Through the gently incense-scented corridors, over the stone floors scattered with Persian rugs, and past the Arabian lanterns.
Surely I’m in a palace, not a hotel?
The One & Only Royal Mirage resort in Dubai is outstanding and the exlusive 48 room Residence & Spa section is its piece de résistance. I slept in a one bedroom executive suite which was spacious (118m²/1,279ft²) and comfortable, with bright fabrics and a thoughtful layout. The bathroom had a mosaic tiled shower and large sized Molton Brown toiletries and there was a separate toilet. The suite also had a roomy balcony with views of the hotel gardens and the Arabian Gulf.
As a big fan of Arabian architectural style and interior design I found the hotel stunning. It’s been around a while (by Dubai standards; this is a city where new hotels shoot up like spring flowers) but has recently been refurbished and is in excellent condition. I felt at home immediately – if my home was a exquisite palace. I needed a lot of assistance from the dedicated team assigned to each Residence and Spa guest and they were unfailing in their support and kindness. I had a broken foot (though I didn’t know it at the time) and was using a wheelchair for most of my stay and I would call for assistance and somebody would be there, with a smile, almost immediately. ‘My’ team were fantastic, coming to me at regular intervals in my room, by the pool or wherever I happened to be, with ice packs for my foot. Certainly no sheikha in her palace has had more attentive service.
The beautifully kept gardens have decorative pools with trickling fountains and lead to a 1km long private beach so I took the chance to do some kayaking. Just gentle paddles out to sea on the duck pond-like water but it felt good to get some exercise and move under my own steam, without pain. The staff of the water sports centre physically supported me to walk across the sand then stood on the shoreline watching my progress as I paddled away from them.
Although the complete resort is large, the Residence and Spa section feels intimate and even has a private pool for use only by R&S guests.
The Residence & Spa also has a private restaurant but I had dinner at the Celebrities restaurant instead which, despite the name making me think of desperate reality TV stars, had good service and very good food. Breakfast was also of a high standard, ordered off the menu and cooked to order.
What made the hotel so special for me was the care I received from the staff when I really needed it. And the beautiful design. It’s not a faceless hotel that could be just anywhere in the world; I was in Arabia and I knew it. I loved that.
I arrived expectant; I departed enchanted.
Price – from $430 for a room; $1300 for an executive suite (these are low season summer prices; hotel rooms in Dubai are cheapest during the hot and very humid summer months, June-September; the holy month of Ramadan is the quietest and cheapest time of all).
Contact the One & Only Royal Mirage
Telephone: +971 4 399 9999
Website: click here