It’s seven years since I last went to Dubai and it’s still as glitzy and glam as ever. I had a four day trip in October. I would say that the temperatures and humidity are still high at this time of the year, so would recommend holding off until November for some winter sunshine. We had a packed itinerary thanks to two Dubai residents Dan and @HannahRaven19!
We stayed at the Sofitel Dubai Palm @SofitelDXBPalm, a true oasis in the heat and bustle of Dubai. http://www.sofitel.com/gb/united-kingdom/index.shtml We had views from our balcony over the sea and could see the Dubai skyline in the distance. The suite was absolutely beautiful, with the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept on in a hotel. The attention to detail was sublime and the staff were so friendly, smart and helpful. The hotel is large and has a number of beautiful pool areas and private beach. We chose the private adults only pool that had an outdoor spa feel to it with a waterfall cascading into the turquoise waters below. We had a butler button, so if we needed anything we simply needed to give it a press and voila a uniformed waiter appeared. I highly recommend the tuna in a brioche bun for a poolside lunch. Breakfast was amazing and as it’s my favourite meal of the day I appreciated the huge diversity of food and juice. Their pancakes were amazing!
My personal achievement was overcoming my vertigo to visit Atmosphere on Floor 123 of the http://www.burjkhalifa.ae/en/ . We walked through the gorgeous Armani Hotel to the lift. Once in there the butterflies in my stomach were going absolutely mad. You don’t feel or hear anything – you simply feel your ears pop as you power up this breathtaking building. The walk into Atmosphere was a challenge as you make your way down spiral stairs surrounded by glass, so you feel like your stepping out into nothing! My vertigo was making itself felt at this point and I had to cling onto the banister for dear life as my legs had turned to jelly. Once inside Atmosphere you are transported to another world. Beautiful dark wood and soft furnishings abound and the views are out of this world. I’m so glad I overcame my fear of heights to experience this and I would highly recommend a visit. You do need to book in advance though as it’s tickets only and they are very strict on numbers.
One evening we dined at the fresh and zingy Rhodesw1 in Grosvenor House Dubai http://www.rw1-dubai.com, which must be an absolute dream for British ex-pats. The menu is the very best of British food – so delicious and flavoursome. The setting is bright, light and relaxed. The staff are friendly and know their stuff! I loved the decor and the chairs were very comfy. I embraced my inner 70s and started with a Prawn Cocktail, however having tasted my friend Dolly’s starter of Smoked Haddock and Welsh Rarebit I would actually go for that next time! For mains I had Chicken Kiev, a roast garlic and parsley butter filled chicken breast with seared chestnut mushrooms, spinach and broad bean vinaigrette, which was absolutely mouth-watering. I even had room for pudding....steamed Roly Poly with custard. A special mention to the loos in the Grosvenor Hotel at this point – basically I could move in and live very happily in them!
The final night we dined on delicious Italian food al fresco at the Dubai Mall (although it was extremely hot and sweaty) with a fantastic view of the spectacular ‘dancing’ fountains at the base of the Burj Khalifa. Very touristy, but well worth a visit and the show made us get a bit ‘emosh’. I doubt you could dine out much before the end of October – just too hot to be away from air con!
One downside to Dubai (not a surprise as it’s a city) is the traffic. The jams are horrendous and the road configurations seem to change daily which confuses the taxi drivers! You feel like you’re driving around in circles, and indeed, you probably are. Factor in a good hour if you are travelling into the main city from anywhere on the palm, although everyone seems to expect you to be late anyway, so I wouldn’t get too stressed!
Next time I go I fancy checking out the Pure Sky Lounge at the Hilton Jumeirah Beach Resort and 40 Kong on the roof of the H hotel...