AFTERNOON TEA AT THE BURJ AL ARAB IN DUBAI
Most people who visit Dubai have the city's two iconic towers on their "to see" list--the world's tallest, Burj Khalifa, and the "seven-star" Burj Al Arab. According to the urban legend, Burj Al Arab is the world's only seven-star hotel, a rating that does not actually exits. Wherever the seven-star myth originated from, the hotel seems to embrace it by calling itself "the most luxurious hotel in the world" and referring to the "worlds only seven-star service."
Designed to resemble a sail of a ship, Burj Al Arab stands 321 meters high off Jumeirah beach on its own man-made island. The luxurious all-suite hotel with its own helipad boasts a 24-hour butler service and the staff to suite ratio of 8:1.
Entry to the hotel is available only to hotel guests and to those who have a reservation in one of the restaurants. Therefore, most visitors who want to see the hotel, book the Afternoon Tea at the Burj Al Arab Skyview Bar.
AFTERNOON TEA AT THE BURJ AL ARAB
The Afternoon Tea at the Burj Al Arab is served at the Skyview Bar on the 27th floor with views over Burj Khalifa on one side and the Palm Jumeira on the other.
The seven-course menu starts with a small blini with salmon, cauliflower pure and a spoonful of delicate Baeri caviar, considered the third best after Beluga and Sevruga. Next, a selection of classic finger sandwiches is served, followed by a small beef tourte. Then comes the palate cleanser, Willams Pear Granité with Rose Petal Jelly, and the classic scones with clotted cream, strawberry jam and lemon curd. The afternoon feast ends with a selection of small pastries and chocolates.
The 635 AED ($173) menu includes a glass of Louis Roederer non-vintage champagne and a wide selection of various teas. Upgrade to Dom Pérignon 2009 is available for an additional $80.
The food is quite average and not exactly what you would expect from a so-called seven-star hotel. However, the service is excellent and the ambiance cozy. The interior of the Skyview Bar is not as lavish as in the rest of the hotel and the color scheme and décor complement the seaside location. Views are beautiful on a clear day but a clear day in Dubai is a rarity due to its humidity and pollution.
IS IT WORTH VISITING THE BURJ AL ARAB?
If you want to see the hotel without staying there, then the Afternoon Tea is a good way to do it. However, if you are more accustomed to the refined old world elegance, then the hotel may be a bit of a disappointment. Does the hotel look more luxurious than other five-star hotels? Definitely not. Is it the only one with a butler service? Most definitely not. But, its whopping 1,790 square meters of gold leaf, 30 kinds of Italian marble, and amenities such iMacs, a 17-selection pillow menu and full sized Hermès toiletries in every room, as well as a large fleet of chauffeur-driven Rolls Royces, have a lot to do with keeping the seven-star myth alive.
For gentlemen: Collared shirts and full length trousers, but jackets are not required.
For ladies: A dress is the best choice, but don't wear stilettos if you don't want to get stuck on the escalators in the lobby!
Prices of the Afternoon Tea:
Afternoon Tea with a glass of non-vintage Louis Roederer champagne 635 AED ($173) and with Dom Pérignon 2009, 930 AED ($253).
Window seat is an additional 100 AED ($27).
How to reserve a table:
Important! You need to show the reservation at the security check point upon entry to the hotel.
Check out our post about Burj Khalifa here: BURJ KHALIFA LOUNGE ON 154TH FLOOR: NEW VIP EXPERIENCE IN DUBAI