Dubai has accumulated an impressive portfolio of new beachfront hotels over the past few years but for many residents and visitors the Ritz-Carlton remains the favorite. Perhaps its more modest size and uncompromising standards account for this allure, and its beach facilities still rank as the best in town.
When the construction of the Jumeriah Beach Beach Resdience towers began three years ago, some predicted the demise of the exclusive Ritz-Carlton Hotel. But that did not happen, and with the building works now over the beach is as popular as ever with multi-national executives and the well-travelled rich.
Indeed, the towers behind the hotel are barely visible from most of the hotel's leisure facilities which are cleverly nestled close to this mediterranean style property and shrouded in palm trees and other greenery. Rumors that the hotel was to get an extension tower itself have proven untrue and so this remains an untouched gem.
The Ritz-Carlton Dubai is the only boutique hotel on the Jumeirah Beach, if the One&Only complex is counted as a single property. This low-rise hotel is located on a 350-metre stretch of the Jumeirah beach front, and has just 138 rooms complemented by more than 300 multi-lingual staff, ensuring privacy and excellent service.
The hotel exudes good taste and understated opulence. Its attention to detail is superb, from the head-cushion in the bath to a shoe polish hidden where you might expect to find it. There is a distinctively quiet, individual atmosphere, and if anyone wants a nightclub they can always go to the Royal Mirage next door.
An interesting combination of restaurants follows the tradition of the original 1927 Ritz-Carlton in Boston whose trademark blue goblets still feature on the tables of the hotel chain's 38 properties. Dubai offers continental fine dining in La Baie, Mediterranean dishes in Splendido, casual snacks and cocktails in its cavernous Lobby Lounge and a poolside restaurant, The Palm Pavilion with an excellent outdoor grill.
A late afternoon Devonshire tea in the Lobby Lounge is to be recommended while you explore the hotel; and the Library and Cigar Room are great places to gather for cocktails or after dinner drinks.
This Dubai hotel also features a health club and spa with limited membership, again to the highest international standards with prices to match. And its two swimming pools provide a choice of a river-like circuit with a waterfall, and a more traditional style of pool with Jacuzzi. Guests sitting on the beach will be periodically furnished with cold towels and fruit kebabs.
For the less energetic a visit to the Balinese-inspired Spa is a must with over 40 different treatments from which to choose. There are two ladies-only treatment rooms for beauty treatments in complete privacy.
Luxury and privacy does not come cheaply at the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, but you are advised to book well ahead to avoid disappointment.