XVA Art Hotel & Café: Dubai’s best kept secret

Getting lost in Dubai could be a good thing.

While wandering down the narrow stone pathways of Al Bastakiya in Bur Dubai, we accidentally stumbled upon a precious gem. XVA Art Hotel and Café's nondescript façade is not exactly one that catches a passersby’s attention considering every building in this old neighborhood looks practically the same on the outside. Trying to find a way out of the maze-like alleys, it was very fortunate (for us) then that a display of colorful furniture caught our eye when we passed by its lone clear-glass window.

What was supposed to be a simple take-pictures-and-move-on stop became a very interesting discovery of one of Dubai’s “sexiest and best kept secret” nooks instead. Bravely stepping past the wide and sturdy wooden doors, we came face-to-face with a charming courtyard café adorned with lush greens and wooden furnishings all around. It was like discovering a secret garden, an unexpected treat.

The welcoming and amiable service from its cheerful staff drew us further in, and we found ourselves captivated by the tranquility that pervades all over the place. While waiting for our cup of coffee and an order of their famed mint lemonade, we chanced a look around to the fervent encouragement of their staff.

Beyond the doors that led from the courtyard are a couple more mini-courtyards and galleries. Fantastic displays of artworks from contemporary artists in the Middle East greeted us. Photographs, paintings, and installations dot the serene place, a place where you can easily find some quiet time alone with a book or two.

The hotel itself is a work of art. It has 13 uniquely designed rooms that are replete with amenities for those who want to indulge in some artsy respite, away from the glassy and glittery environs of the big and tall hotels in the city. Quite a refreshing hideaway.

No words can perfectly describe the treasures that lie within this place. Not even the pictures can do it justice. If you’re an old soul, you will surely adore XVA Art Hotel & Café. And even if you aren't, you'll still appreciate its calming ambiance.

To know more about this enchanting haven, visit www.xvahotel.com. Or better yet, go head to Al Bastakiya in Al Fahidi, Bur Dubai; and experience it for yourself.

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