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The Magic of Arabia, One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai

 

One of the most renowned luxury destinations in Dubai, One&Only Royal Mirage promises truly authentic Arabian hospitality and refinement in a stunning setting with an ambiance of grandeur and exclusivity. Occupying its own 1km stretch of private white sandy beach overlooking Palm Island Bay with the dramatic city skyline as its backdrop, the serene resort and its 65 acres of lush landscaped gardens provide a haven of tranquility at the heart of ‘new Dubai.’

One&Only Royal Mirage consists of three equally distinctive properties, each unique in its design, facilities and dining offerings. The Palace is the original and first property to be built in the resort and true to the resort’s ethos of authenticity, its design exudes an aura of the magic of Arabia. The Arabian Court is more illusive and mysterious, disguised behind a sheltered oasis, protecting the inner beauty of the dramatic architecture best showcased by the impressive grand gallery complete with seven intricately designed domes that represent the seven Emirates. The Residence and Spa belongs to the prestigious association “Leading Hotels of the World” and provides its distinguished guests with an intimate sanctuary and award-worthy personable service by a specially selected, dedicated team. The Residence & Spa is also home to an exclusive Beach Garden Villa that lies within the lush gardens with its own private and secluded gardens, pool and beach access.

We visited The Palace for a taste of One&Only’s signature luxurious hospitality.

The Experience:

 

The meandering leafy driveway flanked intermittently by stately looking sculptures of falcons comes to a climactic end with a magnificent golden sculpture of a group of Bedouins riding camels in the forecourt of The Palace entrance. References to Arabian heritage abound giving an air of majesty and tradition. We are attentively greeted by the doormen – aptly attired in golden uniforms – and welcomed into the impressive marble foyer. The Palace interiors are aglow with ambient lighting. Above us towers a splendid and lofty Arabian-style dome flanked below by traditional Middle Eastern archways and intricate moucharabieh panelling. Four tall palm trees stand grandly at the corners of the central water fountain symbolic of a desert oasis.

Within minutes, we are led to our Executive Suite in the Gold Club area and our butler arrives to welcome us and show us around our room. The suite’s entrance hall opens into a lavishly furnished living room with separate balcony overlooking the palm shaded pool below and is interconnected with the bedroom that leads through to the walk-in wardrobes and marble bathroom beyond. The butler informs us that the Gold Club area has a lounge that offers a continental breakfast for our convenience in addition to afternoon tea, happy hour beverages and all-day soft drinks and refreshments. Space, comfort and luxury are ours and we begin to unwind.

Accommodation

The Palace has 230 rooms and suites comprising: 147 Superior Deluxe; 49 Gold Club Rooms; 33 Executive and Gold Club Suites; and 2 Royal Suites. Each room offers a minimum of 45 sqm accommodation, all oriented with a sea or gardens view with private balcony or terrace.

Dining

Dining at The Palace is a worldly affair with a diverse offering of cuisines including: Mediterranean all day dining; Grilled Seafood and Salads; Light Bar Bite Tapas; French/European fine dining; and even a touch of the exotic at Tagine, their Moroccan restaurant. Vibrant bars include: Celebrities Bar and The Jetty Lounge.

Highlights

Olives

For families and those seeking a more casual and relaxed setting, all-day dining is on offer at Olives with a predominantly buffet service, but limited a la carte options are available. The interiors are Mediterranean-inspired with stained glass, wrought iron chandeliers and marble-topped tables adding vibrancy to the ambience. The al fresco Bougainvillea-covered terrace overlooking the palm-shaded pool give a Riviera coastal café feel. We were delighted with the indulgent spread available at breakfast with an array of choice ranging from international favourites to locally produced Arabic specialties. The service was attentive and every dish looked and tasted freshly prepared. Open Daily 6.30am-11pm.

The Jetty Lounge

One of Dubai’s favoured hot spots, The Jetty Lounge is an elegant beachside lounge providing a tranquil setting for relaxing and unwinding with friends. At night, it comes alive with a buzzy atmosphere enhanced by the chill out vibe and the stylishly contemporary interiors and design. Enjoy your favourite cocktail whilst nibbling on delectable light tapas-style platters – perfect for sharing. Open daily from 2pm until late.

