Jumpin’ Jumeirah: The Anantara Dubai Palm

In case you have been too busy rearranging your sock drawer lately to notice, there is a brand new five-star luxury resort coming to Dubai on September 15th called the Anantara Dubai Palm Jumeirah Resort & Spa.  Whew, let me catch my breath.  That’s a mouthful.  Apparently words flow as freely as petrodollars in the United Arab Emirates.  Let’s take a moment and dissect this rather elongated name.

Those of you, like me, whose TV’s are set to automatically open on the golf channel Jumeirahprobably recognize the word Jumeirah, even if you have no clue how to pronounce it or what it references.  That would be because the word is emblazoned across the cap and various other clothing articles worn by Rory McIlroy, the young Irish golf phenom, as one of their chief celebrity spokespersons.  Rumor has it . . .  admittedly a rumor I have tried to ignite . . . that I was a close second on their “short list” for a lucrative endorsement contract.  No easy jokes about my stature, please!

Jumeirah  is the name of a world-wide luxury hotel chain based in Dubai with resorts in such illustrious and exotic settings as Abu Dhabi, Bali, Baku, Kuwait, Maldives, Mallorca, Shanghai, Phuket and  everyone’s all-time bucket-list favorite Xishaungbanna.  According to their abbreviated website, “The word Anantara in Sanskrit means “without end” and evokes the freedom, movement and harmony that are the spirit of the Anantara Experience.”

Anatar Dubai Palm Jumeirah Resort & SpaOne of the upcoming dining options will be an Australian Grill restaurant.  I am impressed that they know how to “throw another shrimp on the barbie” even in Dubai.  The Mediterranean beach restaurant sounds a little more to my taste.  Indulge me for a moment as I picture myself slowly twirling my pita bread in plates of succulent tzatziki and hummus and popping Greek olives like buttered popcorn all while an attentive waiter makes sure my wine glass never dips below half full.

The room types are particularly intriguing.  Imagine having to choose between a one bedroom beach pool villa with a personal infinity pool, a one bedroom over water villa poised over the ocean, or a generous Anantara two bedroom beach pool villa that offers the pinnacle of luxury and is ideal for families and friends.  Decisions, decisions.

Anatara Dubai Palm Jumeirah Resort & SpaOne of the best known features of this resort is the Anantara Spa which is designed to restore balance and harmony between body and mind.  They might have their hands full in my case trying to balance my wobbly body while simultaneously harmonizing it with my rather disjointed mind.  But hey, if they are up for the challenge, I am more than willing to submit myself to as many “intoxicating aromas” and “exotic elixirs” as my paltry wallet and their strained patience can endure.

Anatara Spa

Our friends at Emirates are standing by to whisk you away to the grand opening.  Don’t let some A-list celebrity or overpaid sports figure beat you to the punch.  If you have always dreamed of staying at a hotel located at the crescent of the iconic Palm Jumeirah surrounded by lush gardens and tranquil lagoons (and let’s be honest, who hasn’t?), this is your opportunity.  Should I book you the room with the personal infinity pool or the villa over the ocean?

One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives

One&Only Reethi Rah

First things first.  The title of this blog does not contain any typos.  To demonstrate it we need to journey back to your freshman English class with Ms. Pringle and parse this title.  Don’t memories of parsing sentences, declining nouns and conjugating verbs just make you tingle all over?  OK, first you have to stop thinking about the girl who used to sit in the row ahead and two seats over.  She is now twice divorced, sixty pounds overweight and has a drinking problem, so try to get a grip.

Element One:  One&Only

This is an absolutely incredible collection of resorts in some of the most beautiful locationsOne&Only Resort in the world.  We are talking places like Dubai, Mauritius, and Cape Town.  At the risk of contributing to the delinquency of hormonally charged teenage guys around the blogosphere, this is one of the rotating pictures on the One&Only website homepage.  My own hormones, sadly, are a mere shadow of their former selves and yet I confess my opinion of hanging basket chairs has just skyrocketed exponentially.

I also have to admit that to call a resort chain One&Only seems a little incongruous to me. Shouldn’t a chain called “One” & “Only” have only one link?  Aren’t you glad your mind doesn’t work like mine?  At any rate I am very glad this particular chain has several links because every one of their resorts is in a class by itself.  As they like to put it, each of their resorts “delivers a distinctive experience born of its environment and local culture.”

Element Two:   Reethi Rah

I know it sounds like a pep squad cheer from some small Ivy League school (Reethi Rah, Sis Boom Bah)  but it actual means “Beautiful Island” in Dhivehi.  I will take their word for that because, while my English may not be all that stellar, my Dhivehi is non-existent.  Reethi Rah is an all-villa resort with 130 of the “most luxurious and spacious villas in the Indian Ocean.”

Reethi Rah roomAll the One&Only Resorts, Reethi Rah included, are known for their signature Spas by ESPA.   Apparently you can dash from a steamy sauna directly into a stimulating ice fountain which honestly sounds a tad too stimulating for my taste.  I am more of a “tranquil, one-hour, full-body, please don’t hurt me massage”,  kind of guy.

You need not fear that your palate will have to take a back seat to all that pampering.   I know you will love the international cuisine and spectacular wine cellar at The Reethi Restaurant.  The Tapasake serves tapas-style Japanese dishes in an over-the-water setting and Fanditha is a “boho chic” beach restaurant offering Mediterranean cuisine. I have always believed if you are going to be chic, you might as well go the whole nine yards and be boho chic.  Not to sound immodest but I have been told I pull it off fairly well.  Wait, maybe that was bozo chic.

Here is a little insider tip about the property from Nancy Brassem, Destination Specialist at ID Travel Group.  “The courtyard situated before accommodations features a chaise lounge.  At the base of each couch, the resort provides a warmed foot bath and foot massage before your even enter your room.  What a welcoming, relaxing start to your trip!”

Reethi Rah, MaldivesReethi Rah Lap Pool Maldives

Element Three:   The Maldives

The Republic of The Maldives, also called the Maldives Islands, is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean southwest of India.  It is a double chain of twenty-six atolls.  You are probably wondering how the heck does one get there.  One excellent way is to fly Emirates from any one of several US Gateways to Dubai.  Stop off a couple of days and experience the United Arab Emirates.  Next, hop an Emirates non-stop flight to Malé International Airport.  Then comes the fun part.  Take One&Only’s luxury yacht for the 75 minute boat ride to the North Malé Atoll and the Reethi Rah. 

Piece of cake, right!  Come on, where is your sense of adventure? Just think.  When friends ask where you got that glorious tan you can shake your pom poms and shout, “Reethi Rah, Sis Boom Bah!”