ARRIVAL

I’ve visited Al Qasr so frequently that approaching the hotel is like arriving home; if home could be a majestic sweeping drive with golden horses.  I was met by three members of staff who provided the warmest welcome, complete with the graceful signature Jumeirah smile. I was shown directly to my room for a personalised check in. The freshly cut flower displays, the beautiful yet subtle arabic scents and breathtaking decor make Al Qasr one of the most impressive lobbies in the city, if not world.

ACCOMMODATION

The junior suite allocated was spacious, well laid out and in beautiful condition – especially as we are celebrating 10 years of Madinat Jumeirah. A display of flowers, arabic sweets, chocolates and a card awaited on the lounge area coffee table. The lounge area consists of a sofa, two chairs and a TV unit. There are two balconies in the suite, which look over Pai Thai and the waterways of the resort and further across to the Marina on a clear day. Two large windows in the lounge area have views out to sea.

In the bedroom area there is a beautiful king size bed, with arabic lights and draped canopy. A additional TV, desk area and refreshment centre (including Nespresso) complete the bedroom section. There is a separate dressing and wardrobe area, with full length mirror leading onto a well appointed bathroom. A nice touch in Al Qasr is the toiletries are different scents for men and women, and as usual for Jumeirah everything you could imagine is provided. From razors to body cream, nail care kits to mouthwash; all provided and replenished twice daily. There is a separate shower, tub and segregated toilet with bidet.

The views, layout and quality of housekeeping provided a flawless room experience.

FACILITIES

The Madinat Jumeirah resort is probably one of the most comprehensive hotels in the world; there is everything on your doorstep. This includes a waterway with electric boat transport system (the small boats are called abras). Combine these with buggies and transport around the sprawling resort is simple and fast. You can take an abra to the Madinat Souk which is a shopping centre themed on a traditional souk; with many stores and dining options.

If you choose to stay in a Club Executive room or above you are granted access to the Club Executive Lounge. This is a peaceful lounge located on a high floor of the hotel. With a large terrace overlooking the resort and Burj Al Arab it’s a perfect setting for pre-dinner drinks and canapes, both of which are complimentary from 6pm-8pm (Ramadan hours may differ) each night. The staff are friendly, yet professional, and appear to enjoy making cocktails and special orders from the bar; prosecco is also included. You can also enjoy afternoon tea in the lounge and a continental breakfast.

I would personally recommend taking a buggy to Khaymat Al Bahar which is located on the main pool deck. With floor to ceiling windows, choose between a pool or beach view, and an excellent international breakfast spread it makes for a very relaxing morning routine. The biggest and longest breakfast times are available in the main Al Qasr buffet restaurant called Aboretum. Here you will find a huge range of breakfast items from around the world, and a massive bakery section.

As with the majority of Jumeirah hotels there is a well run kids club under the Sinbad’s branding, which is included in the room rates. There is also a dedicated club lounge for families to enjoy, making the Club Executive Lounge child free. Older children teens may like to take advantage of the facilities in the leisure club of Mina A’Salam which is in the same resort, just a buggy ride away. A guest can use any beach or pool within the resort, so finding the correct spot to sunbathe very easy.

The main pool is beautifully appointed with comfortable loungers, and there was never an issue finding one. A hard working team of pool boys and waiters will ensure you are kept hydrated and well stocked with towels and water throughout the day. A pager system for assistance is located on each parasol.

The chauffeur service used was a latest generation BMW 7 series with a very courteous and gentle driver. RTA taxis were available at all times outside the hotel.