The shorter working hours and relaxed atmosphere in the holy month of Ramadan often make it a great time to de-stress and unwind – and there’s no better way to do that than head for a staycation. I had the chance to spend my Ramadan weekend at Manzil Downtown – a 4-star property located just a stone’s throw away from Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa.
Having visited the hotel before, I was once again taken aback by their chic lobby which was an exquisite fusion of modern minimalism and Arabesque influences. Their provision of a bicycle ride upon check-in was a memorable addition, one of the many that have been peppered across the hotel that incorporated Arabic greetings into every activity.
It was clear from my room welcome that Manzil Downtown takes its Arab heritage very seriously – a refreshing switch from the norm. My welcome package included a portable backgammon player, a portable bluetooth speaker and a portable shisha in addition to a platter of delectable dates and pastries and a postcard that featured a photo of me as well (a very thoughtful touch from their team!)
The room design also incorporated Arabic influences as well, such as calligraphy design and hanging lanterns. The layout of the room with its open bathroom (that allows access to the panoramic views) was the most ideal for couple stays but not business travelers. The best bit was the stunning panoramic views of the Burj Khalifa and the adjacent Old Town – definitely one of the best in Dubai.
As for the amenities, there was access to a pool with cabanas, gym and the lobby doubled as a business centre as well. Every single experience during my stay was way above what the hotel’s 4-star rating suggested.
As with any Ramadan stay, the iftar and suhoor were my definite highlights. The extensive iftar buffet at Boulevard KItchen had a plethora of healthy starters, Arabic and Indian mains and desserts on offer.
They also served shisha at The Courtyard, which was elegantly decked out in Ramadan decor, and seemed to be a favorite among shisha-goers as the spot was full till Suhoor time. My favourite part, though, had to be their live mana’eesh (Arabic flatbread) station.
I’ve always liked having my Suhoor in bed and this was covered at Manzil too – they delivered a delectable set of warm mezze (one of my favourite in Dubai as they were not too oily), sliced vegetables, omelette and baked beans that were good for 3 people. Once again, my experience went above what their prices and ratings suggested.
Verdict: The mixture of well-appointed rooms, varied set of amenities, elegant Arabian decor and central location make Manzil Downtown a memorable place for a stay if your budget is around 500 AED per night – do keep a lookout for their Ramadan and Eid offers!