Vida Downtown is situated, in what is arguably, one of the most charming streets of Dubai. The Sheikh Rashid Bin Mohammed Boulevard is really attractive, with fairy-light lit trees, cobbled streets, shiny pavements, swish restaurants and of course, The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. The neighbourhood is a nice mix of old and new Dubai with coffee coloured buildings with traditional facades housing some of the poshest apartments in the city. It’s easy to miss Vida Downtown as one of the several residential properties considering it fits in so snugly with the rest of the area but a closer look reveals that it’s got a character of its own with its proximity to The Dubai Mall, DIFC, Fountains, World Trade Centre being a huge plus point.
This four-star property may not have a spacious resort-ish feel, primarily since it covers a small area but despite its status as a boutique four-star hotel, it is as apt for a short-on-time business traveller as it is for the leisure seeker. We loved the small but busy lobby, decorated with books, fancy chandeliers and a giant board decorated with antique looking clocks and other curios. Our Deluxe room didn’t boast of a great view but was compact and clean, with neutral colours offset by a giant headboard with fingerprint design lending it an artsy touch. The only grouse was the rather complex TV navigation system that had to be used for everything – from ordering room service to getting laundry done. It was efficient but you miss the human touch. The pool was a bit of a downer too, situated as it was right next to the main restaurant on one side and the street on the other.
WHAT TO DO, WHERE TO EAT
Vida has two outstanding restaurants – La Serre Bistro and Boulangerie and Toko, the Japanese hotspot. With an eclectic menu and a cool vibe, they rank high on the list of foodies and party-goers but 3in1, the in-house Mediterranean eatery is recommended too. The Friday brunch essentially offers British cuisine but is quite elaborate and fun. The regular menu is quite impressive with some fabulous meat and seafood choices.
Vida has a certain charm of its own, especially if you want to stay in the heart of Dubai, experiencing the best that the city has to offer. Our idea of fun would be to shop at Dubai Mall in the day, go for a nice long walk along the Boulevard at Twilight, round it off with a drink at Toko, dinner at 3in1 and tucking in the cosy room, the lights of the city always in sight.