We found one of the best places to unwind in the Middle East

Matthew Kelly

Let’s face it, travelling can be a pretty stressful experience; from trying to work out the currency conversion rate, to dealing with that friend who has to take a photo of everything under the sun.

Out of all of my recent holidays, travelling to Dubai was the first time I was actually able to switch off and relax, and it's mostly thanks to my stay at the Shangri-La, where I was a guest of the hotel.

An inner-city retreat, the hotel's relaxing experience starts the second you walk through its glitzy glass doors.

The Shangri-La's lobby is like a scene out of a movie.

After the feat that is battling the hectic Dubai traffic, arriving at the newly-renovated interior will immediately calm even the most stressed traveller. The abundance of fresh flowers and the soft background music made me feel like a new man.

The grand entrance was one thing, but the real showstopper was my room – as soon as I opened the door, my jaw dropped. Remember that scene in Home Alone when Kevin McCallister was living the luxe life in the Plaza? That was me.

My room featured an incredibly lush bed, giant bathtub and the most breathtaking view of the Burj Khalifa, one of Dubai's most iconic skyscrapers. I spent an entire day looking out the window in awe – while bingeing on the sweets from the mini bar.

The view from my hotel room featuring the breathtaking Burj Khalifa.

When I wasn’t staring out the window, you could catch me in the health club jumping between the sauna, stream room and jacuzzi, trying to cleanse my body from all margaritas I drank the previous night.

The health club is a perfect spot to dodge the searing Middle Eastern sun, sip on a lemon and ginger tea, and get in touch with your inner self.

The hotel boasts two separate clubs for men and women, so ladies, you don’t have to worry about your hubby getting on your nerves.

The hotel spa/ health club was a highlight during our stay.

If you’re wanting to treat yourself, the hotel's "CHI" spa is a must. It offers a variety of treatments where guests can forget about all life’s stresses and relax.

I stopped in for a caviar facial, and the 90-minute procedure saw my skin go through several hydrating treatments #goodbyewrinkles.

The Shangri-La, Dubai sure knows how to put on a breakfast spread.

When I wasn’t working on my skin, I was looking after my sweet tooth at the hotel’s lavish buffet breakfast. From waffles and crêpes served with strawberries and melted chocolate, to eggs cooked to order, there is something for everyone. We strongly encourage guests to wear their elastic pants as you’ll want to go back for seconds or fifths.

When booking, guests have the option to gain access to the hotel’s Horizon Club lounge. It has its own private pool, gym, viewing platform and café/bar, so it’s perfect for those who are wanting to escape the hotel crowds.

The view from the Horizon Club's observation deck.

Nonetheless the hotel’s location is prime, only a 10-minute taxi journey from the Burj Khalifa, Mall of Emirates and downtown Dubai, which means guests are able to avoid the main hustle and bustle of the city’s traffic, saving a lot of grey hairs.

Overall, the Shangri-La, Dubai is the perfect place to relax.

Between the hotel’s serene setting, lavish amenities and central location, I found the Shangri-La Dubai the perfect place to relax.

Nearby hot spots:
Burj Khalifa
Mall of Emirates
Dubai International Airport
World Trade Centre
Dubai International Financial Centre

Matthew Kelly was a guest of the Shangri-La, Dubai.

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