As a resident of Dubai, weekends for me are all about trying to get away from the daily grind and exploring off the beaten path especially during cooler times of the year. That is not always easy in a city that is always overrun by tourists almost all year round. Enter the Desert Palm Dubai, an urban oasis located around 20 minutes from the center of the city but enough to make you feel you have left Dubai and the Gulf altogether.
Despite having a vast area of 160 acres, most of which is lush green, it is home to only 38 rooms, suites and villas, some of which come with a private swimming pool. The rooms are pretty spacious with a lot of reliance on natural light, and are packed with luxurious amenities and elegant touches from rainfall showers and REN amenities to Dallmayr coffee machines and a Bose sound system.
As is the case with my other reviews, I won’t bore you with factual information which you can find on the hotel’s website, but will mention the things that make this hotel special.
1. The Perfect Getaway: As I mentioned before, the hotel is about 20 minutes away from Downtown Dubai which actually makes it closer than the far end of the Palm. However, once you enter the grounds, you are greeted by a combination of LA meets Spain meets India vibe which is enough to make you forget all about the city you just drove from. To make the best out of your stay, ask the hotel reception to arrange a tour for you around the estate or simply grab a map of the hotel and go for a walk around if the weather is decent — you won’t regret it.
2. Design & Photogenic Spots: Horses and everything about them are the main theme at the Desert Palm Dubai, starting from the entrance where you will notice a fountain in the shape of a giant horse head to the saddles decorating the lobby area. The gorgeous yet minimalist interior design of the hotel as well as the outdoor landscaping of it all make for many photo opps and stops during your stay. My favorite part was the stables area and the gardens and flowery archways around it.
3. Food: The Desert Palm Dubai takes its culinary affairs seriously! The dinner at the RARE restaurant was certainly a highlight of my stay. Whatever you do, do not miss the tiramisu here. As a lover of this dessert, I can tell you I had it wherever they serve it in Dubai, but the one I had at Desert Palm Dubai was the absolute best with bonus points on the creative presentation. Another do-not-miss is the slow braised beef cheeks — so good! On the other hand, the hotel doesn’t serve an open buffet for breakfast, and I felt the portions were a bit small although the fresh juices were delicious.
4. The Spa: The LIME Spa at the Desert Palm Dubai is a getaway within a getaway, with an experience that includes a steam room, sauna, ice room, plunge pool, heated beds and chromotherapy showers. To top it off, the staff are very well trained and know what they are doing.
5. Catch a Polo Game: During the cooler months, the hotel hosts horse polo games which are a delight to see from either the comfort of one of the hotel’s restaurants or the swimming pool.