By Mario Ng
When we decided to head down to Dubai for a well-deserved vacation, we decided quickly that we should spend at least one night in a really posh hotel. Much has been said about Dubai and how luxurious the city can really be. Of course, we simply had to find out, by booking a night’s stay at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah’s Waldorf Astoria Suite with Sea View.
When we first arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by a senior member of the concierge team, who was waiting by the entrance. Bear in mind that we did not inform the hotel of our estimated time of arrival, as we came from another hotel near Dubai Mall. In fact, we took a taxi and only arrived at about 4pm. We were not expecting this at all. We were quite impressed with this level of attention, right from the start.
A stay at the Waldorf Astoria Suite comes with your own concierge, so you can be assured of top-notch service at all times. Our personal concierge, Ms. Cleopatra, was simply fantastic. She made it a point to remind us to visit the lounge (Pearl Club) more often during our stay to maximise our stay, especially as we were going to be there for only one night. Case in point: when we first arrived at the Pearl Club for our check-in at about 4pm, she suggested we immediately head back to the lounge after settling down to enjoy the afternoon tea service before it closed at 5pm. We can only say we were sad we stayed for only one night. And Ms. Cleopatra made sure to remind us of this fact! Indeed, we have promised her of our intention to stay for more nights the next time we visit, so that she “can pamper us better”!
The famous Waldorf Astoria clock located at the lobby of the hotel
At Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, it is really a case of what don’t they have? For most of us, this hotel has the standard offerings of most five-star hotels. It offers a swimming pool that is family-friendly, a fitness centre, and a tennis court. Unfortunately, we were once again not able to try out the famed Waldorf Astoria spa due to a lack of time. Sadly, this is becoming a habit during our hotel stays! To share more, the Waldorf Astoria Spa here at Dubai Palm Jumeirah was awarded the “Best Luxury Beach Resort” in UAE by the World Luxury Spa Awards for 2018! We think this really tells you what we missed out on!
For more unique offerings, Waldorf Astoria really shines. Because of its location on the Palm Islands, it is able to provide a private beach for hotel guests, complete with an enclosed swimming area. That is correct. As a guest of Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, you are provided with a private beach to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea! So, there is no need to rush down in the morning to grab a lounge chair and suntan. There will be plenty of them available! We tried it and we absolutely loved it! After putting our towels by the lounge chairs, we ordered some fruit juices and immediately headed down to the sea. After swimming (more like soaking) for 30 minutes, we had enough and went to chill on the lounge chairs and enjoyed the view, while sipping some watermelon juice. It was pure enjoyment!
Plenty of lounge chairs are available at Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah's own private beach
Those adventurous souls will also be pleased to find out that Waldorf Astoria’s own Water Sports Center provides various water sports for guests to enjoy. Kayaking, boat tours, and even kitesurfing can be arranged, so you can book your favoured activity any time you want!
Water activities are available for guests' use at the private beach
A special part about this hotel is truly the luxurious offerings available. Those who need to rush to attend a concert can rely on a helicopter to bring you there. There is a helipad just by the beach, so you can inform the concierge of your plans and they will make the necessary arrangements. For those with a private yacht, you can be rest assured the hotel has its own jetty. Simply inform the team at least 24 hours before your intention to dock at Waldorf Astoria, and they will liaise with you to dock your yacht here. You should definitely make use of this opportunity to check in like James Bond, or a 007 villain for that matter. Just to add a disclaimer, do note that fees are chargeable, and these are not part of any room/suite accommodation benefit!
For most of us, there is something that is complimentary! As a guest of the Waldorf Astoria Suite, you are provided with complimentary ground transfers from the hotel to selected places, including the Mall of the Emirates and Souk Madinat Jumeirah. What is so special, you may ask? The complimentary ground transfer comes in the form of a Bentley Flying Spur. Unfortunately, we found out too late and when we enquired about this on the day of our stay, we were sadly informed of its unavailability! A lesson learnt: try to book it way in advance, so you can be assured of an awesome experience!
Breakfast can be taken at either Mezzerie, the hotel’s main dining restaurant, or at the Pearl Club, which is exclusive for club guests. We decided on having breakfast at the Pearl Club based on a few factors. Firstly, we understood that the selection at the Pearl Club is always going to be smaller than at the main restaurant. However, the Pearl Club offers privacy and exclusivity. In return for a smaller selection of food choices, you get more privacy and a higher level of comfort. If the weather permits, you can also head out to the balcony that is almost like a private balcony. Because of the smaller crowd, the servers are also more attentive. This is of course true in most hotel lounges. Whether you need a hot drink or a refill of that fruit juice, it will come almost immediately. Furthermore, as club guests who frequent the Pearl Club, the servers are more likely to recognise you and will be able to provide a more personal level of service as well. With these advantages in place, we decided to head to the Pearl Club for our breakfast!
