Located in the heart of Dubai, steps from the ocean with a natural sandy beach, the recently opened Mandarin Oriental Jumeira Resort was probably one of the most anticipated openings. With the humbleness which is part of MO’s DNA, the Hong Kong based chain has turned down several other project in the past year, ultimately seeking to identifying not only the best location but also a visionary owner / developer who would understand the long term feasibility of an MO project but also the fact that MO Fans such as myself expect the highest standards both in terms of service standards and product.
The Mandarin Oriental was designed by acclaimed international designer Jeffrey Wilkes, whose mission was to recreate a sleek luxurious resort, in a city which is mostly dominated by bling, with a sensible blend of understated interiors, both accommodations and public spaces.
For instance, the quality of materials and finishes are impeccable, creating a WOW experience. There are no lavish Bohemian or Crystal chandeliers and instead there is also a sophisticated majestic grandeur which has reminded me about the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona where guests enter the hotel through a passage bridge, more of a ‘red carpet’ celebrity arrival.
Similarly to most other Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai excels in its F&B offering of no less than six restaurants and bars, MO being well aware they had to raise the bar given he hugely competitive dining scene of the city.. The two signature restaurants are Tasca by Portuguese celebrity chef José Avillez (one Michelin star earned for his Portugal Restaurat0 and Netsu, a Warayaki-style Japanese steakhouse by Australian-born chef Ross Shonhan. Far from pretentious interiors, the two venues are relatively are a magnet for local patrons which is a huge achievement, their loyalty sensibly providing a validation.
As the closest beachfront resort to Dubai’s financial and business districts, the hotel boasts exceptional meeting and event facilities, providing a wonderful setting for weddings and social celebrations. A 650-square-metre glass-walled ballroom features a beachfront terrace and is complemented by four elegantly appointed meeting spaces and an expansive private Bridal Room.
I was most impressed by the Spa at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai which .features three unique ‘igloo’ style relaxation areas. All nine treatment rooms feature individual changing and bathroom facilities, and some have private terraces overlooking the ocean. This welcoming oasis offers exceptional heat and water experiences, and an unrivalled range of holistic rejuvenation and relaxation treatments. I was so please to discover my favourite brand, The Organic Pharmacy but also some high end skincare and cosmetics for those seeking instantly visible results for anti-aging.
There is also a state-of-the-art Fitness Centre and a Little Nomads kids’ club with a range of fun activities for younger Mandarin fans, entertainers being well trained to keep kids busy and ensure complete serenity especially in the beautifully conceived complex of outdoor pools but also the beach.
Rooms and suites are beautifully appointed, placing comfort as the highest priority. The heavenly comfortable beds, the in-room entertainment, high speed wifi and a most quiet AC which adjusts to set temperature in seconds. Centralised controls of the room such as lighting, DND, curtains, AC and TV are very easy to use. But probably the biggest WOW factor is achieved by the oversized Spa-like bathrooms, with huge glass enclosed showers as well as a free-standing bathtub. These are undoubtedly the finest luxury hotel bathrooms in Dubai. The hotel has chosen Spanish beauty brand Natura Bise.
More than 12 years since my first ever MO stay / experienced I was thrilled how the entire team of the hotel would recognise me by name and not only that but a perfect pronunciation of my family name. It may seem a simple gesture and most impressive is that at every interaction with hotel staff who would know me by name.
This ensures not only a personalised service but most importantly by discreetly engaging with guests may find out information and preferences. This is a huge challenge with guests booking even top suites through Booking.com, last minute, making it impossible for the hotel to prepare in advance, understand whether it is a family vacation or a special occasion.
At the time of my stay, considering the hotel has been open for less than 2 months, all dining venues during my stay (normal weekdays) were fully booked, most of which are locals, including many expats.
Make sure you do not miss the Pastry shop in the lobby – fantastic display and most delicious cakes – I loved the ice-cream. ! Also worth every penny is to opt for the airport pick up transfer in the futuristic all electric TESLA S station wagon. Not to be missed is the highly innovative approach to meetings & events, the hotel purposely operating a virtually bare industrial look event space (as part of the lateral facade), which can be fully personalised for a day, two or more. It is ideal for any luxury brand in fashion, jewellery, cars, real estate or it can be rented for a slightly longer time to host a pop-up retail concept.
Overall, the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira has all the ingredients to establish itself as a world-class top luxury hotel and a landmark for Dubai.
Chapeau bas to the entire team led by Werner Anzinger!
Oliver Petcu in Dubai
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