My wife, sons of 11 & 9 years old and I stayed here from 28 October to 1 November 2013, booking through Kenwood Travel in the UK.
We'd booked a luxury car transfer directly with the resort, for the 45 minute drive from the airport, at a cost of AED350 (one way). When we came through arrivals and got outside however, annoyingly there was no sign of the driver as planned; he did turn up shortly after, whilst I'd headed off looking for him! The luxury car was a GMC Yukon XL, a 6.2 litre V8 Landcruiser type of thing.
Check-in at the lovely lobby area wasn't very slick, but was appeased by offerings of cold towels and a welcome drink (albeit with an acquired taste), by a pretty girl in Thai costume and head dress. Given that guests have until 12:00 noon to check out, we were pleased to be offered our room at about 10:00am following our early arrival.
We were taken to our deluxe lagoon view room #1422, only a minute away through the attractive grounds, on a resort buggy. The room was a good size with a very comfy Emperor-size bed with luxurious topper and a day-bed area which was made up for one of our sons to sleep on. I should mention at this point that our travel agents had misinterpreted the resort's accommodation proposals for their lagoon rooms and had accordingly originally allocated the four of us a premier lagoon view room, which would have meant that our 9 year old had to share our bed! Fortunately I picked up on the error several weeks before travel and with my travel agents unable to resolve the matter, I emailed the resort's Resident Manager who kindly upgraded us to the larger deluxe room, so that an extra single bed could at least be set up in the room, which it was. There was a good sized bathroom including large 'rainfall' shower, double washbasins and bidet, complete with 'his & hers' bathrobes, slippers and flip flops. The rather superfluous desk and chair in the room partly restricted access, via sliding doors out to the balcony, which looked out over a lovely lagoon below. Other room facilities included a Nespresso coffee machine and tea making facilities, along with mini-bar, room safe, selection of nibbles, 'sensibly-powerful' hairdryer and LED TV. The wardrobe would have benefited from more hangers. Sockets in the room conveniently took English 3 pin plugs. The room cleaner came one morning while we were still in the room, so we asked that she return after an hour or so, but she didn't and by late afternoon the room remained uncleaned. My wife reported this to reception and a cleaner did turn up albeit when we wanted to get ready for dinner, which was a little inconvenient.
Having only been open for a matter of weeks, the beautifully designed buildings and grounds were in excellent condition with well established planting. We heard no building works during our stay and the unopened spa area was neatly closed off with hoardings. Three large lagoon pools with little sandy 'beaches' meander through the property and around the various accommodations, there is also a shallow shady children's pool alongside the large main infinity pool, both adjacent to the beach. There was no shortage of good quality sun loungers and parasols provided around the main pool area and on the beach, set out daily with towels by attentive staff who served cold towels, chilled cucumber slices for your eyes and iced lollies through the day to keep you cool. Large orange floating bean bags in the pool and lagoons were fun for the kids and comfortable to lounge about on. All swimming areas were watched throughout the day by several lifeguards at any one time.
The coarse white sand beach was kept very clean and was bordered at either end by the resort's rather fine 'over-water villas'. The sea was warmer than the pool and lagoons, very calm and fairly clear. If you looked for them, there were a few jellyfish around (as well as some small fish), but I swam several times without a problem.
The view across to the mainland's city skyline, particularly when lit-up at night, was impressive.
Crescendo, the spacious main buffet restaurant where a pork-free breakfast was served as well as lunch and dinner, had a good choice of tasty food to suit all palates. With the coffee served in individual cafetieres, you could ask for it to be as strong as you liked,which was great. The speciality eggs breakfast menu was never offered by staff though; you had to ask for it, assuming that you knew that it was available.
Mai Bar, the swim up bar at the pool, served a selection of refreshing drinks and cocktails (AED50 each) as well as pizza (about AED70-120) and light snacks.
The Beach House offered a rather limited Mediterranean cuisine and seafood menu, albeit in a great beach-side location with lovely evening ambience out on the terrace in front of the restaurant. The servings were a little sparse I felt.
Bushman's Australian Restaurant was still not open, but we were lucky enough to be offered the chance to eat at Mekong during our stay, prior to its official opening. The varied décor of the restaurant was fantastic and the Thai/Chinese/Vietnamese food delicious; truly a feast for the senses. We did have a bit of a language problem with a Thai waitress when I asked about something on the menu.
We took advantage of the 2 for 1 'happy-hour' at the comfortable Lotus Lounge one evening in the company of James, the Resident Manager, who I was keen to thank for his help in the run-up to our stay.
To avoid disappointment, I'd advise making dinner reservations for the available signature restaurants, at the beginning of your stay, particularly while they are not all open.
Aquaventure waterpark at Atlantis, 5 minutes away, was great fun with the kids, but beware the one and a half hour queue for taxis when you come out! Similarly the taxi queues when coming home from the spectacular Dubai Mall, a AED75 taxi ride away.
At Check-out, one of the chaps at the concierge desk left me standing there waiting for quite a while, while he supposedly sorted out the storage of our cases, but he'd clearly got side-tracked. All the staff were very friendly and polite but our experience of the resort overall was let down a little by the disorganisation of just a few of the staff.
The weather was fabulous throughout our stay, low to mid thirties degrees celcius with little cloud every day.
Our taxi ride back to Dubai International Airport cost AED85.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort is a luxurious five star resort located on the crescent of the iconic Palm Jumeirah. Surrounded by lush gardens, 293 beautifully appointed rooms and villas are uniquely designed with contemporary Asian flair and overlook the tranquil Arabian Gulf or Palm Jumeirah. Complementing such a prestigious destination, resort facilities are designed with relaxation and luxurious indulgence in mind, and culinary journeys are crafted from a focus on mouthwatering diversity and impeccable tastes. Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort is located on the eastern crescent of Dubai's Palm Jumeirah. This world famous landmark is located just one kilometre from Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai's main arterial route, and consists of a trunk, a crown with 16 fronds and a surrounding crescent island that forms an 11 kilometre long breakwater. The crown is connected to the mainland by a 300 metre long bridge and the crescent is connected to the top of the palm by a subsea tunnel. Accommodation: A collection of 293 rooms and villas are clustered in units of four to eight to maximise privacy, with 130 of these featuring direct access to 10,000 square metres of lagoon pools. Guests desiring the ultimate private haven can choose a One Bedroom Beach Pool Villa with a personal infinity pool, a One Bedroom Over Water Villa poised over the ocean, or a generous Anantara Two Bedroom Beach Pool Villa that offers the pinnacle of luxury and is ideal for families and friends. Room Amenities• Individual climate controlled air-conditioning• Iron and ironing board• Luxurious bedding - down comforters, custom duvets, cotton-rich linens• Down and feather pillows• Personal safe• Tea and coffee making facilities• Mini bar• Interactive 40" LCD TV• DVD Player• Ipod docking station• Selection of 118 international and local channels• WiFi internet connectionBathroom Amenities• Bathrobe• Bathtub• Separate rain shower• Hair dryer• Make-up mirrorResort FacilitiesDiscover an impressive host of leisure amenities. Keep up your exercise routine with a session in the gym or a tennis match. Swim to your heart's content with a generous number of exotic pools. Sip refreshing beverages at the water's edge by day, and inventive cocktails or fine wines in elegant evening settings. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Royal Amwaj Resort And Spa
- The Royal Amwaj Hotel Dubai