Pearl Club Lounge - Some comfortable seats at the lounge
Breakfast at the Pearl Club is seriously an enjoyable time. To start off, the standard breakfast choices are offered, including croissants, waffles, and your fresh fruits. Different pastry options and cold cuts are also available. You should be pleased to know that 4 types of cheese are provided for guests’ enjoyment. As a cheese lover, I am sorry to say that I do not know what cheese those are, except that all of them tasted great!
Pearl Club Lounge - A good way to start the day with some fresh fruits and poached eggs
Among some of the more unique selections that are not necessarily available for breakfast include smoked salmon and some sweet options, like donuts. Quite obviously, this hotel knows its clientele and what they enjoy. Coffee and a donut? Yes please!
Being in the UAE, there must of course be some local offerings, and Waldorf Astoria certainly delivered. There were different preserved fruits, including dried mango, figs, and papayas. Dates are of course available, which will definitely go well with some Arabic coffee! As an alternative to cheese, perhaps try their hummus. We had it and it tasted delicious! Those seeking an exotic breakfast should enjoy the selection!
Pearl Club Lounge - Local treats are always a delight
Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah has a few types of suites available, and our suite, the Waldorf Astoria Suite with Sea View, is one that promises a lot for guests. It is residential-sized, which to us really means that it was designed with the intention to make guests feel at home. And did we feel at home!
When you first enter, you will face the living room with the balcony overlooking Burj Al Arab Jumeirah or the Palm Islands, depending on where your room faces. Either way, you are guaranteed with a sea view. Alternatively, if you have specific requirements, feel free to let your personal concierge know your preference before your arrival. We know some guests might prefer seeing Burj Al Arab Jumeirah first thing in the morning…
Waldorf Astoria Suite with Sea View - Sunsets are amazing when you have a view of the swimming pool and Palm Islands from your balconies
Based on our estimation, we deduce that the living room itself is twice as large as the bedroom, and that really tells you how large it is. In the living room, you have a proper dining table that is quite suitable for families to enjoy a meal at. Although there are only 4 chairs for the dining table, we figure it should fit 6 rather comfortably. In front of the dining area is where guests can relax and feel at home. Take a seat on the sofa while watching television or simply chat about what you should be doing rather than “wasting” your time in the suite. It is more than large enough to fit 4 people, and that excludes the 2 arm chairs on either side of the sofa. When we first saw the living room, we honestly loved it. And we started snapping countless pictures of it. For some reason, it really felt like home, and we wanted to create a similar design in our own home. Granted, our living room is nowhere near as large as what the Waldorf Astoria Suite offers, but you know, the idea remains the same.
Waldorf Astoria Suite with Sea View - Dining is a proper affair in this suite
We especially liked the large mirror just by the dining table, which we felt gave the warm cosy feeling. The parquet flooring did not hurt too. Busy executives can make use of the workstation just behind the dining table, so you can work while your family enjoys dinner. You can also shuffle between the workstation and the dining table during meals. When you need a breather, simply turn behind and face the sea. The balcony is just directly behind. Unfortunately, the suite is quite far from the swimming pool, or direct access from level 5 might be an option.
Party lovers will surely love this room, as there is a counter-top perfect for celebrations. Just behind is a small kitchen with a fridge, so you can keep your beverages cool before your guests arrive.
Waldorf Astoria Suite with Sea View - Check out the space available just to watch some television
What we really enjoyed about this suite are the balconies. There are not one, not two, but three balconies in this suite! In fact, the living room is so big it fits 2 balconies. They are not connected together, so it would be great to play some hide-and-seek here. Just be aware that it is located on level 5! From our balconies, we enjoyed looking at the sunset from behind Atlantis the Palm, and enjoyed even more doing so while sipping some champagne in the warm summer heat. On clear days, it is just amazing to watch the gigantic sun slowly take a 12-hour nap.
Waldorf Astoria Suite with Sea View - Catching a really beautiful sunset from our suite
In case you have not realised, we have not even started talking about the bedroom yet!
The bedroom is quite big on its own. It is big enough to house a King-size bed, a 2-seater sofa, walk-in wardrobe, and a bathroom that has a separate bathtub and standing shower. You are starting to realise the enormity of this suite. The 2-seater sofa is great for just relaxing and chatting if you do not wish to dirty the bed after a long day out. Or, simply head out to your personal balcony, especially if there are still guests in the living room. The room is spacious enough that the bedroom can arguably be considered the largest room offering in some hotels!
Waldorf Astoria Suite with Sea View - A spacious bedroom in our suite
The bathroom is clean and we liked that it uses white for the bathroom lighting instead of warm colours. This would be useful for ladies, who we assume prefer neutral lights when applying make-up. Toiletries are by Salvatore Ferragamo, so you can smell luxurious, besides just living and dressing luxuriously.
