Leading to a graceful and sophisticated environment, that’s built on an elegant contemporary design with the purest Arabic style decoration, and nestled among gardens, fountains and pools shines the chic resort called The One & Only. Precious fabrics with prints, carved wood furniture, artworks made of fine crystal and luxurious bathrooms fitted with fine marble, are some of the characteristics of this idyllic place. It has a total of 108 exclusive rooms, 4 of which are Beach Villas with 2 or 3 bedrooms. “The One and Only” has three elegant and stylish restaurants under the culinary guidance and guarantee of the of Michelin-starred chef – Yannick Alléno. Restaurants – Zest, Stay and 101, are ideal for enjoying the company of family and friends in a stylish yet relaxed atmosphere.The One & Only
One of the most special things about being on The Palm is witnessing the incredible sunsets. The best way to see this is from the Lotus Lounge at Anantara Hotel. From here you can see the sunset directly behind Atlantis which means experiencing two magical places at once. If you are travelling as a couple then the Anantara is perfect and a MUST is to plan a romantic dinner on the beach with the light of the candles or, if you prefer, beside the edge of the water on one of its reserved jetty provided by Candlelit Restaurant. To start dinner with an aperitif as the sunsets is an experience like no other.
The resort is open less than a year and it’s easy to forget you’re actually in Dubai. You can give yourself a quick reminder however with a trip to the world famous Mall which is only 20 minutes’ drive away. The Anantara decoration combines the Asian style, for which it is highly regarded, with some Arab touches, luxurious furniture and large windows to make the most of every aspect of the unobstructed views experienced only on The Palm. You will find suites with sea views, villas with individual pools, and villas with two bedrooms to stay with family or friends.
The resort has its own sandy white beach, cool beach restaurant, a great pool and peaceful lagoons. One thing not to be overlooked, and certainly stands out for its delicious and diverse cuisine, is the resort’s signature restaurant Mekong. On entering I was immediately struck by the décor with its contemporary take on traditional items. The happy Buddha give a friendly welcome, the pretty lanterns suspended from the ceiling ensure the eyes are entertained from top to bottom, the trickling streams create an atmosphere and breakup the dining areas which enriches the exclusive appeal which is enforced by the service that makes you feel you’re the only people in the restaurant. Once again for the couples, the lovingly restored tuk-tuk on the balcony creates a special ambiance, with views to the iconic Burj Al Arab, and reflects the restaurants influences of Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese. The décor is as wonderful as the menu and given the chance I would diner nowhere else on The Palm. That is of course until I try to soon to open Bushman’s Australian Restaurant & Bar, where they will serve the best in Australian steak and seafood.
Recently open and the new neighbour to the Anantara on The Palm is the spectacular Waldorf Astoria Hotel, belonging to the luxury chain Hilton Worldwide. The hotel benefits from the same stretch of sandy white beach as Anantara that becomes a focal point for half of the 319 rooms, with the remaining half appreciating a view over all of Dubai. This sparkling white hotel is full of glamour and sophistication and would not be out of place along the promenade of Cannes or Monte Carlo. The most astonishing room is the Waldorf Astoria suite, which features an authentic private oasis that it will leave you totally amazed.
Six different restaurants fulfil every gastronomic desire but my choice is undoubtedly the “Social” based on a New Yorker inspiration and created by the award-winning chef Heinz Beck. The Waldorf Astoria Hotel on The Palm is a shining example of the exclusive True Waldorf Service, where each guest is assigned a personal concierge to make your stay more comfortable and satisfying every need. For a sample of the exclusive service, and to appreciate the stunning beach, high tea on the terrace gives a perfect snapshot and experience of grandeur from a bygone era.
Visiting Dubai and enjoying the luxury and the extravagance that has grown out of such amazing engineering and construction is truly awesome and unique. The developers are not stopping with The Palm and work has once again begun on the next island – “The World”. This will feature 300 artificial islands that shape the world map. Each island is exclusive and only accessible by private transfer. These projects reflect Dubai’s vision to produce a commercial and residential infrastructure with all amenities – villas and apartments, luxury hotels and leisure spaces with parks, restaurants, theme parks and malls. For those who are environmentally conscious, you have to wonder how these challenging projects can support responsibility, sustainability and the environment. It’s interesting to know that the sand used is extracted from the bottom of the Persian Gulf and sprayed by special boats through a method called “rain-bowing”. So called because of the sand arcs created when they spray to form the island. To finish it, around each island, a giant breakwater is built with tons of stones which are placed by crane and divers.
In the future, these projects are expected to include marinas, water parks and residences where over 250,000 people are expected to be housed. To represent the vision and dream of one man – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and summed up in the wisdom of his poem:
Take wisdom from the wise
It takes a man of vision to write on water
Not everyone who rides a horse is a jockey
Great men rise to greater challenges
By Mr. Jones