Orient Guest House
For those seeking a boutique hotel with a genuine Arabic atmosphere, the Orient Guest House in Dubai’s historic Bastakiya Heritage area is well worth the hassle finding it. Just look for the sign above a charming traditional two-storey villa – restored to its former glory and offering ten attractive Arabian-style rooms. The roof terrace and two majlis courtyards provide tranquil nooks. Staying here gives guests a rare chance to live in the style of the Persian pearl and spice traders who once populated the area, and provides an excellent base for exploring the nearby Dubai Museum, Meena Bazaar, Dubai Creek, Abra Station (water taxi), the galleries and cafes of Bastikiya and all the exotic shops along Al Fahidi Street. At night, with the moon rising above historic wind towers and cobbled streets, it’s as if you’ve stepped back in time, seeing Dubai as it was at the turn of the century. A delicious Arabic or western breakfast is served each morning and non-alcholic drinks are available (feel free to have cocktails in the privacy of your room). A perk of staying here is the complimentary access to the spa, health club, outdoor swimming pool, bars and restaurants at the nearby Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa. Make sure you get detailed directions from the hotel before you arrive.