Waldorf Astoria Suite with Sea View - Pamper yourself with some Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries
We enjoyed the bathtub, where we got the hotel staff to create a bubble bath for us while we were out in the Middle Eastern sun enjoying a swim. Thoughtful staff made sure to create the bubble bath using cold water, since it was already incredibly warm in summer. However, we must say our Asian bodies still preferred warm water, no matter how warm the weather was! Thankfully, we were able to distract ourselves from the cold by watching television while soaking in the bathtub, since there is one built-in above the bathtub. After soaking for a good amount of time, we made use of the Waldorf Astoria bathrobes to temporarily dry ourselves. It was one of the best decisions of our stay at this posh establishment. It was incredibly comfortable and we instantly felt much warmer. In fact, we highly recommend purchasing them from the Waldorf Astoria store on the first level before you check out, It is that good! Remember to mention your preference of the water temperature if you do not wish to shiver in the bathtub!
Waldorf Astoria Suite with Sea View - A bubble bath is so good in the hot Middle Eastern summer
During our stay, we managed to squeeze in enough time to order some room service. By that, we meant we ordered a plate of satays. Coming from Singapore, we simply had to try it for ourselves. We did not make a mistake. It was really good and the peanut sauce was fantastic. Admittedly, we were really surprised at how tasty those satays were. This was not exactly the easiest dish to master, especially with the peanut sauce, where many Singapore establishments also failed to master. Yet, right here in Dubai far away from home, is a plate of satays that brought us home. We loved it.
Waldorf Astoria Suite with Sea View - Some proper satays done well by the team!
Pearl Club Lounge:
The Pearl Club Lounge is located on level 5, which is on the same floor as our suite. This made it perfect for us, since it can be quite tiresome to walk for too long in air conditioned comfort. For the rest of club guests at the hotel, there is nothing much to worry since the lounge is quite literally beside the elevators. Simply turn left after exiting the elevators and the club staff will warmly welcome you into the Pearl Club Lounge.
Pearl Club Lounge - View of the hotel's swimming pool and private beach
As with most hotel lounges, there are three services to look out for here. Its delicious buffet breakfast, which we mentioned earlier, afternoon tea, and the evening canapes with cocktails. For those who must know, breakfast starts from 7am and ends at 11am, while afternoon tea is between 3pm and 5pm. While cocktails begin at 5pm (we know how it is never too early to enjoy a glass of champagne), evening canapes begin at 6pm. Both the cocktails and evening canapes are available till 8pm.
Pearl Club Lounge - Cheese and crackers, smoked salmon, cold cuts, and wine
The food options are consistently great regardless of the service you are at. We went for all three meal services (obviously) and enjoyed the food options. We had cheese, scones, cakes, tarts, fruits, smoked salmon, cold cuts, pastries, waffles, pancakes, and hummus, among other items. We are delighted to report that all of them tasted great, and are worth to try. Something unique to try are the cookies available in large jars located by the sofa. Not part of any meal service, it is nevertheless placed for guests’ enjoyment any time of the day. We tried it and we loved it. The cookie was moist and seemed to almost melt in our mouths. For comparison’s sake, we thought it resembled a little like Ben’s Cookies. If you are a fan of those cookies, you know where to get them!
Pearl Club Lounge - A great way to relax after a heavy meal
What probably stood out for us was the attention to detail. As we settled down at our seats, the server immediately came to ask what we would like to drink. While this should be fairly standard, they will take notice when you have finished your beverage and will proactively ask if you would like another one, or if you would like to try another beverage. In fact, one example stands out for us. When we headed to the lounge to simply rest after dinner at Lao, the server immediately came to ask if we would like anything to drink. It was nice to see that they had the same level of enthusiasm as they had earlier during the day, especially when it was nearing 9pm and the lounge was closing at 9.30pm. We sought recommendations for tea and were provided with one. At no point in time did we felt pressured to leave, and we were left alone to rest and relax.
The wonderful thing about the Pearl Club Lounge is the availability of an al fresco lounge. It has an outdoor balcony where guests can enjoy a meal or quiet time outdoors instead. Facing the Palm Islands, you get a great view of Atlantis The Palm and the gorgeous sunset. Of course, you might think twice if you head over during summer time, but we might argue that it is worth it if you love a good sunset! You can order some juice, or champagne, and watch the sun set into the Arabian night. After which, head back to more acceptable temperature levels and cool off with another glass of champagne. Perfect!
Pearl Club Lounge - Outdoor seating is available for guests who wish to have a closer view of the Palm Islands
Cost of Waldorf Astoria Suite with Sea View: Approximately AED 3,600 a night - stayed in June 2019
Published by Mario Ng
Mario enjoys travelling around the world but finds himself visiting the same cities again and again. At this rate, it is unlikely he will travel "around the world" any time soon. He also has a dream to spend one year catching all the Formula 1 races live.