The Burj Khalifa, is an iconic building no doubt, and there is definitely something fascinating about seeing the world from really really high up. Which is why perhaps country after country competes with each other in making the tallest structure. I am slightly partial to the Burj Khalifa when compared to Eiffel Tower and the Top of The Rock, only for one reason – the answer to that is FOOD. While all 3 have views to die for, but for me the Food is the deal clincher and therefore the favourite of them all. While the Eiffel Tower does champagne at the top, it is served in plastic cups – I prefer mine in a flute thank you 🙂
The viewing deck of the Burj Khalifa is on the 124th Floor, but perhaps a more relaxed way of enjoying the view would be lounging at At.mosphere which is on the 122nd floor – this incidentally a GuinessRecord holder for the highest restaurants in the world above ground level. We were let in on this tip, by my Brother and Sister in law who live in Dubai, when we did mention that we wanted to go to the Burj Khalifa viewing deck – They recommended that we do this instead of the viewing deck, and boy was it a good recommendation.
Ladies, if your husband like mine, likes to dress casually, please keep in mind that even if you have a reservation you could be turned away, if you(actually I mean he) are not wearing shoes(not sneakers) and a shirt with a collar. Snob Alert!!!
Make your reservations in advance. In fact unless you have made reservations to visit the viewing deck in advance, a fast track viewing ticket could cost you about 300 DHS and High Tea (without champagne) would cost you 380DHS. Not at all a bad option if you can take your time, Sip on tea, enjoy delicate scones and watch the sun set on Dubai. The champagne & caviar version of the high tea is about 1000 DHS
You enter the Armani Hotel to get to the lift that opens up to the 122nd floor. We opted for the 2.30 seating, because we had a flight to catch back to Mumbai that evening and this was the last activity on our list. You go up the world’s third fastest elevator in the world – ears popping et all! In about a minute you reach your destination. I will leave you to be surprised as you calculate the speed. However, on the lift you don’t feel a thing.
We were lucky to get a table with a fantastic view, and a clear sky. Imagine you are at the restaurant which is at a height, that is 3 times that of Eiffel Tower and twice of Empire State. You look down to Down Town Dubai, and from where we sat, we could see as far as the Jumeirah and the glorious skyline of Dubai, which we were looking down at.
Now coming to the food, yes the portions are small, the high tea is dainty and I am not elaborating too much about the luxury, because that is such a given – you are in Dubai, and at the highest restaurant in the world – Luxury is a given. High Tea by concept itself is a dainty affair, so for those expecting portions, – my advice is hold your horses. There is a huge selection of food. The meal itself begins with a Fruit Refresher.
I opted for a fruity glass of Iced Tea, and to say at the very least, it was refreshing. They have an exquisite selection of teas and the good news is that there is no limit to the varieties that you can try. We had informed them in advance that I am vegetarian, so they took care to serve me variations. We were given a 3 tier serving platter. The bottom tie had an assortment of warm fresh scones. The next tier had – A Mozarella and pesto sandwich, a burger which they had replaced with a falafel patty for me, a bagel with cream cheese – the non vegetarian version had Salmon.
The Top most tier and by far the most appealing for me, had an array of desserts that could send you to the land of food coma. My love for macarons was stirred, and the rose macaron is something I seek with a vengeance to simply try and relive the joy of biting into the luscious one that I did that day.
You Must Must Must visit the ladies room, as you walk down the wooden floor, you will see that even the ladies room has a view! I guess when you are that high up, you cannot escape it.
The best part of the high tea is that you are not hurried at all, Tea and Scones are unlimited so if the conversation is interesting you can sit till the end of the setting. We wanted to catch the sunset, unfortunately we could not, because we had to rush back home to take our stuff and head to the airport. In case you are reading this, and are considering opting for High tea, i would strongly recommend staying until Sunset. I bet that the city that is so obsessed with Gold, would be a stunner when the golden rays fall on it. Next Time… 🙂