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A Stay at the One&Only Royal Mirage Will Make You Feel Like Royalty

One&Only Royal Mirage

Photos Credit: One&Only Royal Mirage

There is a lore that surrounds the One&Only Royal Mirage in Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, in which, many moons ago, a Bedouin traveler and his camels got caught in a desert storm one evening, preventing them from making it home that night. Just as the storm was closing in, the traveler spotted a sparkling fortress in the distance — but this wasn’t just any fortress. The gates opened to let him in, and what he found once he entered was pure magic: the best food in all the land, the nicest bed he’d ever slept on and lush gardens surrounding him.

For three days, he was given the royal treatment while the storm continued outside. When it ended, he bid his generous hosts farewell, continuing with his travels. After he left,he glanced back one last time, only when he did, the fortress was gone. Was it all a mirage? As legend would have it, the fortress would resurface one day, opening its doors to travelers once more. That fortress is the One&Only Royal Mirage.

One&Only Royal Mirage

The Royal Mirage, with its authentic hospitality and tasteful vibe, holds the tenets of this legend up high.The hotel is divided up into three sections, each with its own panache: The Palace, with 250 rooms; the Arabian Court, with 150; and the Residence & Spa with 50 rooms and one exclusive, two-bedroom Beach Garden Villa. The resort offers more than half a mile of private beach, 65 acres of luscious gardens, and four swimming pools; and as a guest of any of them, you have access to all of the hotel amenities at each resort (apart from selected areas of the Residence & Spa).

You may not be a celebrity, or royalty—technically, anyway—but this is the place to go when you want to feel like you are. And you will. Celebrities stay there to not be outed, and for many, it’s the place to go for special occasions like engagements, weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries and milestone birthdays. Plus, it’s perfect for couples, families, friends, and solo travelers, alike.

One&Only Royal Mirage

But the reason to go to the Royal Mirage above all other hotels is for the details. It’s not just that the hotel pays attention to the small details, but that it tends to the right ones. I was lucky enough to stay in the Superior Executive Suite at The Palace (approximately $2,200 at its peak, plus a 20 percent service charge a night), which had a bedroom, dining and lounging area, two balconies, a bathroom and a half, the master with “his and hers� sinks, a luxurious bathtub, and a separate shower. At the Royal Mirage, you are brought a basket of fresh fruit on your arrival, which is replenished during your stay,and each night, a pair of slippers are delivered, not just to your room, but to your bedside, along with a bottle of water and a clean glass that’s left on your nightstand. The room boasts an espresso machine stocked with coffee capsules, essential for getting through your first few days of jet lag; plus complimentary Wi-Fi across the resort (though if you’d like a high-speed connection, a charge is applied).

One&Only Royal Mirage

If you order room service, it comes on an elegant white tablecloth—try the Niçoise salad and the hummus, you won’t be sorry. Enjoy two different kinds of bathrobes — one for after-shower, and another, thicker one for lounging—and a lighting system that works on a scale so that if you wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, you can ease into the light rather than blast yourself with it. Even the nozzle in the shower is pointed in such a way that, until you find the right temperature, not even a drop of water will touch you. If being eco-friendly is your thing, the Royal Mirage has got you. As part of its green initiative, you can conserve energy by using the energy control card, and leaving out only the bath towels you want changed rather than having them all refreshed automatically.

One&Only Royal Mirage

When venturing outside of your room, go poolside with a book and soak up the desert sun under grand canopied beds, or relax on the beach just a few steps further. If you like spas but want to try something different, you must check out the Oriental Hammam. One of the first Oriental hammams in Dubai, and the most authentic Moroccan hammam there, this is where both tourists and locals in Dubai come for an authentic experience.You’ve never felt this clean, your skin never so soft.

One&Only Royal Mirage

For meals, choose from eight different restaurants on the property, a few of which serve alfresco breakfasts that include several varieties of dates, mouth-watering detoxifying juices, a selection of honeys from the region, and many kinds of wonderful breads. Try Tagine for dinner, the hotel’s Moroccan restaurant specializing in tagines, of course, but also couscous and kebabs; and for a pre- or post-dinner drink, enjoy a glass of wine at The Jetty Lounge, a beachside bar popular with locals, too. 

One&Only Royal Mirage

Then, because you have access to nearby sister property, One&Only The Palm, as well, nestled on the famous Palm Island, you have even more options at your fingertips, surely one of the top perks. Take a five-minute boat ride to 101 Dining Lounge and Marina where you can catch the sunset while sipping a cocktail; and if you’re not a big drinker, the mocktails are just as good. Next, head over to Stay for dinner, where Yannick Alléno is the chef, and choose your dessert from the famed pastry library, just as heavenly as it sounds —the coconut dessert in a coconut “shell� made of chocolate was a table favorite. A perfect cap to a lovely evening.

In the words of Anthony Pollocks, the hotel’s director of communications, the “One&Only Royal Mirage is truly an authentic expression of timeless Arabian hospitality.� I couldn’t agree more.

Jesse Sposato

Jesse Sposato is a freelance journalist, essayist, and editor living in Brooklyn, NY. Currently, she is working on a grief memoir and a collection of essays about coming of age in the suburbs. Her writing has appeared in New York magazine’s Bedford + Bowery, Refinery29, Broadly, KQED Pop, The Rumpus, Wilder Quarterly, Misadventures, Dame, Bullett, and Vice, among many others. She graduated with ...(Read More)

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