The steady development of the St Regis Dubai on Shiekh Zayed Road is one of the most watched - and anticipated - hotel projects in the emirate for some time.
Here are 10 things we learned. You can also see a complete photo tour the St Regis Dubai here.
1. Opulence rules, right from the off
From the enormous front doors and the stunning double staircase to the 1,200 hand-cut crystals dangling from the lobby’s chandelier, this is a hotel that needs paramedics permanently stationed at the reception to help with all the dropped jaws.
2. The suites are sweet
If you thought the Empire versions were spacious then check out the Grand Suite. A private lift drops you off at an enormous living space complete with a TV room/'man cave', personal massage room and a walk-in wardrobe with enough room to swing a hundred cat suits. Such grandeur will set you back Dhs13,000 a night, though.
3. Knick-knacks are king
The décor throughout the hotel has the theme of a well-heeled traveller’s private collection from across the globe, minus the hunting trophies. But rather than resemble a hotchpotch of random keepsakes, they all combine to give a sense of being at someone’s home. When we say home, we mean palace.
4. Bentley's Gonna Sort You Out
A global partner of the brand, the British carmaker’s tyre marks are embedded across the hotel. The one-off mural in the St Regis Bar is inspired by a classic model, there is a fleet of them to be chauffeured around in, a bespoke Bentley Suite to indulge yourself in and, as we are reliably informed, the ballroom is so big you could easily do dancefloor doughnuts in it (if that’s your thing).
5. Butlers are very accommodating indeed
The St Regis chain is renowned for its smartly attired set service professionals who will cater for your every whim. Its Dubai incarnation is no different, with the ‘e-Butler’ service meaning you could technically WhatsApp them for a bag of Monster Munch (other crisp varieties exist) whenever you very well please.
6. Small children don’t like the men’s spa
Although the Iridium Spa is otherwise a haven of tranquillity, one particular feature is enough to bring toddlers to tears. The Experience Shower smells divine and offers three soothing soundtrack settings to help you unwind. However, the fourth setting transports you to the set of a Hammer Horror film thanks to a symphony of thunder and lightning.
7. Steak tartare isn’t just raw beef with an egg plonked on top
The stand-out dish during service No.1 at the Brasserie Quartier was its uncooked offering. It provides a fabulous twist to a French classic and somehow lords it over a mélange of equally well thought out Gallic options (the crème brûlée was magnifique too, and deserves a special mention).
8. The Royal Suite isn’t ready yet
Much to Time Out Dubai's disappointment, the chance to marvel at the three-bedroom, two-story pièce de résistance was denied us due to the need for some finishing touches. Maybe the private rooftop plunge pool wasn’t wet enough yet to meet the hotel’s high standards.
9. St Regis has its own cows (thankfully not roaming the corridors)
Walking into J&G Steakhouse (which offers classics alongside reinterpretations of some of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s greatest hits) Time Out Dubai was told the restaurant offers 17 different cuts of beef but also has a band of bovines ‘with St Regis literally stamped on them’. What their Australian cohorts think of this fashion statement is anyone’s guess.
10. Prince Harry is on the provisional guest list
When talk turned to the second St Regis hotel destined for Dubai, the promise of polo fields made Time Out Dubai's mind wander a little. When we asked the GM Andreas Oberoi if a certain strawberry-blond royal would be checking in any time soon, he smiled broadly and diplomatically replied, ‘We hope so. We’ll let you know’.