- Detailed Review
- Facts & Amenities
Located on the westernmost tip of The Palm is the jewel in Dubai’s One&Only crown, One&Only The Palm. From the moment you walk through the entrance, it shimmers and shines in a beautifully, understated way. Stylish and super-modern, the opulent ambience and ornate furnishings remind you that you are still in Arabia.
The Moorish, low rise design makes a refreshing change in a city that loves a high rise. The main building is the Manor House, and the three storey block boasts some of the largest entry level rooms in Dubai. It overlooks the fabulous pool and surrounding terraces. Closer to the beach are six individual, mansion houses which all face the beach so no matter which room category you book, you are steps from the water. Some of the Junior Suites have swimming pools but are not completely private, as guests taking a stroll along the beach can see into the pools. There are also four free-standing villas. Duplexes, with two bedrooms and a large swimming pool, they offer the ultimate privacy and yet don’t sacrifice the high standards of service and amenities that all guests are entitled to.
Dining is a real treat here, where Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alleno heads up STAY (for dinner only), and there’s a vast selection of everything imaginable available around-the-clock in the all-day dining restaurant, Zest. Finally, drinks and dinner at the super-cool 101 Dining Lounge and Bar at the marina offers the opportunity for guests to swan around a super-sexy venue looking like a movie star—appropriate garb recommended.
The resort has a glamorous feel to it but not in a pretentious way. You would be at home around the pool decked out in a gold bikini and matching wedges, and equally as comfortable in a casual pair of linen slacks, chilling out beneath a parasol. And with champagne corks popping beside fruit smoothies and green juices, guests of all walks of life were enjoying the irresistible vibe of this world class resort.
I arrived on a busy Friday afternoon, and the lobby was buzzing with guests checking in. As busy as it was, I was still blown away by the beauty all around. The ornate archways guided me inside, and the flashes of gold and silver in the vases, lanterns and on the artefacts gave a definite nod to Arabia.
Check-in was completed efficiently by warm and friendly front desk clerks, and I was escorted to my room by my personal host who took me through my room orientation. I felt relaxed, looking forward to the few days ahead.
Rooms and suites
My Premier Room, located in the Manor House at the heart of the resort, was the lead-in room category but you would not have guessed. At an extremely spacious 65m² (700ft²), it felt more like a Junior Suite and offered a truly excellent standard of accommodation. A small hallway led to the bedroom/living area which was decorated in a mix of creams, brown silks and splashes of orange velvet. My balcony ran the length of the room and had a built-in seating area and two sun loungers. Furniture was contemporary and included a desk in the corner, dark wood bedside tables and two large, oversized chairs with foot stools. Overall, the room felt modern and plush, but the touches of traditional Arabian lamps and vases made sure a taste of the Middle East was apparent.
The 46-inch flat screen TV hung on the wall, and a DVD /CD player was available, along with a great choice of English TV channels and a Bose sound system. Plug sockets were plentiful and located in all the right places, while lighting was easy to control by individual dimmer switches—next to the bed for the utmost convenience, as were the sockets for charging devices. WiFi was complimentary and available on four personal devices; the connection was fast throughout the property.
On my 2nd night here, I moved to a Palm Beach Premier Room, located in one of the beachfront Mansions. The room was exactly the same as my Premier Manor House room except I had the luxury of a full sea view. Sea vistas are of course wonderful, however, I did enjoy my view of the fabulous swimming pool from the Manor House, lit up day and night.
Through sliding doors was the elegant bathroom. A marble, freestanding, oversized bath was the central focus, with a double vanity sink and a dressing table with excellent lighting and shelf space beside it. Behind this was a separate walk-in rain shower, a WC and a wardrobe.
Lighting was excellent, and there were two freestanding mirrors (one illuminated) and a very powerful hairdryer. Acqua di Parma (75ml) toiletries were plentiful and replenished daily. A choice of dressing gowns, slippers and soft white towels added to the luxurious feel.
