The Residence and Spa oozes opulence and elegance; amidst the crazy skyscrapers of Dubai, this is an oasis of calm.
The only distraction from the arts of relaxation and peace-seeking pleasures was a male peacock, strutting arrogantly around the grounds and keeping a watchful eye on the guests. No doubt he was proud to be a resident here, and rightly so, for this hotel, boutique-style in its nature, is a rare find in Dubai.
Located in the heart of the One&Only Royal Mirage complex of three properties, as a Residence guest you have full use of the facilities and restaurants located at the Arabian Court and at The Palace. A handy shuttle service is available should you not want to take a stroll, or if the temperatures are really hotting up. On the flip side, the facilities and restaurant here remain exclusive to guests; privacy and intimacy are paramount at The Residence.
The hotel is divided into four blocks, each housing twelve rooms and suites and ensuring you are never too far away from the pool, the restaurant and reception. All the rooms graciously face the ocean, and the lush gardens and immaculately kept flower beds are a delight to wander around in the early morning.
Prestige Rooms and Junior Suites are very spacious and located on the ground and higher floors. For extra privacy, book the Junior Suite with a rooftop terrace. And if you’re looking for the ultimate hideaway, the Two Bedroom Villa may suit. Nestled in the gardens, it offers complete privacy with its own driveway and entrance and its own swimming pool, just meters from the beach.
The facilities offered throughout the greater Royal Mirage are extensive. The One&Only Spa at the Residence is particularly impressive and with a wealth of signature treatments, makes this a perfect choice for a spa and sun break.
- Daily breakfast for two
- Served in the restaurant
- Room upgrade upon arrival
- Subject to availability
- Dining experience
- One dinner for two, excluding beverages at selected restaurants
- VIP welcome
- Welcome drink upon arrival
- Early check-in / Late check-out
- Subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
Exclusive benefits may vary by hotel or hotel group. Exclusive benefits apply when booking the Best Available Rate and are not combinable with any hotel offers or special packages unless stated.
- Detailed Review +
- Facts & Amenities +
It was late at night when after a frenetic transfer through the busy Dubai streets from the airport, I arrived and walked through the doors of The Residence. A wave of calm washed over me upon entering, and I knew I would be looked after very well here. The staff dealt with my check in swiftly, while I relaxed with a welcome drink and a cold towel.
The small, intimate reception area was elegant and homely with a country club feel to it, a distinct difference from some of the larger, busier Dubai hotels where I have stayed on other visits. Within a few minutes, I was on my way by buggy to my room, where after a brief explanation of the functions and facilities, I promptly fell asleep on the soft, cool bed.
Rooms and suites
My Prestige Room was 60 m² (646 ft²), spacious and elegant with a traditional and homely feel to it. Décor was mostly cream, with some antique wooden pieces of furniture to break up the monotone canvas. In the corner of the room was a desk, and the TV was housed in a large cupboard along with a mini bar and a medium sized chest of drawers. There was even a wooden trouser press, something you hardly see anymore. This was all softened by modern Arabic vases and lamps that were dotted around. I loved the velvet, light green armchair and foot stool in the corner of the room: so inviting. Overall, the room was classic, understated and beautifully appointed. So, if you’re into sleek, modern design, this ain’t for you.
The patio doors lead out onto a small balcony which, though snug, had room for two sun loungers and a table.
The super king-sized bed dominated the room and was extremely comfortable; I sleep soundly during my stay. A full pillow and bedding menu was available as well. There was a separate walk-in wardrobe which had a lot of drawer and hanging space.
In keeping with the style of the room, the technology was traditional also, adequate at best. WiFi was complimentary, and a charger was provided for iPhone and android phones. There were ample light switches in all the right places: next to the bed, the desk and the mirror.
Through sliding, wooden doors was an impressive and large bathroom with a separate shower and bathtub. A mirror ran the length of the wall, with ornate Arabian art pieces hanging over the mirror which was very attractive. The cream coloured, marble double sink vanity added to the luxurious and spacious feel. Lighting was excellent, and the stand-alone mirror was perfect for applying makeup. In keeping with the rest of the room, it felt luxurious in an understated way.
Molton Brown (100 ml) toiletries were replenished daily.
There is only one restaurant at The Residence, The Dining Room, which is exclusive to residents only for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It’s a lovely spot to dine, filled with natural light during the day and becoming more intimate during the evening. Like everything in the hotel, it was charming and stylish. The elegant wicker furnishings and delicate floral patterns made a refreshing change to what often amounts to over-the-top Arabian styled dining areas.
Breakfast here was a delight. I am an early riser, and hence I was often the only (first even?) guest there in the mornings, where service was attentive, personal and very friendly. My eggs were cooked to perfection from the a la carte menu, and the cereal, bread, fruit and the honey selection from the self-service selection was extensive.
One evening I ordered room service, a simple steak sandwich which was delicious and which arrived in twenty minutes, presented in a professional and friendly manner.
Other restaurant options
The Library area hosts a complimentary afternoon tea at 3 pm daily. It’s also a place where residents can relax, recoup and mingle in elegant surroundings, or of course, just relax with a good book.
As part of the One&Only Royal Mirage, you can dine in up to eight different restaurants ranging from Mediterranean, Indian and Italian.
The Jetty Lounge located at The Palace is a great spot to chill with a cocktail watching the sunset; a must for all Royal Mirage guests.
Spa and wellness
The impressive, freestanding building housed the One&Only Spa. Designed in Old Arabia style, it offers a traditional Moroccan Hammam and twelve treatment suites.
The CARITA spa menu was vast, with a number of signature treatments to choose from. The Beauty Centre had a hair salon and a separate mani/pedi studio where an ultimate pamper package was available.
An excellent fitness centre, open from 7 am until 9 pm, was equipped with all the latest Technogym equipment, Kinesis systems, Power Plate and the BOSU balance programme.
Pool and beach
The pool is the central point of the hotel, and it’s stunning, surrounded by palm trees, private cabanas and some of the comfiest sun loungers in Dubai. Pool boys are attentive, polite and efficient. They could have been more friendly, but given the temperatures when I was here in the month of May, I can only commend them for a job well executed (not to mention staying on their feet the whole day).
Directly in front of the hotel is the private beach which is one kilometre long and exclusive to Residence & Spa guests. There are numerous cabanas dotted along offering shade and, for us worshippers, sun loungers placed directly in the Arabian heat. Even though I did not partake, watersports and related equipment are available, including sailboats, kayaks, windsurfs and Hobie cats.
The Residence & Spa does not have any children’s facilities. Kids will be bored here, and other guests will hate you if you bring anyone under twelve along. The other properties within Royal Mirage (The Palace & Arabian Court) are family-friendly and offer fully equipped kids’ clubs and plenty of action.
Staff and service
The staff were professional, attentive and personable almost across the board. As mentioned earlier, the stand-offish pool boys may have been having a bad day.
The restaurant team were fantastic. Sensitive to a woman dining on her own, they ensured I was comfortable and offered me a newspaper or magazine, so I was occupied, a nice touch which I appreciated.
There were a lot of Brits holidaying here, young and old alike, dynamics which changed slightly towards the weekend as locals arrived. There were a few French couples were also in residence, enjoying the peaceful surroundings.
The bell boy collected me and my luggage swiftly and ensured I was at reception with plenty of time for check-out and to meet my pre-ordered taxi. Friendly, personable and efficient, it was everything I had come to expect from this hotel.
How to get there
30 minutes by road transfer from Dubai International Airport
48 Rooms & Suites