There are authentic hotels and there are swank hotels, the brand new Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach effortlessly occupies both categories.
This recently opened oasis feels as if it has stood watch over its stretch of private beach for decades, yet is so gilded and chic it would make a billionaire blush. In a city that clamors to make each new property bigger, better and glitzier, the Four Seasons outdoes them all with the most brilliant understated luxury.
As you pick your way past the Rolls Royces, Lamborghinis and Ferraris to the entrance, the soaring iron and glass doors flanked by solicitous doormen hint at the opulence within. From gold tiled walls to horseshoe arches, the interiors are Islamic architecture meets beachfront posh.
Just ten minutes from the Dubai Mall and the Dubai International Financial Center, the new Four Seasons is perfect for vacation, business, or in true Middle Eastern style, a combination of both.
Each of the 237 rooms has a terrace with a day bed generous enough for afternoon naps and views of either the palm fringed pools or the stunning Dubai skyline. View of the Burj Khalifa, tallest building in the world, included.
Though the hotel has only been open a few months, they have perfected their service model. The staff to guest ratio feels like 100:1 and really shines poolside. In addition to the de rigeur butlers with the cold towels and sunglass cleaner, there are remote controls to summon more Rose’ or to indicate “Do Not Disturb” during a poolside nap.
The Pearl Spa is a worthy way to spend the day, massage or not. The indoor pool has a Greta Garbo feel and reminiscent of the Ritz Paris prior to renovation. The locker rooms (there must be a better word) feature Caribbean rain showers complete with lightning and bird sounds as well as ice showers.
As lovely as the property is by day, it really comes alive at night. Jumeirah Beach is the Beverly Hills of Dubai and attracts the young and fabulous out for a night of fun. As Friday is the day off there, Thursday nights crackle with excitement. The Mercury Lounge at the top of the hotel offers unobstructed views, a Dom Perignon bar and the requisite shisha (flavored tobacco smoked through a hooka pipe).
The only way to arrive in Dubai is Emirates airlines. Of course other airlines offer service, but not like their business and first class. Business class passengers enjoy flat beds and a cocktail bar that is open all night serving Veuve. First class passengers can even take a hot shower mid-air.
Rates for rooms at Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach start around $ 4,000 AED per night, that’s a little over $ 1,000 US. All rooms have marble baths, generous closets, in room Nespresso machines and outdoor terraces.
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Kim-Marie Evans is a freelance writer specializing in luxury and family travel. She has traveled the world with her four children to places as glamorous as the south of France and as challenging as Rwanda. Her work has appeared in print and online. You can find her best travel secrets on her award winning blog LuxuryTravelMom.com and at TravelingMom.com. Follow her on Twitter.