A host of new hotel openings – from design-led properties aiming to provide a dazzling welcome, to easy-going destinations with a community focus – is bringing greater variety and choice to the region. identity presents five of the best additions to the GCC hospitality scene...
W IS FOR WOW
Designed by DWP, W Dubai – The Palm, W Hotel’s first property in Dubai, has now opened on the West Crescent of Palm Jumeirah. It’s described as an “alliance between the boundary-pushing global design studio, DWP, and hospitality disruptors, W Hotels; a creative rockstar marriage made in heaven”.
The property welcomes guests with myriad palm fronds and an atrium lobby that draws on Arabic architecture, featuring thick mud walls with minimalist openings that keep out the heat and elements; a centrepiece cubic chandelier; stone and carpeted floors that “represent the rugged geography of the Gulf coastline”; and a catwalk dining table.
Technology features heavily; Scott Whittaker, Group Creative Director for DWP, says that – from mood-changing lighting to building controls –
“The technology is wireless, invisible and app-run.”
Whittaker adds: “DWP is unique in that our team is both local and global. For 10 years we have created distinctive hospitality projects in Dubai. We understand the local market but have brought global design trends. The project with W has been a fun-filled journey. W Hotels are ‘labs of creation’. The exciting challenge with this project was to create that quintessential W hotel feeling of rebellious and distinctive luxury, while drawing from Middle Eastern culture.”
Anne Scott - General Manager, W Dubai said: “Our aim was to ensure that W Dubai – The Palm customers get the best experiences, fitting their high expectations of a W hotel. DWP understands the importance of attention to detail in creating the WOW factor and telling the W story.”
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
The Merchant House has become Bahrain’s first boutique hotel to be awarded a five-star rating.
Featuring only suites, the property is described as “a creative expression of Campbell Gray Hotel’s founder, Gordon Campbell Gray, [and] teeming with the kind of personality and soul that is difficult to capture at larger properties. Ideal for business travellers looking for extra space and comfort, as well as for style-conscious travellers, The Merchant House is offering guests an elevated hotel experience.”
Situated within Manama’s old town, The Merchant House’s 46 luxury suites each feature an open-plan sitting room, a kitchen and dining area, and a spacious bedroom.
The Merchant House is close to Manama’s diplomatic quarter, financial district and bustling Bab Al Bahrain souk; a short drive from Bahrain International Airport; and less than an hour away from the King Fahd Causeway.
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