Singapore Sling meets Swarovski sparkles at Raffles’ latest opening, says Radhika Aligh.
Dubai has long been the destination of choice for sun-starved Brits looking to holiday in style thanks to the emirate’s larger-than-life-appeal with its designer showrooms, skyscrapers, gastronomy experiences and all-night bars.
Adding to the luxury portfolio is the recently opened Raffles The Palm, a family-friendly retreat meticulously crafted by expert artisans from Italy and Portugal to create the ultimate regal experience.
Where is it?
Spanning across 25-acres on the outer ring of the famous Palm Jumeriah Island, the palatial structures occupy a prime piece of property with uninterrupted ocean views. The 389-room resort is a 40-minute drive from the airport, longer if you’re caught in rush hour traffic. Should you decide to venture out, Burj Khalifa is a half-hour ride away, and the traditional gold souk of Deira will take you around an hour.
Inspired by the Renaissance and Baroque style of architecture, Raffle The Palm has pizzazz: the interior has a distinctly Versailles-esque feel with elaborate ceiling carvings covered in 24-carat gold, 300-year-old pink marble pillars and chandeliers studded in several thousand Swarovski crystals.
The majestic theme continues throughout the hotel but none more prominent than Blüthner Hall, a lobby lounge designed to enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea experience to the tune of a Blüthner Louis XIV Grand Piano created especially for this space. Red velvet curtains drape from the arched windows overlooking the pool and perfectly manicured gardens.
Food & Drink
You may be soaking up the sun in the Middle East, but culinary options at the hotel will take you far and wide. Piatti by the Beach, a muted all-white Italian beachside restaurant is guaranteed to transport you straight to the Amalfi coast. The brainchild of celebrated chef Batuhan Piatti, the carbolicious menu includes everything from burrata to mussels and pasta to Mediterranean-inspired fish. Desserts-seekers can look forward to a melt-in-the-mouth selection of cakes displayed like artwork in a museum at Piatti’s patisserie.
Hidden along the ground floor corridor of the main building is Matagi, home to authentic Japanese cuisine with a contemporary touch. The interiors are a more sophisticated affair with leather chairs and dim lights accentuating the intricate floor to ceiling tile-like slate installation. You can stand by the open kitchen to watch the chefs work their magic with a knife.
Sushi lovers, brace yourself for a creative menu that’s going to tempt you to try everything! Have a go at gyoza with kombucha sauce, wagyu carpaccio with truffle jelly or tuna tartar with strawberry and caviar. For mains, spoil yourself with a mix of sashimi and nigiri and cleanse your palette with a lemongrass creme brulee accompanied by a calamansi sorbet. The restaurant’s specially curated list of cocktails is equally enticing: Matagi Mule may be the drink of choice for sake fans and Sixth Sense for gin lovers.
Sola Jazz Lounge is where the party is. World-renowned musicians, bands and DJs take to the stage from Tuesday to Saturday performing versatile jazz styles like French, soul and R&B. Dance to the tunes with your favourite tipple made by expert mixologists. Some signature cocktails include Sola Clover’s Club and Raffles The Palm’s take on the iconic Sling.
There is a lot to boast about but the impressive 1,640-foot long white-sand beach is probably the resort’s biggest sell. Sunbeds line the private patch overlooking Dubai’s dazzling skyline – best enjoyed after sunset.
Chances are if you’re not at the beach then you’ll want to be at the award-winning Parisian Cinq Mondes Spa which features 23 treatment rooms, two private spa suites and an indoor swimming pool for a complete body and mind reset. The world-class facility offers a selection of beauty treatment and massages including hot sand therapy, one of few hotels to offer the treatment.
Guests can also explore a yoga studio, two traditional hammams and a fully equipped gym.
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a room. Premier suites are opulent and spacious and come complete with Venetian glass furniture, a walk-in wardrobe and a cute balcony overlooking either the ocean or Dubai’s glittering skyline. You can go up a notch with the 203 sqm Club Terrace or all out with a two-bedroom Presidential Suite with a lounge, separate service kitchen and a terrace with panoramic views- and a jacuzzi. For the ultimate luxury experience – and privacy – book the Raffles Royal Villa or the four-bedroom beachfront Imperial Villa – both come with a private butler and terrace pool.
This resort is perfect for couples, families, friends and even large family gatherings. With so much to choose from, you can shape your holiday the way you want it: spend the day on the beach or dance the night away at Sola.
Premier Suites start from £290 per night including breakfast.
Book at Raffles The Palm Dubai: https://www.rafflesthepalmdubai.com/offers/