I always loved Dubai. When my husband and I started to plan our honeymoon, we really wanted to experience two days of the craziness of this city. However, we were still looking for a hotel which would be nice for honeymooners and still represents the Arabian culture. So which other hotel to book than the “One & Only Royal Mirage” in Dubai.
The first time I was there with my family in 2003 has already been an unforgettable experience and now coming back after 16 years was amazing. The hotel is as lovely as I remembered.
Driving through the vivid downtown and skyscrapers of Dubai can be very impressive – but also quite overwhelming – so when we were entering the premises of the “One & Only Royal Mirage” it felt like entering a quiet oasis when we arrived at the beautiful entrance.
Entering at “The Palace” part of the hotel, with its impressive golden camels in the driveway, the lobby with palm trees reaching the high ceiling and the water fountains, we knew our honeymoon began.
Our host Fayaz welcomed us at the reception and had a wonderful surprise for us. Instead of a Deluxe Room we got upgraded to a beautiful suite. With a beautiful living room and two balconies with views over the park of the hotel. That also meant that we could choose a tent at the pool, which would be reserved for us everyday, whenever we decided to go to the pool. However, the suite was not like a normal suite in a hotel, it was rather like a small apartment. Absolutely stunning! With its typical but very stylish Arabian interior, I felt like Yasmin in the movie Aladdin.
Let’s start with a small overview of the hotel. The Royal Mirage is divided into three hotels, the Arabian Court, the Spa and Residence and The Palace, where we stayed. Every building is built in a very generous and prestigious Arabian palace kind of way. Meaning no interior limits! So you can imagine, it’s absolutely stunning. A fountain full of red roses, palm trees in the lobby, fountains all around the hotel, three massive swimming pools and of course a beautiful beach and much more.
Each section of the hotel is like a hotel by itself. So you can actually spend half a day discovering every area, which we did. Even though the hotel is huge, they still have managed to keep it personal and intimate. You can drive between the three sections of the hotel with a small minibus. Also there is a shuttle service to their newest venue, the “One & Only The Palm” hotel, which is also worth a visit.
The hotel has seven restaurants at different locations within the hotel. Each of them follows another theme. Like the Beach Bar & Grill, which is located on the beach with a view on the famous Palm of Dubai, or the Italian restaurant Olives, which serves a great Mediterranean Buffet. On our first night we went to the Moroccan restaurant Tagine at The Palace, which we loved! Delicious food, life Morrocan music and a great service. This romantic dinner was the perfect way to start our first evening of our honeymoon.
Afterwards we decided to follow Arabian traditions and went to the Arabian Court, to enjoy Arabian live music and a typical shisha. The second day we enjoyed a great evening with a view on the skyscrapers of Dubai in their Asian fusion restaurant Eau Zone, which was great! Afterwards we went to the hotels Rooftop Terrace with another great view of the skyline and the outstanding architecture of Dubai.
One thing that really stayed in our mind was the amazing service! Everyone was so extremely nice and helpful. It was that kind of good service, which is often missed in many European hotels nowadays.
For the first time in my life I had a traditional Hammam massage. And it was fantastic! For 90 minutes I was in a beautiful marble room where a very friendly women practiced the massage on me. I always thought about doing a Hammam massage, but until now, I found excuses not to do it. Now I must admit, I have never felt that clean, relaxed and refreshed at the same time, as I did after this massage. So I can highly recommend that. At the relaxing room we got delicious homemade tea and sweet dates, which I adore and actually only eat when I am in Dubai.
WHAT TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
There is a list of Dubai classics, what to see and what to do. This includes the Burj Khalifa – which is the highest building in the world and is located next to the Dubai Mall which is the biggest mall in the world. Yes, we got lost there several times due to its massive size. Since they are located right next to each other, you can combine the two attractions. At 6.30 pm the Burj Khalifa has an impressive water fountain show right outside.
The “One and Only Royal Mirage” offers a shuttle service to the famous Atlantis Hotel at the end of the palm of Dubai and even gives you vouchers for the great waterpark in the hotel, where you can swim with Dolphins, slide down awesome waterslides and watch people fall over at the surfing spot. In the Atlantis you can also visit a huge aquarium and eat at international restaurants, if you want to take a break from your own hotel.
THE DESERT TOUR
However, our highlight was the Desert Tour! I have been to several desert tours before, but this one was one of the best. Our host Fayaz recommend the new tour “Platinum Heritage“, where you drive with old English jeeps from the 1950s through the desert and explore the dunes of Dubai. The tour guides pick you up in front of your hotel, were you get a starter package with a cool branded flask to refill with fresh water all the time. Arriving at the “Dubai Desert Conservative Reserve” everyone chose beautiful colorful scarves which were put around our heads to shield us from the desert sun. With our tour guide and the people who you already knew from the drive, we started our desert tour in one of the old timers. In total we were six people who did the tour, so quite a pleasant size of a group.
We stopped at different dunes and watched the sun go down. It was magical! Of course it’s quite touristic, but they manage to keep the cars quite far apart so it felt like we were alone. However, at the joined activities like the falcon show we all met up again. The tour ended at a beautiful Bedouin “town”, where delicious food was served, a traditional dance was performed by locals and one could even ride camels in the moonlight. The whole trip takes around seven hours. It was the perfect end to our Dubai trip.
The reason we are glad our honeymoon started here? Dubai is so famous for the highest building in the world, the Palm, the Atlantis hotel, the World, the biggest mall in the world. Besides all of that, our trip was all about the amazing service, tours and also traditions they have. Nowadays most people go to Abu Dhabi to experience the “Old Dubai” and to enjoy the beautiful traditions. But from my opinion, this can be better and more authentically experienced at “One & Only Royal Mirage” at Jumeirah Beach, where everything stayed as I remember it from 16 years ago and which made me fall in love with the city in the first place.
Adress: One & Only Royal Mirage Dubai – King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud St – Dubai
Photos by Helena Schoeller and One & Only Royal Mirage