A relative newcomer to an ever-evolving corner of the world, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira’s arrival breathes fresh modernity into Dubai’s very own ‘Beverly Hills’. Designed by Jeffrey Wilkes, this place is an exercise in balance; rooms look out onto the vibrancy of the skyline or the calm of the ocean, while traditional Arabian rugs meld with sophisticated wooden embellishments – yet for all this simplicity the Dubai property doesn’t sacrifice any of the wow-factor the brand is built on.
A pocket of zen in one of the city’s most thriving, central locations, the eclectic bustle of La Mer’s beachfront is just five minutes away and Downtown Dubai a mere 15. Although, you’d be forgiven for not wanting to move from one of the teak poolside cabanas for the duration of a stay – especially as the personal butlers attending them guarantee never-lift-a-finger levels of relaxation.
…a toned back take on Dubai. In a city renowned for its ‘bigger is better’ mentality, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira has opted for an understated Californian air and ambience that exudes a boutique flourish. The oversized chandeliers and flashy gold accents that characterise much of the area’s design are traded in for delicate, bronze trees and a canopy of twinkling lights that illuminate a path from the lobby to the beach, while the bathrooms are swathed in crisp, clean marbles.
Suites here are some of the largest of their kind in Dubai. Expect living areas with floor-to-ceiling windows and wrap around balconies; rooms outfitted with bold brassy mirrors and sumptuous marine-hued velvet sofas; while intricately designed mother of pearl mini bars make certain Mandarin Oriental’s Asian roots are never far from thought – a small touch that ensures these spaces emanate a vibe that walks the line between chic and zen.
While the quiet, laid-back vibe here is a major draw for families, perhaps the most worthy thing to note is the flexibility in room configurations. Suites and rooms can be connected, creating spacious living spaces for families of all sizes and age ranges so little ones can pass out uninterrupted in the other room after returning from a long and eventful afternoon traversing the tree house in Little Nomads Kids’ Club.
To witness Mandarin Oriental Jumeira come to life, simply venture up to rooftop restaurant Tasca. An emblem of the progressive thinking behind this place, two Michelin-starred José Avillez’s Portuguese eatery transports a taste of the Algarve to this Arabian coastline. Savour the zesty, silky flavours of red Mediterranean prawn ceviche, while singers wind through the restaurant and live classical guitar music trills across from the bar.
There are few better ways to take in the sprawling efflorescence of a city that has sprung up from the scorched sands of the Emirates than from the sky. Watching the cool metropolitan greys give way to the morning sun rising over the warm golden dunes of the desert from a hot-air balloon makes for a peaceful start to any day. Meanwhile, later risers looking for more adrenaline-fuelled views of the metropolis can be found in helicopters or sky diving over The Palm.
Dubai experiences high temperatures throughout the year with minimal rainfall. The best time to visit is between October and March when it is cooler. During the summer months temperatures rise considerably, whilst hotel rates are at their lowest and offers are most attractive.
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