27/10/2016 07:49 BST | Updated 25/10/2017 06:12 BST

Super Luxe Retreats: One&Only The Palm, Dubai

In contrast to Dubai's macho corporate hotels lighting up the skyline, One&Only The Palm is a ladylike low-rise affair created with well-heeled holidaymakers in mind. A 25-minute drive from Dubai International airport, it occupies a scenic spot on the furthest-reaching 'frond' of the city's man-made 'Palm' - making it the ideal escape for spa goddesses seeking sunshine and serenity.


The Spa

An oasis of white orchids and hushed whispers, the Guerlain Spa at One&Only The Palm is the very definition of 'temple of calm'. Nine treatment rooms are housed within an intimate Moroccan-style cloistered courtyard and there's a first-class Bastien Gonzalez nail studio, where you can sign up for the world's most comprehensive mani/pedi - Gonzalez is responsible for clipping and buffing the talons of the world's highest paid supermodels, don't you know? There are also sauna and steam facilities, a hairdressing salon, gym and tennis court.

Post-treatment, there's a good-sized adults-only outdoor pool to flop out next to, or a small air-conditioned relaxation room. Don't miss the make-up counter in the lobby piled high with shimmering powders, pearlescent lipsticks and SPF 30 foundation, so you can skip straight from the spa to supper...

The Treatments

Following a collaboration with French skincare supremos Guerlain in December 2015, all the treatments are Guerlain. The spa menu is designed to soothe tired souls with lavish rituals such as 'Dubai Harmony', 'Solar Evasion' and 'Desert d'Orient' - a combination of nurturing milk scrubs, nourishing body wraps and aromatherapy massages - created exclusively for guests of One&Only The Palm.


To Stay

Ninety sandstone villas and mansions are dotted across a large swathe of golden sand to a backdrop of frangipani, neatly clipped hedges and lemon trees. Décor-wise, the look is grown-up and homely: think soft creamy carpets, ornate Arabian arches and modern flashes of bronze and aquamarine.

Bathrooms are gloriously indulgent with deep egg-shaped baths, metres of cappuccino-veined marble and infinitely flattering lighting.

Really there isn't much you can fault in the rooms except perhaps the lack of movies available on the flatscreen TVs - ask nicely though, and someone from front desk will bring a book of DVDs to your room.

Tip: Book one of the ground floor rooms and you'll get a generous leafy patio with back gates leading directly to the beach.


To Eat

Overseen by Yannick Alleno, each of the three restaurants at The Palm is dazzling in its own right. Michelin-starred 'STAY by Yannick Alleno' is the most upscale, delivering foam, frills and fancy flavours within a ghoulishly elegant space hung with black-crystal chandeliers.

ZEST, in contrast, is delightfully bright, airy and green, with tables spread across one of the prettiest terraces in the Middle East. Diners can choose from a selection of spicy middle-eastern mezze or traditional French and Italian dishes at lunchtime, and after dark, a more formal, romantic atmosphere takes over.

'101', The Palm's cocktail lounge which just out across the hotel's mini-marina is laid-back and buzzy - great for a casual bite or a cocktail before heading out for a night on the tiles.


Don't Miss

For a change of scenery, there's a free shuttle-boat that zips back and forth across the water to The Palm's sister resort, One&Only Royal Mirage (just eight minutes away).

The Deal

Virgin Holidays Wonderlist (www.virginholidays.co.uk/wonderlist) offers four nights half board at One&Only The Palm in a Palm Manor House premier room from £1,265 per person.

Price is valid for departures on selected dates in 2016 and includes return Virgin Atlantic flights from London Heathrow to Dubai and private car transfers.

Words: Leo Bear



Leo Bear is a contributor to The Luxury Spa Edit and writes for a number of the UK's top luxury titles including Condé Nast Traveller, Tatler, Quintessentially and Telegraph Luxury.