Wednesday 30 January 2013

Radisson Blu, Dubai Media City, United Arab Emirates

A smart, sleek hotel spread across two stumpy glass and steel towers, the Radisson Blu in Dubai's Media City is squarely aimed at business travellers.   Tastefully-decorated, the standard rooms aren't spacious, but they are well-equipped with fast, free WiFi, effective air conditioning, a (pricey) mini-bar and a safe. The only significant thing missing is an iron and an ironing board, while the English language TV channels are limited to CNN, BBC Worldwide and their ilk. Connected by a spaceship-style glass walkway, each tower has its own second floor terrace - one with a pool and a bar, the other adjoining a comfortable business lounge.  You can sit here and enjoy a drink in the shadow of skyscrapers. Unfortunately, the lobby, with its portraits of enrobed Arab leaders, is a bit bling.  The buffet breakfast (just 72 dirhams - about £13), which you can eat inside or out, is big on choice, featuring everything from scrambled eggs to chicken sausages to noodles and other Asian dishes. There are also plenty of cold options, including a broad selection of fresh bread rolls. The smoothies, particularly the banana one, are well worth trying, but the coffee can be lacklustre and tepid.  On the top floor, the Radisson Blu has a fairly funky open-air terrace and bar, which hosts DJs and live music in the evenings, turning this conservative business hotel into an unlikely nightspot.  7/10