I’ve been a little busy lately. My mum came to visit all the way from New Zealand, so we decided to do a few special things. One of those was high tea. After tossing up between the Burj Al Arab Afternoon Tea and the various events on offer up the Burj Khalifa, we opted for La Gourmandizes at the At.Mosphere Lounge. On the 122nd floor. One might say it was the highest tea.
Our experience started by entering the Armani Hotel. It isn’t entirely obvious how you access the lounge from the hotel, but you need to head to the elevators at the back, then catch the lift to level ‘C’. Once you are at this level, you can check into the At.Mosphere reception and take an internal lift up the Burj Khalifa. Once you reach the top, you descend a beautiful spiral staircase one floor and are treated to magical views over the Dubai Mall. It looks very small from that high!
We were promptly seated and treated to Flamingo Ice Tea – a beautiful berry blend featuring fresh fruits. If you book the La Gourmandizes option – as opposed to the higher cost Luxurious Menu – you aren’t guaranteed a window seat. However, the people in the window didn’t look super comfortable in the hot sun, so we didn’t mind our seat a little further back.
Our first item was an amuse-bouche of fish salami and cream foam with mango puree, which was very tasty. Shortly after this, our beautiful towers of high-tea foods arrived. I can’t remember the entire selection, but it was a truly delicious range – all of it was tasty. None of it was particularly wacky or out there, and would suit most tastes. I recall having yummy tuna sandwiches, a lemon-mint macaron, a pistachio and chocolate truffle, mozzarella bruschetta, delicious chocolate and vanilla scones and a gorgeous little vanilla tart. Even better, we were able to have seconds on the sandwiches and pastry items… that’s certainly something that has never been offered before!
We enjoyed hot tea while gorging on the tasty treats on offer, and live entertainment from a very talented violinist. All of a sudden, he started playing Happy Birthday. I then realised that, when I booked, I had been asked whether it was a special occasion. It was – my mums birthday! The violinist serenaded her and she was given a beautiful little chocolate cake with a candle. She even got a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday from the other diners up the Burj Khalifa. A birthday not to forget!
Given it normally costs 125-200AED to go up to the lower public viewing platform on the Burj Khalifa, and its 320AED for La Gourmandizes, it is actually a very cost effective way to go up the tower. Plus, you won’t have to share the noisy public area with hundreds of other tourists. The lounge wasn’t terribly busy when we were there, and we were able to spend ample time peering out the windows over the city. No screaming kids made it an even better experience.
If you want to celebrate a special occasion in Dubai, you need to add At.Mosphere Lounge to your list. While the novelty factor of your visit is high, it is also a beautiful setting with fabulous service, and well worth a visit.
Address: 122nd Floor, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai (access via the Armani Hotel)
Opening hours: Open daily 7am-11am, noon-4.30pm, 5pm-2am
Cost: 320AED per person
Platinum discount: Not available