- Style Italo-Arab urban retreat
- Setting Private polo estate
Superlative service and seemingly endless facilities and activities await guests at Dubai’s Desert Palm hotel . After shopping in the souks, take in a world-class polo match on the terrace before primping for a glitzy night on the town. This is the Arabian sister property to Huvafen Fushi, so, if you’re familiar with that lovely crown jewel, you know what’s in store.
Need to know
- Rooms 38, including six pool villas, 13 pool residences and a two-bedroom villa.
- Rates Double rooms from $264.33 (AED971), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
- More details Rates include à la carte breakfast at Epicure.
- Facilities Tennis/squash courts, polo pitches, riding school, swimming pool, spa, sauna, steam room, shop, DVD library, free WiFi. In rooms, LCD TV/DVD, iPod, B+O stereo, minibar, coffee maker, Ren toiletries. Villas also have kitchens and pools.
- Poolside The outdoor infinity pool stretches along the terrace in front of Epicure restaurant, with designer sun loungers and views across the polo fields. Occasional distant traffic noise, depending on wind direction.
- Check–out 11am. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Later check-outs are subject to availability and, up to 6pm, incur a cost of 50 per cent of the room rate. After 6pm, you will be charged the full room rate.
Children Welcome, although this is more of an adult getaway. Under-twos stay free in Palm Suites or Pool Villas. Over-twos accommodated in Pool Residences only; under-12s, AED 184; over-12s pay full rates. Child-minders/children's menus available.
- Eco‐friendly Desert Palm works with a UK-based carbon-offsetting company and its grounds are home to a number of bird species not found anywhere else in Dubai.
- Also Over Christmas and New Year, there’s a minimum stay of five nights. Cooking and wine-tasting tutorials can be arranged on site.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms All the Palm Suites have the same facilities and gizmos galore, but we like seven with views of the polo field best. Three in the left wing overlook the gardens; those on the right have pool views. Palm Suites benefit from bathrooms with natural light (a rarity in Dubai), are reasonably priced and the perfect size for a couple. Pool Villas are great for partners who are more interested in 'alone time' than sightseeing, with private plunge pools and plenty of room to play in; and Pool Residences are ideal for families or small groups, with huge fitted kitchens and living areas. Villa Laylani is the spectacular two-bedroom presidential villa, with private gardens, pools, courtyards and a fantastic roof terrace with sunset views across the main polo pitch.
- Packing tips Riding gear and a bikini for sunbathing; that’s about it – everything else you can buy or borrow, if it’s not already in your room (umbrellas, robes, slippers, hairdryers, stationery and ironing boards all tucked away in your room).
- Also Book your holistic spa treatments at Lime well in advance to avoid disappointment. Staff can also arrange hair stylists, personal shoppers and private tours – just ask.
Food and drink at Desert Palm
- Hotel restaurant Rare serves a meaty menu of rare-breed beef (Wagyu, Kobe) and game with a 500-bin wine list. Italianate Epicure café has Missoni-esque décor, a deli, bakery and patisserie; and afternoon tea is served on the Jewel lounge terrace.
- Dress code Designer casuals.
- Top table At Epicure, snag a window seat overlooking the terrace or sit up at one of the grazing counters for a quick coffee. Opt for a raised booth or a table by the wine room in Rare.
- Last orders Epicure, 7am–10.30pm; Jewel, 3pm–5.30pm; Rare, 7pm–11pm, plus noon–4pm on Fridays; Red bar pours its last champagne at 1am.
- Room service 24 hours; varied breakfast menu including healthy options (organic cereal with soya milk), plus room-service staples and delicacies such as Beluga caviar and oysters. They even have organic baby food.
- Hotel bar Red bar supplements Desert Palm’s extensive wine cellars with big-deal brandies, fine whisky and serious cocktails – there’s a full-size pool table too.