The hotel group that redefined luxury with the opening of Burj Al Arab in 1999, has now redefined the more modest 3-star experience with its latest hotel: Zabeel House MINI by Jumeirah.

The first hotel in the new Zabeel House by Jumeirah collection is described as ‘Maximum Attitude, Minimum Frills’, emphasizing the focus on creating a playful guest experience that is friendly to the bank balance through stripping back the non-essentials that often drive the cost of a hotel room upwards. But with comfy rooms, smart service and inspiring design, that doesn’t mean a boring, feature-less stay. Here are the essentials you need to know before you book a room. Prices start at 280 AED, if booked by 14 June for stays until the end of September.

Location If you’re looking for a hotel close to the charming, historic Dubai Creek, then you’ve hit the jackpot. Zabeel House MINI by Jumeirah is in the new Al Seef district by Meraas, creators of family, couple and tourist friendly neighbourhoods across the city, such as Kite Beach, City Walk, and BoxPark. That means lots of shops, cafes and pop-ups on the doorstep, blending into the city’s past. [And it’s closer than you think, being just 10 minutes from Dubai World Trade Centre]

Watch Out For:

  • The bikes at the entrance – ask a member of the hotel team and you can take one out for a ride around the neighbourhood, completely for free.
  • Al Fahidi and the Textile Souk – two of Dubai’s historic attractions are a short walk – or bike ride away. The nearby Burjuman Metro station means it’s an easy ride to most of the city’s other attractions or take an abra across the creek to the Gold Souk.

The Arrival Speaking of checking-in, here’s the first frill that has been removed – there’s no valet, but there is an underground car park directly beneath the hotel. There’s self check-in (although there’s also a staffed check-in desk) and instead of a bell-boy welcoming you in the lobby, a large artwork on the ceiling spells out ‘You are welcome’ in Arabic.

Watch Out For:

  • The instant cameras – take one for a retro walk and give the resulting snaps to a member of the team: you may see it added to an ever-growing display that is soon to be installed in the lobby.
  • The roaming barista serving a special Boon coffee blend (it’s Ethiopian and superb) – a perfect perk-you-up before you head out.

Social Spaces Instead of the dark, hushed tones of some hotel lobbies, this one is designed to make you smile. Like the rest of the hotel, it’s quirky, stylish and made for Instagram, with a different story to find in every corner. Furniture and airy partitions replace walls to delineate the spaces that are washed with light, both busy and calm at the same time.

Watch Out For:

  • Every home needs a pet and this one has a menagerie of arty animals. Giraffes remind guests to look at the world from a different perspective; flamingos to relax in style; and the monkey climbing around the swings that hang from the lobby ceiling is there to encourage you to enjoy the hotel as you wish.
  • The Courtyard, a vast outdoor space perfect for sitting outside with a laptop, coffee or book, which will fast become home of music and art events and activations
  • The plunge pool up on the roof with a sunbathing area, bean bags and hanging chairs. And a small but perfectly formed gym is open 24-hours a day.

The Pocket Rooms Which other 3 star hotel room comes with a bright red Smeg fridge? The 150, self-knowingly titled ‘Pocket Rooms’, are where you’ll really feel the difference between a normal 3-star and Zabeel House MINI by Jumeirah. Every inch of this 23 square metre space has been engineered to ensure a light, roomy experience. Fresh, young and colourful – reminiscent of a hip city apartment: this is for the traveller who wants to stay in a resident’s apartment but doesn’t want to make their own bed.

Watch Out For:

  • An open rail instead of bulky wardrobes, a full length mirror on the back of the sliding bathroom door – the entire space is decluttered.
  • The pop-art map of Dubai on the ceiling, perfect for planning your adventures, and the ‘suite-pad’ iPad that controls the flatscreen TV and provides an A-Z of Dubai’s attractions, alongside the SMEG mini fridge and Nespresso machine in every room.
  • The mural in every room that says ‘Dubai is Always A Good Idea’ – the perfect start to your Instagram stories showing your journey out of the hotel and into the city (share with @ZabeelHouse)

 The Bathrooms Perhaps they should be renamed, as there is no bath tub, but who takes a long bath when there is a whole city out there to explore? Instead there is a generously sized walk-in rain shower with amenities.

Watch Out For:

  • The towel rail made from a faceplate of a 1970s amplifier
  • The light held up by a fish hook and hemp rope

Restaurants C.U (named after the chemical symbol for Copper, due to the prevalence of the material around the hotel) offers a mix of Pan Asian and Middle Eastern dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And unlike many hotels (particularly of the 3-star category), you can order breakfast eggs anytime of the day. Across the lobby, MishMash offers elevated streetfood from around the world, and for those who want to get out and explore the neighbourhood, there’s a Grab-N-Go for picking up a perfectly packaged meal.

Watch Out For:

  • The bookcase in MishMash – a constantly evolving display of things the hotel team and guests love about Dubai.

Zabeel House MINI by Jumeirah is the first hotel to open in the Zabeel House by Jumeirah collection. Labelled ‘upscale casual’, meaning that the hotels feature sharp design and smart service, are informal in approach with a moderate price point, each property in the collection is located in an interesting neighbourhood, often slightly off the tourist trail.

Loading…