The Desert Palm Hotel: Urban Oasis Amongst Dubai’s Prestigious Polo Club
Asia’s luxury destination club – Afini- provides a masterstroke in its latest collaboration with the Desert Palm, Dubai
Afini, the esteemed destination club in Asia, is known for its tailor made travel experiences offered across an impressive portfolio of more than thirty destinations. The most recent addition to this list is Dubai. Its latest collaboration with the travel concierge is the Desert Palm that sees an urban sanctuary amongst a one hundred and sixty-acre polo estate. The property has accents of saddlery and polo elegantly set amongst the lush greenery and perfectly manicured lawns that surround the property. The swimming pool is reminiscent of an oasis in the desert, complete with palm trees and sandy beige outlay that makes it one the most inviting pools to go for a dip in. Lounging on one of the floating bean bags, the expanse of the polo field with a passing rider or two provides warm tranquillity in the midst of an Arabian summer.
Speaking of polo the property is surrounded by four polo fields, with four stables housing four hundred thoroughbred polo horses. There is also a museum dedicated to the sport of kings. If you are a polo enthusiast or simply love horses, you can get to see them up close at the stables during a tour or strutting around the polo field as you enjoy your meal at Epicure, an international dining, multi-cuisine, twenty-four restaurant on the property. For a decadent selection of aged meats, cooked to perfection, Rare is the Desert Palm’s signature restaurant.
The property itself is a boutique with only thirty-eight accommodations ranging from villas to rooms and suites. The polo suite is a spacious avant-garde space with thoughtfully laid out amenities, a large shower area and a terrace that overlooks the stunning Dubai skyline. As the sunsets against the backdrop of the Burj Khalifa, it almost surreal watching the glowing orange orb descend into the horizon as the world’s tallest building lights up in a symphony to the heavens. The minimalist design of the bathroom, with the bathtub serving as the centrepiece, sets the tone for the rest of the room. Waking up to the see the sunrise across the vast expanse of the polo fields adds to the enchantment of the experience. The minibar in each room boasts its own set of bar amenities that would transform any amateur who enjoys mixing a drink or two into a seemingly professional mixologist.
To really experience The Desert Palm, in its most opulent form, you have to stay at the Villa Layali. A sprawling three bedroom villa which a master bedroom that features an Emperor bed — yes, you read that right — an Emperor bed. The glass-enclosed Great Room features a living and dining area with stunning views overlooking the polo fields. Then, there’s the swimming pool, a sixty square metre ‘centrepiece’ with an outdoor dining area, perfect for a quiet evening for two or a massive party coupled with the state of the art mood lighting in and surround sound speakers. A stay at the villa is also the perfect chance to plan that romantic getaway with the help of your private stay coordinator. Whether it is a vintage bottle of champagne, a special gift or fresh cut Dutch tulips, you private coordinator will be at your beck and call. Finally, to top off the experience, the Villa Layali, has a fully stocked Haagen Daaz ice cream fridge with every flavour imaginable so you can go ahead and really indulge.
The Lime Spa at the Desert Palm promises a highly addictive journey and rest assured it delivers. My treatment began on a hot stone chair, an ornately decorated mosaic lounge chair that could have very well been used by Cyrus the Great to lounge under the sun. A particular trademark of the spa seems to be the intuitiveness of the therapists to be able to individualise each treatment to the exact requirements of the guest. My therapist sent me into a blissful state within minutes making this treatment one I will not soon forget. The spa uses fully organic face and body elixirs made by Éminence of Hungary. The spa’s couple therapy room comes with every amenity to allow couples to relax and unwind from a jacuzzi with mood lighting to a couples shower area. I am already looking forward to my next treatment.
When it comes to gastronomy the hotel has one of my personal favourites: Destination Dining. With one hundred and sixty acres of lush landscape, the hotel has some truly picturesque options available including The Orchard, The Waterfall, The Veranda, The Argentinian Table and Arabesque. The Orchard, not only has an antique fountain overlooking the green polo fields but also palm trees that join a thirty-meter candle lit floral archway that gives you a view of five-hundred-year-old olive trees leading onto a small garden of Aloe Vera. For those who crave a more romantic setting, The Waterfall with an elevated Mediterranean styled stone dining space overlooking an infinity pool and waterfall is the perfect way to a blissful evening tête-à-tête. Of course, any destination dining option comes with a private chef and personal butler, as you would expect.
Overall the Desert Palm is definitely an oasis you would want to come back to over and over again whether it is to watch one of the many polo tournaments that are played out over the lush green fields or to simply relax in the swimming pool with a glass of champagne.