More than meets the eye, trust me.
A quick foreword: I have never been to The Middle East and whilst I have heard a lot from other travellers, friends and bloggers it was still a surreal cultural experience especially after nearly 3 weeks of adjusting to the Australian way of life.
With hefty suitcases in tow, we marched towards the taxi rank only to be ushered to a large pink taxi catering for women and children only. A slightly unusual start to our trip, but certainly a memorable one.
Behold: Fairmont The Palm, Dubai.
Wow. Is this even real life?
Peter and I have stayed in The Plaza, NYC (another Fairmont run hotel). We expected the best, and trust me we definitely arrived to the best.
A lovely reader Alison who has stayed in this iconic spot before filled me with utter childlike excitement when she recanted tales of the glorious scent that wafts throughout the hotel. As soon as I stepped out of the taxi, past the smiling concierge and into the lobby the heavenly smell hit me. This distinctive fragrance lingers so luxuriously, yet delicately in the air as a nod to the sheer delight that awaits you.
Before I go any further, I genuinely have to tell you how much we appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed the service here. The staff are so incredibly warm, friendly and diligent. One hazy morning I lay relaxing in a state of bliss beside the pool to be greeted by name by a smiling face. I laughed and asked how he knew my name, only to be told the staff meet each morning to discuss the names of the guests in each room so they can refer to you by name.
Ain’t that true service?
After weeks of indulgence in Australia I finally made my way to gym. The treadmills are positioned in-front of dreamy panels of glass overlooking views of the swimming pool, beach and what looks like a mirage of tall buildings in the distance.
Only, it isn’t a mirage.
As I picked up my running pace, eyes transfixed on the view and a heart full of thankfulness, a member of staff quickly popped over with a cold mint scented flannel, a dry sweat cloth and a bottle of still water. I returned the next day, and the very same thing happened.
Where do I sign up to a gym like this at home, seriously?!
If you’ve followed my other hotel reviews, or know me in general, you’ll know I appreciate an awesome hotel buffet so trust me when I say Fairmont The Palm did not disappoint. With everything from waffles, fresh exotic fruit, handcrafted sushi, Vietnamese soup and hot Indian dishes to gelato, Arabic mezze and Turkish delight: you’ll find something to tickle your tastebuds.
Finally, the room.
Personally, I love a spacious hotel room (if possible) and this one fulfilled the criteria with a lovely desk area to boot. Side note: I actually used this area loads to write from. Who knew hotel rooms could lead to such productivity?!
You’ll notice we were gifted with all the trimmings you would expect from a Fairmont hotel. I have to say I was particularly impressed by the constant restocking of complimentary items. Twice a day a smiling friendly face popped into our room to clean it and replenish our coffee, bottles of water and toiletries. Whilst all five star hotels (should) offer a good selection of items without charge, a lot of them skimp on this front giving as little as possible and as infrequently as possible: The Fairmont certainly splurged here.
After a relaxing long weekend of nothing but delicious food, sunshine and fantastic service we bid farewell but not before one final delightful touch. The lovely Patrick who welcomed us to the hotel realised it was my mum’s birthday and kindly sent us this.
It honestly was such an unexpected and thoughtful gift. Ah, so incredibly sweet and a final touch to really cement our appreciation for this hotel.
If you’re thinking about booking to stay here, please do. You will not regret it! Or alternatively, if you’d like to stay in another Fairmont hotel then you simply have to go for it.