Ritz Carlton Dubai
Walking towards my sun lounger, positioned between the pool and the beach, I suddenly thought I should have bought a French phrase book.
With its lush gardens, golden sands and chic, low-rise hotel, it was easy to think I was on the French Riviera rather than in the bustle of TheWalk in Dubai’s JBR.
So I’d made like Catherine Deneuve in Le DernierMetro and matched a silk headscarf, sunglasses and high heels with my swimsuit and now attempted to sashay to my spot overlooking the gleaming white beach and Arabian Gulf.
“Water, Madame?” the pool boy asked, laying an extra fluffy towel on my sunbed and rushing back with an iced drink to keep me cool. Then I sank back, ready to enjoy everything the Ritz Carlton Dubai had to offer during a rare moment of peace.
We’d come on a two-night staycation, excited to find out what all the fuss – and awards – were about. And it didn’t take long. The Ritz Carlton is in a prime location on Jumeirah Beach and does pampering with a capital P.
Nothing had been too much trouble from the moment we’d arrived with our two children in tow, who were given a deluxe room adjoining our junior suite. We were in the recently finished Med-style building known as Shorooq, which means surnrise in Arabic.
While I’d taken in the soft golds, creams and duck egg blue furnishing and accessories, my five-year-old daughter begged to go straight to the kids’ club, and my husband asked about the water sports on offer. “Can I have the Wifi code?” my 11-year-old demanded, plugging in to his games and social media. Within minutes the three of them had disappeared and I had found myself alone – bliss! – and on that sun lounger.
I must have dropped off because when I awoke the sun was slipping behind the horizon and my phone was ringing – my family were hungry and wanted to go for dinner.
Aquick shower later, and we headed off to the Club Lounge – we had complimentary access with our suite – for a pre-dinner drink and then on to Blue Jade, the hotel’s Pan-Asian restaurant. It was uber-stylish but also child-friendly. My two feasted on scallion chicken and Vietnamese fried rice with prawns, while Alexio loved the miso black cod and ginger lotus sea bass and I tucked into vegetable tempura and egg noodles. After so much food, I waddled rather than sashayed French-style to our room.
Up early the next morning – we wanted to make the most of our staycay – we went to the Ritz Carlton Club Lounge for a breakfast of creamy scambled eggs and grilled tomatoes Provençale, while the children ate two rounds of pancakes and waffles and chocolate sauce.
Then we went to splash in the pool, and laughed when a waiter in top hat and tails delivered our drinks to us in the water. “He’s coming in,” our little girl squealed, as he headed towards us, waistdeep in the pool, his silver tray of juice aloft. “That’s what I call service,” I laughed.
It was easy to see why the hotel has been constantly listed as number one for service with attentive but not intrusive help from the staff all over the hotel, from the spa – my massage was so relaxing I fell asleep, the highest praise I can give! – to Splendido’s, the Italian restaurant where we dined on our last night.
We wanted to sit al fresco but it was slightly chilly and so the waiters bought us pashminas in which to wrap up warm and enjoy mouth-watering ravioli, linguine alle vongole – pasta seafood – and roasted langoustine. “It’s just like Daddy makes,” our little girl smiled.
We were all reluctant to leave the next day – even though it was only five minutes down the road!
“How was your holiday?” our neighbours asked as they saw us arriving back with our bags. There was only one thing to say: “Très bon.”
It’s like a little piece of the French Riviera
You can even be served drinks in the pool
It’s the prerfect place to unwind