THERE ARE YOUR REGULAR HOTEL BRANDS AND THEN THERE ARE THOSE THAT SET THE STANDARDS FOR A LIFESTYLE OF LUXURY. THE TYPE OF PLACE THAT DELIVERS THE FINEST OF SERVICES, WHETHER THAT IS ACCOMMODATION, DINING, WELLNESS, OR GENERAL SERVICE, THERE ARE FEW HOSPITALITY PLAYERS WHO MANAGE TO GET EVERY LITTLE DETAIL JUST RIGHT. SO, WHEN WE FIND OURSELVES CHECKING OUT AFTER ONE OF THE MOST CONSISTENTLY PERFECT STAYCATIONS, SURELY IT’S WORTH SHOUTING ABOUT. IF YOU’RE NOT ALREADY FAMILIAR WITH THE MANDARIN ORIENTAL JUMEIRA, DUBAI, IT IS TIME TO GET YOU ACQUAINTED…
THE MANDARIN ALLURE
Overlooking both the pristine waters of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai’s glittering skyline, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai is pure magic. Set on a gorgeous beachfront with stunning interiors and unmatched levels of service, the resort brings a new wave of luxury to the shores of Dubai. Conveying signature Mandarin touches, the Dubai property boasts distinctive design and a strong sense of place, with both Arabic and Oriental charm meeting to create a unique hotel that is as contemporary as it is charismatic. Walk into the lobby and admire the most majestic bronze metal trees that, as a friend described, look like illuminated bows as if the leaves are made of jewels. The trees are made from hundreds of hand-blown Bohemian crystal leaves with a champagne matte brass finish – we definitely have not seen anything else like it in Dubai. Instantly, you will recognise that the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira is not doing things by halves – they are here to make a strong impression and, with the amount of people trying to take the perfect shot of the crystal canopy for the ‘gram, it really is working. In fact, the Mandarin Orinental Jumeira’s breathtaking interior is all thanks to designer Jeffrey Wilkes who envisaged everything from the linen textures to the patterns on the furniture, resulting in a hotel with the theme of the Silk Road. Modern layering, desert tones, and a warm yet luxurious colour palette put the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira in a category that no other hotel has managed to perfect with such grace; that is, flawless minimalism meets relaxed elegance. Sign us up!
With 178 spacious rooms and 78 elegant suites making up the sprawling resort, you really are spoiled for choice. A Junior Sea View Suite is our accommodation for two nights and we couldn’t be more in awe. The suite is the size of a luxury apartment, designed with a meticulous approach where space has been used practically and stylishly. Thoughtful touches with iconic interior like the flagship Mandarin logo, are used to remind guests of the oriental influence throughout the interior design. These beautiful suites feature a large open-plan bedroom, spacious living area and bathroom with rain shower and bath. A private balcony offers fabulous views out to sea and we spend a considerable amount of time lounging on the comfy sunbed here. Featuring sweeping views of the Arabian Gulf, this Junior Suite offers a sense of comfort and understated luxury. The living area features a lush sofa, while the comfortable sleeping area is furnished with a kingsize bed. The en-suite bathroom is one of those that you would dream of having in your own home; elegantly finished with Persian Travertine, the bathtub is one you can sink into whilst the shower is literally the size of a mini-hammam, and the walk-in closet in super thoughtful with light coming on via a sensor. There are two vanity areas with stool, ideal for a group of friends or even a couple who need their own space and mirror for makeup or grooming. This is definitely in our top five suites to experience in Dubai – everything just flows naturally and we could have easily spent an entire week cooped up here. Suites’ guests enjoy access to the exclusive Club Lounge, which might just be the best perk. This lounge reminds us of some of the world’s most luxurious airport lounges; views of the Burj Khalifa, incredible food (you don’t want to miss the eggs benedict for breakfast), and the most attentive service we’ve encountered. Staff make it their mission to learn your name, to make conversation and they literally have the answer to all our questions – whether it was about the food or where to find certain things in Dubai – they were like walking concierges.
