Desert Palm offers Arabian avant-garde style, a state-of the-art spa and total peace just a stone’s throw from Dubai’s frenetic urban heart
Dubai is a city that never ceases to surprise – and if you drive just 15 minutes from Downtown you will find one of its greatest surprises, a sprawling oasis of palm trees and polo fields with a chic hotel at its heart. This is Desert Palm, a true hideaway where luxury is defined by a cool modernity and relaxed comfort, rather than elaborate opulence. It’s something of a bestkept secret and that’s the way its many fans like it – a place they can return to again and again, so close to the heart of the city, yet so far removed in spirit.
The location is not the only attraction, though: along with a range of deeply comfortable suites and rooms, Desert Palm has an array of private villas, each with its own pool. Some of the villas are tucked away amid the palms, olive trees and tumbling bougainvillea, while others are set alongside the main polo field, with far-reaching views of the Dubai skyline. There are two great restaurants: Epicure, set beside the main swimming pool, for brasserie-style dining, and RARE, an elegant space with a fabulous terrace from where, during the cooler months, you can watch the sun set and the lights of the skyline come alive.
The pièce de résistance is LIME Spa, where the philosophy and treatments are the same as those offered in the celebrated Maldives resorts of Huvafen Fushi and Niyama – Desert Palm’s two sister hotels. Epitomised by LIME’s signature Intuitive Massage, the approach is tailored to each client, with the spa menu acting merely as a starting point, not as a prescription. According to the person, the mood and the moment, therapies may combine anything from Swedish to shiatsu, aromatherapy to Thai techniques.
Perhaps the best way for a couple to make the most of Desert Palm is through its new two-night programme, named The Villa Retreat Escape. The package includes accommodation in a Polo Villa or Pool Residence; a 60-minute massage and 30-minute body polish in the spa itself or in the villa; and daily in-villa breakfast as well as one dinner at RARE — not to mention some little romantic extras.