Dubai is a place that has always intrigued me so I was super excited to visit as a stopover on the way to and from The Maldives. Our choice of hotel on the way over was One&Only Royal Mirage located near the Dubai Marina, opposite the Palm Islands and a thirty minute drive from the airport. With our flight arriving very late, the first night was write-off all there was to do was grab a quick drink before heading straight to bed. Like a kid on Christmas day (I’m always like that on the first day of holiday), when the sun rose I ripped open our curtain to admire that view….
On one side of our panorama, was the city with sky scrapers looming up like a forest of concrete trees…
On the other side were palm trees and beaches…a rather perfect juxtaposition that encapsulates the nature of the city. A place that combines the glamour of the city with leisure and relaxation on the beach. From here we could also view one of the hotel’s four pools like an inviting lagoon below…
Four pools? Ok, so this hotel was huge…it’s actually made up of three different areas…making it also like three hotels in one. You’re also talking eight restaurants as well as numerous other bars and lounges, three tennis courts, a salon and hammam, ballroom…there’s even a amphitheatre!! So this hotel was vast, 65 acres to be exact, and I can’t even begin to cover the whole place with our brief two night stay so instead I thought I’d give you a little walk through the place and show you how Mr S and I spent our day there.
Clad in one of my new summer dresses Mr S and I emerged from our room ready to explore this epic hotel. I’ll give you a tour of the room later once it’s been tidied!
Separated into The Palace, Arabian Court (where we stayed) and Residence & Spa, each distinct property has a different look and feel to it. I chose the Arabian Court because I read it was less busy and it had the closest access to the restaurant where I wanted to eat, and to the roof top bar. The Arabian Court has grand Oriental architecture, bubbling fountains, gardens and gorgeous courtyards peppered about the place. The Palace has more rooms and is a more child-friendly option while Residence & Spa is the most intimate and exclusive option of the three.
Our breakfast was The Rotisserie, one of the three main restaurants in the Arabian Court, an opulent setting of plush blue velvets and gold accents that had a glittering regal effect. At the heart of the restaurant is the show kitchen which produces traditional Middle Eastern and Northern European cuisine all day.
At breakfast there’s a full buffet with dishes made to order at the live cooking stations…
As well as all the continental options that you can imagine! If you’re looking for a change of scene, guests of the Arabian Court are also welcome to try the breakfast buffet at Mediterranean restaurant, Olives, at The Palace.
We had our breakfast on the courtyard overlooking the hotels gorgeous gardens and I was so happy to have some sun on my skin! Actually the weather was perfect in March, and not too hot at all…ideal for us to take a little walk.
After breakfast we decided to meander down the palm fringed pathways of The Arabian Court, past the bubbling fountains…
And through perfectly manicured lawns…
And past one of the hotel’s main pools. With four temperature-controlled pools, you’re spoilt for choice – plus one is adults only and another is available exclusively to guests of Residence & Spa. Mr S did look longingly at the pool but unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to use it during our short stay.
You can easily wander from the pool to the beach and One&Only Royal Mirage has a whole kilometre of private beach, complete with powdery white sand.
Walking through the pretty pathways of the resort, the looming city grows closer and closer…
Providing a contrast to the traditional architecture of the hotel.
We soon found ourselves at The Jetty Lounge at The Palace section of the hotel.
A beautiful beach bar, I can imagine myself enjoying at sunset with a cocktail in hand…sadly we didn’t make it back there for sundowners and mezzah and Asian platters and chilled out lounge music.
From the Jetty you can catch the boat across to the sister property, One&Only The Palm. So not only can you enjoy the amenities at the vast village-like Royal Mirage…there’s even more options available across the way! One&Only The Palm has a further three restaurants including STAY by acclaimed chef Yannick Alléno. You know how much I love a good snoop around a hotel, so it kind of killed me that we didn’t have time to take the boat over and have a look around, but I’ll just have to save that one for next time.
