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2 - 7 of 36 reviews
Reviewed April 10, 2017

I must be completely honest, Dubai left me a superb and marvellous shock as I was expecting something completely different to our experience. This place was one of those that contributed to this.

Walking eastbound from the Al Fahidi Fort (Dubai Museum) and into the old town surrounded by so many things to see, you will find the XVA Art Hotel. We found it by pure luck as it was not referenced on anything that we had bookmarked that day to visit. In fact, we didn't have it at all on the list of things to see. It was those sorts of opportunities where you say 'How about we just walk down this maze to take a couple of pictures... I am bored of all these buildings, this looks a tad different...' and 10 minutes later you find this inviting door, you look in and there are a series of empty tables shaded with lino cloth roofing and a beautiful green tree and dried roses hanging off it.

How in the world could you turn and walk away from this? To us, this is what made the middle east so charming and appealing to visit (more than the soulless mega buildings).

We stayed, capturing every inch with our camera just to find one of the guys from reception looking at us, saying "inspiring, isn't it? Are you guys hungry? or just want to take pictures?"

I had no idea of the menu or the prices, but a look at my wife told me, we are having dinner here. Asked the guy to show us the way, as I could not believe nobody was eating at this place; he greeted and showed us the cafe area and gave us the menu.

You know you are in an art gallery when the menu is a piece of painted canvas and the tablecloth is a piece of paper with the signature of previous visitors. Inspecting the menu we found a lot of delicious dishes but a price tag equally delicious (to the owners) but accessible depending on what you consider affordable (for us, around Dubai we considered affordable a meal of 30 to 40 dirhams... or $13 to $15).

We ordered a bowl of parsnip chips (fries) and a pomegranate salad. Waited 5 minutes and our food arrived, very carefully arranged. It was beautiful to look at and so tasty.
The salad was fresh, the sweet flavours of the mustard were playful with some of the sourness of the salad with a surprise release of a pomegranate grain. It was very well balanced. The parsnip chips were great, good amount of salt and pepper to give you that change of piece between the sweetness of the parsnip crust and the delicate flavour inside.

At atmosphere is so relaxing, the buildings so accepting and inviting that you forget you are in Dubai. In my mind, we were transported to one of those fairy tales of the Arabian nights. We even considered changing our accommodation to stay here, just to continue enjoying the amazing environment and the vibe impregnated in this space.

I could continue rambling on with every delightful second we spent there here and I would run out of qualificatives to express how good we felt here... But this is one of those things you need to visit it (open-minded) to experience it yourself. We truly loved it and hope more of the soul inhabiting this place goes around Dubai to give it more spirit and uniqueness than the soulless concrete jungle around most of the known expensive hotels.

Date of experience: February 2017
4  Thank rodrigoelp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2017

We dropped into the Gallery to see an extremely interesting art exhibition. We saw that there was a interesting looking cafe/restaurant in a beautiful old courtyard and decided to give it a try. What a spectacular surprise. There were three of us--hardened foodies one and all--and we were blown away. I had something called an “eggplant burger” in which two eggplant “buns” enfolded a tomato/feta stack. None of us was sure how they managed to prepare the eggplant, but all agreed it was the best and most interesting eggplant preparation we had ever had. Truly brilliant. My friends had an al-salad, which seemed to be a mixture of several sorts of salads, but it was incredibly yummy. The last dish was a haloumi/spinach dish that was also superb. I’m not sure that, it being a gallery, they would appreciate people just coming in for the food, but their particular combination of food and art is definitely worth seeking out.

Date of experience: March 2017
2  Thank Schipa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2017 via mobile

Yep. A little gem in part of town that's pretty soulless otherwise. Quaint & cultured the way it should be not in a tourist way
We stopped for breakfast after wading through some pretty ghastly junk shop streets. Lovely covered courtyard, artwork ... not expensive
Scrambled eggs pretty good
My vegan companion said the fresh foul (not the mushy kind) was very good. Excellent fresh fruit & orange juice

Date of experience: February 2017
1  Thank Alex W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2016

Spent the weekend at the hotel and there is artwork, museums and cafes all over the place. It was an great weekend escape from the city and to experience old Dubai. Enjoy!!

Date of experience: July 2016
1  Thank litseyk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2016

Nothing outstanding art exhibits. But definitely worth a visit to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee relaxing in the bustling city; running your eyes around few paintings and sculptures.

Date of experience: May 2016
1  Thank Anoop K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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