The first property opened in 1964 in South Africa. Since then One&Only Resorts has expanded worldwide to a total portfolio of nine properties: Australia, the Bahamas, Dubai (two), Great Barrier Reef, Mexico, the Maldives, Mauritius and South Africa.
The 65-acre Royal Mirage property is divided into three – The Palace, Arabian Court, and Residence & Spa.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
You’re escorted from your taxi to the reception, past a waiting area just inside the doors. A staff member announces your arrival by hitting a gong with a mallet and greeting you, “Welcome to One&Only — Arabian Court”, as you walk into the L-shaped lobby.
Submit your reservation details at the reception desk and a staff will escort you to one of the many Arabian-styled chairs for a brief on the hotel and its offerings – one of them is the welcome drink. In the meantime the paperwork for your check-in is complete.
The property is purposefully designed to emulate an Arabian aura – ogee and trefoil arches, mosaic art, high domes, carpets with Arabic motifs, and of course, potted palms. The seven domes, which run through the corridor leading to the rooms, represent the seven emirates that constitute the UAE. The seven different mosaic art patterns on the floor reflect the elements of these emirates. There are modern representations of Arabian culture such as carpets created from wooden mesh on the walls.
WHERE IS IT?
Abutting Jumeirah beach, it is a 30-minute drive from Dubai International Airport.
I stayed at the Falcon suite with a clear view of the sea from the French windows in the living room, and balconies of the bedroom and dining area. In fact, all 172 suites and rooms face the sea and have balconies. Wifi is free for all guests. While it was strong in all parts of my 125 sqm Falcon suite, it wasn’t accessible from my bed.
The suite has an entrance foyer, dining area (seats four), living room (seats six) and a bedroom. The dining area has a well sized wooden work desk with beautiful floral carving that covers the desktop. It holds a matching box with stationery (not available in Deluxe rooms, unless requested for): highlighters, pens, pencils, erasers, and paper clips. I was welcomed with edible goodies arranged on the coffee table of the living room, which has a 40-inch LCD television.
Large doors open into the Falcon bedroom where there is one more work desk – smaller and basic, a 40-inch LCD television, an MP3 docking station, sofa and ottoman, and a walk-in cupboard with a luggage rack.
A separate shower and bathtub are present in all rooms. Suites have two sinks, and the 50 sqm Deluxe rooms have one. Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, bath salts, free water bottles, LCD television, and a work desk are available in all rooms and suites. An espresso machine is available only in suites, but can be requested for otherwise.
The highest room category is the 145 sqm Prince suite.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
The Rotisserie is an all-day restaurant where the buffet breakfast is served. It serves Middle Eastern and North European cuisine. Nina has Indo-European dining and is open only for dinner.
The beachside Eauzone serves contemporary cuisine with an Asian twist. The Arabic styled Courtyard serves traditional food and shisha. The two bars are: The Rooftop Bar and Lounge and Samovar Lounge.
An Amphitheatre on the property can hold 350 people. The Peregrine Ballroom has a capacity for 130 people, and The Peregrine Courtyard can hold 100 people. Al Koufa Fort can fit 175. Oval Garden can hold 250 people, and the two meeting rooms can each hold 45 people. The business centre has three computers connected to the internet and a shared printer, scanner and copy machine. DVDs and books are available to borrow. Use of the internet for the first five minutes is free, from then on it is charged, starting from AED 2/₹36 per minute.
The hotel’s private beach is 1km long. Apart from this are a large swimming pool, a fitness studio, hair salon, traditional hammam, and spa on the property.
Opulent and cosy.
HOW MANY ROOMS?
172 – 162 Deluxe rooms
Watching the peacocks walk the lawns in the evenings.