Above Rooftop Lounge

Location: The Sofitel, Business bay
AED 260 non-alcoholic, AED 295 alcoholic, AED 495 champagne package, *AED 250 additional for pool access
Timings: 12pm-4pm

‘Night life is when you get up with a hangover in the morning. Night life is when everybody says what the hell and you do not remember who paid the bill. Night life goes round and round and you look at the wall to make it stop. Night life comes out of a bottle and goes into a jar. If you think how much are the drinks it is not night life.’
Ernest Hemingway

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The brunch takes place at the rooftop pool area of the hotel with spectacular views of the Burj Khalifa. Almost 30 of us are booked for a birthday celebration on a beautiful sunny day. Instead of immediately making our way up to our table, we are forced to queue up for at least 15 minutes as management decides it’s wise for people to pay at the door. A poor decision and everyone in queue is extremely frustrated. After finally making it upstairs, we are seated in front of the long bar, which is shaded and does not offer direct views of the pool or Burj. Note to self- next time reserve a poolside table.

A lavish 16 separate food stations are on display: salad bar, bread station, cheese station, pork station, sushi station, dimsum station, work station, peking duck station, Mexican station, Italian station, indian station, shawarma station, saj station, BBQ station, kids station, and desserts station. I efficiently work my way through the stations and can recommend the dimsum. pecking duck, wok noodles and freshly baked pizza. The BBQ prawns are tasty. The steaks, sushi, and Mexican items disappoint.

Beverages are disappointingly limited to bottled beer, wine and house spirits. The biggest disappointment however; is the bar service. The bar is clearly understaffed and under equipped. Given that the crowd leans more towards families, it is baffling that the drinking crowd are forced to wait up to 10 minutes for a single drink. It is mind boggling that a five star hotel bar only has a single set of 12 shot glasses, forcing us to collect the empty glasses and have them washed before the next round. Despite our repetitive complaints that staff remained indifferent and did not take any action to address our concerns.

The table is unanimous in our frustrations with the service and none of us have returned since. It is a shame as the venue has huge potential; if management can resolve the fundamental deficiencies in the brunch.

Ambiance: 15/20.
Beverages: 5/20.
Food: 15/20.
Service: 0/20
Value for Money: 15/20.
Total: 50%

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