The Ritz-Carlton Dubai is one of the grande dames of luxury hotels on Jumeirah Beach. And while over the years newer and arguably glitzier hotels have opened, the Ritz-Carlton has, since day one, remained an oasis of calm elegance in the midst of what can be a maddeningly frantic city.
Surrounded by tall buildings and hemmed in by other resorts, she sits majestically in the middle of 35,000 square metres of beautifully landscaped gardens, fringed by 350 metres of perfect white beach. With beautiful walkways, bubbling fountains, two swimming pools (one for adults only) and a myriad of colours with flowers everywhere, this hotel is something quite special.
And we are not talking small. A recent, new wing almost doubled the size of the property but in no way does it feel crowded or impersonal. Everything is on a very human scale. Spaces are neither overwhelming nor vast (quite the opposite of many Dubai hotels) and there is a calmness that permeates the entire property; something generally achieved by equal measures of good design and good management.
I think it’s fair to say that in days gone by, Ritz-Carlton hotels were never considered to be leading the charge on contemporary hotel dining. Rather, it was all rather old-fashioned and bordering on plain boring. But things have changed dramatically and the Ritz-Carlton Dubai is at the forefront of the group’s move to offer highly innovative and contemporary dining concepts. The hotel has some of the best, if not the best, food to be found anywhere on Jumeirah beach.
Intelligent and refined service is a hallmark of Ritz-Carlton but in Dubai as a whole, this can be a challenge to deliver on a consistent basis. Kudos must be given to the management team (and more importantly the staff) for the near-flawless service guests receive at the hotel.
Every so often you find a hotel that just has that ‘something special. It’s not one thing, but rather a combination of many that simply deliver that rare but extraordinary feel-good factor. Most importantly though, it’s the desire to return again and again. Like me, I am sure you will too. Read more reviews from the collection.
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Arrival was slick, with plenty of staff on hand to take care of my luggage. I was escorted to the majilis area and offered chilled towels and a welcome beverage. Check-in formalities were handled quickly and I was escorted to my room.
The lobby is open and spacious with the adjoining lounge featuring a beautifully carved, wooden ceiling. There is a sense of calm throughout and even when busy, it never feels overcrowded or rushed.
Rooms and suites
The Executive suites are quite lovely. And they are a perfect size at 108 m² with loads of room to spread out and enjoy the surroundings. My suite featured a marble-floored lobby, with chocolate brown wooden walls leading into a bright lounge area with a large sofa bed, armchairs and a work desk. This all flowed out onto a large balcony overlooking the resort and beach beyond.
The entertainment system includes a 46″ HD TV and a Bang & Olufsen sound system. Through a delightful wood paneled doorway is a large bedroom featuring a chaise longue along with a pop-up TV located in a unit at the foot of the bed. There is a dressing area behind the bed which leads into a very spacious bathroom. The bedroom also opened out onto a balcony with wonderful views of the gardens, pools and the Arabian Gulf below.
Decor at the Ritz-Carlton is always refined and elegant and the Jumeirah Beach property is no exception. Chocolate brown woods, sandy hued carpeting and wonderful accents of lemon creates a beautiful environment. The decor is stylish and restrained, and makes for a very comfortable and relaxing haven.
Featuring lots of light green marble and ceramic tiles, a huge soaking tub and a beautiful feature wall of metallic finished tiles, this bathroom is designed to make everyone who enters feel suitably glamorous.
A long twin basin vanity has acres of space for all one’s products and the lighting is excellent. There is a separate WC with bidet. But the star of the show has to be the massive walk-in shower: a huge rain-head along with two wall-mounted shower heads and eight body-jets.
Toiletries are Asprey.
The Palm Grill is a new concept that has just been launched at the hotel. Think laid back, barefoot beach style barbeque with Ritz-Carlton’s style and panache. Located right on the beach, I dined with some work colleagues and we all settled into a wonderful evening very quickly. The concept here is primarily seafood, served in large buckets of crushed ice (chilled lobster tails, shrimp, Alaskan crab and fresh oysters in our case) along with perfectly barbequed meats and fish. It was delicious and the relaxing ambiance and beach chic atmosphere offers seaside dining at its best.
Other restaurant options
The overall dining scene at the Ritz-Carlton is exceptionally good. You will find many great options with standards that have been maintained throughout the hotel’s seventeen-year history. Along with the Palm Grill, there are a number of other venues including the Blue Jade restaurant (featuring Vietnamese and Chinese fusion food) and the Italian restaurant, Splendido, which offer exceptional fare. If you plan to stay a few nights, this is one destination worth working your way through the dining options; no need to venture elsewhere.
Spa and wellness
I went for a sixty-minute Swedish massage. The general spa environment was pleasant enough, but nothing super-special. One thing that is unique, however, is the outdoor relaxation deck along with an adult-only swimming pool. Treatment rooms were perfectly lit and very relaxing. My therapist got everything just right and I emerged feeling perfectly relaxed and ready for a busy evening ahead.
Pool and beach
There are two pools within the resort, well three, if you include the one at the spa. The large one in the gardens is located in front of the new wing and perfect for families and those wanting to see and be seen. Service is fast, polite and downright pleasant. In front of the original wing of the hotel is the very cool La Baie Lounge, with its laid back vibe, chilled out music, and wonderfully-shaded, double-size day-beds. This all surrounds a private, adult-only pool. It’s hip, it’s cool, and it’s the greatest place to hang out for the day.
Staff and service
Almost without exception, the service is excellent at this hotel. It’s slick and unlike many other luxury Dubai hotels, not delivered in a rote fashion. Staff seem to notice the little things, they communicate well and are completely focused on guests’ needs.
My luggage was quickly collected from my suite, and the next time I saw it was in the trunk of the car, waiting to head off to Dubai airport. Checkout was professional and friendly. I really didn’t want to leave.
How to get here
35 minutes by car from Dubai Airport
148 Rooms & Suites