Ritz Carl­ton Dubai

Friday - - Travel -

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

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