The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines a mirage this way. “Something (such as a pool of water in the middle of a desert) that is seen and appears to be real but that is not actually there; something that you hope for or want but that is not possible or real.” With apologies to the famous lexicographer, quite obviously Mr. Webster has never vacationed in Dubai. (Being dead for some 170 years, Noah, is hardly an excuse.) It may be the One&Only example of this phenomenon but I am about to tell you about a mirage that really is an oasis.
One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai
One of the first things you need to understand about this sprawling 65 acre resort is that it is very much three experiences in one setting. The three very distinct environments are named The Palace, Arabian Court and Residence & Spa. The overview page on their website does a masterful job of describing the unique characteristics of each section.
There are few hotel lobbies that literally stop you in your tracks when you enter. This, however, is certainly one of them. I am thinking seriously of reworking the entry way to my tract home with a similar skylight.
Speaking of my own humble domicile, I may have to get my attorneys involved with the architects of this property who shamelessly stole the landscape plans to my own back yard even down to the bullseye fountain in the foreground. Surely they realized the first reaction people were going to have is “Wow, just like Terry’s yard”?To say the accommodations are stunning doesn’t even begin to do them justice. I was shown this room just before the guest arrived. Let’s be honest. How would you like to arrive from a long journey to this?
I would love to tell you whether this is a picture of a Prestige room in the Residence, a Prince suite in the Arabian Court or a Superior Gold in the Palace but to be perfectly honest, after seeing so many spectacular rooms in all three sections and with hunger pains beginning to nip, my little gray cells had started taking an early Qaylulah, the Arabic version of a siesta.
Perhaps detecting the famished look in my eyes, my delightful guide Vanessa Thodda, Senior Sales Manager at the resort, suggested we pause for a brief repast. A twist of the arm being wholly superfluous at this point, Vanessa (who reminds me of Cheryl Lobo, one of our top agents), Susan Joehri from Desert Adventures (more about this great company in the next post) and I found our way to the Eauzone in the Arabian Court section shown below. The sumptuous fare and elegant surroundings were only surpassed by the convivial company.
The formula for a world-class property is not that complicated even if it is not easily duplicated. You take a stunning setting, add elegant accommodations, include delicious cuisine served in a variety of stellar venues, throw in a world-renowned spa and add a pinch of gracious service and warm hospitality. Voilà! You have the oasis in the desert you have always dreamed about. And, despite its name, it is no mirage!
Check back in soon to learn why Dubai is must see destination. After that final Dubai post, we will board Emirates for the next leg of our journey. Next stop, Rome. Actually, Ladispoli but more about that later.