February 25, 2016 / Leave a Comment
Stepping into Vii you may be excused for feeling like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. From the red carpet entrance to the stunning glimmering eagle sculpture as you walk in, the glam entrance to the indoor bar and lounge…and that’s only the start. The corridor that leads you outside is fantastic in itself (a fantastic corridor…think that’s a first for me) and hints at what awaits you when you step onto Vii’s terrace. Perhaps this is Vii drawing you down it’s own rabbithole, as when you emerge you land in a chic Parisian take on an Alice in Wonderlandesque garden bar.
It instantly hits you that this is quite a special spot. Covered in a canopy of leaves, the cacophony of deep green and touches of glowing colour are rather captivating. We settled into a cosy spot by a wall of antique mirrors and relaxed as we drank it all in. It takes a bit to amaze in Dubai where money is rarely an object when it comes to venue design, but I think they’ve achieved that here. Set on the seventh floor of the Conrad Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road (hence the name), you feel a world away from the busy motorway below.
It’s a place where the beautiful people go, and perhaps this venue has suffered some backlash in online reviews from those who were denied at the door. I can’t pass comment on the door policy as we didn’t see any such rejection as we entered the premises. It’s probably not a place you’ll be granted entry with shorts and flip flops – but there are plenty of those in Dubai should that be your only wardrobe choice.
The different areas of Vii provide quite a contrast – inside is louder, darker, sexier, sparklier. If you’re a night club lover or looking to mix and mingle in dimly lit surrounds, that’s where you’ll hang. Being more of an outdoors kind of gal I stayed out on the terrace for most of the evening. Currently Vii is leaning more towards the ‘bar’ end of the spectrum, which I’m told is changing soon, however we tried quite a few different kinds of their sushi and it was delicious. I’ve been eating a lot of sushi recently and I couldn’t fault Vii’s take.
Cocktails are a specialty here and I tried the most popular signature cocktail – it’s green of course! Being as it contained two of my least favourite liqueurs, Midori and Amaretto, it wasn’t for me – though I’m assured it’s their best seller on the menu. It’s one to try if those ingredients float your boat! One small thing I’d change though, I’d like to see higher end wine glasses with a varietal appropriate shape (I’m a bit of a wine glass buff). I hazard a guess though that quite a few might get broken in the revelry here so I won’t be too harsh incase they are protecting themselves against steep breakage costs! Perhaps something they can do should they expand their dining offering.
Aside from the drinks and atmosphere, one of my favorite things about Vii was the music – smooth lounge/house tunes that were bang on my personal taste and no pop/80s/standard fare. My other guests made the same comment when they arrived so it seems the DJ is going a great job.
The shisha is pretty special here too, served in crazy glowing UFO-like pods that change color – these worked really well in the dark and ethereal setting.
Don’t feel like this is a winter-only spot being an outdoor terrace – in summer I’m told it’s transformed to an airconditioned glass house of sorts with clear panels that cover the curved beams that frame the space. Fantastic foresight to be so prepared for Dubai’s climate changes (we had heaters out on the winter night we visited).
One last thing – you might want to take your phone to the bathrooms with you so you can snap a quick pic – I audibly uttered ‘wow’ when I entered the ladies. Impressive.
Looking forward to my next visit – you must go there and check it out. Vii is a great place to take guests visiting Dubai to to show them something very cool and very Dubai! Visitors put this on your list.