We were lucky enough that this was our second visit to the United Arab Emirate city of Dubai and so we knew what to expect…although having previously visited didn’t stop us from getting giddy with excitement as we came in to land over the iconic cityscape. Looking out the airplane window, a sea of lights sparkled in the dark, mapping out the streets below (and The Palm and The World!) that make up this dynamic desert conurbation.
If you like bright lights, big cities and being by the beach, then you’ll love Dubai. Not just about fast cars and shiny shopping malls (although you see a lot of super cars, usually being parked by valet at the aforementioned malls), Dubai is the perfect place for a little winter sun and with the average flying time from London being less than 7 hours, my hubby and I hopped over there for a long weekend for a respite from the rain and some R&R.
We were headed for The Ritz-Carlton, set upon the world-renowned white sands of Dubai in the heart of the vibrant Dubai Marina district. A swift 30minute taxi journey (we thankfully missed the standstill which can be rush hour) and we arrived at our home for the next four nights. The Ritz-Carlton is located within the always-developing Duabi Marina – an area rising rapidly in popularity that is also home to the city’s only beachfront promenade, aptly named ‘The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence’.
I love a good first impression especially after a long journey and the hotel lobby at The Ritz-Carlton is definitely dressed to impress. Ushered through the unassuming entrance of this beach resort, the refined foyer with its cool marbled floors and traditional taste greets you with grandeur, yet it’s teamed with a welcoming, relaxed and understated-luxury tone.
Room with a view:
Stepping inside the super spacious Deluxe Room we literally gave each other a ‘high five’ to congratulate ourselves on receiving an upgrade free of charge – result! Until we later discovered that this actually was the Deluxe Room that we had booked, The Ritz-Carlton version of a ‘standard room’. I’d love to see the suites. Whether you’re visiting for a few days like we were or you’re settling in for a few weeks, you’ll be perfectly placed at the rooms within this luxury hotel.
A comfy king size bed, sitting area, walk-in wardrobes, marble bath, separate rain shower, his and hers sinks, an iPod Docking Station, WiFi (unfortunately not free – although this seems to be annoyingly standard these days) and the usual cosy, oversized fluffy robes and slippers ticked all of the standard five-star boxes.
Our private balcony had a pleasant and tranquil view over the lounging area of the swimming pool (yes, we wallowed in the water here on many an occasion!) with the Arabian Gulf glistening beyond.
If you love ultra-modern décor and hip hotels, this is not the resort for you; The Ritz-Carlton offers superior comfort but in a traditional style.
We headed straight out to find that there lounging area which had been beckoning us from the balcony. If you are looking to put your feet up and simply chill-out then the resort hotels of Dubai and The Ritz-Carlton create the perfect place for such escapism. Manicured gardens dotted with the occasion fountain lead you down to the temperature-controlled swimming pools, separate children’s pool (hurrah! Sorry…but we don’t have kids yet), luxurious loungers and with the blistering heat of the beach only feet away, we were in rest and relaxation heaven.
Images: via The Ritz-Carlton
The low-rise, Mediterranean-style buildings of the hotel create a homely atmosphere effortlessly suited to unwinding, with the towering skyscrapers of the impressive skyline peering overhead. The service is as you would hope for: attentive and at your lounger. There’s no need to move a muscle here, if you don’t wish to.
There is much more to Dubai of course than sleeping in the sunshine. The Ritz-Carlton is situated in a great spot for a leisurely lunchtime stroll to the nearby coffee shops (there’s a Starbucks obviously), restaurants serving every cuisine your taste buds could desire, along with some small shops. If you feel like it might be beer o’clock, alcohol is served within the hotel lounges, bars and restaurants.
Beyond the surrounding area, all of the premier sights and activities that can be enjoyed in this vibrant metropolis, and the desert sands beyond, are only a reasonable taxi fare away.
The main course:
From breakfast in the comfortable lounge, a lazy lunch by the pool, your evening meal in one of the many onsite restaurants, quiet after dinner drinks in The Library Bar or sipping cocktails under the star-filled sky in the stylish outdoor La Baie Lounge, if you don’t want to, you don’t need to leave The Ritz Carlton.
If you love the sound of this super Dubai resort you can host your wedding here. The hotel has a team of wedding planning specialists that can assist with your enquiries. Take a look at a sleek and stylish Real Wedding which was held within the hotel.
Images: via You Mean The World To Me
If you’re looking for a few days (or even a few weeks!) away with guaranteed sunshine, superior service and first-class dining, shopping and nightlife on your doorstep then The Ritz-Carlton and Dubai could be the destination for you.