One&Only The Palm
“Dubai is a fast-paced city, which can be a lot of fun, but it can also wear you out – especially if you go regularly for business. This property is the perfect place to recharge: feels like a secluded island resort, yet is just minutes from sister property One&Only Royal Mirage via One&Only water taxi transfer. We loved waking up and being able to take a walk on the beach – literally ten feet from the rooms – without the frenetic pace of the hustle bustle always in earshot/eyeline as it is in most city hotels. In true One&Only style they have managed to combine relaxation and seclusion with top amenities and service – anything we wanted to do was made available, including an unforgettable nighttime desert safari where we camped amongst the dunes.”
- Trusted Friend: Marten Claybor, Amsterdam
(Date Experienced: April 2011)
Escaping the Dubai traffic on the Palm peninsula just a quick water taxi from the main shopping and sights. Relaxing after biz in the city, or for a romantic break.
This is a great re-charge after doing business in Dubai, but the KidsOnly Club and pools also make it a good family spot for enjoying the weather and kid-friendly attractions of the Middle East.
Taking the luxury of the hotel out into the desert. We managed to spot Arabian Oryx and many special birds during the day and slept under the stars at night, knowing that we had the comfort and convenience of the hotel to go back to the next day.
Best time to go
Avoid summer at all costs – it is too unbearably hot to do anything!
There is still quite a bit of construction on Palm Island, which is very evident as you drive to the hotel. However, once cosseted inside, you won’t notice it at all – no noise! The beach is man-made, so the sand is not as fine as some.
Part of what makes it so serene here is that there are just 65 rooms, 25 suites and four private beachfront villas – in Dubai terms, that’s tiny, and therefore intimate! What is not tiny however, are the rooms themselves: the Grand Palm Suite on the top floor of Manor House is a massive 250 square meters. Décor is modern with a touch of the Middle East in the bright colors and rich fabrics. All rooms have balconies or terraces – lovely for the evening breeze. Families or those after extra privacy should opt for a Private Beachfront Villa: two bedrooms, living space, bar, dining area, gardens and plunge pool. Bliss to return to after shopping or biz in the city.
Service & vibe
Very slick – Call ahead to mention a special occasion and you will be pleasantly surprised at the effort staff goes to in order to make it a very special occasion.
Three options: Contemporary-designed ZEST mixes Middle East, Asia and the West in open kitchens. Pick your base (poultry, meat or fish) and it is prepared in front of you to your specifications. STAY by Yannick Alléno is a distinctive dining experience, but quite relaxed – fitting for the vibe of the resort. Cuisine is overseen by Michelin-starred Alléno with menus offering impressive meals such as: Black peppered wagyu beef, French milk-fed lamb or green pea curry. Meet your fellow guests at the sharing table or meet the chefs in the Pastry Library as you help create dessert. For a dinner with a view, then it’s got to be 101, perched on top of the marina. Chilled out Med-style, champagne and cocktail bar with a resident DJ. Very cool.
Price per night
Starting from $950 per room per night, including breakfast in ZEST restaurant in a Palm Manor Premier room. (Not including 10% authority fees and 10% service charge.)
To Do & See
The main activities in Dubai are shopping in the city, but there are a few historic corners to be discovered such as the arty Bastakiya district, with its traditional buildings and wind towers, or the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding. The ‘living museum’ of Al Shindagha is a way to get to know local craft and tradition.
Sport & Activity
You’re on an island so get out into the water! Kayaking is available at the resort whilst a range of other water-sports such as windsurfing, water-skiing, sailing, deep sea fishing – you name it are available just a short boat ride away at sister property One&Only Royal Mirage. On the other hand, you’re also on the fringes of a desert, take a camel caravan to the garden city of Al Ain, or a romantic overnight star-lit safari through wadis and dunes.
Spa & Grooming
Most new ESPA spas are rather great; I think they really ‘get’ what spas in this kind of resort should be. The One&Only Private Spa houses nine treatment spa suites in the gardens, but with your beau you should check into the Couple Suite for the Rhassoul experience – a traditional Arabian cleansing ritual followed by the lovely massages or wellness journeys. There’s also a fitness center and beauty salon to ensure that you are preened to pose on the catwalk of Dubai’s malls.
Dubai has outposts of many of the famous and top restaurant chains: Nobu (+971 4 426 2626), Zuma (+971 4 425 5660), The Ivy (+971 4 319 8767) or Pierre Gagnaire (+971 4 232 9098) etc. For something more authentic, slip away from the bling into the Bastakiya historic district, where old buildings with wind towers line the streets. Gordon Ramsay recommends the café at XVA – amazing fresh, tasty and local veggie fare (+971 4 353 5383).
Designer shopping by the plenty in Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates. For something a little less ‘everywhere’ try concept store Boutique 1 (+971 4 425 7888), find beaded kaftans and jewellery at S*uce (+971 4 344 7270) or Indian homewares at Marina (+971 4 366 8888). Shop the Deira souks for gold, spice and perfumes.
Arrive in style by limousine and during your stay by boat from
the private marina to and from One&Only Royal Mirage.