Who thought that the first person I'd bump into during my stay at ibis Styles Jumeirah would be an old colleague.
Carrying a big camera bag and a tripod, Ashraf strode towards the elevator just as I was stepping out to have a burger at the all-day dining restaurant Street Cafe on the ground floor.
Apparently he's already put up his own video production company and checks in here often to supervise Dubai projects. "Isn't it great here? It's decent and it's very affordable," he said. I couldn't agree more.
The hotel on 2nd December Street sells itself as an economy hotel, and it truly is that, and more. It's modern and practical for anyone with a budget of less than Dh300 per night on a hotel room, with amenities that kept me occupied during my stay (when I wasn't in Go with the Flo mode and out bargain hunting along 2nd December Street).
There are 191 rooms in the hotel. I stayed in a standard room. It's amazing how much they've done with so little space. Everything just seemed to come together: the wall cabinets, the office desk, the coffee table and lounge chair, the comfy bed and the bathroom with a separate toilet and shower area. I was already making mental notes to use the same layout for a personal project.
I felt right at home with the chic interior design, which was accentuated by lively colours, including a graffiti print on the headboard. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows really helped open up the place. I found myself looking down at a street where people on bicycles were coming out, and marveled at their courage to ride in this weather. I later found out they were DP World employees.
Where to eat
Street Cafe at the ground floor is the sole restaurant in the hotel and there are three things I love about it: it's got open design with a lovely ambiance, the service is friendly and the food is very affordable. My stay came with free breakfast, which featured a fairly good selection of breakfast staples, including pancakes and fresh cut fruits. The free Wi-fi connection is also as strong here as it is in the rooms.
What to do
If you're not in the mood to head out to the old shopping hotspots of Bur Dubai or 2nd December Street, you aren't going to get bored in the hotel since it has a fully-equipped gym, a temperature-controlled indoor swimming pool and a spa called Dreamworks. The pool area isn't always busy, which means you can head there for a relaxing dip. Otherwise, you can get some rejuvenating Balinese-style massage at the spa for some Dh200 well spent.
Telephone: 04 3277001
Address: Al Mina Road, 2nd December Street, Jumeirah 1, Dubai