We can’t all be Issac Newton I suppose (although, I must say, I do love his fig bars) but here is an equation so rudimentary that even I can grasp it. If a single One&Only Resort is magnificent, then ipso facto two One&Only Resorts are twice as delightful, right? Unless, that is, you insist on dragging out that confusing expression “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” in which case you have me totally lost.
Setting mathematics quickly aside for something I do understand, let’s talk a little travel. As I trust you have noticed, I have been writing lately about my latest junket, the first stop of which was Dubai. While I was there, it was my privilege to visit not one but two amazing gems of the Middle East.
ONE&ONLY THE PALM, DUBAI
To give you a feel for the opulence, the picture below is me standing in my bathroom in the Presidential Suite drawing my bath. Just kidding! This is actually the lobby but you do have to admit it is quite breathtaking. (In point of fact, the sumptuous bathrooms do feature oversized freestanding bathtubs as you will learn below.) If you need a sense of perspective, I am six feet six inches tall and exquisitely sculpted not unlike the iron lattice-work in the background.
Every square inch of this property oozes stylish luxury. This is especially true of the public areas such as the dining rooms and bars. The resort features a marina (of course) and one of my favorite spots is the 101 Dining Lounge and Bar pictured below with a panoramic view of the marina and the Dubai skyline. When they told me the dress code was “smart casual”, I was a little concerned about flunking the entrance exam but they graciously let me in with a provisional pass.
The other two elegant dining venues are called Stay and Zest. Said together they sound to me a little like a command you might issue to an over-exuberant puppy, “Stay, Zest! Down boy!”. Setting aside the bizarre way my mind works, these are two extraordinary restaurants. To cite their website, “Different seating arrangements including a sharing table area as well as a unique Pastry Library concept are key to the restaurant’s DNA.” That works out extremely well for me since it appears consuming pastries in obscene quantities is deeply imbedded in my personal DNA. Zest is the primary dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I particularly like the outdoor seating by the pool in the midst of beautiful Moorish style gardens.
This amazing resort offers you your choice of accommodations in three locales: the Manor House, Palm Beach Mansions and Beach Front Villas with various categories within each. I started this post with one of my lame little jokes about the lobby. Just to prove that I was indulging in only a slight exaggeration, here are pictures of The Grand Palm Suite with its sumptuous bathroom in the Mansion section.
Be sure and spend some quality time in the world-famous One&Only Private Spa featuring every amenity you can imagine and several you probably couldn’t! I will return shortly for the second part of this post that will describe the One&Only Royal Mirage.
Before I go, however, I would like to invite you to visit this site where I have posted over 300 pictures from my Golden Circle 2013 travels. There will not be a test at the end so don’t feel obliged to look at all of them. The first link in this paragraph will take you to the picture album and the second link to all the posts in this category in case you would like to catch up with my most devoted (some might say, demented) followers who slavishly read every word I write.
Most people who know anything at all about Dubai have heard of or seen pictures of the iconic Palm Jumeirah Island. If not, you should watch this fascinating YouTube video about its construction. I find the accomplishment mind-boggling even taking into consideration that my mind stays boggled a fair portion of the time anyway.
The entire structure is an engineering marvel but considering my occupation (you know, travel savant) you won’t be surprised to learn that my favorite portion is the outer ring called The Crescent. As you look at this picture, the structure in the middle of the Crescent and dominating the landscape is Atlantis. I published a post about the resort a few days ago which can be read here.
On the extreme right (eastern end) of the Crescent is another great resort, Anantara, which I will tell you about in this post. On the extreme left (western end) of the Crescent is the One&Only, The Palm and at just south of The Palm is the One&Only Royal Mirage. I will tell you about the latter two in a subsequent post.
Whew! Now that we have north, south, east and west pretty much covered, let’s take a brief visit to the incomparable Anantara. As you will soon discover, I like pretty much everything about this hotel but among my favorite features are the villas out over the water.
If you can pry your eyes off all the “beautiful people” in the foreground (and I use that term in the loosest possible way), you can see the majestic over-the-water villas in the background. In case you care to do a quick reality check on my judgment in this regard (never a bad idea), I direct your attention to a post on The New York Times Travel blog that was published just two days ago, can you believe it, on the very same subject. Those shameless bugggers over at the Times have spies everywhere trying to scoop me! (Note to Shivani Vora. I just linked to your post. A reciprocal link would be nice. Just sayin’.)
Now I want you to close your eyes (never mind, that won’t work unless you are a camel, and a literate one at that, and can read this post through your eyelids). OK, just imagine yourself floating aimlessly on a pool float in front of your swim up bungalow when you suddenly feel the need to slake your thirst. Do you paddle over to your domicile, clamber out and retrieve a drink?
Don’t be silly my pampered friend! You are on vacation and this is the Anantara, after all. See this little boat with the ice chest? Your boat butler will simply paddle over to you and offer you the refreshing beverage of your choice. How cool is that?
Another thing you are going to enjoy about this luxury property is the dining options. Crescendo offers international cuisine in a dazzling open air setting. According to their website, Mekong “evokes a feeling of the Far East with a melange of traditional Oriental ingredients . . .” It sounds inviting. It seems like forever since I had a really good melange. Perhaps most surprising of all is Bushman’s Australian Restaurant And Bar. This venue even features a Salt Guru (no, really) to help you select the perfect salt variety to compliment your meal. I don’t know about you but I have had a Salt Guru on retainer for years.
Sadly, the sun is setting, not only on another glorious day at Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, but also on another of these masterful posts. Wipe away that tear little buckaroo. I will return very soon with another thralling installment. That is sort of like thrilling but more captivating!