Luxury tourism has exploded in Dubai, and there are a dizzying number of resorts to choose from in this fascinating city. With its warm and dry climate (nearly 0% chance of rain year-round), Dubai is the perfect spot for a fun-in-the-sun family getaway. If you are looking for the creme de la creme of deluxe accommodations with a staff that goes above and beyond to anticipate your every need, look no further than the Four Seasons Dubai at Jumeirah Beach.
The setup of the Four Seasons Dubai, nestled on an oceanfront cove by the Arabian Sea, makes guests feel as if they have landed on a secluded tropical island. That’s a trick of design, however, because if you leave the hotel’s poolside oasis and venture to the rooftop Mercury Lounge, you will marvel at the breathtaking view of the city’s spectacular skyline just a few miles away. The way the resort is oriented to face the private beach and numerous pools makes this spot so unique. And though large, it doesn’t feel overwhelming: The guest wings all lean in toward the sea, inviting the eye, and the guests, to gaze out at the palm trees and turquoise Gulf.
The Four Seasons brand has always been known for its 5-star service and grand facilities, but at this newly built addition to their folio, they’ve really outdone themselves. No expense was spared in terms of opulence. The lavish Arabian design with long arched hallways and a ritzy tea lounge lobby gives a stately yet not stuffy feel. Clearly, the team gave meticulous consideration to the needs of every kind of traveler — including families.
Guest rooms are spacious and the furnishings are modern and elegant, with a chic, beachy feel. We stayed in two adjacent rooms joined by a small vestibule. This design is perfect for families, as it ensures security — the rooms are joined by a small hallway, but the arrangement allows for separate kid and parent zones. The marble bathrooms are enormous and appointed with two sinks, a stand-up glass shower and a dramatically positioned bathtub.
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Thoughtful amenities were everywhere in our rooms. A beach bag and a yoga mat were carefully placed in our oversize walk-in closets, should we need them. An in-room Nespresso machine was ready to dispense an early morning espresso. Even the minibar was stocked with items well above the usual selection, such as an ice pack to soothe a sunburn or an aspirin after a few too many mojitos at the rooftop bar. (In Dubai, liquor is not served in most local restaurants, but alcohol is available in the hotel restaurants and bars as well as in guest rooms.)
Housekeeping service was stellar as well. We marveled that if we left our reading glasses askew on the desk, we’d find them neatly folded and set out on a special Four Seasons polishing cloth.
The Four Seasons Dubai offers a wide range of diverse activities, so there is plenty for families to do. Choose from three gorgeous pools as well as a private white sandy beach with water sports available onsite. The family pool, where we spent most of our time, has a shallow wading area and umbrellas covering the toddler splash zone. It’s practical and pretty. While at some resorts, the family pool area can seem chaotic, the layout and design of this family area felt relaxed and peaceful.
Throughout the day special cool-off treats appeared by our cabana like magic: frozen popsicles, a facial spritz of Evian mist, or frozen fruit. A quiet outdoor pool is available for parents to sneak away for some adult tranquility, and the magnificent Pearl Spa offers a gorgeous indoor pool and an immense exercise room with workout machines galore. There are two beautiful tennis courts onsite, but though we had brought our racquets, we never found time to play.
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I don’t know any other spa in the world where you can incorporate crushed pearls, camel milk and desert sand into decadent body treatments such as those offered at the hotel’s Pearl Spa. In the women’s changing area, it’s hard to decide between trying the ice fountain or the elaborate rain shower. Of course there is a steam and sauna area as well. Parents traveling with teenagers can book a “teen facial,” or if you fancy a foot massage by the pool, that’s available, too. For the ultimate relaxation experience, book a poolside cabana, press the spa service menu button, and a poolside therapist will appear.
For young kids, an elaborate onsite kids’ club (think tricked-out kindergarten complete with ball pit) offers hours of fun, with an outdoor patio complete with fountains set up for splash play. The club even provides free Friday night babysitting, so Mom and Dad can enjoy a date night exploring Dubai’s hopping nightlife.
With five eateries on the property, dining options at the resort are many. We ate at the Suq restaurant every day for breakfast. The vast buffet includes a juice bar and local Arabian and Middle Eastern dishes, as well as more traditional breakfast and brunch fare. The ice cream bar was a particular hit with our kids, as they could create their own sundaes or cones any time of day. Our first night for dinner we savored traditional Middle Eastern food at Suq while enjoying a belly dancing show on the patio. A kids’ menu is always available at all the hotel restaurants and in-room dining, and kids under 12 eat for half- price.
Sea Fu, the Four Seasons’ beachside fish restaurant, was a treat for a decadent Saturday brunch. Plates of sushi and oysters, each piece exceptionally tender and artistically presented, made for a seaside feast. Flowing bottles of champagne made the meal especially festive for my husband and me, and for my son, who was celebrating a birthday during our trip, the staff delivered a creamy mango birthday cake to the table with sparklers and song.
Adjacent to the resort’s main entrance is Restaurant Village, which we did not try. It’s comprised of five additional dining spots, including several concept restaurants by renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
My family will never forget the warmth of the Arabian sun, our endless hours splashing in the Arabian Gulf and our beyond-luxurious accommodations — plus the impeccable and friendly service — at the Four Seasons Dubai. For a family holiday that’s truly special, this is the spot. You can make your trip as culturally interesting as you like and explore the fascinating city of Dubai, or you can simply stay put and relax at one of the most elegant seaside resorts in the world.
Editor’s Note: Ciao Bambino was hosted by the Four Seasons Dubai to review the property for families. As always, all opinions are our own. Photos by Lee Rose Emery.
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