Dubai’s Man-Made wonder The Palm Jumeirah is home to a number of Five-Star Hotels, but nothing says indulgence quite like the mind-blowing WALDORF ASTORIA. Situated on the Palm’s east crescent, The Waldorf may not be as ostentatious as some of its neighbours but it would certainly be our preference when it comes to a weekend retreat of exemplary service and high-end luxury. FACT sent out & About UAE’S David Tapley to bask in all of the resort’s beautiful glory…
The brilliant white exterior of the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah gives little away, yet the lobby of this 319-room property marks a great introduction to the very nature of the brand. Natural tones embrace guests as they make their way beneath dazzling light fittings and across plush rugs to the reception, where floor-to-ceiling windows provide remarkable views out to the sea. Waldorf’s inaugural property in New York was seen as the world’s greatest hotel at the time of its construction and has left a lasting legacy for the brand to measure the standard of others. Over a century later, this quality and consistency remain in place, with the check-in process undertaken with startling efficiency. A central clock is a fixture of Waldorf lobbies worldwide and the presence of a timepiece in the Dubai property takes prominence over a sweeping staircase of gleaming marble, leading out towards the beach.
We get a feeling of desert chic as we traverse the communal corridors leading to the rooms, for the desert has quite literally been brought indoors. Sand and palm trees ll the corridors, leaving little doubt of our Arabian location. Our first- floor room is spacious and offers glorious views of the Dubai skyline over the at waters of the Arabian Gulf. The iconic Burj Al Arab stands strong on the horizon, as the sunlight refracts o the Burj Khalifa in the distance.
Our two-queen bed Deluxe Room is without a doubt one of the nicest we’ve stayed in. Awash with tones of ivory, beige and hints of turquoise, it’s tastefully decorated and features all the modern comforts you’d expect from a brand such as the Waldorf. A large 42- inch HD television, a media hub for all your devices and an espresso maker (none of that powdered stuff here) all add to the attention to detail which is astounding. Even the crockery is similar to something you would expect to find at a wedding. A special mention must be given to the signature Waldorf Astoria beds (complete with pillow menu) and what are easily the most comfortable slippers and robes in the Emirates – period!
The bathroom continues the lavish feeling of the room, finished in marble and complete with double vanity units, a powerful rainfall shower (with seating ledge for those too lazy to stand) and a tub that features a television. It’s almost too difficult to leave the room when the levels of comfort are so high.
The hotel’s location on The Palm Jumeirah means that it’s a little far from the tourist attractions of Dubai but it’s unlikely that guests will notice with so much on o er within the hotel’s manicured grounds. Amenities include the Waldorf Astoria Spa, featuring a sauna, steam-room, ice fountain, 12 treatment rooms and extensive hydrotherapy facilities. With over 50 treatments available in a serene and tranquil environment, it’s worth booking yourself in for some extensive pampering. Often, spas can feel a little clinical, but here, relaxation is at the forefront. For those with fitness in mind, the state-of-the-art gym is open 24-hours-a-day.
Outside, amongst grassy lawns and rows of fragrant frangipani trees, is the private beach. A 200m swathe of golden sand stretching as far as the eye can see and leading down to tranquil azure waters that are shallow and ideal for young children and less competent swimmers. If relaxing on the sand isn’t your thing, the onsite water sports centre offers snorkelling, kayaking and water skiing, against the backdrop of the Palm’s residential fronds and the towers of Dubai Marina. Tennis courts and two temperature-controlled swimming pools are also available for guests. The lagoon-like family pool would be our choice, offering different depths of water and spacious cabanas, including some that are well-placed over the water for a special dining experience. An adults-only pool is provided for those looking for additional peace and quiet and even in the intense summer heat, the attentive lifeguards are on hand with bags of chilled water and ample shade to ensure comfort is maintained for all guests poolside.
Six distinct dining destinations are available to take you on a worldwide culinary journey. Having heard wonderful things about Social by 3-star Michelin Chef Heinz Beck we were a little disappointed to find the restaurant closed for Ramadan. However, things were quickly redeemed with a dinner reservation at Lao. With so few Vietnamese fine-dining restaurants in the Emirates, it’s a refreshing choice of cuisine for the Waldorf and one that certainly pays off . Indulging in a set menu of Lao’s signature dishes, we’re taken on a sensory epicurean adventure from the coastal waters of Vietnam’s Halong Bay to the mountainous rice terraces of Sapa. With Vietnamese cuisine renowned for its aromatic flavours, these are evident in every dish throughout the meal. From the tender beef wrapped in a King Henry leaf and served with peanut and tamarind sauces, to the stir-fried chicken breast with aromatic lemongrass – every dish is as tasty as the next.
Breakfast at Mezzerie offers guests a vast spread of freshly baked breads and pastries, artisanal yoghurts, dim sum, a gluten free corner and not one but TWO varieties of pancakes. It’s one of the most expansive breakfast buffets we’ve encountered with a focus on quality to match.
The Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah is a property that offers sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of Dubai. The location is perfectly suited to a distinguished brand that exudes luxury and exclusivity. Set amidst tranquil gardens and the gently lapping waves of the Arabian Gulf, it’s a property that is instantly memorable for its quality of service and pristine accommodation. With personalised and professional service to match, a staycation-worthy resort like this is where you should be spending your summer weekends! ✤
GO: Call +971 4 818 2222 or visit waldorfastoria3.hilton.com for reservations and more information.