If you’re following me on Instagram, you might have noticed my overflow of Insta Stories from last weekend. My wee family and I were invited over for a staycation at Media One Hotel, and I have to say this has to be one the most Instagram-worthy hotel stays I’ve been to in Dubai!
Media One Hotel had us click-happy for a number of reasons. First off, its so refreshingly different from the staycations I’ve been to in the recent past. Media One Hotel makes suave, ‘run of the mill’ sophisticated, uptight interiors look so cliche! This 4 star property can best be described as an artsy boutique concept and has, so far, been a well-kept secret among Media City coworkers.
Located in the heart of Media City, the creative juices of the surrounding establishments have surely rubbed off on this hospitality hub. What appears to be yet another mundane structure of steel-enhanced construction is only a facade for all things funky within.
From the lobby to the rooms themselves, the ambiance here is urban, chic and so welcomingly quirky-cool! You find cheeky quotes at every corner, and a large group of cheeky monkeys seem to have invaded the lobbies and corridors. And then we got to share our room with an enormous, cuddly teddy and a chubby little goldfish!
Check-in start at 2, but I only managed to get there by 6 post-work. The Hubster and our little one were already there, and it sure was fun walking into this room instead of home for a change…
We were checked into the HIP Room Queen, and I absolutely LOVED it! Given it is a Queen room, I was expecting it to be much smaller, but this spacious room, flooded with natural light and boasting of stunning views of the urban jungle of Dubai, was anything but!
The first thing my little one pointed out to me was the giant teddy. What a cute touch! She promptly dragged him to the single bed they had added into the room for her, and enjoyed a few furry cuddles.
And we also had a live guest in the room… a chubby little goldfish! We decided to name him Sam. Sam became a part of the family, and we even called in room service to give him a feed late into the night.
The room has all the facilities you would expect to get in a standard hotel room, but they somehow manage to go the extra mile. A platter of fruit awaits on the table. There’s complimentary tea and coffee… and an espresso machine. They have all the bathroom amenities, and even include good-quality tooth-brushes. The bathroom is beautifully spacious, and I loved the deep tub.
And then there’s the quirky additions… a naughty little chocolate souvenir shaped like an egg that reads ‘I got laid in Media One Hotel’ (totally cracked me up!), and the M Cube, a large red cardboard cube on the bed that turned out to be their 24/7 room service menu.
There’s a large, comfy swivel chair in one corner, perfect for idling in and watching television reruns on the 42 inch screen… but we hardly had any time for TV here. Right after I got there, I had a quick change and we headed to Cafe M.
Wine & Cheese Buffet at Cafe M
The cafe has a chic European boutique feel about it, and the dim sepia lighting adds to the chilled out ambiance of the place. The tables were filled with many business types, presumably coworkers from the nearby Media City offices. Despite their formal garb, they had a satiated, zen look about them. After all, it was Thursday night. What better way to ring in the weekend than unlimited wine and cheese at Cafe M?
Every Thursday, Cafe M has a Cheese & Wine Buffet that runs from 7 to 10 pm. And here’s the best bit… it only costs AED 199 per person! If you want to upgrade to the bubbly package, its AED 219.
The wine selection here is massive, and they have all sorts of reds, whites and rose from around the world. Pick your poison, then pile the plate with tempting nibbles including exotic fruit and nut, and a variety of globally renowned cheese including some of my favorite Italian Taleggio, Dolcelatte and a variety of aged, blue vein varieties.
The buffet also includes fondues! We started with cheese, and ended with a sinfully good chocolate with fresh fruit.
Already a little tipsy yet unwilling to call it a night, we headed on to DEK on 8 for some more sipping…
DEK on 8
Dek on 8, as the name suggests, is located on the 8th floor of the hotel right next to the pool. Even past 10 pm, there were a few guests taking a dip. We sat on their comfy couches, and indulged in some very refreshing cocktails. My favorite was the Cucumber Cooler. The freshness of cucumber makes this a real treat in this muggy hot weather.
And then came the shisha! I had Lemon Mint, but I think my Hubby’s Watermelon Mint was even better. We puffed out our worries, and enjoyed the very chilled out ambiance. So relaxed was I that I nearly forgot the time!
You see, it was the Hubster’s birthday the very next day and we have a family tradition of cutting cake at midnight! Like Cinderella with her forgotten slipper, I dragged Hubby off his shisha, pouring out inconceivable excuses, and we were back in the room just a few minutes prior.
Happy Birthday Hubster!
At promptly 12 midnight, there was a knock on the door and in marched an army of Media One Hotel staff, bearing a huge wedge of a cake lit with a ceremonious candle. We crooned to ‘Happy Birthday’ together. What service! We gobbled up the complimentary cake in no time.
That night we slept like babies, unaware of the world around us. The bedding here is so plush and comfortable. Before long, a new day had begun.
