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Ritz-Carlton Dubai, an oasis in the bustling city

With an ideal location right on Jumeirah Beach, the Ritz-Carlton Dubai JBR is one of the landmark luxury hotels of Dubai, opened right after the iconic Burj Al Arab. The hotel remains one of the few in the heart of Dubai with a low-rise building structure, an impressive 35,000 sqm of lush gardens and direct access to the beach.

For more than a decade, the Ritz-Carlton Jumeirah Beach has built a reputation on providing a high standard of quality of service and a unique product with a deeply rooted sense of place. On my recent stay at the resort, I was pleased to discover some of the older staff from the early days of the hotel, which is a rarity in today’s highly competitive luxury hospitality market of Dubai which has one of the highest staff turnover rates among any major metropolis in the world.

The hotel has undergone major renovations in the past 2 years, including the addition of a new building, bringing the total number of rooms and suites to 294. This provided the opportunity not only to increase the accommodations inventory but also to enlarge the Spa of the hotel, which features 9 multipurpose treatment rooms; three private rooms, each with its own terrace; separate relaxation lounge and a dedicated “Hammam” area

The newly renovated rooms and suites have maintained the Mediterranean / Moorish influences in the interior design along with the predominantly contemporary style of the hotel.

The result is a a timeless luxury interior design, the highlight of the accommodations being the spectacular oversized bathrooms, which include a free-standing large bathtub, a separate double glass-enclosed rain shower as well as generous closet space. Technology has not been overlooked, with all rooms fitted with touch pads that control lighting, AC temperature, curtains and DND.

The 42 inch Tv sets are enclosed in the furniture, opening by means of a remote control. A standard of The Ritz-Carlton, beds are immensely cozy and comfortable, providing a sound night sleep. Surprisingly, when conducting the renovation, owners overlooked a basic element: wi-fi internet, which works poorly throughout all outlets including rooms. I was surprised to hear from the staff that the ‘’internet issue’’ is has been around for many years and despite complaints, nothing has been done.

My suite, a Junior Suite with balcony, had a fairly large living room space separated by wooden doors from the bedroom. Carpets, curtains and furniture were impeccably maintained.

By contrast, the service standard was not as consistent as the product, with highs and lows, depending on the department. For instance, housekeeping and F&B were of the highest standard, while Front Office, Guest Relations and Concierge provided  a robotic, impersonal service. Mention should also be made that the increase in the number of rooms and suites presents challenges in terms of name recognition. Throughout my entire stay, I was repeatedly asked my room number, which for a hotel the caliber of Ritz Carlton is unacceptable,

As for the Spa, I had a very good experience, with a highly trained therapist, who provided a most personalized approach and connectivity. The facilities of the Spa also include a plunge pool which offers more privacy than the large pools in the courtyard of the hotel.

Breakfast and the lounge were two other experiences of a good service standard, especially the club lounge which is housed in a separate stand-alone building in the courtyard.

The beach is yet another highlight of the hotel. Although, it is a public beach, it would not be crowded and many guests enjoy sunbathing, a stroll in the sand, a swim or a ride with a camel – a most authentic Arabian experience.

Since its early days when the hotel was surrounded by few buildings, nowadays, huge skyscrapers crowd every inch of land around the hotel, with several new towers currently under construction.

Given that works on the towers are performed especially during the night due to the very high temperatures daytime, there would be a discomfort for guests, at times, sound-proofing being inefficient. For me, it was almost impossible to enjoy a quiet late evening on the balcony of my suite, due to the construction noise which was made worse by the nose from the nearby construction sites, but also a nearby night-club. The views are also obstructed by the construction cranes, however these are less disturbing day-time.

The dining experience of the hotel was of exceptional quality especially the Blue Jade, an Asian restaurant headed by a Vietnamese Chef. The choice was exquisite and so was the service. I had a wonderful dinner experience, accompanied by a bespoke cocktail by one of the resident bartenders.

All in all, the Ritz Carlton Dubai JBR remains a unique landmark in Dubai’s saturated luxury hospitality market, with a distinct product and a fairly good standard of service. The resort has few direct competitors given its location and product offering, probably the closest being the One & Only The Palm.

Watch here a video preview of the Junior Suite at The Ritz Carlton, Dubai

Oliver Petcu in Dubai

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