- 1 / 3
Driving down to the Kempinski Hotel & Residences, Palm Jumeirah despite being a mere 25 minutes from my home in the Marina, transports you to another land altogether. That is the beauty of the Palm – in a second, the world seems like a distant memory even though the Dubai skyline is amply evident from anywhere. We entered the almost homely exterior of the residences expecting an experience like none other; after all we were staying at a place that only has apartments and villas, not rooms like a typical hotel. From a relaxed though luxurious lobby to enormous doors, the entire layout was more like an apartment building (of the most elite variety of course) than a hotel. And yes, we felt absolutely at home.
Private Beach Cabanas One look at the grounds and we knew we had to spend an entire day outdoors. A private cabana on the beach, decked out in drapes was the way to go! For Dhs500 we each got 30-minute foot massages and a platter of fruit and water. While it didn't include beach access we were happy campers indeed!
The Apartments We walked into a fully equipped two-bedroom apartment, replete with cutlery, crockery, a toaster, kitchen knives and every other amenity. There was even a washing machine tucked behind closed doors! The smaller of the two bedrooms has twin beds and an attached bathroom; the master bedroom is an enormous space with one of most comfortable beds we have slept on. Don't get into bed – it will be really hard to get out and do anything else at all! The highlight of the apartment, other than its size and amenities, was the view. Ocean and the Dubai skyline greet you in one breathtaking eyeful. We sat outside on the wide balcony and enjoyed the fabulous weather over a cup of tea in the morning. We did try eating some food too but the wind defeated us and we had to sadly resign indoors.
The Restaurants There are two eateries on the premises – Brunello and the Beachside Barbecue. We opted for the latter. With tables strewn on the beach and a fire roaring in the centre, the shisha and couches also added to the picniclike ambience. As soon as we entered we were led to our table and the friendly staff carefully explained the choices on offer. We opted for them all – a tasting of sorts. The lamb, jumbo shrimp and more were beautifully cooked with subtle flavour. It was clear from the taste that the chefs knew their barbecue insideout. A buffet of side dishes and dessert was also present. While these were fine, it was the seafood that won our stomachs!
The Cinq Mondes Spa I expected a tall order from the internationally acclaimed Cinq Mondes spa and opted for the Ayurvedic massage for 50 minutes. Hot oil and a masseuse who finally focussed on my problem spots without wasting time on areas that I don't really care to be massaged (note – earlobes and toes), made me feel rejuvenated and alive. Opt for this over the Balinese or Thai massages. It's well worth the risk.
Room Rates 2 bedroom suite with private pool, ocean view from Dhs2,900 per night; 3 bedroom Duplex penthouse with private Jacuzzi, ocean and palm view starting from Dhs4,600 per night; Imperial 5 bedroom villa with private pool, Jacuzzi and private beach rates from Dhs19,000 per night.
INFO Website: www.kempinski.com/ en/dubai/palm-jumeirah Tel: +971 4 444 20