Stay: Desert Palm Dubai Hotel
I just love staycations. They are fuss-free, no wasted hours in planes, airports and transportation. Especially when you have a limited time and you still want to hit refresh after a long week. In this year's national holiday in the UAE, we packed up and decided to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and into the tranquility of the desert.
Desert Palm Hotel, resort and villas
If you haven't come across it before, its no surprise. They hold a low profile that suits the personality of this polo boutique estate. Desert palm, even though its a short 25 minute drive from the center of Dubai, you will instantly feel like you have traveled to a different country.
The property is a 160 acres urban oasis with a chic contemporary design. The entire hotel is only 38 rooms and villas, one pool, one spa and 2 restaurants.
We went there, me, my husband and our 4-year-old daughter hoping to get some relaxing family time in a zen setting, and its exactly what we found and more. Here is why we loved it and what could be improved.
Why we loved it
The first thing we loved was that its so close to Dubai so we could skip the long hours in the car. We have booked a Polo Suite, which over looks the lush green fields where chic polo matches take place and all through the ride we kept imagining how it will look like. But when we reached the hotel, from outside it did not really strike us as impressive as other luxurious Dubai hotels and I secretly wondered what was all the fuss about.
However, when we went to our suite, it was like a room in a 6-star property. It was really spacious, well-equipped and very clean. I absolutely loved the high ceiling, the glass windows showcasing the green (and even spotted a few horses in training which was really exciting to watch) and the lush bath tub that just screamed #Bathroomgoals. I can only imagine how their villas with private pools will look like.
Another thing we enjoyed a lot was the lunch and dinner menus. They had loads of choices and everything we ordered was just perfect.
Horse riders for the day
About a 5 minute-buggy ride away lays a lovely horse stables which offers horse riding sessions and pony rides. So we took the little one to try out her first ever pony and boy did she enjoy it. The ride was for 25 dirhams and it lasts 10-15 minutes (which was really ideal). We would have wanted to try out the riding lessons as well but decided to do it some other time when we are sans child.
The best part to end the day was that we had our coffees in hand, and sat on our private patio and watched as the gorgeous sunset across the fields. The silence, the breeze and the strawberry skies made up for the perfect wrap up for a super lovely family day.
What we wished could be better
The two things that I wish could be better was the pool and service. The pool itself is lovely however, the sunbeds are so few that I don't think it takes up all the guests. So when we reached the poolside at 1 PM, we couldn't find an empty sunbed and we ended up sitting in a cabana at the bag that wasn't shielded properly from the sun. I believe they depend on the fact that most of their villas have private pools but I still believe the area itself is too small for guests.
The other thing was the very slow service. At dinner at time it took almost 50 minutes to get our plates, which is disappointing given the fact that we were only 3 tables ordering at the time and we went for non-complicated dishes (Stir fry and roast). However, I have to admit the staff is very friendly and professional.
Overall, I would say it was the perfect weekend. We did enjoy our time a lot and we promised ourselves to be back again, possibly to try one of the villa properties and to try the spa.
Overall rating: 4/5
Room: 6/5 (That one was truly impressive)
Reservations through their website: http://www.desertpalm.ae/en/ (make sure to use their UAE residents offer if applicable)