There’s nothing better than escaping to a new city for a weekend retreat, however the hassle of dealing with airport check-ins and the cost of flights can often mean it’s just not time or cost effective. Whilst most cities don’t offer much in the way of a solution to this, Dubai truly has it covered and has created an entire micro-economy from the ‘staycation’ market. Recognising that tourism in the UAE slows down somewhat over the summer months, Dubai has actively marketed the staycation concept to its resident expat community in order to drive up occupancy rates in the hotels during the quieter season. It’s safe to say this pioneering initiative has been a massive success, with residents choosing to spend their weekends with friends & family in the comfort of some of the world’s most luxurious resorts… and just a stone’s throw from home. The hotels themselves enjoy a boost in off-season occupancy, the consumer gets a discounted rate on their stay and Dubai itself benefits by keeping its residents spending in and around the city instead of flying off to other lands to spend their hard earned cash.
This weekend we chose to do a staycation at the Vida Hotel which is nestled at the heart of Dubai’s downtown district, sitting just a few seconds back from the boulevard. We received a wonderful welcome from the staff as we stepped in from the humid midday weather and we were offered chilled refreshments & cold towels. The reception area itself is a medley of quirky yet chic artefacts which really sets the tone for the hotel itself.
In fact, with many unusual and eye-catching features in the foyer, we actually found ourselves wandering off and exploring before we’d even checked in… there’s even a bicycle that you can use to take a quick spin around the lobby should you feel in the mood!
After our playtime was over we eventually made our way to the room, passing bespoke artworks & adornments on the way which gives the hotel a fresh bohemian feel.
Our room had a magnificent view overlooking the swimming pool and out onto the boulevard, the backdrop was the spectacular Downtown panorama including the iconic Burj Khalifa in all its glistening glory.
Our first port of call was to head down to the restaurant see what was on offer in the poolside brasserie. They provide a wide range of cuisines and it’s certainly worth checking out the late breakfast where the chef cooks up a storm of smaller & experimental tapas style dishes. This can be accompanied by a signature morning cocktail which certainly put a spring in your step for the day ahead!
As the Bloody Mary cocktail started to work its magic, we were greeted with sublime melodic beats drifting in from the poolside area. These came courtesy of the impeccably dressed resident DJ who is hard at work each weekend lulling the pool terrace and its cabana lounging guests into a hedonistic state of bliss. The following morning we took a cabana again and enjoyed an array of fresh fruits whilst cooling off in the pool with more live music… then unfortunately for us, it was then time to check-out & head back to reality. That’s the only problem with the weekend staycation… It’s always over a little too soon!
I really think Vida is a fantastic spot to visit in Dubai for a staycation or for a longer trip if you’re flying in from outside of the UAE. Its boutique styling, perfect location and truly wonderful team make it absolute joy to relax in & an unforgettable place to spend a few days.