IN a city where bigger means better, one resort is seeking to refocus everyone’s attention on the luxury of the boutique resort.
Billed a modern Arabian experience or ‘Arabia avant-garde’, the 24-room Desert Palm resort, set to open in March, promises to personalise the guests’ hotel experience. “We want none of the ‘hotelishness’ of your standard luxury property,” says general manager Jacqueline O’Hara. “Our USP is intimacy, with a very high level of personalisation. We’re about flexibility, not about rules.”
Guests will be met by their chauffeurs at the airport in a private luxury car and driven to the extensive polo property that is the setting for this Per Aquum hotel. It offers just 24 ‘naturally modern’ guest rooms and villas, each showcasing its own distinctive design embodying the simplicity and elegance of the estate’s graceful surrounds.
These include 13 Palm rooms, sized between 45 and 75sqm, all with a private bar, espresso machine, luxurious amenities, hidden safe, and a personal business and entertainment centre including telephone, WiFi, flat screen and surround sound system with DVD player and iPod. All overlook the resort’s polo fields, manicured landscapes and the Dubai skyline on the horizon.
Also part of the offering are four one-bedroom pool villas, each of 198sqm, ideally suited as an intimate hideaway for two; six three-bedroom pool residences of 528sqm each; and the 585sqm two-bedroom presidential Villa Layali, centred around an open-air courtyard with a large swimming pool. The two bedroom suites in this villa each feature a private courtyard garden, king-sized bed, personal business and entertainment system and sitting area. This villa will also have a personal butler, says fellow general manager David O’Hara.
Also part of the appeal is a six-room Lime Spa, set up to offer such varied experiences as water and heat therapy, aromatherapy and more, says Jacqueline. “We take an integrated approach with the Lime Spa, so there’s also a strong culinary focus.”
Besides such standard amenities as in-villa dining, three F&B outlets complete the offering, Rare, serving wood-fired steak and game prepared in a show kitchen; the wine bar Red; and the café and gourmet market Epicure.
Already, says David O’Hara, bookings are streaming in through the Small Luxury Hotels association. These are primarily from Europe, but given the family-style accommodation, there’s a strong appeal for the GCC.
by Keith J Fernandez
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