I’ve tried numerous Sofitel properties around the world. What I love about it is how sympathetic it is to the local environment and how it considers itself part of the fabric of the place, but through them, all runs the ‘cousu main’ thread of ‘service from the heart’. Another recent experience at Sofitel The Palm showed how this desire to surprise and delight, and to create emotional engagements via a modus operandi that focuses on making guests feel genuinely valued and cared for – combines to explain why those who stay with Sofitel in one country often choose Sofitel wherever they go.
As hotel connoisseurs know it, for the people at Sofitel, a scent can make hotel guests feel good with a familiar and warm sense of place upon arrival, so they brought in renowned perfumer Lucien Ferrero to create a perfume that’s unique to the property- something we were delighted to be welcomed by. A first look at the swish interiors ( think fresh with green foliage, cabana-style fittings, and flowing water) and surely set the stage for a cocooned stay ahead.
Nestled within the tranquil groves of the Palm Jumeirah, the resort is encapsulated by a private 500-meter stretch of pearlescent beach, enabling guests to indulge in breathtaking sea views overlooking the shores of the East Crescent. Totaling more than 100,000 square meters, Sofitel The Palm Dubai’s distinct French luxury offering is embraced by rich and iconic elements of Polynesian culture and civilization. We love the abundance of stunning organic architecture and lush vertical gardens and how the resort reflects a timeless spirit and tropical allure.
A speedy check-in at the Executive Lounge punctuated with friendly smiles ensued. We were put in a swish Junior Suite. The one-bedroom suite was replete with Polynesian design ( think slate floors, rich timbers, pops of magenta, and orchid purple). Outside, two balconies offer a view over thatched roofs and lagoon pools to the Palm and Dubai skyline beyond. We also loved the swanky facilities it came with like the BOSE music system, two 40 inch TVs, a living room with a sofa bed, a standalone deep soak tub, a walk-in rain shower, luxurious bath amenities from Hermes, mini bar, tea, and coffee machine. And then of course, there was the silken soft bed and the signature Sofitel pillow menu to complete it. Add to it some delectable macarons and a warm welcome note to complete the indulgence.
The foodie factor
The hotel offers 361 guest rooms and suites, as well as 182 serviced residences, ideal for lengthier stays and boasts a multitude of food and beverage outlets, namely Studio du Chef, offering a modern take on traditional French cuisine; Porterhouse, the property’s signature steak restaurant; Manava, the all-day dining restaurant; Hong Loong, offering authentic Chinese cuisine; Moana, where delectable seafood is prepared with fresh local ingredients, while Maui Beach Bar and Restaurant allows guests to relax while enjoying the aromas and treats from the BBQ.
We enjoyed our dinner at Porterhouse, the property’s signature steak restaurant.
The word “Porterhouse” originates from the US of A back in the 1800s describing a resting place for weary travelers, a sort of service station if you will just without the gas. In terms of its interiors, it is sophisticated yet remarkably unstuffy. The low melodic jazz creates a soft and intimate atmosphere, the distressed leather chairs add a rugged touch contrasting against the stark polished wood. There is a large outside terrace for dining al fresco under the stars when the weather permits but the tasteful interior is equally as inviting as a place to dine.
Here me and my companion share a tempura shrimp for starters. We love how the plump, golden shrimp is pepped up with a piquant dynamite sauce. For mains, we tried a medium-rare striploin with pepper sauce which was tender, succulent and the eternally sharpened knife cut through it like butter. This convinced us why the restaurant is a top contender for the best steakhouses in Dubai.
Next morning before we depart from the property, we try the buffet service at Manava. As self-service is still off the menu in hotels these days, the restaurant has had to rework its breakfast offering. Overall, there are four omelet stations in the center of the restaurant, separate stands for side dishes, and ample staff to serve fruits, bread, and pastries. Coffee, fruits, yogurts, and smoothies are all top-notch.
Sun, swim and spa
Among the other facilities, worth-trying is the 2LIV Nightclub which provides party goers unparalleled views of the Arabian Gulf and the ultimate in nighttime fun. Another highlight is the spa. Encompassing 2,500 square meters and 28 treatment rooms, So Spa offers guests the ultimate in relaxation and rejuvenation incorporating traditional Tahitian spa treatments. After a heat treatment, I put to test the refreshingly cool delights of the spa ice fountain- rejuvenating as it gets. An hour-long massage ensued and definitely passed the spa awesomeness test with flying colors.
Another standout is that the property has not one, not two, not three but six swimming pools. The main one, surrounded by palm trees and mock boulders, takes pride in the place between the hotel and the beach. Elsewhere, there is an activity pool for games, a slide pool for children, and a tranquil adults-only pool with a built-in waterfall.
Moreover, we were told that in addition, 1,500 square meters of meeting space including a ballroom and 4 conference rooms ensure that the hotel can cater for conferences, meetings, incentives, events, and weddings, accommodating up to a maximum of 700 people.
The five-star Polynesian-style resort features a pristine beach and landscaped pools, perfect for lounging and playing. Another brownie point is that the hotel is close to the Palm Jumeirah Monorail and Aquaventure water park, the epic sound and light show of Dubai Fountain, and the awe-inspiring Burj Khalifa tower.
Keeping the Covid regulations in mind, throughout our stay we noticed constant temperature checks and sanitization facilities and reminders wherever we headed to- from the lobby to the restaurants which was reassuring in these times. Overall, with staff that is ever pleased to deliver, delightful food, lush splendor, and ravishing facilities, Sofitel The Palm definitely manages to cast its spell on you, leaving you with moments to treasure…
Note: The critic was invited by the hotel but all opinions are her own.
Where: The Palm Jumeirah East – Crescent Rd – Dubai
Phone: 04 455 6677
Room rates start from $275\- ++