Over the past 11 years I’ve checked-in at many luxury hotels and resorts in Dubai, the emirate renowned for its “no such thing as impossible” philosophy. Be it for the iconic architecture, world-class services or prime location, almost all of the properties I’ve stayed at caught my attention with a certain touch. Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach did the same, but in the most unexpected way, right from check-in.
“Bonjour, Monsieur Stefan! Bienvenue chez Sofitel!” These were the first words I’ve heard from the beautiful young lady at the reception, followed by an unforgettable smile. For a moment I thought I’ve arrived in France, not in Dubai. I’ve stayed at other Sofitel properties around the world before, but this was the first time I was greeted in French. In a sea of English heard on the plane, then at Dubai International airport and in the taxi, this French moment was more than welcome, signaling the start of an exquisite stay. The huge stars hanging on the lobby’s ceiling and the many LEDs, creating a fairytale-like ambiance, were another nice touch, together with green elements echoing nature.
Located in Jumeirah Beach Residence, in the heart of Dubai Marina, the 5-star Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach awaits guests with 438 rooms and suites, each opening onto a private balcony with views over the Arabian Gulf. The furnishings are a mix of French elegance and Middle Eastern influences, with palm leaves alongside shades of deep red, vivid green and electric blue. During the stay I’ve also noticed how clever lighting and opulent fabrics complement the contrasting colours and rich materials. All rooms feature Sofitel’s MyBed concept and a pillow menu, Wi-Fi Internet access, LCD televisions, DVD player and Bose Home Theatre (in Suites), as well as Lanvin and Hermes amenities (in Suites). The hotel also offers butler service for all 40 suites and 26 Club Millésime rooms, 24-hour concierge and limousine service.
Situated on either side of the hotel, 186 Superior rooms offer views across the waters of the Gulf, either towards Palm Jumeirah or Jebel Ali. The 66 Superior Twin rooms boast a private balcony, two twin-size beds with Sofitel’s signature MyBed concept, deluxe bathroom facilities and a work area, while the hotel’s 120 Luxury rooms offer panoramic views across the Gulf. Located on the 28th to 31st floors of the property, the 26 Luxury Club rooms are suited to both business and leisure travelers. These rooms feature a king-size bed, private balcony, 24-hour butler service and state-of-the-art technolog. Guests enjoy exclusive access to the Club Millésime lounge, a private space for Club guests to relax and unwind, with complimentary late check-out and free breakfast and snacks.
Next up: the suites. Those who opt for one of the 27 Junior Suites enjoy a personal airport pick-up service plus 24-hour personalized butler service. Also on the menu: panoramic views across the waters of the Gulf from a large private balcony, Hermès toiletries, a Bose Wave sound system, iPod dock and Nespresso coffee machine. Located on the hotel’s Club Millésime floors, the Prestige Suites make the stay even sweeter with stylish furnishings, autumnal tones, marble bathroom with a bathtub, separate shower and branded amenities, as well as latest generation in-room entertainment system. While floor to ceiling windows provide a panoramic view of Dubai, Club Millésime floor guests benefit from personalized butler service and exclusive access to the club lounge.
The height of luxury? The Imperial Suite. Spread over 210 sqm, it offers ample space for up to five guests. No detail has been overlooked in order to ensure the ultimate comfort: king-size bedroom with jacuzzi, a twin room, a large reception and a living room with kitchen area. As expected, those who opt for the Imperial Suite also get 24-hour personalized butler service and a 31 sqm private balcony with stunning sea views. For even more space, a connecting Prestige Suite can be booked.
French refinement can also be found in the culinary experience, not only in the staff’s attitude or the exquisite ambiance of the rooms and suites. When it comes to dining, Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach relies on six restaurants and lounges. The A.O.C French Brasserie features “a la carte menu” and buffets, including live Rotisserie and Bakery areareserved for both preparing and sampling the delicious breads and pastries. A.O.C French Brasserie is the perfect place to enjoy a Friday Brunch or dine on the outdoor terrace “accompanied” by lovely Gulf sea views. The Hub offers comfort food, a large selection of beverages, relaxing atmosphere and broadcasts live sport events.
Plantation restaurant and terrace offers healthy, nourishing and authentic food prepared in cast iron pots known in France as “Cassolette” or “Cocotte” that reminds of the flavours of slow cooked meals at home. Located next to the infinity pool overlooking the sea – where we’ve spent quite some time during the stay – Infini Pool Lounge delights with lively Arabic atmosphere including mezzeh, shisha and Moroccan tea. Be sure to also check-out Lobby Espresso, where French viennoiseries, traditional homemade Parisian pastries, afternoon “Gourmandises” plus a variety of coffees and teas are served in a casual atmosphere. Speaking about relaxation, Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach features a Beauty Salon for ladies offering Carita treatments, as well as a health club (So FIT) with sauna and steam room.
Ladies will also appreciate the hotel’s position – amid the shops of Dubai’s JBR, The Walk and The Beach – that means boutiques, alfresco terraces, landscaped gardens and leisure facilities. Dubai Marina Mall not enough for shopping lovers? Then head to Mall of the Emirates or The Dubai Mall, which need no introduction and aren’t far away. Good news for golfers, too! Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach is within easy reach of three prestigious golf courses: The Emirates Golf Club, The Montgomerie and The Jebel Ali Golf Resort. Last, but not least, the hotel’s first floor is entirely dedicated to business and events with a business centre plus five meeting and function rooms ranging in size from a boardroom for 12 to the Grand Ballroom (400 people capacity or 300 for banqueting). Therefore, it’s no surprise that Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach was named “The Best 5-Star Business/Corporate Hotel” at the MENA Travel Awards 2014.
How do I sum up the time spent at Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach? It offers a genuine experience of the French “art de vivre” and it shows that “Life is maqnifique” is more than a marketing slogan. And, unlike other Sofitel properties I’ve experienced before, it made a lasting impression. Guess that French moment had something to do with it…
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