Opened in July, the W is part of Al Habtoor City incorporating three hotels and residential towers. The W looks out to the soon-to-be-completed Dubai Water Canal. It's a 20-minute drive from Dubai International Airport and a 10-minute drive to the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall.
The hip sister to fellow Starwood neighbours St Regis – which opened last November – and the yet-to-open Westin, this 33-storey hotel fits the W Hotel ethos of mixing fashion, design and music perfectly. The check-in lounge on the 30th floor features a DJ booth and is where Dubai's hip set sip cocktails on the mismatched couches in the multilevel adjoining bar.
Poolside, known as the Wet Deck, is set up for partying. There's another DJ booth there and champagne popsicles are served but, at the moment at least, there's little shade from the Dubai sun. The good news is you can walk through a gate to the shaded pools of the St Regis, which anyone staying at W has access to.
There is a 24-hour gym on-site or you can opt for a private in-room session with the hotel's yoga instructor.
White leather, stick lighting, mirrors and curves give the rooms a futuristic feel while pops of brightly coloured art works break the minimalist colour scheme. The bathroom is open-concept, that is there is no door, the bath being a key feature of the room's design. The W signature bed with a pillow-top mattress is extremely inviting after a long flight.
Its Presidential suite, known as the Extreme Wow Suite, offers two levels of decadence including a giant round bed, a DJ station, dance floor and even a catwalk ramp. Musician Flo Rida had just partied there the week before I arrived.
At the W, staff pride themselves on the "whenever, whatever" service. Anything you like (within reason) will be brought to your room. Before arriving I was asked via email from the "Welcome Experience Team" what my "poison of choice" was. The drink was waiting in my room when I arrived and, knowing I was from Australia they added a touch of Down Under to the room (photos of koalas and roos) as a welcoming surprise.
The hotel's destination restaurant, Namu, offers a mix of Japanese and Korean cuisine. You can choose a seat overlooking the canal or one at a station where chefs perfect their works of art. Service is excellent, even the head chef visited every table to offer his recommendations.
The market-style eatery, Level Seven, where all meals are served, offers Mediterranean flavours and hosts a "Feed Me" brunch every Friday.
While the hotel is a short taxi ride to most of the malls and attractions of Dubai, the beauty of this complex is you can fly and flop. Everything is there for you, including access to the facilities and restaurants of the St Regis (and soon The Westin), which makes the W a good option for a stopover.
Farther afield, the hotel can help organise a "Heritage Desert Safari with Stargazing" to whisk you out of the built-up area.
The vibe is hip, the design is, at times, a bit showy (catwalks, an abundance of mirrors and neon) which works well in these days of selfies. This is a good option if you want to party with Dubai's hip set or just enjoy good food and stylish surroundings.
The special opening rate with prices starting from $320 a room, a night includes early check-in from noon and late check-out until 5pm, complimentary W Lounge welcome beverage upon arrival, breakfast, and complimentary Wi-Fi access. See wdubaialhabtoorcity.com
The food and service are excellent, and access to facilities at St Regis is welcomed.
Arriving after a long flight is slightly confusing, once you get past all the lights and stripes on the ground floor, you realise the check-in desk is actually 30 flights up.
The writer stayed as a guest of the W Dubai Al Habtoor City