A city of extremes, Dubai is a place where skyscrapers punctuate the skyline and the history will have you engrossed for hours, a place full of magic and intrigue. Some believe it’s luxury at its finest, others think it’s OTT, we however love it, it’s one of our favourite travel destinations, there’s always something new to be discovered, and the hotels never ever disappoint.
The Ritz Carlton Dubai, was our hotel this visit, located in Dubai’s elegant Marina district right next to the chic café-lined JBR Walk (Jumeirah Beach Residences), with views stretching across 350,000 sq. metres of landscaped gardens, golden sands and Arabian sea, this five-star hotel feels like a private oasis in the middle of the desert.
The lobby is impressive with exquisite flower displays, a fountain, chandelier and huge windows that showcase a fabulous view out to the Gulf, but we weren’t in the lobby for long, our bags were whisked off and we were escorted by the concierge to The Club Lounge, an exclusive private space on the third floor that is only accessible to guests who have booked a Deluxe Club room or above – A relaxing lounge environment with sofas, chairs, continuous culinary offerings that are delightful and available throughout the day (breakfast, light snacks, lunch, afternoon tea, hors d’ oeuvres, sweets and chocolates) as well as a premium selection of wines, beer and spirits (including champagne and prosecco – I am a very excited lady) and hot and cold beverages, all at no extra cost. The perfect place to take a little shelter from the sunshine, sit on the balcony or lounge on the sofas inside, sipping a cool drink and simply unwinding. There’s also access to a computer station just in case you are tempted to do just a little bit of work, and a dedicated Concierge who attends to everything you need.
Our room was just as impressive, accents of pale greens and yellows with dark wood furniture and ornate artwork on the walls, a 47” flat-screen TV, Nespresso machine a huge feather bed that was so comfy, it was a pleasure to sleep in and as with most luxury hotels now a tablet by the bed to operate just about everything! Double sinks in the bathroom (I love it when this happens, no arguing over who’s taking too long), a large marble bathtub and an oversized rain shower that was a pleasure to use, especially when accompanied by Asprey toiletries (as I said before, Dubai know how to do luxe without any effort), and finally the balcony, a little haven with comfortable furniture to look over the pools (there’s 5 in total), glistening sea and soft golden sand.
And it was the golden sand that we were heading for, to find ourselves a lounger and recharge on the beautiful beach. The hotel’s waterfront location means it has access to its own private beach, with dedicated staff, who give out towels, bring you bottles of water in their own cool boxes, take a drink order and even bring you fresh fruit – This same service is on hand when you laze by one of the five pools, two of which are specifically for children, one with slides and one without along with the separate adults’ pool for those that like a little quiet time.
The gardens are amazingly lush and lead you to discover something different around each corner, whether it’s one of the nine restaurants or lounges, the spa or even one of the event areas on the beach, there is a surprise awaiting you at every turn.
Most of our stay we ate in the Club Lounge, the food was so varied and delicious, it would be a crime not to, but we couldn’t resist the pull of Amaseena, the Bedouin-style outdoor dining experience, that you need to try at least once during your stay. An outdoor restaurant that captures the romance of Arabia, with its Bedouin-inspired tents that are scattered with cushions and seating areas, palm trees lit with sparkling lights beneath the twinkling desert sky. A place to tempt your palette with imaginative Arabic dishes served buffet style (but not as we know it) – Once seated in our own private tent, the chef came over to accompany us around the different foods, explaining what the different dishes were – it was like being in another world, walking through a souk in Morocco with charming old-fashioned stands filled with different foods from an Arabian menu that included hummus, moutabbel, salads, all mouth-wateringly delicious in not only taste but presentation as well.
After the appetisers (if you’ve got room) it’s time to experience some of the tajine dishes, a shawarma or even some lobster, red snapper, tiger prawns or lamb chops from the grill station. There’s no rush to eat your food you can just sit back and engulf yourself in the whole Arabian ambience, the food is literally an explosion of tastes and culinary delights on your taste buds and it doesn’t end with the savoury, there’s a whole section of desserts including Arabian sweets that are all washed down perfectly with fresh mint tea. The enchantment of this dining experience is one you’ll remember for years to come.
There’s never enough time to experience everything we want to when we visit places, but before jetting home I was determined to have a little pampering and pay a visit to the hotel’s spa, where I made full use of the hammam and plunge pools before enjoying an aromatic bespoke relaxation massage that certainly melted away any tension or stress I was feeling at the thought of returning home and back to reality.
All too soon our stay was over (don’t worry I already have the next trip booked), The Ritz Carlton Dubai certainly lived up to all expectations, it is five-star luxury at its best, whether it’s watching the sunset with a cocktail on the beach, enjoying some of the divine cuisine on offer or just dipping your toes in the pool there is no place like it, and as they say
‘the only place in the world that makes the impossible, possible!’
TOP TIP: Pay the extra and book a Deluxe Club Room or above to allow you access to The Club Lounge, the little extras are so worth that little bit more.
Prices start from £255 per night based on two people in a Deluxe Club Room with sea view including club lounge access and taxes in September 2018.
*Please note prices may vary from those shown