Celebrities Restaurant, Private Dining Room and Lounge

For those who prefer a more formal and adult-only ambience, The Palace’s signature fine dining restaurant, Celebrities, is a treat. Newly redesigned, this stylish and elegant venue occupies the best spot in the hotel overlooking The Palace Esplanade, which lights up at night emanating a magical gold hue over the shimmering waters of the impressive palm-bordered water fountain that extends at length towards the private beach. The restaurant’s interiors are equally as striking with lavishly comfortable seating, thick linen tablecloths and resplendent carpet, all lit up by majestic crystal chandeliers, which add to the grandeur of the atmosphere and which set the scene for the gastronomic experience that Chef de Cuisine, Laurent Michel, will expertly prepare for you.

We were treated to friendly and attentive service by Restaurant Manager Damien Planchenault and his team as they served up a storm by way of an exclusive tasting menu prepared by Chef de Cuisine, Laurent Michel designed to showcase the very best of the à la carte offerings. Every dish was a work of art with stunning presentation and a complex layering of flavours that complimented each other beautifully and left us yearning for more. Must-have dishes included: Chilled Carrot and Orange Soup with Cumin, Grilled Toast with Goat Cheese; Roasted Cod Fillet with Aioli Broth, Saffron Potatoes and Baby Carrots; Farm Chicken Breast Filled with Foie Gras, Celeriac Purée and Barbajuans Fritters; Milk Fed Veal Tenderloin, Girolle Mushroom and Potato Fondant, Truffle Cream; and the pièce de résistance was the Coconut Soufflé, Pineapple and Fresh Mint Sorbet – as light as air! Dinner at Celebrities is a ‘must’!

Celebrities also serves an à la carte breakfast. 
Breakfast 8am-10.30am; Dinner 7pm-11pm

Closed on Saturdays. N.B. Children 8 years or over.

Spa

Within the charming courtyard entrance of the Residence & Spa property lies the Health & Beauty Institute. Architecturally impressive and reminiscent of the great buildings of the region with towering domes, carved arches and intricate design work, it captures the values of the environs and ensures that each experience is totally distinctive and ceremonial. On the lower floor, the authentic Oriental Hammam offers a traditional heated marble massage table, two steam rooms, two Jacuzzis, two private massage rooms, jet shower and whirlpool as well as a resting area. The mezzanine level is home to the separate ladies and gentlemen’s treatment rooms boasting 12 individual therapy rooms in total.

With separate operating hours for Ladies and gentlemen, I went along during Ladies’ hours in the morning for a Traditional Hammam Experience. Descending the spiral terrazzo staircase to the Oriental Hammam, gives a feeling of entering a haven of escapism and relaxation shut off from the outside world where stresses and strains could be steamed away. This was not far off from the experience to come. Once de-robed and changed, my personal Hammam therapist led me through past a large Jacuzzi where a set of frosted glass doors emanated hot steam. The doors opened to reveal a hexagonal wet room filled with steam with a central terrazzo island where women lay head to toe in mid-treatment. For those a little more body-shy, private Hammam rooms surround the central area and it was in one of these that my treatment began.

As I sat on the stone bench next to a copper bucket overflowing with water, the therapist bathed me in warm water and began to apply a natural black soap made with olive oil and eucalyptus all over my body before washing me down once again. I was then led into a separate steam room to relax for 5 minutes before being led back to my Hammam room where I lay down for a vigorous head-to-toe ‘loofah’ body scrub. This was followed by a thorough body cleansing and shampoo and finally, an all over light relaxing body massage with various stretching movements completed the experience. This was a first for me and it left me feeling cleansed both physically and mentally and ready to waft lazily on to the beach.

Leisure and Activities

The Palace grounds are expansive and offer a range of leisure facilities including the signature Romanesque palm-shaded temperature-controlled swimming pool, water sports centre, tennis courts, golf putting green, ‘KidsOnly’ children’s facilities and extensive landscaped grounds, which provide a tranquil haven for rest and relaxation.

 

‘KidsOnly’ Club

There are KidsOnly clubs located in both The Palace and the Arabian Court. Each offers a TV room, games, books and an arts and crafts area.

The KidsOnly Club offers daily supervised activity programmes adapted to three age groups: 4-5 years, 6-8 years and 9-11 years. Children under four are welcome to use the club’s facilities, but must be supervised at all times by a parent or guardian.

The KidsOnly Clubs are open daily for supervised activities during the following times: 10am – 12.30pm
2.30pm – 5pm
6pm – 10pm

For more information and reservations, visit: www.oneandonlyroyalmirage.com; 
Tel: +971 (0)4 399 99 99