HotelsDubai

FACT First Look: SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences

The luxurious five-star hotel opened its doors to guests on 5 April, so naturally, team FACT visited to see what all the fuss is about.

Driving on Al Khail Road through bustling Business Bay, you may have noticed a new structure on the horizon. The gleaming white facade of SLS Dubai has become an instant landmark on the Dubai skyline, ranking as one of the tallest buildings in the city.

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 immediately disrupts expectations while looking to shake up Dubai’s hospitality sector.

SLS Dubai Hotel

The ground floor is where you’d usually expect to find the check-in desks. Instead, it features EllaMia. A quaint and cosy café concept that brings its dedicated Los Angeles-based coffee culture to Dubai.

The hotel lobby is waiting to be discovered high on the 71st floor and we soon find ourselves whizzing skywards in an elevator travelling at seven meters per second, as interactive panels display abstract patterns across the walls. As the doors slide open, the first thing we notice are the unrestricted views from the Burj Khalifa to the Burj Al Arab. SLS Dubai undoubtedly offers one of the best vantage points in a city known for rooftop views and stood beneath a mural depicting Greek Goddesses and the story of Midas accented in gold, it takes us a moment to compose ourselves.

SLS Dubai Hotel

The chic lobby features comfy gold sofas, bronze check-in desks and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide mesmerising skyline views. Above, we notice bulbous chandeliers with intricate artworks painted inside, while off to the left sits the 12 Chairs Caviar Bar. A dedicated space that will be serving the premium product off non-reactive spoons when it opens next month. Adjacent to the lobby is S Bar, a chic and sophisticated venue serving various playful cocktails and mixology. Order then ‘sobriety’ and thanks us later!

Amazed by the uninterrupted views, we’re astounded when we visit 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 the world’s highest infinity pools, these are one of SLS Dubai’s many USP’s and are also home to a colourful interpretation of the brands signature duck sculpture. Aside from the recreational facilities, the top floor also features Privilege, a soon-to-open lounge and nightlife venue.

While Dubai has no shortage of spas and wellness centres for pampering, the signature Ciel Spa is not to be missed. Decked out in neutral tones, the chic spa offers a sense of serenity and tranquillity with treatment rooms, plunge pools, a hair and nail salon, a fully-equipped fitness centre, plus two outdoor terraces.

F&B reigns supreme at SLS Dubai Hotel and Residences and in addition to the aforementioned venues, visitors can enjoy hearty Italian food, including wood-fired pizzas and handmade pasta at Fi’lia Dubai. 

Fans of the Netflix show Chef’s Table may remember Italian butcher Dario Cecchini from season six. We were more than a little excited to see that Carna by Dario Cecchini will offer a contemporary steakhouse concept and the largest Japanese whisky collection in the city when it opens next month.

SLS Dubai Hotel

But what of the rooms we hear you ask? SLS Dubai features 254 hotel rooms, 371 residential units and 321 hotel apartments designed by Paul Bishop, decked out in a colour palette of greys and pinks. Bespoke fonts indicate room numbers and each room offers a private balcony, allowing guests to soak in those city views.

It’s a lot to take in during our initial visit, but we expect SLS Dubai Hotel and Residences to be one of the most talked-about spots in the city over the coming months. 

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

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David Tapley - Editor
Dubai-based editor for one of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publications across Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai and Qatar. Specialised in food, hospitality, arts, culture, and travel-related content.

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