She is regal. She is an imperial beauty inspired by the Golden Age of the Ottoman Empire. And she sits like a pearl beckoning with an abundance of splendid treasures.
Live Like A Queen. The royal lady we are talking about is none other than the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray resort and spa located at the west crescent of the Palm Jumeirah, the celebrated man-made island in the shape of a palm tree. This goddess in all her grandeur once played host to the filming of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Transformed into an Indian palace and praised by actor Tom Cruise as having “a real elegance and beauty on camera”, this spectacular resort is famed for the movie’s impressive “black tie” scene. It is of the essence then that even Hollywood royalty cannot resist this sparkling marvel.
When you step into the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, her interior is draped with hand-painted frescoes, Turkish artworks and lavish murals that lend an air that is quite honestly out of this world. The ocean blue larger-than-life curtains reflected into a thousand images in the intricately cut mirror at the lobby entrance is a romantic prologue at the very tip of the manifold secrets that await you. In true fashion of its Stay Different brand promise, Guest Relations Executives will welcome you with their theatre-inspired uniforms offering traditional Turkish coffee and Turkish delights.
The door then opens to another realm of opulence. The 38 villas come in Four Bedrooms and Five Bedrooms making the perfect oasis for a family vacation. The Pool Villas, Beach Villas, Garden Villas and Royal Villas surround a grand lagoon pool at the same time giving you utmost privacy. The villas are perfect for a private retreat for those looking for a home away from home and a butler is always available at your beck and call. With direct access to a private beach, the Royal Residences is set in lush tropical gardens making it ideal for grand parties and private events.
For couples, one is spoilt for choice with the 405 elegant guest rooms at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. The one and only Grand Imperial Suite is the most glorious. It has a Turkish bath, showers, steam room and an oversized terrace with a breathtaking view of the island. Most importantly, the Imperial Floor offers an exclusive experience that is not offered to other guests. However, there are also a slew of other rooms that give the Imperial a run for its money. They range from the Superior Double and Deluxe King to the Junior Suite and Two Bedroom Suite. The rooms come with the most comfortable beds with plush cushions, flat screen television mounted on the walls designed classical style and pristine white bathrooms.
Top on the list is delectable cuisine that satisfies the palate as well. The award-winning Al Nafoorah is famed for its grilled veal fillet prepared using an authentic Lebanese method. The Ottoman Afternoon Tea at the Sultan Lounge is also delightful to set a relaxing disposition for the day. For a treat before bedtime, a visit to the Voda Bar is a must. This bar is dressed in white and bathed in cooling azure lights giving a soothing ambience that further please the senses with chill out tunes and deep house music played by the resident deejay on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
An Imperial Touch Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is home to the Talise Ottoman Spa, one of the biggest spas in the Middle East. This spa was awarded the prestigious title of United Arab Emirates’ Leading Spa Resort 2011 by The World Travel Awards. It is reminiscent of fair maidens serenading in the olden days in a palace where your journey of wellbeing is centered on the art of ancient healing. Nestled within the heart of this palatial spa is the Talise Hammam, the most well-liked amongst guests. The Hammam or Turkish Bath is a blend of Roman tradition with Moslem requirement and the Talise Hammam is a tribute to the vast majority of hammams which were built during the Ottoman Empire. First, you don a pestemal, a cotton wrap in the warm room and savor the gentle heat from the goebektas, a low marble platform that softens your skin and relax your muscles. Next, you rinse off with water and prepare for the Hammam ritual.
The lavish hour-long Royal Ottoman cleanses your skin with a body polish that uses the kese mitt or more popularly known as an exfoliating washcloth. A foam massage using hand-made olive oil soap follows, coupled with shampooing your hair and conditioning. A facial cleansing and a cream masque soothing your body complete the ritual. The other Hammam rituals include the Traditional Turkish, refreshing Foam Massage and Turkish Scrub. At the Hammam, guests can also enjoy aromatic tea with Turkish delight, figs or dates at the lounges, majlis or outdoor pavilions. The Hammam at the Talise Ottoman Spa is designed for men only, ladies only and a couples section is available too.
Alternatively, newly weds and honeymooners can opt for the Talise Couples Spa which is the signature “spa within a spa”, an entire floor dedicated to couples. This VIP section is located on the Mezzanine floor, both romantic and exclusive. Another beautiful environment for a spa treatment is the outdoor Thai-style pavilions that are surrounded by lush gardens and float above waterways. This serene outdoor sanctuary is reserved for Thai massages. Other massages that can be conducted in the indoor treatment rooms include the Sultan’s and Aromatherapy suitable for ladies and Indian Head Massage and Sports Massage for men. The indulgent Caviar Age Defying Facial and Vitamin C Facial are highly recommended for women while the unique Gentleman’s Facial is catered specially for men.
There is an array of specially designed rooms to enhance your idyllic retreat at the spa. The Hydrotherapy Room uses an age-old tradition that is naturally healing, stimulates circulation, soothes pain and revitalizes the skin. The Snow Ice Room kept at four degrees Celsius is cooling, a contrast to the desert temperature in Dubai. There is even a Cold Jacuzzi which is used to keep the heat away. The Adventure Shower is especially popular with men with its multiple jets and an overhead rain shower that provide excellent rejuvenation. After their spa treatment, guests head to the Ixir Spa Cafe which offers a concoction of spa-friendly whole food meals, vegetarian dishes and diet friendly cuisine. The detox salad and smoothies are invigorating delicacies.
With such majestic enchantment to capture your imagination and a beautiful assortment of gifts to shower upon you at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, it is indeed a chance to live like royalty. So the next time you are in the land where mystery and desert tales preside, check in to this luxurious palace. The grande dame might set your standards so high up; she will whip you into a true connoisseur who only stays with the very best.