Immersion down through the ages has represented renewal. We wash away what was, so that we can embrace what will be. The bigger that submersion, the bigger the renewal, or at least that’s how it feels floating in the Arabian Gulf. Head half out, the slight crackling of fish feeding underneath providing the soundtrack to the reverie as I hang in the water and survey the scene. Ahead of me it’s a study in blue. The cerulean of the shallows gives way to turquoise and then darker azure as the sea reaches out to meet the horizon. The perfect celeste sky stretches up from that intersection, punctuated only by the silver crescent moon, its lingering presence in daylight adding an ethereal quality to the portrait.
Dipping below the waterline, the cool morning sea washes over me, that act of immersion sweeping away the world and worries. Emerging invigorated I pan my gaze back to the beach. I’m at the gorgeous Caesars Palace Dubai – its towering grandeur simply titanic, a fitting description as exploring this castle by the ocean it appears as if the ill-fated liner had escaped the ravages of the iceberg and pressed on through the decades, finally coming to rest here on the shores of the emirate.
Situation off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Residence, and is accessible by bridge – the property overlooks Ain Dubai, the soon-to-be world’s tallest observation wheel. The Dubai Marina is just minutes away, while it is a 20-minute drive to The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, and a further five minutes to the airport.
Living like a Caesar
From the moment, me and my husband checked in, the property with the friendliest and warmest staff immediately cast its spell on us. The smiles, so warm and genuine that they are just infectious!
We are then whisked off to our oasis- the One Bedroom Suite which happens to be one of the finest ones we have stayed at.
We loved the floor-to-ceiling windows and the terrace afford unobstructed views of the Gulf. There are subtle nods to Rome in the room too, with coin artworks and horse-head cushions to give a historical feel, alongside modern touches such as tablet devices, media hubs and Nespresso machines (although the air-conditioning controls prove hard to decipher). There are a couple of hidden gems, such as the two-way cabinets that allow guests to have their laundry taken care of by the service team without being disturbed, and the pop-up mirrors in the dressing table. Another highlight is the statement curved throne-like tub that could easily fit two people with room to spare, and has its own blow-up pillow and accompanying Lorenzo Villoresi Firenze bathroom amenities that are packaged more like store-bought toiletries than the travel-size ones I’m used to.
The 178 sleek rooms and suites in chic cream and slate grey tones feature Romanesque details like horse head cushions, Roman coin artworks and chariot-esque high-backed bathtubs alongside 21st-century tech like suite pads to order room service, media hubs for connecting your devices via Bluetooth and Nespresso machines.
Home comforts include down bedding, Frette linen, pillow menus and luxe Lorenzo Villoresi Firenze toiletries, with thoughtful touches like pop-up lighted mirrors in the dressing table and discreet two-way valet cabinets allowing laundry to be delivered or used plates removed without disturbance. Suite guests benefit from butler services such as in-suite check-in, packing and unpacking and shoe shining.
The chill life
What we loved the most was the private beach that has unobstructed sea views (a rarity in Dubai). The Cove Beach boasts of a stunning seafront locale that comprises a restaurant, the one-of-a-kind Rosé Lounge and not one, not two but three temperature-controlled infinity pools to splash away the stresses. You can also do your workouts in the Fitness Gallery, a 24-hour gym equipped with the latest Technogym equipment. If you prefer more guidance, yoga, meditation, high-intensity training, kickboxing and aqua fit classes are on offer.
Meanwhile if you’re looking for a bit of adventure, choose from an array of water sports like jet skiing, wakeboarding, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking.
With plenty of entertainment options, the hotel is as much about going on a fun island vacation as it is about getting away from it all — though you’re less than a 30-minute drive from Dubai’s top tourist attractions.
I would wake up to a glass calm ocean and head l out to my balcony, the aroma of my morning coffee mixed with the view from my lofty tower. A sea fret covers the land in a gossamer mist and I sit somewhat spellbound, frozen in time. Another showstopper here is the Qua Spa where time melts merely away, given the best-in-class treatments and facilities it boasts. It is an award-winning wellness concept from Las Vegas where Japanese technologies and luxurious spa treatments soothe the mind and body.
