The bright-and-breezy budget option that is full of contemporary flair
Hotel Insider: Tryp by Wyndham Dubai, Barsha Heights
The nattiest element of the Tryp by Wyndham, the budget business-based brand of the American hotel group, is an overdue idea that more hotels could use. For an additional Dh24 on your room rate, the 24Hrs Tryp-N concept allows you to check in at any time after check-in opens on the day of arrival, then stay a full calendar day. Unfortunately, reception staff seem to be unaware of the deal at check-in, which isn’t the best start to my stay. No help is offered with luggage after check-in, so I venture to the lifts to locate my room.
Barsha Heights – or Tecom in old money – isn’t the most salubrious area of Dubai, but it does benefit from plenty of nightlife within easy walking distance from the Tryp, as well as easy access to the Metro and Sheikh Zayed Road.
The Tryp is squarely aimed at a younger audience judging by the decor, which in my premium room features a typographical “map” of France, a graphical skyline artwork and an abstract 3-D piece on the walls. Additional embellishments include funky monochrome rugs and cushions, set off by the occasional pop of red. The centrally located television, above a small work desk, revolves so that you can watch from either lounge or bedroom, also as acting as a partial divider between the two spaces. The bathroom has a bath/shower and is unfussy in black-and-white tones. Other boons are a coffee machine and a balcony. Although I don’t get to experience them, perhaps the most interesting accommodation option is the fitness rooms, which feature an exercise bike, making trudging off to the hotel gym a thing of the past.
In addition to the check-in confusion, when I return to the hotel in late afternoon the following day, my room key no longer works. Cue more muddled conversations at reception. At dinner, service is non-existent for the first 10 minutes or so in the main restaurant, Local Social Kitchen & Bar, although it picks up a little once a waiter realises he has a new table to serve.
The 650-room hotel seems to be most popular with northern European package-tour guests, which makes navigating the lobby a bit of an obstacle course at busy times. Stop to look around, however, and there are some neat touches, such as books artily displayed on floor-to-ceiling shelves. There is a pool bar, L!QD, which appears chilled and fairly popular, despite that awful name. Since my visit, BarBary, which aims to take inspiration from Parisian style and a cocktail club vibe, has opened. And the Nest is an interesting shared creative space, aiming to attract freelancers and workers on the move.
The European and Mediterranean-inspired choices at Local Social Kitchen & Bar, which melds a buffet with an a la carte menu for dinner, make a good fist of covering a variety of international bases. It adds Middle Eastern flair in dishes such as the camel burger (Dh59) and zaatar-crusted salmon fillet (Dh95), too. I try the jerk-marinated grilled spatchcock (Dh78), although there is nowhere near enough spice to warrant its Caribbean moniker. Breakfast is in the same space and is heaving with guests, so much so that while I manage to find a table on the terrace, later guests aren’t so lucky. The most popular plates come from the hot buffet, a live egg-cooking station and the generous displays of breads and pastries.
The roomy terrace at Local Social, which is a high-walled oasis of calm in a busy, noisy part of Barsha Heights.
You might not want to rely on your GPS to find the Tryp, unless you relish a badly guided tour around the area’s roundabouts and backstreets. Roadworks closing a nearby thoroughfare put paid to my attempts using Google Maps.
A bright-and-breezy budget option full of contemporary flair and, thankfully, little of the grimness of some other down-at-heel rivals in the Barsha Heights district.
The bottom line
Double rooms at the Tryp by Wyndham Barhsha Heights cost from Dh450 per night including breakfast, Wi-Fi and taxes.