25 September 2005

Fairmont Lobby

Second in this series of (very occasional) lobby stories, I will tell you of the splendor that is the Fairmont hotel.

Like the Emirates Towers hotel the Fairmont is located on Sheik Zayed Rd, but on the other side of the road, which makes it near inaccessible to us the way traffic congestion is developing lately. So we rarely come here, except sometimes on fridays for their exquisite brunch buffet with fantastic seafood bar and unlimited champagne. It's a shame, really, because the lobby here is a marvel of design ideas, although also a bit of a rabbit warren. As you come in at the front there is the obligatory water fountain, a complicated arrangement of cut glass slabs, steel curves and uplighters placed strategically underneath the falling sheets of water.


Fairmont Fountain

The masterpiece is the centre area of the building, a dimly lit cavern 10 storeys high that houses a restaurant and 8 interior glass lifts shuttling up and down the hollow interior of the building like something out of The Fifth Element. With walls of brushed steel and pierced metal light panels the place has an industrial feel, tempered only by vast amounts of dark wood for everything from seating to plant pots (plants as in palm trees, nothing small here) and gloriously OTT light projections, reminiscent of a funky night club with their swirly patterns and changing colours.


Clubby Lunch Locale

The best part for my taste is the back of the lobby, behind all the glitz and ostentation. The Coffee Culture cafe is particularly busy today with geeks from GITEX 2005 at the World Trade Centre opposite, and always does great lunch and coffee, of course. It's not flash, but the waiters are super-nice and the muffins extraordinary. And free WiFi at lunchtime!

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