooftop infinity pools. 

Entering through the glass doors, we’re met with a hand-painted mural resembling a stained glass window. Illuminated from the back, it’s a visual assault of vibrant red flowers, a golden crown, outstretched wings and a slogan that reads “fortune favours the bold.” This motto accurately sums up the SLS experience, which disrupts expectations in a bid to shake up Dubai’s hospitality scene.


Atmospheric Arrival

The ground floor is where you’d usually expect to find the check-in desks. Instead, SLS subverts expectations by encouraging guests to ascend 71 floors for a truly memorable arrival experience. 

Whizzing skywards in a lift that travels at seven meters per second, we’re enamoured by the interactive panels displaying hypnotic abstract patterns across the walls. As the doors slide open, we notice the unrestricted views from the Burj Khalifa to the Burj Al Arab. SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences undoubtedly offers one of the best vantage points in a city known for rooftop views.

The sophisticated lobby features bronze check-in desks and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide mesmerising skyline views. Above, we notice bulbous chandeliers with intricate artworks painted inside and above the elevators sits a mural depicting King Midas, his golden touch and Greek goddesses that serve as influences for the prominent gold-embellished and white-studded interiors. Off to the left sits 12 Chairs Caviar Bar, a dedicated space that will be serving the gourmet delicacy from non-reactive spoons when it opens shortly. 


Skyline Living

SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences features 254 hotel rooms, 371 residential units and 321 hotel apartments designed by Paul Bishop and featuring a calming palette of soft lavender and pale grey. We stay in one of the hotel’s two Vanilla Sky Premium King Suites. We are immediately impressed by the sheer amount of space offered in a modern yet tranquil room featuring rose gold and metallic accents with structured modern furnishings. Akin to the 2001 Tom Cruise film from which the suite draws its name, the experience is ethereal, dreamlike and altogether relaxing. 

Clocking in at a more than generous 1100 sqft, the Vanilla Sky Premium King Suite features a relaxed living and dining area complete with a minibar, flat-screen television and guest bathroom. A small working area with a desk and telephone provides the perfect transition from business to leisure before opening out into the master bedroom. 

What a bedroom it is! Decorated with natural hues by award-winning architects Aedas and Paul Bishop, the suite features a comfortable king bed, luxurious furnishings, a walk-in wardrobe, two expansive balconies and an en suite bathroom that has to be seen to be believed! With double sinks, a walk-in rainfall shower, Ciel Spa products and a deep tub overlooking Burj Khalifa – you may never want to leave the room!


Distinctive Dining

With six distinctive on-site, dining options, SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences has already made quite the impression on Dubai’s dining scene. Adjacent to the lobby lies the energetic S Bar, a sophisticated venue of gold sofas, light bites and a beguiling mixology menu based around the theme of ‘saints and sinners.’

EllaMia offers a quaint and cosy café concept that our Doha readers will be familiar with. The ground floor coffee shop brings a taste of Los Angeles coffee culture to Dubai, with an exciting range of hot beverages, cakes, cookies and confectionery. 

The regions first fully female-led restaurant, Fi’lia, is anchored around excellent service and an authentic approach to Italian cuisine on the hotel’s 70th floor. The charming restaurant features an outdoor terrace perfect for al fresco dining (even in this hot and humid summer weather), while inside, guests can dine by the pizza bar and impressive copper ovens. Food is at the centre of Fi’lia and the team do not disappoint. The menu is split into three sections – nonna (grandmother), mamma (mother) and filia (daughter) – and features recipes passed down through generations, adding a modern twist to traditional and much-loved Italian-Mediterranean dishes prepared with the freshest ingredients. So whether it’s pizza, pasta, burrata or freshly grilled seafood you’re craving – Fi’lia does not disappoint.

Fans of the Netflix series Chef’s Table may remember Italian butcher Dario Cecchini from season six. His Carna by Dario Cecchini on the hotel’s 74th floor is perhaps the jewel is SLS Dubai’s already impressive crown. Carna’s meat-driven menu honours the traditions of butchery, whereby all cuts of meat are used for consumption and nothing is wasted. Signature dishes include marinated grilled beef heart skewers, slow-cooked veal tongue, beef cheek, veal belly and oxtail. For something less obscure, the Chateaubriand a la “Oscar” and bone-in New York striploin are bound to please, accompanied by stellar service, a vibrant red theatrical bar and the most extensive collection of Japanese whisky in Dubai.


Rooftop Relaxation

SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences offers uninterrupted city views throughout, but we’re astounded when visiting the two infinity pools on the 75th floor. Easily making for one of the most Instagrammable spots in town, the azure blue waters look out over the Burj Khalifa and the burgeoning downtown skyline on one side and the desert on the other. As contenders for some of the world’s tallest infinity pools, these represent another of SLS Dubai’s unique selling points and are home to a colourful interpretation of the brands signature duck sculpture. In addition to the recreational facilities, the rooftop also features Privilege, an atmospheric lounge and nightlife venue.

The signature Ciel Spa offers a sky-high haven for relaxation and well being. Separated into male and female spaces and decked out in neutral tones, the modern spa provides a sense of serenity and tranquillity with seven treatment rooms, plunge pools, experience showers, steam rooms, a hair and nail salon, a fully-equipped fitness centre, plus two outdoor terraces.


SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences makes quite the impression during our stay. From the rooftop glamour of the infinity pools to the destination dining options, relaxing spa and the sheer comfort of the rooms and suites. It’s certainly a lot to take in, but there’s no doubt SLS Dubai Hotel and Residences is one of the most talked-about spots in the city right now and a must-visit.

GO: Visit www.sbe.com for reservations and more information.

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