Seven-star hotels and extravagant architectural phenomena make Dubai a wonderland, if you are looking for over-the-top opulence. But where does one go for privacy and seclusion, removed from the glitz and glamour, without forgoing luxury?
The Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf hotel is probably the closest thing to a boutique hotel you will find in Dubai.
It is inspired by the Arabia of old. It is made up of 29 two-storey summer houses, each built in the traditional style around a courtyard, situated in the vast Madinat Jumeirah resort complex. The luxurious, private sanctuary is hidden from the hustle and bustle of the main resort, being set amid meandering waterways and lush, beautifully tended gardens. The Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf is a haven of tranquillity, yet it is accessible by water taxi, so all the other amenities of Dubai are within easy reach.
Kick back and enjoy the serenity, far from all the flashiness, in one of the airy, lavishly appointed Arabian summer houses, taking in sweeping views of the Persian Gulf or the gardens. The summer houses are ideal for small groups, families or couples. They are beautifully furnished in an antique Arabian style. Each has a spacious bedroom, and an oversize marble bathroom with a bathtub and walk-in rain shower. There is a private terrace that looks out over the waterways and your own swimming pool.
The hotel is also home to the best accommodation in the Madinat Jumeirah complex, with a choice of two types of summer house. The Arabian Summer Houses have access to a shared swimming pool, while the Gulf Summer Houses, which are situated in choice spots in the complex, are connected to the beach. A personal butler attends to your every need, around the clock.
The hotel is perfect for would-be recluses, offering its guests a subtler way to experience Dubai. The resort shares its facilities for entertainment and leisure with the Jumeirah Al Qasr, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam and Jumeirah Al Naseem hotels. Work out in the world-renowned Talise Fitness gym and exercise in the High Altitude Suite where it is said you can achieve double the typical results in half the usual time. Swim in one of the 11 swimming pools, play squash, tennis or go diving.
The Talise Spa is one of the best in the Middle East. It is ideal for those that yearn to go missing in a rejuvenating overhaul of mind, body and soul. The spa and its 26 treatment rooms are set amid gently stirring palms and playful fountains.
Continue your healing journey in the infrared sauna, plunge pools and steam rooms. Or opt for hatha and vinyasa classes by the beach, taught daily at sunset. Let the sun’s last rays tickle your skin as you stretch and adopt various asanas to the sound of the waves lapping against the shore. A menu of healthy spa food is served next to the pool.
To take a wellness retreat to the next level, go for a lifestyle medicine programme, specially drawn up to suit the individual, at the neighbouring DNA Health Centre for Integrative Medicine and Wellness. The centre champions preventive care and healthy ageing. It will run tests to find the amounts of heavy metals, vitamins, beneficial minerals and muscle mass, and look into your genetic make-up. Once the centre has identified potential threats to your health, it will draw up a wellness plan.
If this high-level pampering gives you an appetite, you are spoilt for ways to satisfy it. The Madinat Jumeirah complex has more than 40 restaurants and bars, many of them situated in the Souk Madinat Jumeirah. If enjoying all that the Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf has to offer has allowed you to unwind sufficiently, ask your personal butler to plan an excursion.
Spend at least one day exploring the rest of the Madinat Jumeirah complex. Start with afternoon tea at the Al Samar Lounge in the Jumeirah Mina A’Salam. Book a table on the terrace and admire the breathtaking vistas of the sea and the Burj Al Arab skyscraper while you savour scones or other light fare with your tea.
Make your way down to the beach and feel the fine sand between your toes as you saunter along the shoreline toward the newly opened Jumeirah Al Naseem resort. There, lush gardens make a little oasis for you to relax in. Lounge peacefully in one of the cabanas by the swimming pool. The grandiose entrance to the hotel frames the Burj Al Arab to create the perfect Instagram backdrop.
If your personal butler has arranged for you to have drinks at the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel, refreshment is only a buggy ride away from the Jumeirah Al Naseem.
Then take dinner or a few more drinks at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which is within walking distance of the Burj Al Arab – and a pleasant walk it is, in the cool of the evening under the stars.
An evening in the Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf is just as pleasant. Sip complimentary drinks in the courtyard of your summer house before tucking into a dreamy dinner at Shimmers on the beach, where the gentle sea breeze caresses your skin as you eat.
The Madinat Jumeirah complex has all that is required for family holidays, too. Parents seeking time in each other’s company can drop off the children at the Kid’s Club in the neighbouring Jumeirah Al Qasr or leave them with a babysitter provided by the Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf.
If you’re seeking to combine peace and quiet with enjoyment of all the extravagances Dubai has to offer, the Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf will not disappoint.