Spacious grounds, wide soft sandy beach, thirteen restaurants and bars, three pools and a spa, Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa is a self-contained paradise. You could stay here for your entire holiday and not venture beyond its welcoming doors.
This is Dubai with plenty to see and do though, but staying within Le Royal Meridien’s confines for a few relaxing days is a oasis for your mind and body.
Arriving in its elegant furnished lobby, check in was a breeze and a first meet with one of an army of staff whose sole aim is to give impeccable service. Staff training must be a top priority here because everyone was polite, helpful, efficient and possessed the uncanny ability to anticipate every wish.
At only 9 floors, the building is low in comparison to the skyscrapers of Dubai. We found our room in the circular tower. A suite with separate sitting room beautifully decorated and spacious. A large shower and bathroom filled with fluffy towels and adorned with multiple bottles of sweet-smelling potions.
Our room faced into the city and the marina but you can ask for a room overlooking the beach and the Palm Jumeirah beyond.
Exploring the resort we discovered expansive grounds of well kep lawns, swimming pools and sun bathing areas all leading down to the beach. Whilst it’s a public space, Le Royal Meridien has a private, fenced off section of exclusive sand and we made this our main base for our stay.
A snack bar serves each pool and the beach area so you never have far to go for refreshments. In fact often the waiter arrives just as you realise you want to order something.
They offer huge fluffy beach towels in a pleasant pastel light blue for the comfy sun beds.
The clean deep white sand of the wide beach reminded me of Santa Monica in Los Angeles, except a New York style high-rise skyline lines this particular section of coastline.
The highlight for me was the choice and variety of restaurants and bars at Le Royal Meridien.
Le Deck: Near the pool and serving Mediterranean food, my favourite dish was a Thai style chicken noodle dish with bok choi and a pleasant hit of chilli heat.
Maya: Outstanding Mexican cuisine served with mojitos and beer. Check out their tasty chicken fajitas served with warm tortillas, bell peppers, onions, guacamole, salsa roja and crema fresca.
Zengo: Offering an artful blend of asian and latin flavours, Zengo offers a stunning venue and interesting surprising food. Try the boneless chicken wings with fenugreek oil, chipotle and citrus sauce. Don’t miss the chef’s 30 vegetable stir fry. Linger after your meal in the bar and lounge decorated with the same blend of asian and latin influences.
Ossigeno: Traditional Italian cuisine with a twist. Great tasty pasta and a “melt-like-butter” medium well done steak.
Al Khaima: Arabic food served in an authentic atmosphere with traditional music and the occasional belly dancer. Fans of Shisha can enjoy a sweet-smelling smoke in this open air venue. I started with the Hummous: Crushed chickpeas flavored with sesame paste, lemon juice, sautéed meat and pine nuts. For main I went for Shish Kebab: Marinated tender lamb loin with Arabic spices, onion, parsley salad and grilled tomato.
Shades: A sports bar offering big screen entertainment and a range of burgers and sandwiches along with pints of ice-cold beer.
Rhodes Twenty10: A glamorous and intimate scene with opulent chandeliers, black chic and just a hint of lilac lined with Jack Vettrianno paintings. It’s Euro-inspired cuisine with some Middle East influence. They give you the opportunity to create your own dining experience beginning with your hors d’oeuvres to share, then creating your own main course and finishing with a classic pudding. Great steaks again.
Pizzeria: Casual dining for families with frshly made to order pizzas and pastas.
Alas we ran out of nights to sample Geales (Fish restaurant) and Le Brasserie (Buffet meals) although the latter was our morning stop for breakfast each day on the way to the beach. I loved watching them prepare fresh wafer this crepes.
The Caracalla Spa, designed with a Roman theme and infused a well-being ambience offers a holistic range of beauty treatments and unforgettable experiences for the body and mind. Set on three levels the spa is an oasis from the Dubai heat.
I struggle to find any fault with Le Royal Meridien, though the wifi was a little slow but hardly mattered given the surroundings. Excellent service, range of restaurants, ample acreage, semi-private beach and location in the Dubai marina make this a must visit destination.