Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa
Luxury, sunshine beach holiday at the Sofitel? Yes, please!A sunshine break from work was just what we needed. The last time we visited Dubai was in 2010 when we stayed at Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa – a short but sweet trip spending Christmas in Dubai before making our way to New Zealand. This time we wanted to experience staying on The Palm Jumeirah. We booked a 10 day holiday via Netflights last year for June (during Ramadan), flying with Emirates and staying at the Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa. The price of the hotels drop during Ramadan and the majority of the hotels even offer half board. We managed to grab a fantastic deal with half board at £850 per person (how could we not resist that offer!).
The Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort is a 5 star luxury hotel located on the edge of the Palm Jumeirah, a 20 minute drive from Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa. Stepping into the hotel, the first thing we noticed was the HUGE lobby area, with shiny marbled flooring, tall white brick pillars and a very high ceiling – grand indeed. There are 361 rooms in the Sofitel, each decorated in a Polynesian style and all the rooms have a balcony either overlooking the Palm or the sea. As the hotel was quiet over Ramadan, we booked a palm view luxury room and requested an upgrade to a sea view luxury room upon check-in. You don’t ask, you don’t get. The receptionist mentioned that all Sofitel guests receive a complimentary 30min photography session, however we forgot to take advantage of this. Our room wasn’t ready when we arrived (we took an overnight flight and arrived early morning), so we made our way to the cabanas by the pool to catch up on some Zzzzzzzz.
Sofitel Luxury Room with a Sea-View
The luxury room was spacious, bright, modern and we loved the touches of turquoise in the cushions and curtain. The king-sized bed was dressed with Egyptian cotton sheets … we had many a perfect night sleep! There was even an ‘L-shaped’ sofa in the room to put your feet up. The bathroom was a good size with double sinks, a rain shower and a decent sized bath tub. Folding back the wooden shutter, we could even watch TV from the bath! The hotel also provided Lanvin toiletries, bathrobes and slippers. Free bottles of still mineral water were replenished daily and we were able to request additional bottles anytime.
The private balcony offers views of the sea, the resort and you can also easily spot the Burj Al Arab (luxury sail-shaped hotel) in the distance. Perfect for sipping on a cocktail and watching the sun go down.
Breakfast was included with the room rate and was served in the Manava restaurant. We were not disappointed with the extensive buffet selection at the Sofitel which included fresh fruit, cold and hot breakfast selections and even Congee (Asian rice porridge). Various flavours of healthy juice shots were given at the entrance of the Manava restaurant too. The buffet breakfasts were sumptuous, super filling and carried us through to early evening for dinner.
There are six restaurants at the Sofitel, however as the hotel was quiet during Ramadan only five restaurants were open; Porterhouse Steak (serving juicy steaks of course), Moana (fresh seafood including a Raw Bar), Manava (buffet serving International cuisine), Bottega (International Italian & American cuisine) and Maui Beach (poolside serving light snacks in the daytime and Arabic mezze and BBQ in the evenings). The Hong Loong (serving Szechuan & Cantonese cuisine) was closed. There is also the Porterhouse Sports Bar allowing for drinks and snacks whilst catching your favourite game and the Lobby Lounge for fine teas, rich coffees, French pastries and chocolates served 24 hours.
Our favourite was Moana, a pagoda style restaurant surround by water with views of the pool. Moana had an extensive menu serving fresh Asian inspired seafood and the menu was changed weekly. The fresh fish was cooked to perfection and the desserts were beautifully presented and to die for too. We dined at Moana a few times during our holiday and it definitely didn’t disappoint on any occasion.
Ahhhh how could I forget the Gelati Ice-cream shop. Smooth, creamy scoops of gelato in a cone/tub with sprinkles of naughtiness – very cooling to escape from melting in the heat. There was a little shop near the Gelati, selling drinks, snacks and any essentials you may have forgotten to pack.
Tip: Buy your snacks and drinks from the shop and bring them with you to the beach or poolside. The drinks are cheaper here compared to ordering drinks by the pool. Drinks are pricey at the hotel.
This hotel offers a pristine ‘private’ beach, whereas the Sofitel Dubai ‘Jumeirah Beach’ has a 3 minute walk to the Jumeirah public beach. The 500m private sandy beach was very quiet and there were lots of sun loungers to choose from. Many of the guests seemed to prefer the pool which meant most of the pool loungers were taken by around 11am. The beach was not too busy, I also liked the fact that we didn’t have to spend time trying to find a sun lounger and could cool off in the sea in moments.
Tip: Ask for a bucket of ice to keep your drinks cool!
For those who cannot miss out on their fitness or want to burn off the calories, there’s a fitness centre with state-of-the-art cardio machines, plenty of free weights, battle ropes, medicine balls, TRX and a large area to cool down and stretch. The fitness centre was clean, well maintained, free to use, with still water dispensers, clean towels when signing in and further cool towels being offered at various times whilst training. There was ample space in the changing rooms to change and get ready. The majority of the time, the gym was fairly quiet and we never had to wait to use any of the equipment.
For total relaxation, why not book yourself for a treatment at the spa. Unfortunately we didn’t use the spa facilities, however the spa does offer:
- beauty treatments
- seawater pool
- relaxation rooms
The hotel provided a daily shuttle bus to the Dubai Mall, Mall of Emirates and to Atlantis hotel (shuttle bus timetable given on arrival), however the shuttle bus is on a first come first served basis. If you happen to miss the shuttle bus at the malls, there’s plenty of taxis at the taxi ranks and they’re very affordable. There was complimentary wifi throughout the hotel, but it was a bit hit and miss around the poolside and there was no chance of getting wifi on the beach.
The service at the Sofitel was outstanding with a truly 5 star service. The staff were very helpful, friendly and attentive. Overall, we had a fantastic stay and couldn’t fault it.
Where would you recommend us staying in Dubai next time?
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