XVA Art Hotel: An Exotic Escape in The Heart of the City

April 27, 2017

Who would have known that despite all the skyscrapers, traffic and bustling busy streets of Dubai, there is a little gem hiding around the city?

I am in a constant lookout of unique and beautiful places around UAE and came across the XVA Gallery, Art Hotel and Cafe.

When I saw the pictures on their website I was immediately impressed, and quite honestly baffled on how such a beautiful place be under the radar.

The XVA Art Hotel is located around the Al Bastakiya district which is one of the major cultural travel destinations in the city featuring buildings and structures of the old Dubai. (Picture it like the Intramuros of UAE for all my Filipino readers.)

Finding this place is a joy. It's not my first time in the Al Bastakiya district and out of all the times that I've been there I have never set foot at the XVA. Which is amazing in my opinion cause it gave me that sense of discovery.

T H E   H O T E L   &   T H E   R O O M

XVA is a boutique hotel with 14 wonderful and uniquely designed rooms. What I first liked about my XVA experience is that they send you a pre-check in email a day before your arrival. Okay fine, we all know that some hotels does that and it's no big deal but XVA does a little step further and actually tells you the history of room you are checking-in and little trivia about the property which elevated my excitement.

We we're welcomed by one of their friendly staff, special mention to Bong. And was escorted to our room.

When we walked in, it felt like we were in a Hollywood movie set and took us back in time. The hotel including the rooms have that old Persian design theme that a person with an old soul will definitely love.

We were checked-in at The Jalabiya Suite which is directly inspired by the coloured kaftans worn around Middle East.

You'd know you're in the Jalabiya Suite if your bed cover has a Jalabiya embroidered on the top that symbolises the ladies traditional costume. 

What I like about the design of this room is the beautiful curtains everywhere that covers your stuff so your room would not look cluttered. The lanterns sets your mood in a relaxing trance and I love that they have a generous selection of books and magazines in your bed's headboard. 

Quick tip: There's a binder placed on together with the books which has all the information about XVA.

Outside the room is a lovely outdoor majilis facing one of the property's courtyard. Its a wonderful place if you're planning to have a lazy afternoon reading a book while sipping a cup of coffee or tea.

There's also these enchanting tree in our courtyard that adds more character and feel of the hotel. It actually also helps the area to be a little bit cooler especially now that its summer.

The hotel also feels like a small maze and has a lot of rooms for exploration. There are staircases heading up to the second floor but because we loved the XVA Hotel so much, more will be revealed on our next visit! 😄

L O O K   1

Shirt, tank, hat and loafers: H&M
Trousers: Zara

Last weekend was moderately warm, there's still a slight cool breeze early in the morning and late night, but just to be sure I threw away my jackets and blazers at the back of my closet and brought in the most comfortable clothes I can bring. 

For my 1st look I wore a light fabric button tropical shirt (H&M) that feels like a soft hug for this season. Its gives your body a lot of air to breathe in and you can still layer a tank (H&M) underneath. For the trousers (Zara), I advice you to please buy a light cotton fabric in a straight or regular fit. It is always a summer essential for me to have a very comfortable white trousers for day time events as it will keep me feeling cool and stylish at the same time.

I wore a nice pair of loafers (H&M) which is also one of my summer essentials, perfect for day time events as well but please, if you're planning to do a lot of walking, wear light sneakers instead! lol! Added also few accessories to complete the look with the wide brim fedora (H&M) and a classic circle framed sunglasses. 

X V A   A R T   G A L L E R Y

XVA also has an art gallery which one of its unique features. It was established in 2003 that exhibits contemporary art from the Arab world, Iran and the Sub-continent.

First of all, I'm not an art critic so I won't go into details on all the painting and other art exhibits in the area. But seriously, there are a lot of interesting art pieces that you should definitely see here.

Quick tip: Make sure you LOOK AROUND. And when I say, look around it means that you make sure your eyes just doesn't look straight, also try to look up and basically everywhere. Who knows, you might get surprised on what you'll see.

X V A   C A F E

If you're vegetarian, you're going to love the food here! Coming from a meat lover who actually don't mind eating pure vegetarian meals, I really liked the flavour combination of the food they have served us plus I'm on a diet so it's all perfect timing!

I had the Grilled Eggplants with Feta Cheese and Fresh Tomato Puree. It was absolutely delightful! I loved the tanginess of the feta cheese combined with the grilled flavour of the eggplants and the tomato puree binds everything together so well!

My cousin (@imkrismacapagal) had this Tuna Cutlet with Feta and Pomegranate that is also good if you're looking for a meaty dish. 

And even if I'm on a diet, there should always be some room for dessert! This Flourless Chocolate cake with orange syrup is amazing! The dark chocolate goes very well with the orange and is definitely a good partner for your cappuccino.

Next day's XVA breakfast was delightful. I like that they have all the essentials and I particularly liked the hummus served with the bread.

The cafe is set in one of the property's courtyards. There's another tree in the middle of the area and a lot of outdoor seating. The place is currently covered to allow the air conditioning to fully function yet you still get a lot of natural lighting.

Some of the corridors are draped with light curtains that gives you a sense of privacy and sets a cooler and shaded mood which is good for long conversations with a friend or your special someone.

Other corridors are also your passageway to the gallery, the rooms and staircases up to the 2nd floor.

L O O K   2

Shirt: H&M

Next day was a little bit warmer. Good thing I brought in shorts and of course a thin fabric shirt (H&M). I like the contrasts of the grey between the shorts and shirt while wearing oxford shoes to complete the look.


Aside from the Al Bastakiya District, XVA is very near the Spice and Gold Souk and Dubai Creek where you can ride the abras boats. It's also a very interesting area to explore. More of that on our next XVA staycation.

We did had an amazing time exploring the Coffee museum which is just next to XVA!

The smell of the coffee was so inviting that we had to come in. We learned a lot of things about how coffee was made and even hanged out a bit at its own coffee shop just above the museum before we checked-out.

There's even a small library where you can read all there is to know about coffee.

Thank you XVA Gallery, Art Hotel and Cafe for an amazing weekend! I can't wait for my next stay and discover more of the property!

For bookings please visit XVA's website:

More of my XVA Experience on my latest #Instastory here

Hope you guys have an amazing weekend and don't forget... Always have fun!

M O R E   P H O T O S   H E R E:

X V A   D A Y   1





X V A   D A Y   2


C O F F E E   M U S E U M

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