We all get tired of ‘horsing-around’ in Dubai, amidst its towering buildings and fast-paced lifestyle, and so came the idea for a tranquil escape close to the city. FACT trotted over to the luscious serenity of the Meliá Desert Palm Dubai and we certainly didn’t have a long face during this stay.
Meliá Desert Palm Dubai is set amidst an expansive estate with 160 acres of polo fields, tree-lined lanes, equestrian stables and secluded, shady nooks housing residences and villas. The sprawling metropolis of Dubai with its array of entertainment and shopping districts, is a mere 20 minutes away. When approaching the property, you’d imagine that those who designed each space and vista looked to the high rise cacophony of the city and said: “serenity reigns here.” Remove words such as hustle, bustle, overwhelming, frenetic and anxiety from your vocabulary and replace them with lush, tranquil, relaxing, leisurely and inviting – the language of Meliá Desert Palm Dubai’s guests.
On arrival, visitors are greeted by a beautiful sculpture depicting a horse drinking from a watering hole. Inspired, you might assume, by the old adage ‘You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’. This illustrates how closely each element of the estate is intrinsically linked to the equestrian stables and prestigious Dubai Polo Club. Guests can indulge their interests in both polo and riding as much or as little as they desire during a stay at this sprawling five-star resort. The Club which was founded by Ali Albwardy in 1994 houses over 250 ponies during the course of the season which runs from October to April with practice chukkas being held regularly within sight of the hotel’s terrace. In addition, the beautiful Spanish-style stables, draped in bougainvillaea, accommodate private livery horses and riding school horses which hotel guests may use. Saddle up and meander across the vast expanses of lush greenery or down tree-lined lanes. A visit to the stables is a must even for those who aren’t horse enthusiasts.
The Suite Life:
If the thought of all that exertion is simply too much, for those wishing to unwind and indulge, then the hotel itself has just the ticket! The accommodation on offer, comprising 38 luxurious rooms along with additional private villas and residences is understated sophistication. The colour scheme boasts a spectrum of creams and browns which remove any hint of sterility whilst retaining clean lines and a contemporary vibe.
The Palm Suite – our inviting home for the weekend – features a superb layout which flows effortlessly from the relaxed seating areas adorned with complimentary beverages and fruit platter to the expansive sleeping area with king-size bed and modern amenities through to the stunning egg-shaped bathtub which was the centrepiece of the wet-room-style bathroom.
Floor-to-ceiling windows afforded us views of the paddocks and polo pitches and a glimpse of the Dubai skyline and the towering Burj Khalifa. This was not just a space in which to sleep and leave hurriedly but rather a space in which to spend time enjoying the facilities.
Rare food goals:
By the time dinner came around, the delirium we had experienced whilst in the city was no more and we moseyed from the room feeling like we didn’t have a care or worry in the world. Due to the location of the hotel, it is less likely that guests would venture back into the city to dine. Therefore, we were thrilled to find that this had not created a sense of complacency at having a ‘captive’ audience as we perused the dining options that include the brasserie-style Epicure and the oak wood-fired grill specialities at RARE. Our visit coincided with the weekly Polo BBQ Brunch at RARE and we couldn’t resist the urge to dine al fresco while watching a fast-paced polo match.
Relaxing over drinks while enjoying BBQ favourites on the Portico Terrace, is undoubtedly a sophisticated way to spend a weekend evening and despite a plethora of dishes such as empanadas and fresh salads, it’s the grilled meats that are most memorable. We approached the later start time of this particular brunch, combined with a unique setting. The brunch is available each Friday for AED 280 per person and includes free-flowing house beverages and Prosecco served alongside RARE’s BBQ specialities, from 4pm to 7pm. We challenge anyone to visit RARE and leave feeling anything other than mind blown… and extremely satisfied. The resident chef is also available for those staying in villas and residences for bespoke private BBQs.
An epic feast:
With breakfast being prepared in an establishment with such a title as Epicure, we had no doubt that quality would be guaranteed. The Epicurious Breakfast menu boasted a varied selection of tea and coffee blends as well as juices and homemade smoothies. Traditional Arabic breakfasts once again provided something for everyone. For those with a big day ahead, the ‘Big Breakfast’ would set you up to tackle anything featuring bacon, eggs, sausages and ALL of the trimmings! The menus have been skillfully crafted to ensure that even guests staying for weeks at a time need not grow tired of the dishes on offer and could probably eat something different every day of their stay.
Meliá Desert Palm Dubai is an Arabian oasis, where relaxation meets elegance and the property could well be a contender for Dubai’s best-kept secret. Aside from the luxurious accommodation, the property features Samāna Spa, a sanctuary of utter wellness and serenity, and The Stables Fitness Centre, an extensive fitness centre that boasts stunning views of luscious green polo fields. The expansive swimming pool flanked by palm trees and pretty parasols should also be on your agenda.
Meliá Desert Palm Dubai is the epitome of a hidden gem. It’s the kind of secret you feel you want to share but are too afraid to because it’s just so wonderful. The proximity to the city means that it’s both a perfect getaway for residents or visitors and a superb location for those hoping to discover the delights of Dubai by dipping in and out as they see fit.
GO: Visit www.melia.com for reservations and more information.