Natalie, our Product Manager for the UAE, wasn’t sure what to expect when staying at the Jumeirah Zabeel Sarray. Needless to say, as soon as she stepped foot inside the grand entrance, this hotel knocked her socks off!
“The hotel’s website starts its description with the ambitious line “inspired by the imperial palaces of the Ottoman era”. This is a big call in anyone’s book, and I have to admit prior to visiting I thought this was probably just the usual flowery language that hotel websites are prone to use. However I defy anyone to step into the lobby of this resort on the famous Palm Jumeirah in Dubai and not be impressed.
The lobby is a beautiful combination of cool white marble, luxurious gold fittings and plush furnishings, which somehow manages to be both stylish and opulent without being over the top.
The turquoise and ruby coloured chandeliers are simply breathtaking – I mean that literally too – I gasped out loud when I first spotted them. I’ve been back to his hotel several times and on each visit couldn’t resist snapping just a few more photos of the palatial entrance.
I have to admit it’s pretty hard to top the entrance experience to this stunning hotel, but I guarantee a stay here will have you discovering more and more things to like about it.
The rooms are stylish and comfortable with all the extras you’d expect from a luxury 5 star hotel, but it’s the marble bathrooms that offer the knock-out punch, their huge marble baths would make even Cleopatra delirious.
You do have to leave your room from time to time of course, however hard that may be. Breakfast is a delight, especially so out on the terrace overlooking the infinity pool and private stretch of beach.
The decision as to where to dine is incredibly tough, with cuisines on offer ranging from Indian, Lebanese, French, Japanese and even Anatolian. A cocktail at the blue lit, uber trendy Voda Bar, or outside on the terrace taking in the city skyline views is an absolute must.
If your stay in Dubai includes a Friday then I’d definitely recommend trying Friday brunch. Friday is the first day of the weekend in Dubai, and Friday brunch has become something of a modern tradition here with the expat crowd in particular.
Although billed as brunch it’s not for the fainthearted as you can stretch it out until around 3.30/4.00pm eating, drinking, and enjoying the jazz band and entertainment. The Rib Room and the Imperium offer a variety of brunch options, including my favourite options with unlimited bubbles!
The property is totally unique in Dubai in that it has its own dinner and dance entertainment venue as part of the complex – the Music Hall. I was lucky enough to attend an event here last year and the 10 unique live music acts were varied and absolutely superb.
I’d definitely recommend experiencing this if you are in town over a Thursday or Friday night – even if you are not staying at the hotel – although just bear in mind that hotel guests do get preference over busy/booked out periods.
As befits any Ottoman palace, the hotel has the most spectacular Turkish hammam within the confines of its luxurious Talise spa. I confess that although I’ve had a sneak peek inside the Spa, I’ve never quite had the spare time on my hands to enjoy this little piece of heaven. It’s there on the bucket list however and I’m determined to tick it off one day soon.
Even with all this opulence and luxury, families are incredibly well catered for, from the rooms with two double beds and variety of suites, to Sinbad’s kids club and swimming pool. Not forgetting if you stay here you are entitled to one free entry into the Jumeirah hotel group’s Wild Wadi Waterpark on Jumeirah Beach, which is suitable for kids of all ages – even the big, grown up kind.
Quite possibly the most amazing aspect of this hotel is that such luxury could be affordable and within the grasp of the regular traveller, and that it has such a relaxed and easy vibe. It’s the ideal place to unwind and rejuvenate on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, yet still within easy reach of the Dubai city shopping and sightseeing highlights.
I’d recommend Jumeirah Zabeel Saray for anyone looking to spoil themselves just that little bit during their Dubai holiday or stopover. After all who doesn’t want to be made to feel like royalty in a beautiful palace every once in a while…?”
Written by Natalie Gosselin, Product Manager for the UAE.