Staycation review: Waldorf-Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
Old-school opulence on Palm Jumeirah…
With a history that dates back to the 1890s in New York, Waldorf-Astoria hotels are renowned for their timeless elegance. That proud heritage is writ large across the Waldorf-Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, with a graceful white façade, oversized chandeliers and sweeping staircases that look like they could have been constructed any time in the past 100 years.
It’s a comfortable kind of luxury here, with intuitive service and décor that seems neither dated nor bang on trend.
We’ve been invited to spend the night in a Family King Suite with Sea View. After a seamless check-in, a glass elevator whisks us up through the light-filled atrium to our room on the third floor.
It’s a huge space, with separate lounge room and bedroom, and a bathroom that’s bigger than most studio apartments. An expansive terrace wraps around the room, offering views of the Arabian Gulf and Burj Al Arab on one side, and the resort’s lagoon pool and the Palm on the other.
The generous floor plan is a big plus for families, but the undisputed star of the show is that oversized bathroom. It boasts a massive soaking tub, twin vanities, flat-screen TV, separate toilet, and a ginormous shower room complete with marble bench and four shower heads. The bathroom is clad head-to-toe in white marble, with fragrant Salvatore Ferragamo bath products upping the luxe factor.
For dinner, we head to Social by Heinz Beck, a handsome space with plush high-backed chairs and white-clothed tables. For now, this romantic restaurant in Dubai is offering a choice of two, three or four courses. We begin with a stellar fritto misto with basil aioli, and a creamy orb of burrata on an updated panzanella salad, featuring finely diced tomato, cucumber and croutons.
Mains include a dish of perfectly al dente spaghetti with clams, and a tricked-up take on veal Milanese, which exemplifies the three-Michelin-starred chef’s penchant for modernising Italian food. At first glance, the crumbed veal with dabs of soya mayonnaise, lemon segments and micro herbs looks overly fussy, but it eats like a dream, with the salty/sour flavours cutting through the richness of the veal.
Desserts include one of the finest tiramisus we’ve sampled in Dubai, plus a rather ho-hum millefoglie, which struggled under the weight of too much pastry and not enough lemon cream.
For breakfast the following morning, we visit Mezzerie. The Waldorf-Astoria Palm Jumeirah’s buffet service has been modified to accommodate the latest health and safety guidelines, with chefs manning stations for cooked-to-order eggs, hot dishes, pastries and more.
There’s a lot of merit in this approach, which surely must cut down on food waste and excess. Asking for four hash browns and three sausages is very different to simply piling them onto your plate…
The chilled family pool is fully operational, and is large enough that we don’t feel crowded at any stage. It’s surrounded by sun loungers and curtained cabanas, and there’s a nice patch of lawn between the pool and the private beach. It’s worth noting that the tiles around the pool are seriously slippery, so take care when moving around.
In keeping with the five-star service, the hotel has provided thoughtful extras, such as plastic-wrapped magazines and chilled water dispensers.
The pampering continues in the Waldorf-Astoria’s spa, a serene space of pearly whites, antique golds and crystal chandeliers.
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We’re treated to an indulgent De-stress Candle Massage by Neom, which uses warm, aromatic candle wax, perfumed sprays and a guided meditation to soothe our muscles, ease our mind, and stimulate all the senses.
There are clear precautionary measures in place throughout the Waldorf-Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah. Our temperatures are checked on arrival, and again before entering restaurants, the pool and the spa.
Each hotel room is sealed with a safety sticker, along with surfaces within the rooms. And although the minibar is missing, there’s clear signage to call up for anything you desire.
Waldorf-Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Crescent Rd, Palm Jumeirah. Room rates start at Dhs520++ for members. Tel: (04) 818 2222. waldorfastoria3.hilton.com