May 3, 2016 / Leave a Comment
Atop the Number 1 tower of Grosvenor house, the 44th floor to be precise (tell me you saw that one coming), lies a well kept Dubai secret. A double sided venue with a duo of impressively stocked bars, you can take your pick of Marina (smoking) or sunset/beach/The Palm views (non-smoking) – or perhaps even enjoy a drink in both.
An extensive cocktail list and the finest of spirits are the name of the game here, including rather pricey champagne cocktails and a lesser so selection known as the Luxury Collection, after the hotel group that Grosvenor House belongs to.
The decor is well, sedate, resplendent in shades of chocolate brown. It’s a mature affair here, and it looks like it’s had a facelift not tooo far back – if something could just be done about the dated balconies that lie between the cosy interior and the scenic vistas outside. Hard to get the perfect sunset shot through the doors and railings of the sealed off balconies that belie the building’s age, I tell you. But, I’m not sure they are honestly that fussed about keeping happy snappers happy though.
After much debate inbetween sunset gazing, we settled on our cocktail choices. For him, the Sicilian Mojito – Matusalem Platinum rum, mint, orange, lemon, sugar and soda water, and for me, the Bar 44 Mule – Smirnoff Black vodka, yuzu juice, fresh raspberries and ginger beer, all served up in a copper cup. Pro tip: those copper cups that are oh-so-hot-right-now do a fab job of keeping drinks ice cold when the Dubai sun is pouring in.
While we are waiting for our selections to be shaken and not stirred, some snacks are delivered to our windowside table. They include the mixed nuts that keep popping up throughout the Grosvenor Hotel, and some rather delicious, and rather huge, sundried tomato stuffed olives. I’ll admit, after a distant two year love fest with olives it’s been some time since I’ve met one I liked. And these, I loved. Impressive.
Impressive too were the cocktails that soon arrived without too much ado. In Dubai, a cocktail ordered is a gamble taken – some fantastic, some extraordinarily not so. Luckily all of the Grosvenor House outlets I’ve experienced so far fall on the side of the former, and Bar 44 proved to be no exception.
Ambience wise, the clientele is a mix of holiday makers staying in the hotel, and mature, like the decor. We mainly were serenaded by stockbroking and business chit chat by assorted middle age males in our area of the bar. It’s a cosy venue – when it’s not full, voices seem to overpower the background music. Once it fills up later in the evening, I’m sure it all blends in amongst the hubbub. It’s not really a romantic spot if that’s what you’re looking for, and thanks to Tower no. 2 obscuring the vista, it doesn’t have the best views in town either. But if that’s what you’re after there are many higher view points in town with killer views and you probably already know that, so I suspect that’s not why you’re reading about this venue. If, however, you’re looking for a sophisticated spot away from all the ladies’ nights, brunch revellers and over plasticised Dubai barbies that doesn’t try too hard, then perhaps this spot that cares more about what’s in the glass and less about keeping up with the Jones’ might be your ideal haunt. Bring your finest cigars, pick a top tipple and talk business with your cohorts in old-school secluded style. Cheers.