Check In: JA Palm Tree Court
Unless you happen to work there, Jebel Ali doesn’t really figure on the let’s-drive-by map for most of us. But, as we discovered, there’s a good reason to head down, particularly when you want to get away from the skyscrapers for an uber-relaxing break. Enter JA Palm Tree Court. The five-star family beach haven within the award-winning JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort boasts a genuinely lush natural setting – think gorgeous gardens, the beach and the Arabian Gulf as far as the eye can see and good old-fashioned walkways to navigate through it all.
Plus, there’s a pretty muster of peacocks (they like chilling out in the garden!), ride-ready camels and horses from their stables, and a petting zoo (including billy goats that love to nibble – your kids are guaranteed to go wild over them). With 15 restaurants and bars, there’s also a massive variety of venues in which to indulge. To work-off the calories, choose from water sports including kayaking and windsurfing, a championship-standard nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, deep-sea fishing trips, seaplane flights, a shooting club, a diving centre and lots more.
We love how roomy and bright they are, and that the bathrooms come stocked with Elemis’ awesome range. You can stay in and surf (internet’s complimentary), have a go on the PlayStation provided or enjoy the beach views from the sun loungers on the balcony.
Foodies with an Oriental fixation will have their palates rocked by this place. Our faves included their inventive signature fusion sushi with scallops (Dhs70), the fiery wasabi prawns with peanut dipping sauce (part of the tasting plate, Dhs70) and the so-good-our-plate-was-wiped-clean roast duck with bamboo shoots (Dhs105).
Every night’s theme night at this restaurant. We visited on Mexican Fiesta night (Friday) and were left impressed with the piquant red bean salad, fiery chilli con carne and punchy beef burrito. Also on the menu is Seafood BBQ (Sunday), Taste of Italy (Monday), The Butcher Shop (Tuesday), Argentinean Delights (Wednesday) and South African (Thursday) nights too.
Bateux Dubai’s floating venue, Divaz, is moored at the resort’s marina and specialises in seafood. The day’s catch cooked perfectly in a romantic setting!
THE POOL, SPA & GYM
Dip into the three cool pools to kick back and check out the spa that offers a wide range of treatments, all using Elemis products. We recommend trying the skin-specific facial that uses the power of lime blossom, kiwi, strawberry and lavender to deliver a cleansing and pampering treat. Want to sweat it out? The newly-refurbished gym in Club Jumana has top-of-the-line equipment – we’re talking PurMotion’s amazeballs performance training system and more.
• Room rate: From Dhs3,200 per night.
• Lunch buffet at White Orchid:Dhs145
• Theme nights at La Fontana: Dhs190
• Annual membership (including pool, beach and gym access, as well as 20 per cent discount at restaurants): Dhs6,000 (individual) and Dhs10,000 (couple)