After a low-key stay at the Sheraton Dubai Creek during the week, Tiezheng and I decided to head over to La Ville City Walk for the weekend and join some friends of ours who were already staying there.
La Ville is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection brand of upscale boutique hotels, and is one of the nicer and newer properties in town under the Marriott portfolio, having opened in 2016.
After sampling some of the more traditional hotel brands on this trip already, I was looking forward to trying out a more boutique experience for a couple of nights.
In This Post
- Location & Arrival
- Junior Suite
- One-Bedroom Residence
- Other Facilities
La Ville City Walk Dubai – Booking
We made our bookings somewhat spontaneously only the day before our planned check-in. Thankfully, the price hadn’t risen to ridiculous levels or anything like that, although it was still quite expensive at 800 AED ($270) per night.
Compared to redeeming 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for a Category 6 property, though, it was still more favourable to pay cash and earn points on this stay instead. I had also recently gotten approved for a US Bonvoy Brilliant, which meant that I could put the annual US$300 Marriott credit to good use here.
La Ville City Walk Dubai – Location & Arrival
City Walk is Dubai’s newest urban shopping and retail complex, and La Ville is the flagship hotel on its grounds. You’ll find a variety of cafes, restaurants, and luxury stores among its outdoor and indoor spaces, as well as a multi-purpose indoor arena and (oddly enough) the Canadian University of Dubai.
City Walk’s location is arguably an ideal base for a visitor to Dubai: it’s a quick ride over to Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa, and it’s only a short distance to the on-ramp of Sheikh Zayed Road, the arterial route that brings you down to Dubai Marina or the Palm Jumeirah.
We caught a taxi from the Sheraton across the water and made to La Ville at around noon, feeling quite impressed with the hotel’s modern-minimalist exterior as we pulled up at the entrance.
La Ville City Walk Dubai – Check-in
Our rooms were ready upon arrival, even though it was earlier than the published check-in time of 3pm.
I was informed that I had been upgraded to a Junior Suite as a Titanium Elite member. Ordinarily, that would be an upgrade that I very much appreciate, except for the fact that Tiezheng, who’s “only” a Platinum Elite member, got the better upgrade to a One-Bedroom Residence.
Seriously, does Titanium Elite mean nothing these days? 😉
(I very much choose to believe this was because Tiezheng made his booking several hours before mine, and so the hotel went ahead and assigned him the One-Bedroom Residence as a Platinum Elite given the last-minute nature of these bookings. I take much more comfort in that explanation than the alternative of Titanium Elite carrying much less weight than I think.)
As elite members, we’d both receive complimentary breakfast in the mornings, as well as our choice of either 1,000 Bonvoy points or a welcome snack and drink. I opted for the welcome treats, filling in a small form with my choice of a cheese plate and some mango juice.
We were then handed the keys to our rooms, which were situated in opposite “wings” of the hotel. Even though our rooms were both on the first floor, we’d need to traverse to the other wing via either the ground floor lobby, the fourth-floor hallway, or the fifth-floor rooftop area in order to visit the other room.
La Ville City Walk Dubai – Junior Suite
Let’s first take a look through my Junior Suite, which was Room 116 on the first floor of La Ville’s northern wing.
Upon heading to the elevators, it was clear to see that the hotel took its COVID precautions very seriously. Not only were all guests asked to undergo a temperature screening upon entering the building, but this was also the only hotel I’ve visited thus far during the pandemic era that offered hand sanitizer in the elevator itself.
The hotel prides itself upon a minimalist interior style, which was apparent from the crisp and bright look of the guest room hallways.
The theme of minimalism continued into the room itself. The Junior Suite keeps things pretty simple: hardwood floors, glossy surfaces for the sideboard and pantry, and a plush beige couch with a matching carpet in the living room.
While the hotel wasn’t flashy or extravagant in terms of the visuals, it didn’t hold back on the high-end essentials, like an Illy coffee machine or a luxurious black bathrobe in the closet.
The bedroom was similarly understated, with the artwork of a stylized City Walk shopping area acting as the only pop of action in what was otherwise a very tranquil suite.
I enjoyed two very comfortable nights of sleep in the king-sized bed, although I did find the workspace in the corner to be smaller than I would’ve liked.
The Junior Suite has a single bathroom, accessible via the hallway near the entrance.
Here’s where I thought La Ville’s interiors were a little too minimalistic; the uniform faded marble finishes made the bathroom look cheaper and older than what I would’ve expected from a relatively new hotel.
