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Dubai hotel review: Vida Creek Harbour

Words by Rob Chilton

Standing at the centre of Dubai’s new Creek Harbour is a stylish neighbourhood hotel with one of the best sundowner spots in the city

When we saw staff at the Vida Creek Harbour bustle around the hotel’s terrace, serving drinks and dishing out menus, we thought of that old adage that says you can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they wear. Rather than a boring, black lace-up office shoe, staff here at this new hotel on the water just by Dubai Festival City wear white Puma low-top leather sneakers – unfussy, classic and cool.

The terrace at sunset

It’s this terrace – the Courtyard – that is the nerve centre of the hotel. With fantastic views of the downtown Dubai skyline, it is without doubt one of the best sundowner spots in the city. If you can tear your eyes away from the jagged buildings set against the orange sunset, you’ll see the pool below, the huge marina and an impressive waterfront promenade that is dotted with sun shelters that look like small Sydney Opera Houses.

Like its sister hotels in Downtown and Emirates Hills, this Vida bolthole on the Creek has travel-themed knick-knacks in the lobby that give it a boutique feel. In the public bathrooms, there’s modern art on the walls, while in the reception lounges you’ll find lovely coffee table books from Assouline.

Good food is served at the infinity pool

Rooms have large arched windows with a star-patterned lattice exterior that give just the hint of the Middle East. Picture ledges, rather than conventional wall frames, hold pieces of abstract art that would grace any apartment in the pages of a glossy interior design magazine.

A stripped-back breakfast

Breakfast is informally served at a small bar that became a little crowded – it felt like a grab-and-go concept and may need to be expanded to cope with the morning rush. But the coffee – served in comfortingly chunky mugs – is strong and freshly-brewed. Soon we can expect the opening of a plant-based restaurant concept from Milan called Soul Green, which blends with the hotel’s forward-thinking philosophy.

Rooms are simply yet elegantly designed

With many more shops and cafes expected to open on the promenade, the area surrounding the hotel still feels a little unfinished. But once the awnings are up and people have moved into the swish apartments, this will become one of Dubai’s most attractive neighbourhoods, with exactly the right kind of hotel in the middle of it all.

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