Sunday, March 20, 2011

Memory Lane

No snow, or red hair this time...
I stumbled across this beautiful hotel when I had a spare hour to munter round Amsterdam (bliss). I actually stayed in it when it first opened six years ago, and I chanced upon it by accident when walking into the city centre.  Instant trip down memory lane.

A lot’s changed since I last stayed there: I don’t have red hair, I don’t live in Manchester, I wasn’t on my way to the most debauched night ever at The Supper Club (if you haven’t been, you MUST) and….I don’t have a boyfriend on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  To be fair to R, he actually did have serious mental health problems, which meant that a large part of that trip was spent in tears (him not me).  I rarelyt talk about my personal life on here, but I’m almost 100%  sure he’ll never read this.  Note: if you do ever find yourself on prescription anti-depressants and weekly psychoanalysis, don’t just stop, for the hell of it, without warning. The results are not pretty.  (R, if you are by some strange twist of fate reading this, I sincerely hope you’re better.  And that you’re not cheating on your girlfriend, if you have one, with an ex.  Again.  Miaow!!)

Anyway, it’s the most beautiful boutique hotel, a converted Victorian college, all dark colours, fabrics and textures, with numerous nooks and crannies and places to hide away in.  It remains one of the sexiest hotels I’ve ever stayed in.  Think Great John Street in Manchester, The Hudson in New York, Ten Square in Belfast, or The G in Galway.  It’s based around a similar premise to Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant, and is run by students (catering and hospitality) who get to have a real-life hands-on experience of what it’s really like to run a hotel and deal with the public.

I nipped inside for a drink and it was just as beautiful as I remembered.  I cocooned myself into a nook with a glass of wine, and was hit by a barrage of memories.  It wasn’t painful, or upsetting, it just brought my life now into sharp relief, and I had an instant yearning for Dubai.  I love my life, and the people in it, so very deeply, and I know how blessed I am to feel that way.  I drained my glass, took a deep breath, and left the beautiful hotel.  

It’s a real shame that there aren’t more boutique hotels in Dubai.  The One and Only probably comes the closest, and has that luxe-sexy feel to it, but otherwise our hotels tend to be big, flash and fancy, not intimate and cosy.  A definite gap in the market, Dubai hoteliers….

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