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Aerial view of Dubai Palm Jumeirah Island, UAE (image by GagliardiPhotography)

Making sense of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah

Here are 15 reasons why Palm Jumeirah needs to be the place to stay when in Dubai.

Destination Dubai

The world’s most famous man-made island stretches its sandy branches into the Persian Gulf with all the elaborate indulgences one can think of—from heart-stopping seaside views, lip-smacking epicurean feasts, and swanky hotels that endow royal services unlike any other. Taking a page off the world’s best inspirations, Palm Jumeirah pompously quells every heart’s desire, whether it is the neoclassical air of Great Britain, to the nostalgic glimpse of the old Arabia, right in the middle of the sea. Here are 15 reasons why Palm Jumeirah needs to be the place to stay when in Dubai.

1. Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort

Red-roofed pagodas in pure Thai fashion lace the corners of the meandering lagoon pools, occasionally gifted by the presence of a floating market that whimsically recalls memories of the slithering rivers in Southeast Asia. The oriental sanctuary is safely perched on the East Crescent, whose grand lobby welcomes with floor-to-ceiling windows and a staircase crafted with oriental carving. Indulge in the highly lauded Mekong that aptly introduces Thai, Viet, and Chinese cuisine. www.anantara.com

Anantara The Palm Dubai beach
Anantara The Palm Dubai beach

Anantara The Palm Dubai main pool by night
Anantara The Palm Dubai main pool by night

2. Atlantis, The Palm

The legend is true, but not underwater: Atlantis stretches itself in Jumeirah’s seven-mile crescent that features an elaborate promenade, celebrity restaurants, aqua adventure park, butterfly-filled garden, and the tranquil views of rippling waterfalls that lead into a hotel wrought out of a fairy-tale. A glass sculpture of slithering snakes emerges from the lobby’s fountain, a centrepiece that displays a wide spectrum of colours when hit by the light. While wandering in its organized avenues, uncover a Michelin-standard tasting spread lodged nearby the aquariums of Ossiano. www.atlantis.com

Atlantis Hotel consists of two towers linked by a bridge, with a total of 1539 rooms (image by Zhukov Oleg)
Atlantis Hotel consists of two towers linked by a bridge, with a total of 1539 rooms (image by Zhukov Oleg)

3. Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah

The picture-perfect views of the Arabian Gulf become an everyday wonder in this Manhattan-helmed extravagance, sprawling extensively with an S-shaped silhouette as seen from the top view. The lobby charms with its own version of the Peacock Alley, crooning for a delightful afternoon tea and the vibrant rubato of its live piano performance. The spa has a noteworthy women-only space that treat one in cocoa and shea butter slathers. Heinz Beck, known for his Michelin-starred La Pergola in Rome, stars a five-course tasting spread with his Palm Jumeirah restaurant, Social. hilton.com

Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah

4. Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai

Crescent West becomes home to an imposing palatial architecture that freely takes a page off 18th-century Europe. Palladian domes, grand marble columns and polished Portuguese marble pervade its interiors, where the accents are lavishly endowed with 24-carat gold leaf. Inside the Neoclassical architecture is a grand atrium, whose centre display is illuminated with 40,000 Swarovski crystals, while its well-known Blüthner Hall echoes the fine melodies of a one-of-a-kind Louis XIV grand piano. www.kempinski.com

Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai Blüthner Hall piano
Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai Blüthner Hall piano

5. Fairmont The Palm

The memory of old, set aglow with a modern-day Arabian theme in ivory colours, sculptured with grand archways that overlap in its lavish lobby, made more colourful with green palms draping the corners. Rooms are made elegant with the intricate mashrabiya lattice panels, decked with expounded balconies that offer breathy vistas of the sea. Flow Kitchen becomes the main itinerary for lunches, but secret indulgences are assuaged in the Cigar Room, where prime glasses of malt whiskies are generously served. www.fairmont.com

Located in Palm Jumeirah, Fairmont The Palm offers luxurious accommodation with spectacular views (image by Rus S)
Located in Palm Jumeirah, Fairmont The Palm offers luxurious accommodation with spectacular views (image by Rus S)

6. FIVE Palm Jumeirah

An architectural wonder with a posh Miami vibe; receiving jetsetters with its glass cube entrance and a gallery of suites resting like blocks on top of each other. The spa, its best highlight, is wrought from Italian marble and hand-painted fabric roofs, offering hammam rituals and premium 24-carat gold facials from Knesko Skin. A heated quartz bed paired with a soothing massage completes the rejuvenating sensory experience. Lunches are best eaten at Amalfi Coast, an Italian-inspired restaurant boasting of two Michelin stars. www.fivehotelsandresorts.com

FIVE Palm Jumeirah swimming pool
FIVE Palm Jumeirah swimming pool

7. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

A spectacular white palace contrasting the colours of the blue pools, whose lobby charms with ornate gold columns and grand chandeliers that glow with the past grandiose of the Ottoman empire. The polished stone floor and elaborate marble create an over-the-top atmosphere that continues into the private rooms, where wood carvings and gorgeous sea vistas from the expansive balconies become the star. Talise Ottoman Spa, one of the largest spas in the regions, boasts of three Turkish Hammams and cosy loungers in the middle of a tropical garden. www.jumeirah.com

Luxurious lobby in Jumeirah zabeel saray hotel (image by Flying Camera)
Luxurious lobby in Jumeirah zabeel saray hotel (image by Flying Camera)

8. Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah

Manicured gardens wrap the palatial wonder nestled in the Crescent West, whose imposing sand-coloured façade imitate the glorious kingdoms of the old, complete with domed roofs and protruding grand balconies. The lobby, crafted in marble, woos with its sweeping staircases and a grand patterned ceiling that illustrated in spirals of gold. Swanky dining options include the poolside Beluga Beach Bar, decorated with white wicker furniture laced around the free-bodied pool, and the Brunello Italian Bistro, which serves Italian and Mediterranean options. www.kempinski.com

kempinski-palm-lagoon-moonlight
kempinski-palm-lagoon-moonlight

kempinski-palm-pool-beach-arial-view
kempinski-palm-pool-beach-arial-view

9. One&Only The Palm

Whimsically romantic, the Andalusian-style resort is a sprawling, low-rise expanse crowned with blushed-coloured archways that mimic the fantastic patterns of the marble floor of its decadent pool, amplifying the poetic patterns under the sunlit sky. Its colonial-style splendour is complemented with contoured gardens, roomy terraces, and lofty ceilings, with suites dressed in wood and white, ornate with Moorish flair. Celebrity nail artist Bastien Gonzales indulges with his Pedi:Manicure salon, along with lavish treatments from Guerlain Spa. Three Michelin star chef Yannick Aleno presides over the restaurant Stay, which indulges with an irresistible caviar tart. www.oneandonlyresorts.com

One&Only The Palm ae_oneandonly_thepalm_manorhouse_web
One&Only The Palm ae_oneandonly_thepalm_manorhouse_web

10. The Retreat Palm Dubai – MGallery By Sofitel

Tastefully minimalist, Sofitel’s swanky gift to the East Crescent is an expanse of glass and concrete, with a soothing lobby endowed with stone finishes, natural wood and vibrant green colours that create a feeling of tranquillity. The contemporary sanctuary stars the first ever Rayya Wellness Centre, a spa that boasts of purely organic regiments and a 360-wellness solution that comes with retreat packages, consultation, and life coaching. Following the hotel’s sustainable theme, its homegrown restaurant, the Social Kitchen, serves Middle Eastern cuisine while emphasizing the beauty of slow cooking. www.theretreatpalmdubai.com

The Retreat Palm Dubai – MGallery By Sofitel
The Retreat Palm Dubai – MGallery By Sofitel

11. W Dubai – The Palm

The clubland-themed hotel is masked under subtle white and gold, which then transforms into a dance-worthy lobby that glows with the rainbow spectrum of Orsoni tiles arranged in a curvy pattern, representing a sound wave that rises from the ground. Its apparent love for music is reflected in the spacious five-story atrium that can host a rave. The Wet Deck is a melange of bright blue pools that face the beach, lined with caged poolside lounges called Wet Pods that allow intimate revelling of gourmet bites and cocktails. www.marriott.com

W Dubai – The Palm
W Dubai – The Palm

12. Dukes The Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel

A grandiose gift of glasswork perched on the trunk of Palm Jumeirah, whose atmosphere is British in every sense of the word, including the James Bond-favourite Duke Bar, a moody gentleman’s den replicated from its London counterpart. Themes of Art Deco pervade its interiors, from the sophisticated chic-white lobby to the moodier dining Khyber, which stars a remarkable Indian menu. For the ladies, a women’s-only Duchess floor stars three exclusive pools and a private beach. www.barcelo.com

Dukes The Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel beach club view
Dukes The Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel beach club view

Dukes The Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel
Dukes The Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel

Other notable mentions:

13. Sofitel Dubai The Palm

The unassuming low-rise expanse leads into a Polynesian-themed wonderland, dressed with dark wood décor, protruding beams and vine-draped walls that evoke the feeling of a jungle. These vertical gardens feature more than 170 species of plants, from lush ferns to flowering shrubs, symbolizing the hotel’s attempt to connect with nature. Solar panels and smart recycling measures make this East Crescent hotel an eco-friendly choice, yet it does not hold back to benevolent indulgences, such as walk-in rainfall showers, private spas, Turkish bath, and private jetty. www.accorhotels.com

Sofitel Dubai The Palm
Sofitel Dubai The Palm

14. Rixos the Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites

The East Crescent-hotel imbues a sleek, cosmopolitan vibe with its half-moon architecture and contemporary interiors. Its airy lobby comes with glass-panelled walls that afford gracious daylight into the breathy communal space. Palm trees parade the manicured grounds, water vistas are seen from its sweeping jetty. The hotel is child-friendly, with Rixy Club that serves entertainment and activities for the kids and teens. For the adults, Eden Beach Club fulfils ecstatic nights with live music. www.rixos.com

Rixos the Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites
Rixos the Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites

Rixos the Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites
Rixos the Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites

15. Royal Central Hotel – The Palm

Old Egypt makes a reprise into East Crescent’s laidback luxury hotel as a red carpet leads into the lobby, manned by giant statues in black and gold, holding sceptres as if magically guarding the gate. Interiors are made colourful with a spread of vibrantly illustrated rugs and mismatched leather couches. Daybeds in bright orange line along the pool underneath the imposing structure decked with protruding terraces in glass-cased balconies. Yeh Bah is a Lebanese seafood spot that offers fresh marine fares on a plate, while Hush Beach Bar makes a gourmet soiree out of Latino-themed street food. www.central-hotels.com

Royal Central Hotel – The Palm
Royal Central Hotel – The Palm

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© This article was first published online in Oct 2019 – World Travel Magazine.

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