Thursday 23rd November, 2017

Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa

This 5 star resort opened on Dubai’s famed Palm Jumeirah in late 2013. I stayed at the hotel for a night and was impressed by its unique Polynesian island theme, with vertical gardens, fresh flowers and artworks in a setting facing the sea on one side, and Palm Jumeirah on the other The hotel resort has 361 rooms, suites and apartments, with balconies, 8 restaurants and seven bars and lounges. It has a nightclub, a ballroom and probably the best hotel gymnasium I’ve seen.

I arrived at the hotel arrived 1pm and was disappointed to find my room was not ready. I was told it was almost ready and I could wait in the lobby area and they would call me. After an hour I approached the reception again and was told the room was not yet ready still. After a time the receptionist approached me and offered an upgrade to a one bedroom apartment. I readily agreed and was allocated swipe cards for Apartment No. 7306. I was taken on a golf car, with luggage, to a separate building housing apartments. Gliding past a ground floor reception for the building we went up in the single elevator to the third floor, and tucked around the corner was 7306. The apartment was spacious, uniquely Polynesian with stone floors and walls. There was a main siting room/kitchen on entry and with a settee, a dining room table with chairs, a fridge stocked with complimentary sodas and the kitchen area inclusive of a washing machine. Opposite this was a second bathroom, actually a toilet. Adjacent to the living room/kitchen was the bedroom which housed a king size bed with the usual Sofitel bed sheets and pillows.

Beside the bed and inside folding doors was a huge white spa bath. In the corner was an enclosed (rain) shower again with stone walls and floors. Beside the shower were two basins with taps that were like mini waterfalls. Behind this area was a dressing area with plenty of wardrobe space, although only a small section provided hanging space. Next to this was another toilet.

The apartment I learned is 75 square metres in size (or 805 square feet).

The wifi in the hotel is complimentary and worked fine but for sending emails. I rang reception and advised them of this and they promised to send somebody from their IT department. After more than an hour I telephone again and then within about 20 minutes somebody came. They eventually put me through to their provider who walked me through a number of steps, before advising there was a problem with the hotel generally and they would have the problem fixed in the next couple of hours. It didn’t happen so I had to struggle on without being able to send emails.

The bed was comfortable and the shower perfect. I tried the Porterhouse Bar that night and later ate at the Porterhouse restaurant. The hotel doesn’t have draft beer but has a variety of four choices of bottled beer including Heineken and Amstel Light as well as Stella. The food was superb. The restaurant boasts the best meat available from Australia, the U.S. and Ireland.

The gymnasium is not located well at the end of the main hotel building (convenient for the main building guests but not for the apartments). It is however the most spacious, and best equipped gym, I have seen in a hotel. The service is excellent too with an attendant bringing you a cold towel during your session (even at 5:30am), and on arrival you are given a towel and a bottle of water of your preference (room temperature or chilled).

The rate I paid was a discounted rate of $296 (US dollars) which represented good value. The hotel is suitable for all types, singles, couples and families. Some doing business in Dubai were there, as well as quite a number of families, and a fair number of (mainly) young couples. I would be happy to stay at the hotel again in the future. It has a relaxed atmosphere, plenty of choices for eating and dining and of course it has a beach albeit a man-made one.

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