Monday, May 23, 2016


Laila Ånestad takes us to two of our most popular hotels in Dubai. One is a top seller among well-to-do families, and the other is one of our most luxurious hotels worldwide.

One&Only The Palm

Surely the best hotel in Dubai, One&Only The Palm faces the glittering sci-fi skyline but offers a refuge of quiet indulgence alongside its own beach, pools and palms. The hotel rests at the tip of a "palm frond" on the extraordinary man-made Palm island. It is quite close to the mainland, but to go there by car it takes around 15 minutes from where The Palm island starts. 

Seen from One&Only The Palm

There is a boat that can take you over to One&Only Royal Mirage in 7 minutes, which operates quite frequently, and then you are closer to all attractions and shopping. Entering the reception, it really gives you a wow-feeling – and you will be warmly greeted with cold towels and refreshments while checking in.

Reception area at  One&Only The Palm

The hotel has three different restaurants:

“101”, situated on a pier by the hotel's private marina, overlooks the Dubai skyline. They serve lunch and dinner offering selection of tapas or Mediterranean style menu. Also ideal for cocktails.

Restaurant 101

“Stay”by Yannick Allenco. Dining experience with stylish indoor or outdoor environment. They serve signature dishes and traditional cooking.

“Zest”. Very cool interior, serving Western, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Chef has a Michelin star restaurant in Paris, and visits Zest once a month.

One & Only’s private SPA has a partnership with the prestigious House of Guerlain. They offer body treatments and facials. They also offer renowned fragrances, make-up and skin care.

In connection with the SPA, there is an adult-only pool – and I was the only one there! This is an attractive quiet area! Next to the pool is the Fitness Center. Personal trainers can be offered for the most beneficial workout.

Couple’s treatments are now possible in the resort. This could not be done earlier because of religious rules.


Outdoor area of a Beach Villa

Entrance to one of the Palm Beach mansions

You can either be accommodated in the Manor house, Beachfront Villas or Palm Beach Mansions. I was upgraded to a Palm Beach Mansion (65 sqm) with direct access to the beach. See my entrance above.


As it was only for one night, I hardly had time to enjoy all facilities at the resort – would love to stay longer. If you like swimming off the beach, shoes are recommended. I preferred the pools.  Book a private cabana next to the main pool!

Main Pool at O&O The Palm seen from the reception area

Adult pool belonging to the SPA

I would recommend the hotel to those who seek ultimate luxury, privacy, wellness treatments and good food. Away from the city, but still connected to it - in a beautiful oasis. Best for adults/couples.

One&Only Royal Mirage    

One&Only Royal Mirage is one of Dubai’s most stylish beach resorts, overlooking the Palm Island Bay. It is surrounded by landscaped gardens, but you can still catch a glimpse of Dubai skyline from your balcony.

The Resort consists of three types of accommodation: The Palace, Arabian Court, The Residence & SPA.

The Palace at Royal Mirage is adored by families and those who love to see children enjoying themselves. The room size starts at 45 sqm. The building is close to the Jetty lounge, and the pool is huge and very attractive, with tropical ambience.

Main pool Royal Mirage

Tropical garden Royal Mirage
Reception Royal Mirage

In the reception area at the Arabian Court

I fell in love with Arabian Court.  There is a more dramatic, Moroccan architecture which creates symmetry, in the middle of beautiful landscape of fountains, walkways and lush gardens. 162 Deluxe Rooms, 8 Executive Suites where a family of 5 easily can stay, and 2 Prince Suites. It was much more personalized than The Palace.

Reception area, The Residence

For those that stay in The Residence & SPA, there is a private pool with beach access, private library and dining room for guests. The beach is for Residence guests only.

There is also one garden villa with private entrance.

A generous choice of restaurants is offered at Royal Mirage. World class chefs prepare classic dishes from Mediterranean, Morocco and the Middle East. In addition to this, you can book a table at The Palm as well – so the selection is vast.

One of the big attractions is a 1km long beach with white, soft sand.

The Health and Beauty Institue is located within The Residence. There is also an Oriental Hammam, Hair Salon and Fitness Center.

Several watersports activities are on offer at Royal Mirage, like sailing, kayaks, Hobie cats, windsurfing, waterskiing, fishing, diving and snorkelling. There is also a floodlit tennis court, putting green, volleyball and basketball. Just 5 minutes away, there is an 18 hole golf course (Emirates Gold Club). You can also do horse riding, scuba diving, desert safaris and a variety of sightseeing tours. Or shopping of course.

Images and text by Laila Ånestad, Select Collection, May 2016.

Follow our links for more about One&Only The Palm and One&Only Royal Mirage.

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