Destinations

Fairmont The Palm

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Behind a formal façade of Islamic arches and domes lies a laidback family-friendly beach resort with four pools and a fitness centre, with everything from aqua biking to the bright lights of LED-based circuit training. Foodies will be happy too, with 11 restaurants and bars to choose from.

Location

8 / 10

On the west coast of Palm Jumeirah’s trunk, where local seaside restaurants are commonplace. Across the road, check out The Tap House with a beer garden by the beach, and further down, Il Faro (The Lighthouse), a charming charred-crust pizzeria. Palm Monorail, open 9am to 10pm daily, runs every 15 minutes and drops passengers at three stations: Atlantis, Palm Gateway (connecting to Dubai Tram) and Al Ittihad Park, nearest to the hotel, a mere even-minute walk away.

Style & character

8 / 10

This 14-storey, 381-key, contemporary Arabian hotel makes its presence felt with a matching residential block doubling its curb span, and yet despite this and its grand lobby of archways, it manages to remain adorably unpretentious. Testament to its friendly approach, local artists are supported with commissions to create bespoke souvenirs for guests and a set of steps at check-in allows children to see over the counter.

Service & facilities

10 / 10

Affable staff make every effort to ensure guests feel at home. No request is too big across this vast resort, which features an 800-metre beach, four pools, water sports, volleyball and table tennis facilities, and a Gaggenau-equipped studio for cooking classes. The fitness centre is forever evolving with a timetable of innovative classes and a high-tech gym, and Willow Stream Spa is a sanctuary of hammam steam, Tibetan singing bowls and Shiffa Dubai’s organic oils, which make attractive gifts.

  • Bar
  • Beach
  • Fitness centre
  • Kids' club
  • Laundry
  • Parking
  • Pool
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Sauna
  • Spa
  • Steam room/hammam
  • Wi-Fi

Rooms

8 / 10

In colour schemes of chocolate with either a hint of orange or aquamarine, rooms adopt the modern Arabian style typical in the region, with expanses of beige marble and wooden mashrabiya lattice panelling. Beds are as comfy and duvets are light to allow for Dubai’s elevated temperatures, but weighted at the edges to provide the snug sensation of being tucked in. Big balconies extend the living space and bathrooms are furnished with woody Le Labo Rose 31 amenities, deep tubs and separate showers.

Food & drink

8 / 10

Breakfast buffets at Flow Kitchen pack in international staples from idli rice bread and sambar curry to pancakes and eggs Benedict. Arrive early to avoid crowds or enjoy a more serene affair at members-only Fairmont Gold Lounge.

Lunch and dinner options are wide-ranging, so here’s some advice: order the entire selection of bao at Asian haven Ba; sample the salad with poached octopus and squid ink chips at radiant beachside Seagrill and do not miss Little Miss India. This charismatic restaurant’s décor has a narrative comprising the imagined collection of curiosities of an Indian aristocrat. Grab a G&T from the kaleidoscopically patterned truck-turned-bar that appears to be crashing through the wall and whet your appetite for aromatic Bhatti da lamb chops served in a mason jar.

Value for money

7 / 10

Doubles from AED 680 (£144) in low season; and from AED 1,600, (£339) in high season; breakfast costs AED 135 (£27). Free Wi-Fi.

Access for guests with disabilities?

Adapted rooms with visual and audible fire alarms and wheelchair access are available.

Family-friendly?

There are connecting rooms and complimentary cribs, and Fairmont Falcons Kids’ Club hosts activities from summer camps to cooking classes for children aged three to 16. Restaurants provide children’s menus, 50 per cent discount on meals for diners aged six to 12, and free meals for those under six.

Golden Mile, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE.
00 971 4 457 3388
Rooms from £ 104
per night
Rates provided by
Booking.com