At Media One Hotel, each room booking comes with complimentary breakfast. You can opt to have it served in the room itself, but we decided to venture downstairs to Qwerty, their all-day dining restaurant.
Breakfast at Qwerty
Qwerty is just as quirky cool as the hotel itself! The urban-style decor and funky interiors include cabled sheep, cheeky monkeys jumping across the wall, and welcoming cushions with witty quotes.
The breakfast includes an enticing spread of exotic fruit, cold-pressed juices, your regular cereals and cold mezze, but you need to order your hot breakfast a la carte.
Hubby went for the All American, the perfect start to the day for big boys with two juicy sausages, sunny side up, hash-browns and a salad. Our little one loved her cookie-butter smeared pancakes, and I went for my favorite… the Eggs Benedict.
I really like the idea of ordering off a menu instead of having a wide buffet of wastage. Great thinking Qwerty! And we were just the right kinda full to head to the pool right after.
Pool Time at DEK on 8
The pool looks even more beautiful in the daylight, and a number of sun-bathers were soaking up the sun when we got there. They don’t have a baby pool, but the pool is about chest-deep for an average adult. My little one has grown to be a more confident swimmer with her floatie vest, and we had a great time splashing about the pool.
And you should have seen her face when they brought in the giant swan floatie! Needless to say, I never got a turn.
As the pool is adjacent to DEK on 8, you can choose to lie about the poolside with their exquisite drinks; the perfect scenario for a hot summer’s day.
Back to Qwerty for Brunch
All the swimming actually got us famished! We headed back to Qwerty for brunch. The fresh fruits and cereals were replaced with a large table of retro-style games. From Jenga to Black Gammon, Mini Football and even Atari (so cool to see joysticks coming back!) these are toys for kids and adults alike!
The brunch menu, like their breakfast, is hearty and filling sans the wastage. It starts off with a generously large set of appetizers including Sliders, Tandoori Chicken Samosas and very enticing Satay Sticks. Eat your fill, and you can even ask for reorders of the ones you liked best. We had these with copious sips of refreshing white wine.
Then you get to choose a main-course of your choice. I opted for the Nasi Goreng, a mildly spiced take on the Indonesian classic served with more Satay Sticks and a decadently runny egg.
As for desserts, they have these by the trolley-load! We really were spoilt for choice. My favorite was their very creamy, custard-like Creme Brulee.
10 Reasons Why You Should Consider Booking into Media One Hotel too:
- The Service:
- From the moment our room booking was done, we were connected to the very lovely Olga via WhatsApp. She was talking to me even before we got there, ensuring we knew our itinerary, and that everything was set up the way we wanted.
- The staff here must be really well cared for because throughout our stay we never came across a single frowning face. Everyone here seems genuinely perked up to be working here and give out these positive vibes that go with the happy go lucky ambiance of the hotel.
- Foodie Haven:
- Media One Hotel has 4 distinctively different dining options. For a hearty holistic family breakfast and lunching, you can head to Qwerty. For laid-back drinks, there’s the wine and cheese buffet at Cafe M, or sip with puffs of shisha by the pool at DEK on 8. For a full-blown meal with drinks, there’s Garden on 8.
- Booze Central: Apart from having great venues for that leisurely social sip, Media One Hotel has another service I haven’t seen elsewhere… they offer a pick and drop on their very spunky F150!
- Family Loving:
- They think of the kids as well! From the giant teddy to the live goldfish, to the swan floatie in the pool, my little one says this was the best staycation she’s ever been to!
- The Quirk Factor: From the cheeky monkeys to the tongue-in-cheek quotes across the walls and a pet fish in each room, this has to be the quirkiest hotel I’ve ever stayed in!
- The Facilities:
- If you want to be picked up and dropped back home, Media One Hotel can provide this service!
- Forget standard coffee sachets, each room here has its very own coffee machine!
- If you’re feeling particularly peckish, the M Cube menu is available 24/7 for room delivery.
- Pool Time: My little one loved the pool at Media One, and more so for the giant swan floatie she got to use there! It beat the giant teddy in the bedroom! And what I was most impressed here was the Life Guards. Not only are they alert and on duty, one of them even came up to offer swimming lessons to my little one.
- Clubbing Scene: At Media One Hotel, you can let yourself loose in their thriving party scene at ON42. A versatile nightlife venue, ON42 keeps it interesting with an exciting calendar of original events.
- Late, Late Checkout: The standard checkout time in any other hotel I’ve stayed in has always been around 12 to 2. At Media One Hotel, they let you sleep it out and enjoy a late checkout at 6 pm!
- Centrally Located: Media One Hotel is right in the center of ‘New Dubai’ and nearby attractions include Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall, Emirates Golf Club, The Walk JBR, the Dubai Autodrome and a number of public beaches.
For more details on Media One Hotel, visit their website www.mediaonehotel.com