The Monarch is at the foot of Sheikh Zayed Road (numero one, in fact), just over the road from the World Trade Centre and the city’s main business district. It’s at the very top of Diyafah Street, a lively, restaurant-lined road that leads down towards Jumeirah (and, importantly, the beach). The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa area is about a 10 minute drive away, as is the airport.
The Monarch describes its standard Deluxe Rooms as ‘all business and all play’. They’re quite alright as well, with light wood used well across much of the walls and furnishings, along with a stylish lounge area (with sexy chaise lounge) by some vast light-giving windows. The bathroom too has a touch of the cool, its glass panels offering bathtub occupants a splendid view of the city.
The huge lobby is like a vast indulgent atrium, glittering with marble and sparkly materials and with a raised section clad in dark wood offering some rather comfy red armchairs. Sometimes you might even find a harp player plucking away in the middle.
Eating and drinking
Like almost every aspect of this hotel, The Monarch’s dining and drinking options are about ostentation and expense at its highest. This isn’t somewhere to come for a quick cheese sarnie. On the first floor, Okku, from the same people who brought you London’s celeb-friendly hangouts Maya and Pangaea, is a Japanese restaurant where you won’t be grabbing plastic dishes off little conveyor belts. Dimly lit and glittering in expensive Eastern opulence, Okku is where Dubai’s rich kids come to nibble on foie gras, wagyu and other pricey delights. Meanwhile, for more basic, manly culinary urges, Ruth’s Chris Steak House (don’t ask about the name, it’s American), serves big hunks of USDA Prime beef at big prices. And to round things all off, why not finish with a drink in Gold, a bar covered in, yes, Gold! (actually, there’s a lot of white in there too). It’s quite tacky in its proud vulgarity, but hey, this is Dubai.
On the third floor, the Mandara Spa does away with the gold for a minute, focussing instead on relaxing Balinese treatments. It does a half-decent business-lunch-followed-by-a-massage deal at Okku, which is worth checking out. The Quantum Health Club offers a rather well-equipped gym, plus a separate room for ladies who might not want to see menfolk flexing in front of mirrors. There’s also a nicely laid out outdoor pool, with cool decking kitted out with chairs and sunbeds.
Friendly and helpful. Ask for a room upgrade - you might just get it.
Who stays there
It's location over the road from the World Trade Centre and Convention Centre makes it a popular spot for business travellers. it's also found a fanbase in bling-friendly Arabs and Eastern Europeans. Sat not far from anything, it's also a decent location for most tourists.
- Business travellers
Pros & Cons
- Cool rooms
- Luxurious interior
- No beach
- Excessively opulent