The shower and bathtub were combined in a single “wet room”; however, there was no door, and the glass pane did not adequately prevent water from splashing outside. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves when water from the shower splashes all over the bathroom, and unfortunately my Junior Suite was quite disappointing in this regard.
In terms of the views, my first-floor Junior Suite had an intimate view of the City Walk shopping area, which meant that I did need to keep the curtains drawn for privacy.
My overall impressions of the Junior Suite were rather mixed. While I can appreciate the minimalist style, I did find myself enjoying the darker colours and bronze accents over at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre a lot more, and couldn’t help but feel that the suites over at the Waldorf had a lot more character to them.
La Ville City Walk Dubai – One-Bedroom Residence
I also took some photos of Tiezheng’s One-Bedroom Residence, which is where we spent most of our time hanging out. It’s a similar layout to the Junior Suite, except with the addition of a very spacious kitchen and dining area, as well as an ensuite bathroom.
The kitchen came with a full fridge and cooking utensils, which allowed us to gather a few groceries from the nearby supermarket and cobble together a “home-cooked meal” on one of the evenings – much-needed after dining out on most nights during our trip.
The ensuite bathroom here in the One-Bedroom Residence came with double sinks, a separate bathtub from the shower, and apparently no issues with water spilling all over the place.
Perhaps the greatest asset of this suite was the fact that it came with a washer-and-dryer, which is a real rarity when staying at a hotel, and solved a big problem for us in terms of doing our laundry.
Without this godsend of a suite upgrade, we would’ve had to visit a laundromat or order a laundry pickup service, so this surprise feature in La Ville’s One Bedroom Residence really saved us a headache and a half.
Unlike myself, Tiezheng mentioned he really enjoyed the minimalist style of La Ville’s rooms and suites, and it felt a little bit like a cheaper version of EDITION Hotels with their focus on quiet and understated luxury. I myself haven’t stayed at an EDITION yet, but I do question how much I’ll enjoy myself when I do get a chance to try them out.
La Ville City Walk Dubai – Breakfast
Breakfast, hosted at the Chival Global Social restaurant and its mixed indoor-outdoor seating, was a highlight at La Ville City Walk. I’d say that it offered the strongest breakfast benefit out of all the Dubai hotels we stayed at on this trip.
Elite members enjoy unlimited orders from the à la carte breakfast menu, as well as access to the mini-buffet of pastries, cold items, and fruit juices (and you can also ask a staff member to help you retrieve items from the buffet).
As we ate breakfast as a large group of Platinum and Titanium members, our table filled up pretty quickly on both mornings. Every breakfast dish was prepared to a very high quality, with the shakshouka and the Turkish eggs being my personal favourites.
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If I had one complaint, though, it would be the service level at breakfast: often times, it would take several minutes before we were able to flag down a member of the wait staff, and there was more than one occasion when a dietary request was ignored or forgotten, and a dish had to be replaced.
La Ville City Walk Dubai – Other Facilities
By far the hotel’s best feature is known as Look Up, its rooftop lounge and pool on the fifth floor, which offers some delightful views of the Burj Khalifa and the rest of Dubai’s skyline. I’ll always have a soft spot for hotels where I know I can pop upstairs to the pool and revel in views like this, and La Ville City Walk was no exception.
Indeed, our little group spent a full day relaxing here on the loungers adjacent to the pool, polishing off a few bottles of bubbly over the course of the day and taking a dip every now and then.
I also managed to sneak in a workout in the hotel’s fitness centre, located on the fourth floor. The gym doesn’t come with a great deal of square footage, but it offers a good mix of treadmills, exercise equipment, and floor space.
There is a “hidden” cafe in the lobby on the ground floor, which I thought was a lovely touch.
I also appreciated the hotel’s proximity to retail stores here in the City Walk complex. If you’ve been to Dubai Mall or the Mall of the Emirates, you’ll know that it can easily be a very overwhelming place with storefronts that seem to stretch on and on forever.
I liked being able to access high-quality shops within walking distance from the hotel, making sure to wander through and buy a present for Jessy before we checked out of the hotel on the last day.
If you prefer a minimalist style over the glitz and glamour that’s more commonly associated with Dubai, La Ville City Walk might just be your ideal choice for a trip to the desert megacity.
While its guest rooms are tranquil and unassuming, it certainly doesn’t lack a wow-factor in the form of its stunning rooftop pool. The location is convenient for accessing most of Dubai’s attractions without being too busy itself, and the elite treatment as a Marriott Bonvoy elite member is also worthy of praise.
Even though the toned-down interiors weren’t really my personal favourite, I still very much enjoyed our stay at La Ville, and would consider coming back for a repeat visit purely for those rooftop vibes alone.