And while much has changed beyond the property, stylish luxury remains the constant within its walls.
As the electronic curtains of suite 1501 slowly ease open the full drama of Sheikh Zayed Road and yonder is there to remind of the dynamic contrast on offer.
Embraced by a large well-placed swivel chair it is easy to become mesmerised as the animated streets below take on a movie-like demeanour.
But try not to be distracted for too long, for this is a hotel with many charms that lift it beyond being just a convenient retreat for shopped out visitors returning from nearby Dubai Mall.
And that includes the upcoming Expo 2020, which General Manager Klaus Assmann says will be 30-35 minutes away when the new line extension powers up.
“Being the only international five-star hotel linked to the mall, it takes about 10-15 minutes by foot through an air-conditioned skywalk and you’re in Dubai Mall,” he says.
“Guests of Sofitel Dubai Downtown also get special discounts in the mall’s entertainment outlets.”
Both business and leisure travellers at this hotel can avail a canny mix of accessibility with city centre convenience, but the Sofitel isn’t relying on its post-code credentials.
Stay in the relevant room category and you’ll love how the hotel has enhanced its VIP club lounge, Club Millesime, now a huge multi-faceted space offering numerous places to relax.
“We moved it from ground to the third floor, added shower facilities and a relaxation area with massage chairs, which our guests absolutely love," says Klaus.
By other club lounge standards, this is epic with dozens of seating options and a separate smoking section with balcony.
Other dining options include La Patisserie cafe, in the hotel’s super stylish lobby, the Peruvian-themed Inka, and Wakame, a stylish Japanese restaurant and bar with private dining opportunities for special family dinners.
Anyone familiar with Dubai’s nightlife hangouts will be very aware of Above, a part-al fresco dining and drinking outlet recently re-launched as Above 2.0.
The space has been re-tuned as a “vibrant Mediterranean rooftop lounge”, and while the once un-cluttered view of the Burj Khalifa now competes with an apartment tower, this spacious restaurant and bar tenders an international menu with extensive indoor and outdoor seating.
“A great concept needed a new and fresh approach,” says Klaus simply. “We listened to our guests and brought them a newly revamped neighborhood lounge.”
The concession sits beside the Sofitel’s pool - a smart two level design suitable for both relaxing and exercise - flanked by loungers and a serviced al fresco seating area with views across to more of Downtown Dubai.
Calorie-burning opportunities lie in a modern, well-equipped gym while SoSPA offers a range of treatments and pampering.
All combine a mix of calming floor materials and carpets and warm, elegant decor, enlivened with continental flair and splashes of colour from trendy soft furnishings.
In our stunning Prestige Suite, this was spread over an an airy separate living room with hot drinks facilities, moving into a generous bedroom featuring a 55 inch flatscreen TV, and glass table and chairs, plus a corner seating area with that stunning coast and SZR panaroma.
The latter can also be enjoyed from a good-size standalone tub in a roomy, ultra-stylish bathroom with two large sinks and separate rain shower and toilet areas.
Even the quality of the ‘entry level’ Luxury Room category is - as the branding suggests - beyond regular standards and represents great value for such in a prime city district.
Free wi-fi remains generous here, even into a spacious and contemporary bathroom with an oval standalone tub, independent rain shower and Lanvin amenities. You’ll also find an efficient hair-dryer, kettle and coffee machine.
If you are here on business, there’s a floor dedicated to meeting rooms - 11 of them - and a plush ballroom available for functions, such as product launches and weddings.
If you wish to go out seeking even more nightlife, fine nosh or a mix of entertainment, you’re in useful proximity to Dubai Opera, Coca-Cola Arena and countless dining and nightlife opportunities within The Dubai Mall and Souk Al Bahar.
SOFITEL Dubai Downtown, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, call 04 503 6666.
STAYING here costs from AED1072 (including taxes & breakfast in a Luxury Room for two), based on a ‘one night stay, checking in February 29. If you wish to splash out on a Prestige Suite, that costs from AED1,868, based on the above factors, but including club lounge access.
BECOME an ALL - Accor Live Limitless - member to enjoy discounts on room prices.
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