The W Dubai – Mina Seyahi is a buzzing new lifestyle hotel with a penchant for personalising stays in creative ways. Jenny Southan reports
W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International’s portfolio of 30 hotel brands, announced the opening of the 31-storey W Dubai – Mina Seyahi in spring 2022, making it the third W hotel to open in the UAE. With hundreds of hotels across the emirate it’s hard to stand out from the crowd but this property is a excellent choice for anyone visiting the destination for work but desiring an outdoor pool and trendy bar for moments of downtime.
Located on the Jumeirah Beach coastline, this adults-only hotel offers unobstructed views of the Arabian Gulf and the Ain Dubai observation wheel in the distance. My room looked down on a vast concrete plaza and building site – when I arrived it was so hazy I couldn’t see beyond this but after a couple of days the air cleared and I could see Dubai Harbour close by and an array of shimmering towers.Upon arrival, guests step into a modern lobby lounge with lots of black and gold and a snake-themed welcome desk. I was promptly checked in by a very friendly member of staff and issued a key card. Like every W, this is definitely a hotel with a playful sense of style and a more avant garde approach to chain hotel design. It also has its own boutique (“Shoppable Stays” is an interesting emerging trend.) Once in my spacious room, I was welcomed by a bespoke magazine that the hotel had made for me (knowing that I’m a journalist). It was a thoughtful personal touch but also a bit strange to think of someone Googling images of me. It reminded me of the time I stayed at the Oberoi Dubai and they printed my LinkedIn profile picture onto a chocolate picture frame and put it on the coffee table. Things I liked about the room were the wireless charging pad by the bed, universal plug sockets, free water in glass bottles and no plastic miniatures of shampoo or shower gel. The minibar prices were outrageous, though – £50 for a small bottle of red wine and £15 for some nuts. This didn’t disuade me from consuming them but I did regret it at check-out. On the plus side, there was also a tray of free baklava cakes guarded by a wooden cobra.The W Dubai – Mina Seyahi has 318 rooms including 27 suites – all sea-facing with private balconies (mine had a table and chairs and offered a dramatic setting for a sundowner) and with super sound-proofing. Each room also has separate living, vanity and sleeping spaces, as well as the brand’s signature Mix Bar, which also has a hot drink station. The bed was also extremely comfy. The most expensive option is the vast, 160 sqm “Extreme WOW” suite, positioned on the 30th floor and featuring two bedrooms, a lounge, dining area and balcony. W hotels pride themselves on their branded “Whatever/Whenever” service concept but I can’t say I really took advantage of this beyond ordering some room service and asking where the iron and ironing board was stored in the room.
For the fact that the W Dubai – Mina Seyahi only has a small spa with four treatment rooms and a (very shallow) lagoon-shaped outdoor pool, I would say this is a hotel primarily for business travellers (or at least digital nomads like myself). I was in Dubai for work myself but I enjoyed having the option of working by the pool and a quick dip between meetings. There was also a really attractive pool bar with an amazing giant tree growing out of the middle of it. (Anything is possible in Dubai!) Ginger Moon was my favourite restaurant as it is open to the pool terrace and proved an excellent hang-out spot for an entire day. I really liked the breakfast buffet, which had lots of healthy choices (including excellent hummus) and an interesting array of spiced honeys, fruit, salads, yoghurt and traditional flatbread. At lunch I ordered a tofu poke bowl (again, kudos for a trendy, nutritious menu). In the evening I had a beer and watched the sun go down.I also took the elevator up to Attiko, a sleek, high-energy rooftop bar with stunning panoramic views but I found it too windy so went back down to Ginger Moon. On a calm night (weather wise) it would be a fabulous place to meet clients or have a drink with friends.
There is also a Middle Eastern lounge called Farrago, Bussola for Italian food, Fish Beach Taverna, Bounty Beets (for organic, gluten-free and vegan food), and Mare by Bussola, which has a beach vibe but I didn’t have time to explore these.Another highlight is the W Dubai – Mina Seyahi’s new (in 2023) 2,500 sqm fitness centre – 1Rebel/Fit, which marks the UAE debut of UK-born boutique gym 1Rebel, which I am a big fan of. Again I didn’t have a chance to visit, though.
For meetings of up to 120 people, there are three distinct Studis with plenty of natural light. There is also a pre-function space with an outdoor terrace.
The W Dubai – Mina Seyahi is a great new addition to the Dubai hotel scene with more restaurants than I had time to try, and a good selection of leisure facilities to make even a work trip feel a bit like a holiday. My room was generous in size and I loved the healthy food available at Ginger Moon. It’s great to see W still working hard to keep up with Millennial trends and maintaining a sense of individuality. In November 2023, rooms start from about £1,600 per night, so this is definitely an expensive property.