Manzil Downtown Dubai – Review
Staycation – Rest, Relax, Rejuvenate!
The urban dictionary defines it as A vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environs have to offer. Staycation is a great way to enjoy the respite from everyday cares, we all yearn every other day and it is on the rise! Getting away from it all doesnt mean really getting far and far away from home. Experts say that the key to relaxation is a change of scene, even if its just a few miles from where we normally live.
The time constraints, job and family obligations even changing world scenario & political crisis have led to an indelible impact on the way people think and take vacations and traveling. Staycation on the other hand is an almost immediate way to get out of the house for a night or two without leaving town, and this idea is quickly catching on. The concept is simple: check into a local hotel or resort and enjoy down time in your own city Checking into a hotel allows staycationers to partake in the little luxuries of vacation, such as ordering room service for breakfast, not worrying about cleaning, lounging by the pool, or getting a treatment at the spa
Luckily, Dubai happens to be one of the most travel-friendly and safe cities in the Middle East and the cherry on top is the fact that the city has a plethora of adventurous escapes to offer. From crazy desert safaris, to audacious water park rides, festive malls and a number of luxury offerings from hotels, which means staycationing in Dubai is irrefutably the best there can be; it redefines luxury travel and brings it all closer and accessible to the expats and the travelers.
On a staycationing adventure we packed our bags for a day and went to the most animated spot in Dubai; the Downtown. Checking in at the Manzil, an upscale boutique hotel with a contemporary Arabesque design, decorated in a palette of brown, beige and white, facing the fascinating Burj Khalifa in all its glory, it promised to offer engaging services. A code reflective of the world famous Arabic hospitality… defined by the tagline, When Home Is Arabic, Manzil Downtown Dubai instantly gives you the feel and the sense of flawless identity, bragging a passionate culture of hospitality. With its readiness to absorb you into the edifying traditional allusions yet sparsely modern in its approach, we instantaneously felt warmly welcomed with a sense of sanguine geniality
At the Pool
It is strange that when its hot in Dubai, people turn away from water, reason being the high humidity and the relentlessly high temperatures. We started our day from the outdoor swimming pool and deck at the hotel With a temperature controlled pool, it wasnt difficult to indulge spontaneously in the summer fun with seasonal drinks The pool is located at the first floor and gives a 180 degree view of the surrounding architecture that reflects the exotic Arabian dream, the low and the mid-rise structure gives it a special charm, especially as the tallest
building (Burj Khlifa) soaring high is the perfect backdrop that makes the whole Arabic theme standout even more. The pool may not be of Olympian proportions, but it is pretty good for vacationers and families with kids. With a friendly staff and life guards, rest assured that you can have some time to relax.to immerse in the warm and calm stillness of the weather. The pool is next to the state-of-the-art gym which is open 24 hours for the guests, so feel free to work those extra pounds off whenever you feel like it Afternoon from 3pm is the perfect time to take the dip, as the sun calms down a bit and the warm dessert wind starts to lull the sweltering summer woes away Sipping the drink by the pool unwinding and relaxing, yet being closer to home is indeed a comforting feel, and a song by Tim Myers constantly reverberated in my mind
When I balance what I do
And enjoy the world in front of me
And it’s time to get away
This is a good time to get away to the good life
To get away on this perfect day…
After two hours of sipping at drinks, dipping at pool, we headed back to our room. The deluxe room (which definitely was A room with a view) had a picturesque and an uninterrupted view of Burj Khalifa, magnificently lit for the evening. The distinctly beaming glass buildings, silently and slow moving traffic on the main Downtown road, the setting sun in the horizon, serenaded an ode to slowness, something I often crave, when things are so fast that nothing seems to stay within grasp
After an hour spent appropriately refreshing in our room, dressing up, we headed out for dinner at the Boulevard Kitchen, an all-day dining restaurant that serves Levant cuisine and food from across the Middle East. Upon entering the restaurant from within the hotel (it also has direct access to Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard), I couldnt help notice the huge metallic geometric screens covering the wall, small and large Dallah (coffee pots), wooden panels and archways leading to the courtyard, high ceiling, tall hanging curtains flowing casually, was a spot on reminiscence from the Arabian nights
After finding a comfortable place to sit, we were eager to try the much talked about food which is freshly prepared in an open plan kitchen. In a mood to try the various tastes from different regions Boulevard Kitchen promises to offer, we ordered a variety. First off Lentil & Harrira soup! An absolutely delicious Lentil soup where nothing was too much or too little, the right amount of creaminess and grainy texture with exact spice level. The Harrira soup was also a hit with its mellow taste and texture. For the mains, we ordered Mix grill and Jumbo Prawns along with Butter Chicken. The mix grill came packed with a variety of protein (chicken, lamb and beef) and was cooked to perfection on the Josper oven, which helped retain the real juice of the meat, keeping it tender and moist. The Jumbo Prawns came with a feisty presentation; three whole jumbo prawns stacked artfully, rubbed with butter glaze, parsley, a hint of sumac, and no adjectives for us to spell out the pleasure It delighted us through and through
The butter chicken had its own story. We were thinking a common run of the mill butter chicken, and honestly although every other restaurant features a succulent butter chicken on the menu but until experiencing it at the Boulevard Kitchen, I had always been totally disappointed. Only this time it tasted exactly how it should be, mildly spicy with a buttery curry sauce. Paired with freshly boiled white rice, it was succulent and delicious and felt like a comfortable and filling, home cooked meal that nothing can replace
For the final sweet touch, we had just enough room for Umm Ali. The decadent, warm dessert is an Arabic essential. We were blown away by the simple yet immensely gratifying taste of the dessert
After the heavy dinner we went for a short walk As the temperature calmed down a casual stroll at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard felt very refreshing and light. Strolling, being just minutes away from the Dubai Mall, Souk Al Bahar, Souk Al Manzil and a variety of eateries, it was not difficult to look for something more to do, let alone the walk around town noticing small things like the beautifully decorated date palm trees to the glistening sidewalks and just the crowd moving in and out was an experience in itself, that we often overlook
Breakfast at Courtyard
After a peaceful night, we woke up ready for our next foray into the world of possibilities at Manzil, with breakfast at The Courtyard. Located in the center of the hotel, the Courtyard has developed into a popular Mediterranean restaurant and shisha lounge in Dubai. Combining Arabic tradition with global multicultural tastes, The Courtyard offers spectacular al fresco setting, masterfully blending colors, designs, tastes, and sounds of typical Arabasque architecture. It is also famous for its relaxed ambience and flavorful shisha, ideal for enjoying the company of family and friends. For the breakfast buffet we loved the variety it had to offer, a juice bar with abundant concoctions and flavors, a separate menu for eggs, variety of buns, waffles, croissants, selection of cheese and cold cuts, and a dedicated Indian inspired breakfast station were a few of the highlights. With the perfectly brewed coffee and tea we were ready for the day!
After a whole day dedicated to relaxing, relishing food, taking in the good things in life and venting out the stress that accumulates within, it was time to leave Checking out with total ease, I started wondering about how sometimes life consumes us intensely. We try to break free but something holds us down and wears us out. To treasure this beautiful life, we have to take small steps to cherish the highlights and appreciate the worth of it. It all begins with accepting what you have, embracing what you own and moving on with what is at hand. A one day staycation for me became an experience of connecting again with myself, indulging in the goodness of life, feeling the often overlooked things and details around me, smiling back at people and welcoming life in every breath I take