Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk: falcons, pyramid views and a L’Occitane spa – Hotel Insider

30 July, 2022
Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk: falcons, pyramid views and a L’Occitane spa – Hotel Insider
Located in the heart of the Wafi district, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk is one of the newer additions to Umm Hurair 2’s ancient Egyptian-themed buildings.

The largest Sofitel property in the Middle East and Africa region is entirely distinctive, and although some may describe it as architecturally gaudy, it blends seamlessly with the pyramid-shaped structures surrounding it. With four broad equal sides tapering at the top, the hotel lives up to its namesake and has become a looming landmark of an obelisk on Sheikh Rashid Road since it opened in early 2020.

But how is the food and overall service? Is the hotel worth considering for your next trip to Dubai or staycation? The National checks in to find out.

The lobby doors slide open to a blue walkway patterned with papyrus plants and flanked with statues of golden-eyed jackals. Step into the lobby and you come under the towering gaze of a giant nine metre-wide golden falcon. It's a French hotel, dressed up in ancient Egyptian garb, but with disparate Emirati motifs thrown in. The front desk is cordial and offers a loose historical thread to tie this dizzying mishmash of cultures together.

The architecture, the receptionist explains, is based on the Obelisk of Luxor that now stands at the Place de la Concorde in Paris. The 23 metre-high obelisk arrived to France from Egypt in 1833, as a gift from Muḥammad Ali Pasha, ruler of Ottoman Egypt, to the last king of France Louis Philip I. A replica of the obelisk has been erected in the centre of the roundabout between the hotel and Wafi Mall.

“As for the falcon,” the front desk clerk adds, "It’s a tribute to where we are, to the UAE.”

Whatever you think of the hotel’s architectural palate, look past it, and you’ll find yourself in a hotel with exceptional service, amenities and exceptional food.

One of the best things about The Obelisk is its location. The hotel is a few minutes walk from Wafi Mall, which houses everything from boutique stores to a Vox Cinemas.

A stone’s throw away is Creek Park and Dubai Healthcare City and most tourist destinations in Dubai are about a 15-minute car drive or a short metro ride away with the Dubai Healthcare City metro station only a few minutes walk from the hotel.

The safety measures
During our visit, the hotel staff were masked and hand sanitizers were abound. The pool area gets a bit cramped on the weekends in high season, so if you're looking to read or sunbathe in peace, you may be better off elsewhere. At the hotel's restaurants, the tables are well spaced so that even if you happen to walk in on a particularly busy night, you'll still find you're able to savour your meal in private.

The room
We stayed in a Luxury Club Room. Spacious and tastefully decorated in earthy tones, it doesn’t take long to feel comfortable.

The furniture has pronounced wood grains, while the lamps and artworks feature minimal gold accents. The bathroom has a large free-standing bathtub, as well as a spacious shower area.

Just as stunning is the view outside. As the motorised curtains draw back with the touch of a button, you have views over Creek Park and the Dubai Creek. Beyond that, you've got a good view of Dubai Airport and it's full blue-striped splendor. We are staying on one of the upper floors of The Obelisk and you’d be hard-pressed to find a nicer view of this part of Dubai.

The service
Welcoming staff made our stay feel special. Front desk answered all our queries — from questions related to restaurant timings to the hotel’s historical and architectural inspiration. Housekeeping was meticulous and punctual with their turndown service, and the room seemed as well made when we returned from the pool as when we first walked in.

The food
We head down to the Brasserie Boulud for a late lunch, leaving ancient Egypt behind for a more Parisian setting. The tables are draped with white cloths and surrounded by grey and black chairs. The primarily monochrome interior accented with deep reds and golds exudes a stylish first-class atmosphere.

The in-house baked bread is an offering straight out of Paris’s finest bakeries while the Omani shrimps are buttery, garlicy and delicately-seared — a top performer from the starter list. The grilled Mediterranean sea bass, served on a bed of freekeh and piperade and topped with an orange and zaatar dressing, is a wonderful blend of savoury and zest. But the star of this menu is in the dessert section, specifically the ile flottante, an egg white cloud in a pool of vanilla bean sauce, drizzled with caramel and strawberry jam.

For dinner, we head to Taiko Dubai. The restaurant is far from the only Asian fusion offering in the city, but it may be one of the very best.

With its engraved walls, artificial cherry blossoms, and ornaments of Japanese drums and lantern-like chandeliers, the restaurant is elegantly decorated and the food is parallel. First up are slices of melons, served on a bowl of ice and infused and garnished with wasabi, kimchi, shiso soy and sesame. It is a flavoursome triad of cold, sweet and spicy. The Hiramasa King Fish Sashimi (Dh88) is a mouth-watering blend of tastes, including saffron, pistachio and black lime. As delicious and creative as both these dishes is the Black Garlic Hummus (Dh60) that deserves its own ovation.
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