I tried the afternoon brunch at ZEST one day. It wasn’t the intimidating and overwhelming kind of feast that you find in Dubai and where you are faced with mountains of food and over-indulgence at every cooking station.
Like everything in the hotel, this was an understated affair. Perfectly cooked meats, seafood and fish melted in your mouth, and there was freshly cooked pasta, vegetables and a great selection of salads. If you did have room after this, then the vast array of mini desserts would definitely not go untouched.
ZEST is an elegant dining area and even though it’s open all day, it can get busy at times. The service is so attentive that it’s a joy to dine here with its relaxed and home-like ambience. It has an outside terrace where you can take breakfast in the morning, and lunch or dinner in the cooler months. Sunlight streams through the floor-to-ceiling windows and the silver leaf columns and chandeliers glisten in its warmth. Come in and stay a while.
Other restaurant options
Have an early evening cocktail at the 101 Bar, where there is a chilled atmosphere as the sun goes down over the Dubai skyline. Relaxing, I tried a selection of tapas which were fresh and tasty and paired beautifully with a cheeky gin and tonic. The sexy lighting added to this unique setting and the service was friendly and attentive. Sensitive to that fact I was a woman on her own, magazines were offered for me to browse through.
Spa and wellness
I used the gym once during my stay; I’m an early riser so I was there as soon as it opened at 7 am (it closes at 9 pm). It was bright and airy with powerful air conditioning and all the state of the art Technogym equipment you could want. A fitness team were on hand to offer personal training or just ensure you were comfortable with the machines.
The gym is located next to the spa, a beautiful spot and as you would imagine; very peaceful, with the sound of water from the surrounding fountains making it even more zen-like. There is an outdoor pool and relaxation area, and for more pampering, a mani/pedi studio.
Pool and beach
The hotel has two pools, a small adult-only one located next to the spa, perfect if you really want a quiet zone. Or the main pool which at 850 m² dominates the resort. There are plenty of comfy sun loungers nicely spaced around the adjoining terraced gardens and cabanas are also available for hire. There are also twelve double day-beds strategically placed around the pool. Music pipes through the palm trees and the pool boys ensure everyone is looked after with iced water, fruit kebabs, face mist, neck and leg pillows, cucumber slices for your eyes, and offers to have your sunglasses cleaned. They had a knack of arriving just when you needed them, without being intrusive.
The 450 meters of beach was immaculate, with cabanas dotted along the shore and beach service as the pool, above. The ongoing construction of The Palm is something to bear in mind when staying at any hotel on The Palm, for it was visible but didn’t disturb in any way.
The KidsOnly programme for kids aged 4-11 is located in the Manor House and offers kids a parent-free zone with age-appropriate activities and fun times guaranteed. Sporting lessons are also available for the more adventurous, and water skiing, tennis and swimming lessons too. Babysitting can be arranged, and the under 4s can attend the kids’ club accompanied by an adult.
Zest restaurant is family friendly and offers a kids all day dining menu.
Sporty teenagers can enjoy the water sports and tennis facilities, however, they will feel pretty cool chilling around the fantastic swimming pool.
Staff and service
All staff from all areas of the property were friendly, courteous and genuinely upbeat. My personal room host who looked after restaurant reservations, unpacking (if required) and laundry was a delight and ensured I had everything I needed during my stay.
A real mix of nationalities were staying: Brits, French, Swiss and visitors from Saudi Arabia who arrived for the weekend. Couples of all ages and a few solo travellers too. I only saw one family with two small children during my stay.
I had an early departure and so I was a little bleary eyed when I made my way to reception to settle the bill. Conscious of this, the front desk clerk offered me a seat and a coffee while he completed the process efficiently. He printed out my boarding pass, checked on my transfer and sent me on my way with a genuine handshake. I was sad to leave my new ‘family’.
How to get here
45 minutes by road from Dubai International Airport
90 rooms & suites