One&Only The Palm, Dubai
December 05, 2017
LOCATION: The name rather gives away the location of this beachfront resort, on the western crescent of the man-made Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.
LOCATION: The name rather gives away the location of this beachfront resort, on the western crescent of the man-made Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. I travelled there by boat from sister property the Royal Mirage, but it’s also driveable from the mainland.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: There’s no more stylish way to arrive than pulling up to a hotel jetty at sunset, so this hotel had pretty much won me over before I stepped off the boat. Nonetheless, the vast low-rise resort is impressive in its own right; its knockout feature has to be the huge shimmering pool shaded by dozens of palm trees, which looked inviting even in the cooler temperatures of the early evening, but there are plenty of elegant touches dotted around the resort to remind guests they’re staying somewhere special. From Arabian-style lanterns to oversized daybeds for when a sunlounger just won’t do, this hotel has thought of everything.
THE FACTS: Rooms are divided between a three-storey Manor House with 31 rooms and three suites, six low-rise mansions which between them have 34 rooms, 22 suites and nine pool suites, and four private beach villas. Décor is elegant and understated with Moorish and Arabian influences throughout the huge resort. The same style is carried through into main restaurant Zest, where splashes of silver manage to look stylish rather than gaudy thanks to a light palette of neutral colours. When it comes to the food, mouth-watering doesn’t quite cut it. I generally try to be good and steer clear of desserts but I would have put up quite a fight had anyone tried to take away my melt-in-the-mouth chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream; it would be worth a return trip to Dubai just for the dessert.
A GOOD BASE FOR: Relaxing in style. Dubai is an exciting city but find a spot by the pool or on the gorgeous beachfront and there’s no way guests will be venturing outside the resort. If they do want to see the city though, it’s only a short drive to downtown Dubai.
WOW: Watching the sun go down on Dubai from the super-chic 101 Dining Lounge and Bar is about as sophisticated as it gets. The floor-to-ceiling windows afford fantastic views of the city skyline at any time of day though, matched by an elegant ambience, good food and music just loud enough to offer atmosphere without stifling conversation. The rooms’ enormous freestanding bathtubs also deserve an honourable mention – sink into one of those and you may never want to leave.
HOW MUCH: A premiere room starts at AED3,665 (approximately £620) per night with breakfast in high season, excluding taxes and service charge.