“Exploring without borders.” Rove Hotels
Dubai is a tourist hotspot known for its sprawling opulent beachfront hotels where everything is done on a colossal scale. Now while I’m a fan of such properties, after all who doesn’t like to be pampered, enjoy the best service, restaurants and suites, if you are visiting for short stay or just can’t handle all the pomp then the new trendy lifestyle hotel Rove Downtown Dubai is the perfect alternative.
Centrally located Rove Downtown is a contemporary mid-range hotel, affordable, comfortable and dare I say it, hip and trendy. Light, airy, modern and spacious it’s decor is an eclectic mix of twenty-first century design with pops of colour and vibrant art, regional cultural influences and cutting edge technology. Don’t be alarmed by the phrase ‘mid-range’ although I can conclude that its ‘self service’ conception is a little unusual for this region.
By self-service I mean you park your own car, carry your own bags (airport style trolleys are available) and buy your own snacks and drinks from the twenty-four hour Zoom convenience store (perfect if you have forgotten your toothbrush) and cafe that serves Starbucks coffee in lieu of any actual room service. Has this new way of operating caused complaints or just confusion, judging by the occupancy levels I would say guests have well and truly embraced the novelty factor. The expat princess in me was if I’m honest a little surprised by the lack of valet service especially in the ridiculous August heat but us Brits are more than capable of parking our own cars, even if it was grumpily.
The teenager and I checked-in for a staycation this week to see what this fuss free establishment that opened in May has to offer the modern-day traveller, or should that be ‘Rovers’ as the hotel refers to its guests. Ideally located downtown within a stone’s throw (or rather in a taxi at this time of year) of DIFC, Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and the newly opened Dubai Opera House, Rove offers a comfortable stay that’s not only affordable but a refreshing addition to the Dubai hospitality market where more cosmopolitan boutique style hotels are a rare commodity.
The lobby is minimalist with many design features, wall clocks in both Arabic and English display the time with words rather than numbers, miniature succulents are scattered around in pots or displayed in on trend kilner jars. Old and new combine with traditional coffee and dates offered on a table made from a converted bike, 3D ceramic camels wander caravan style across one wall next to a large shaped screen projecting the hotel’s images and hashtags.
While the public areas are funky and some a little bonkers (like the red and white checked locker room with its walls full of inflatable animals), the rooms are the complete opposite. The Rover Room has a dignified palette of white and grey, the decor is simple as is the furniture and textiles but most importantly it’s comfortable and pristine. Simple art in the form of oversized badges and text add colour and interest, the bed was extremely comfy, so comfy in fact that I struggled to get the teenager out of it in time for the relaxed 2pm check out.
The bathroom was ultra modern and spotless with a power shower, a large wall mounted flat screen TV provides in room entertainment and a bedouin style chair could be converted into an extra single bed. All four hundred and twenty rooms at Rove Downtown are exactly the same size, the only difference in price is the view, our Rover Room Burj View had a fantastic view of the iconic Burj Khalifa, families and larger parties can book interconnecting rooms which make up thirty percent of the hotel’s accomadation.
The Daily, Rove’s sizable restaurant or hangout for hungary rovers as it’s also known, is surprisingly accessed through the supermarket but don’t let that put you off. Once inside it’s another super cool industrial style urban space that wouldn’t look out-of-place in London or New York, the large outdoor terrace area will be popular in cooler weather. Concrete floors, low hanging lights, intimate tables or bench style communal seating with central plugs for those who work while they dine, metal chairs and barrels, coloured glasses and enamel plates set the scene.
Open daily from 6:30am – 10:30pm, the licensed venue offers an International and Arabic influenced menu, chef signature dishes, pizzas, burgers, healthy salads, juices and smoothies are offered alongside coffees, teas and cakes. Breakfast is served until 10:30am buffet style on stacked wooden packing crates for a very reasonable AED 55, a combination of a help yourself concept and hot dishes served to the table.
An a la carte menu is also available until 12 noon which I tried, I can highly recommend the eggs with avocado and fresh brewed coffees. The Daily offers guests both all day dine-in and takeaway options from their grab-and-rove menu, it has all your dining needs covered including those special dietary requirements such as gluten-free and vegetarian.
At the weekends The Daily offers a family friendly Bench Brunch (previously hosted at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai) from 11am – 5pm with an unlimited buffet selection, hot plates from the kitchen and beverages from the resident barista. Competitively priced at AED 99 per person and AED 49 for children six to twelve years (Under 6’s dine free) it’s the perfect way to while away Friday’s and Saturday’s with friends and family – see the full menu here
Rove’s mantra is ‘efficiency and technology’ designed to attract the wealth of digital nomads that reside in this region and those passing through Dubai on route to other destinations, those who ‘explore without borders’. The spacious lobby and adjoining Socialize area offer communal spaces with iMacs and charging facilities, most spots were taken with people busy behind their laptop screens, while the complimentary wi-fi was super fast in the public areas it was disappointingly intermittent in our fifth floor room.
Comfortable lounge style seating offers rovers a centralised place to relax and chat, intimate cosy corners offer more privacy with their tent style covering, a feature wall crammed with memorabilia and artefacts reflecting Emirati traditions and heritage catches everyone’s attention.
It may not be a beachfront property but the mezzanine level has a good size outdoor pool and sundeck with loungers and views of the Burj Khalifa, gym and meeting rooms that are available 24/7. The boldly painted self-service laundromat (no laundry service at this hotel) has a TV to keep you entertained while carrying out laundry duties.
Rove Hotels is a Dubai born and bred lifestyle concept from Emaar in collaboration with Meraas Holding striving to accommodate guests seeking an affordable yet stylish alternative to the sprawling opulence offered elsewhere in the city, without compromising on design or service.
Rove Downtown Dubai is the first of several properties scheduled to open in the Emirate over the next few years, a second hotel Rove Port Saeed near Dubai International Airport is due to open next month. A Rove App is in development that will allow rovers to manage their stay with self-service check-in and check-out and unlocking rooms. The hotel’s downtown location is ideal for business travellers with its proximity to Dubai International Financial Centre and Convention Centre but equally good for tourists looking to explore and staycations for those who live in the neighbouring Emirates.
We thoroughly enjoyed our fuss-free stay, Rove proves that you don’t need to overspend to enjoy a stylish experience, while aesthetics and comfort are paramount at this hotel so is its focus on customer satisfaction. I may have parked my own car, carried my own bag but our room was lovely, the location is spot on, the food was delicious and the overall vision is a welcome change to gargantuan and somewhat soulless accommodations dotted around Dubai. Would I stay at Rove again, yes without a doubt, in fact I’m looking forward to it already.
The Nitty Gritty
Rove Downtown Dubai, 312 Al Sa’ada Street, Zabeel 2 Downtown, Financial Centre Road, Downtown Dubai
Telephone: 04 561 9999
Check in: 4:00pm
Check out: 2:00pm
Rove Downtown Dubai offers complimentary wi-fi, water in the rooms, 24-hour gym and flexible meeting room options.
Excellent location to explore Downtown Dubai, walking distance to the Dubai Mall, Souk Al Bahar, the Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Opera House and the Metro.
Comfortable and clean rooms
Modern and stylish interior
Good dining options at The Daily
24-hour convenience store
The Not so Good….
Wi-fi was intermittent in our room
I was invited to review this hotel. All view are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved. Second photo used courtesy of www.rovehotels.com