Just when we thought we’d experienced it all, we venture to the beachfront of Mandarin Oriental Jumeira. It’s a beautiful breezy day and the team equips us with our very own little round beach bags filled with cold towels and water. They also give you a round buzzer which is handy for getting a waiter’s attention if you want to order food and drinks. The beach is one of the best stretches of sand in Dubai and we’re surprised with numerous little treats like fruit punch shots (non alcoholic) and watermelon bites which come round as complimentary snacks for hotel guests. The pool area is also one of the nicest we’ve been to in Dubai with plenty of loungers and cabanas – the vibe is very summertime fine with everyone in a chilled out mood, enjoying a good book, chatting with friends or taking lazy swims.
We also try out the spa and we’re mesmerised from the moment we walk through the doors. At the Spa at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, there is a clear passion for wellness, placing your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing at the centre of everything they do. Guided by the oriental heritage and influenced by the local cultural diversity of the UAE, the Spa offers a host of treatments and therapies unique to Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai. There’s everything from signature treatments, to the Nomadic Sensory Journey, which features Emirati drumming as part of the healing process, incorporating Asian beauty knowledge with cutting edge technology. An indulgent VIP suite, Sea Jewel, offers sea views, an interconnecting Hammam-style treatment area and the option of connecting to a further space suitable for couples or wedding parties.
We opt for a signature massage and after being whisked in an elevator from the spa reception to the treatment rooms, we’re constantly saying “wow” – every little detail is thought of. We LOVE the individual pods in the relaxation lounge which remind us of first class cabins in aeroplanes – genius. The massage sends us into a deep slumber almost instantly, and all we remember is feeling the most relaxed we have in a long time. What’s nice is that the therapies doesn’t rush us to get up and leave once finished, she encourages naturally waking up and having a stretch to bring your senses back to the real world. Hot tea with a selection of nuts and dates is served in the relaxation lounge as we take deep breaths and come back to centre, ready to tackle the Dubai bustle outside this sanctuary.
The hotel is also home to a state-of-the-art Fitness & Wellness Centre and Movement Studio featuring the first Outrace equipment in a Dubai hotel. They offer high0energy strength and functional training, as well as more holistic forms of exercise and beach-based classes. They’re happy to arrange in-depth personal training consultations focusing on developing programmes to improve fitness and health that suit the individual needs of the guest.
If food is your forte, the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira has it all to make your stay the most exciting for every palate. All eyes are currently on Tasca, located on the sixth floor, it’s a new restaurant from culinary genius José Avillez. Named after the Portuguese word for tavern, Tasca is José Avillez’s first international opening, following on behind the Michelin-starred Belcanto as well as his other celebrated ventures in Portugal. Serving genuine Portuguese flavours with a contemporary twist, Tasca’s menu bursts with character and flavour. Complementing the menu is a grape list with the largest selection of Portuguese vino in Dubai as well as a tempting array of craft cocktails. Boasting spectacular views over Dubai’s glittering skyline on one side and the Arabian Gulf on the other, the restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor dining on a terrace with infinity pool overlooking the Gulf.
What pleases us the most about Tasca is the atmosphere. The restaurant is abuzz with diners when we visit – somebody celebrating a birthday, colleagues grabbing drinks after work, couples enjoying an intimate meal and families letting their taste buds explore new dishes for the evening. Served tapas style, the portions at Tasca are brilliant for sharing, and as they’re not fully-loaded, it allows the diner to order a variety of menu items, meaning you can actually try everything you like the sound of. We’d highly recommend the Braised and Marinated Tuna, the Garlic Prawns and the Pan Fried Wagyu – all standout with flavours. Service is at the level of what’s to be expected at a venue that belongs to a Michelin-Starred chef – everyone is clued up on the food and eager to make recommendations too. An excellent dining option for when you’re staying here!
To top that off, the hotel also houses Japanese Steakhouse, Netsu; international eatery, The Bay; the very elegant Noor Lounge where afternoon tea seems to be a hit with Dubai’s elite; pool bar Sun Vibe, The Mandarin Cake Shop and the very bespoke Beluga caviar bar round off the dining options.
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai is exactly what the city needed to shake up the hospitality scene and showcase that when time and thought is put into perfecting a product, the result is beyond anything we could have imagined. ✤