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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Hotel insider: Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai 

The hotel is well-positioned on the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah. For tourists, it’s only about a 30-minute drive from Dubai International Airport and Mall of the Emirates
Five Palm Jumeirah has a bright cube-like facade. Five Palm Jumeirah

The welcome

I arrive on a Thursday afternoon after landing back in Dubai having spent the early part of the week in Venice. Buzu the bellboy stands out immediately, his big grin and friendly rapport certainly make a good impression. As he takes care of my bags, I make my way to the check-in counter, where I am attended to swiftly and efficiently.

The neighbourhood

The Five offers some of the best views of Dubai Marina. Five Palm Jumeirah

The hotel is well-positioned on the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah. For tourists, it’s only about a 30-minute drive from Dubai International Airport and Mall of the Emirates, and an easy 10 to 15 minutes from other city attractions, including Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai.

The room

A luxe sea view room. Five Palm Jumeirah

I’m staying in a Luxe Sea View room – the top of the five categories guests can choose from if they’re not booking one of the five suite options. Despite being a hazy summer weekend, the views from the room’s private terrace are incredible. The new Ain Dubai observation wheel is directly out in front, and as evening comes, the Dubai Marina skyline glistens in the distance. There’s a king-size bed, a cosy lounge area, and the bathroom has a separate bath (with a mirror on the ceiling) and rain shower set-up. The Salvatore Ferragamo ­amenities are a nice touch, elevating the luxury further.

The service

Almost all interactions with hotel staff are positive, although there are a couple of instances where certain food requests are met with blank looks, or drinks orders are muddled; but from an overall point of view, it’s a reasonably slick five-star operation. The premises is buzzing the weekend I stay, with day visitors and overnight guests. The pool staff are particularly busy, but I’m impressed that despite the demand for their attention, the approach is calm and professional.

The scene

The pool from above. Five Palm Jumeirah

Pool party as opposed to chilled family staycation. If you’re after a quiet place to relax, Five may not be for you. There are plenty of “beautiful” people sunning themselves in and out of the water, and there’s not a sunlounger to spare by 10am, so be sure to mark your territory early. As day turns to night, the vibe becomes more sophisticated, especially given the quality of the dining outlets here.

The food

Quattro Passi is the Italian fine-dining restaurant by Antonio Mellino. Five Palm Jumeirah

There are three quality restaurants on the food and beverage menu here – Quattro Passi, by renowned Italian chef Antonio Mellino, Chinese eatery Maiden Shanghai, and Blvd on One, the hotel’s all-day dining establishment. I’m impressed most by Quattro Passi, as much for the decor as the menu. The space exudes Amalfi Coast-style and for Dh160 per person, you can’t go past the lunch special, which includes three courses and a cold drink between 12.30pm and 3.30pm. Maiden Shanghai is a great date-night restaurant, with its dim lighting and gourmet Chinese bistro vibes. Starters cost from Dh30, while mains, such as the organic Peking Duck, cost Dh295 for half. Breakfast is served at the more casual eatery Blvd on One, with tables inside and outside to choose from. It’s a hearty offering, with plenty of options to suit most people. There’s a good selection of cold meats, Middle-Eastern dishes and hot options, alongside the usual sweeter choices like waffles and pancakes.

Loved

The Penthouse is a great spot to lounge during the day or enjoy sunset in the evening Five Palm Jumeirah

The hotel’s Penthouse rooftop lounge. Besides offering some of the best sky-high views of the emirate, it’s got atmosphere worth bottling.

Hated

That one side of the Penthouse was closed for maintenance on the clearest of the two days I stayed, I wanted that all-round view.

The verdict

A great spot for a girls weekend or a lively few days by the pool.

The bottom line

Rooms at Five Palm Jumeirah, Dubai (www.fivehotelsandresorts.com), start from Dh630 a night, including breakfast, taxes and Wi-Fi.

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