Centre of attraction
The City Centre Hotel & Residence, managed by Sofitel, is centrally located in the heart of Dubai and is one of the few five-star hotels that can boast a vast assortment of entertainment for the whole family, all under one roof.The hotel's luxury accommodation consists of 327 rooms including nine suites and 37 executive rooms, 21 family rooms and 74 inter-connecting rooms. The City Centre Residence has 112 furnished and fully-serviced hotel apartments divided into studio as well as one, two and three bedroom apartments. The City Centre Hotel is just a few minutes drive from the busy tourist areas and a 'five iron' away from the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. The staff are fully trained to assist guests in planning their activities. The hotel's six food outlets offer a variety of cuisine. La Villa Mediterranean Restaurant, opened last year, has been receiving many compliments from hotel guests and local residents. It offers an authentic culinary journey through the Mediterranean, from Morocco to Greece, in a comfortable and traditional villa setting. A Greek top-chef has recently joined the restaurant introducing a brand-new menu at mid-range prices. According to Susan Mikloska, marketing director at the hotel, La Villa is due for expansion and refurbishment this year with a relaunch scheduled for September. The Rendez-Vous cocktail bar, open 12 noon to l am, is also due for total refurbishment in August this year. La Cite Restaurant offers international cuisine in a brasserie-style setting. Diners can enjoy full buffet breakfast, lunch or dinner or choose from an extensive a la carte menu. Churchill's is an English pub and restaurant with a friendly atmosphere, offering sports programmes on a large TV screen. Churchill's serves traditional English pub dishes and offers live entertainment seven days a week. Churchill's will be extended to include a cigar room and a pool table by October this year. The Mirabelle, situated on the ground floor, is a cafe and patisserie and is open from 6 am till midnight. The Calypso Pool Bar & Grill is open daily from10 am to 10 pm. On Thursday evenings a special menu of BBQ, salad, ice cream and soft drinks at Dh65 ($17) per person is on offer. On Fridays, the Calypso has a 'kids brunch', where a child accompanied by an adult is allowed free of charge, Dh45 is charged for an extra child and Dh65 for adults. The hotel also has an outside catering division to assist at birthdays, anniversaries or other parties with prices starting at Dh55 per person. Each room/suite has security locks, personal safe, sound-proof windows, individual controlled AC, telephones with voice mail and IDD, mini bar, interactive TV, satellite channels, hair dryer, bathrobe and 24-hour room service. Other amenities available are rooms for the disabled, daily house-keeping, valet parking, complimentary airport transfers, guest relations, laundry, men's barber, ladies hair dressing salon, covered car park, rent-a-car, gift shop and children's entertainment area. Meeting facilities include 10 rooms and a spacious ballroom with partitioned walls and a capacity for up to 500 guests. A state-of-the-art health club is available with a fully-equipped gym, squash/tennis court, aerobics studio, sauna and steam rooms, massage treatment and a temperature-controlled swimming pool. The hotel also offers guests private beach access on the sandy shores of Jumeirah and complimentary scheduled transportation throughout the day. The hotel lobby is due for total refurbishment in August this year. A Presidential suite is to be added shortly as well as another non-smoking floor. The Business Centre will also be upgraded this year and more computers added. During the summer months, visitors can enjoy different activities in the hotel, as the hotel is a support sponsor of the Dubai Summer Surprises festival. There will be different themes of entertainment each week within the whole complex. Attached to the City Centre Hotel is the largest shopping, entertainment and leisure complex of its kind in the UAE with over 250 shops. CineStar, a new eleven-screen, multiplex cinema has seating for 3,000 people and screens new movies from around the world. The Magic Planet is the centre's indoor leisure complex, the largest family entertainment centre in the Middle East, which offers the latest simulators and video games, theme rides and a soft adventure playground. A bowling alley is due to open shortly as well in the complex. The hotel management is currently in talks with the Majid Al Futtaim Group, the owner, regarding a name change of the hotel. A decision is expected shortly, according to Mikloska. The hotel has various welcome events or food festivals such as its Polynesian food festival in April, a Sri Lankan festival in June in association with SriLankan Airlines and a Greek food festival in autumn. During these festivals, each guest checking into the hotel is given a small bottle of Arabic perfume, a coupon for the shopping centre and a coupon for Damas Jewellers. The guest mix of the hotel consists of 60 per cent from the GCC states and the rest European and other nationalities.