The first of its kind in the UAE, the Iyashi Dome at Qua Spa uses state-of-the-art infrared rays to deeply cleanse the body, restore its balance and gain efficient and long-lasting slimming effects. Inspired by traditional Japanese practice, ‘Suna Ryoho’ – where the locals bury themselves in the sand near hot springs on the beach to eliminate toxins, this spa treatment also burns up to 600 calories a session, making it a must for wellness connoisseurs looking for a serious detox.
I love how an array of wet facilities such as rock saunas, aroma steam rooms, experience showers and ice fountains help you unwind before a treatment.
As a spa connoisseur, it’s worth pointing out that what stands out about this spa is that there is no attempt at forcing the idea of tranquility here; instead, it’s all very contemporary with earthy gray tones, light wooden beams, a bright reception area with a boutique and well-lit corridors.
I tried the Signature Senses collection massage combined with a Golden facial by Carol Joy on the innovative ultra-relaxing and easing Quartz bed.
Based on hot sand therapy originally used in Ancient Egypt to treat medical ailments, the groundbreaking Psammo Concept Quartz Bed is derived from the age-old concept of thermal therapy for mental and physical relaxation. Integrating the multiple benefits of sand therapy, aromatherapy, inversion therapy and wave-like massage, the quartz sand bed treatment offers the chance to experience something truly special.
A relaxation session on the warm quartz bed is combined with herbal compresses of frankincense, a cedar wood massage, and the application of a spicy muscle balm to banish stress.
The massage is followed by an exceptional facial using the Carol Joy London products that have 24 carat gold to encourage cell regeneration. I drifted into a slumber filled with visions of tropical wellness and then emerged two hours later with my skin feeling creamier, tighter and more even and my body and mind rejuvenated to the core.
The food factor
Invigorated, if a little fuzzy, it’s time for dinner at the celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s world-famous restaurant Hell’s Kitchen. While Ramsay is not a permanent fixture, the celebrity chef does visit and has a strong culinary team to keep things cooking when he’s not around. The signature eatery has an enormous illuminated pitchfork marking the entrance and is decked out in red and blue, modelled on the show’s kitchen. It’s not just about the theatre of service, but about the quality of the food. The Signature Beef Wellington and Hell’s Kitchen Beef Burger scream craftsmanship in every bite and are definitely worth forking out for and leave us sated, satisfied and sleepy.
Also worth trying are authentic dim sum and hand-pulled noodles at pan-Asian restaurant Zhen Wei, where signature dishes include whole Beijing duck, Cantonese sea bass and kung pao lobster.
Furthermore, we loved the smashing desserts (think Passion fruit Cheesecake, Citrus Mille Feuille, the finest fruit tarts) and coffee at the Roman Lounge- the best we’ve had. The Venus Pool & Bar also offers a sophisticated adults-only pool experience along with light treats and cocktails. Our pick here is the addictive Truffle Mushroom Pizza that is sure to tantalizingly tease your tastebuds.
While the property totally owns it all: exceptional food, facilities, service, location, views, beach and more. However, having said that, the secret to the Caesars Palace Dubai isn’t however the food, or the view, the room or even the sea. It is the army of staff, by the pool or the restaurant, front-desk or housekeeping that surprises us with rose-petal bath setups and delectable desserts by bed. It is the janitor who asks me and husband when we can come back next and bids a heartfelt goodbye. Also several team members, too numerous to mention who epitomise hospitality.
You recognise as you drive away from this resort that you were able to immerse yourself in a brief moment out of everyday life, and thus leave renewed and ready to dive into what comes next.
As I leave, I have a sense of being lost in a delirious soup of cosmic consciousness. To me, clearly emerging as the king of the crop is Caesars Palace Dubai and reaffirms the emirate as the Vegas of the Middle East. There is an incredible natural high that comes from being surrounded by the great spirit of the place. It is being polished, primed and opened up with reverence; so too are you.
Double rooms from AED 1,545 (£330) in low season; and from AED 2,745 (£590) in high.
Note: The critic was invited by the hotel but all opinions are her own.
Where:Ceasers Palace Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Phone: 00 971 4556 6666