But a moment on the jetty allowed us to admire the city and sand…
And also take a our first glimpse of the sail-like structure of famous ‘seven-star’ Burj al Arab, often voted the world’s most luxurious hotel.
As we approached the hotel’s second pool, we realised that it was time to head back and we had a lunch booking to get to. I’m not going to lie, we got lost getting back to our area of the hotel and after almost walking into someone else’s residence, we found our back to The Arabian Court feeling a little hot under the collar!
The entrance to The Arabian Court is incredibly impressive. Ceilings are sky-high with gigantic palm trees reaching for the top.
Adjacent to the entrance is The Samovar lounge, a light and airy meeting place for coffee, afternoon tea and cocktails.
The Samovar Lounge also has a comfortable balcony…and wait for this…
An incredible view of the hotel’s garden and the Gulf beyond.
There were so many beautiful nooks and crannies around this maze-like hotel that I just couldn’t cover it all! Such as the intimate and beautiful courtyards…
And gorgeous mosaic floors lines with artwork…but I can’t linger for too long as we’ll miss our lunch booking… After an incredible bottomless brunch at Nobu Dubai – review here – we headed upstairs to our room.
As our stay was short, we’d gone for an entry-level Deluxe Room, but it was still super spacious. The concept of the decor is contemporary with Arabian inspiration, for example this beautifully intricate headboard and rich brocaded throw.
Beautiful archways frame aspects of the room and gold accents add to the Oriental themes.
Perhaps the most beautifully dramatic aspect of the room was the bathroom, a luxurious mixture of marble, wood and slate with a separate toilet and shower.
And beautiful amenities from British brand, Penhaligans. We had a little time to relax before I headed off to the spa to get my hair done…I left the camera behind but needless to say, the spa continued the traditional style of the rest of the hotel. The beautiful oasis-like space has twelve treatment rooms, a Moroccan Hammam, fitness centre and beauty room! I was incredibly impressed by the Hair Salon by Alexandre Zouari where I got my blow dry.
So after a quick change and make up refresh, I was all ready for our night out!
We had a bit more time to admire some of the beautiful artwork that lined the corridors of the hotel before we headed up to The Rooftop & Sports Lounge that sits at the top of the Arabian Court.
The bar is surrounded by the glittering lights of the city beyond and there are lots of gorgeous nooks, filled with comfy cushions and lit with twinkling candles. We enjoyed the chilled out atmosphere with a glass of champagne and cocktails before heading down for dinner.
As our flight to The Maldives was early the next day, I had decided to book one of the restaurants in the hotel for dinner. Fortunately during my research, EauZone, the signature restaurant at the Arabian Court, came up time and time again as one of the top restaurants in Dubai.
By day EauZone is fairly casual and it’s beach front location allows diners to sample the Asian seafood menu with a view of the pool and the Gulf, whilst enjoying the shade of the palm trees.
But by night, it transforms into a chic and sexy space as that restaurant’s lights reflect off the pool and room is filled with a vibrant crowd.
Annoyingly they didn’t seat us in the buzzy main restaurant pavilion or one of the floating ‘Majilis’ that the restaurant is known for, instead we were inside minus the view and atmosphere.
Our disappointment was soon assuaged by excellent Asian seafood menu.
With sashimi and an Asian mixed platter for starters followed by an excellent plate of prawns and black cod. A few light dishes being just right after an epic brunch at Nobu and an early start the next day.
The next day it was rise and shine at 6.30, time to say goodbye to Dubai and off to catch our flight to The Maldives!
Though I do prefer smaller hotels, the levels of luxury in terms of decor, food and service at One&Only Royal Mirage are undeniable. If you’re looking for an opulent palace of a hotel where you will be treated like royalty and basically never need to leave, One&Only Royal Mirage is the one for you!
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One&Only Royal Mirage
Al Sufouh Road
+971 4 399 9999