With malls you could literally get lost in and skyscrapers that put New York to shame, Dubai isn’t typically a location you'd associate with rest and relaxation.
From breathtaking views to ground-breaking architecture, like the 2,717ft high Burj Khalifa, which opened it’s dizzying doors in 2010, this is a city that that knows how to show off. And why shouldn’t it?
But it’s not all boutiques and brunches, for just half an hour away lies a completely unexpected escape. With powder-soft white sands, glistening turquoise waters and unbroken blue skies, the iconic Palm Jumeirah provides a wholly different experience to the larger-than-life Technicolor of the mainland.
Staring peacefully into the Arabian Gulf, the manmade haven was constructed, naturally, in the shape of a palm tree.
After reading an array of dazzling reviews, we opted to seek a dose of tranquility away from the hustle and bustle at Sofitel Dubai the Palm Resort and Spa.
Boasting 361 rooms in low-rise Polynesian style, all come complete with every mod-con you could think of, including including wifi, Bose sound systems and flatscreen TVs.
Our one-bedroom apartment oozed opulence, featuring a large open-plan lounge, a fully equipped kitchen/dining area and spacious terrace.
And that’s on top of the oversized stone bathtub and luxurious king-sized bed.
The dining options were equally as impressive, with 14 bars and restaurants to choose from. From Lebanese delights through to contemporary Chinese dishes, cooked in front of you, it’s quite possible to eat your way around the world without getting so far as the lobby. But if a pizza by the pool is more your style, they've got that covered too.
When it comes to planning out your stay in paradise, there’s something for everyone.
In need of some RnR? Try the French Polynesian-styled So Spa. Or for the more active types, there’s tennis, watersports, snorkelling and jet skiing.
But if chilling in your game, cool off in one of six pools, talk a stroll along the 500 metre private beach of pristine white sand, have a dip in the bathwater-warm ocean or simply savour a delicious cocktail on the sun-drenched terrace at the Porterhouse Bar.
With it’s high-end finishes and once-in-a-lifetime vibe, a stay at the Sofitel Dubai the Palm Resort and Spa feels like a truly exclusive experience from start to finish. Definitely one for the bucket list.