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First Look: Four Seasons Resort Dubai At Jumeirah Beach

First Look: Four Seasons Resort Dubai At Jumeirah Beach

Resort blends leisure and business around an ‘understated’ luxury theme

I’ve driven up a small bougainvillea and olive-lined driveway on entering Four Seasons Resort Dubai At Jumeirah Beach, on Jumeirah Beach Road, and had to use a bit of strength to open the door, passing gold mosaic designs on either side. My eye is drawn to a large window at the back, providing attractive water views, and the foreground is dominated by a descending staircase – which on closer scrutiny features beautiful Murano glass.

First impressions? I’ve certainly seen bolder five-star lobbies in the Gulf, and across the Four Seasons network.

But it’s soon apparent the ‘understated luxury’ theme is deliberate and during a 45-minute tour of this five-floor resort, encompassing most of the food & beverage, some of the 237 rooms, and enough of the meetings and leisure facilities, I’m left in no doubt how much effort has gone into the design and furnishings. The clean look is underpinned by no end of marble – all 28,000 kilos of it.

Guests will be greeted on entering and taken right to the reception desk, set back from the corridor. A concierge desk is also available, providing a reassuringly conventional, personal touch, at a time when more brands are turning to electronic screens and looking to off-load services into the digital realm.

The lobby lounge, Shai Salon, opposite will serve round-the-clock teas and snacks and the outside terrace should be popular in the cooler months. On the left are two dedicated lifts taking guests to the rooftop Mercury lounge. Immediately beyond is the gents-club-style, dark-wooden Hendricks bar, which will serve customised drinks and extensive range of cigars. It’s an intimate space, that can hold no more than 50, and a private area is near the entrance.

The Mercury lounge offers the best expansive resort views, with its two pools, on one side (one ‘active’ for families, one ‘quiet’) and 270 metres of beachfront, and Dubai skyline on the other.  The lounge is not an enormous space, holding up to 125 at most, and access is likely to be controlled.

Down the opulent staircase, you’ll find the all-day-dining Suq, which has attractive leather crème-and-orange seating, and also has an outdoor terrace. Six stations will serve up different cuisines and the entrance will have breads and drinks for those wanting a simple grab-and-go.

The front of the resort has a ‘restaurant village’ with four independently managed F&B venues, designed to provide guests with added value and residents with more variety.

We walk through to the spa and gym, one of the few areas where work remains ongoing. The 706sqm day spa features 10 treatment rooms, deluxe aqua thermal experiences and an indoor pool with marble columns topped by a glass canopy – which reminds me of the Four Seasons Baku. The male area features slightly darker tiles than the female section. One novel touch is the lockers, which have codes, so you don’t have to faff about with keys in your dressing gown.

An En Vogue hair salon will stock L’Oréal, Kerastasse and En Vogue’s own “Ever” and another high-end brand feature will be the first Chopard boutique in Dubai.

I saw a wing of deluxe rooms, on the same level as the reception. They span a generous 70sqm with terraces and rooms face the water or the city skyline. Spacious bathrooms have a tub, rainshower, toilet and ETRO amenities especially created for the brand.

There are no interconnecting rooms as such, but each of the series of two rooms have a door at the front which can be locked. More understated colour schemes, but the services are sharp with iPads in the room for in-room dining (or orders can be placed through the large TV). An app will be launched in January making everything integrated and other fun extras will include e-postcards which guests can email to friends.

The minibar is attractively presented in a pull-out drawer and the switches are refreshingly straight forward (‘make up room’, ‘do not disturb’ and ‘master’). Other categories include premier, suites (49), three speciality suites, two royal suites and one presidential suite.

I didn’t see the Asian-style Sea Fu restaurant but it will have lively wok stations and elegant lanterns which enhance ‘dreamy pool and sea views’.

I did see what ultimately may be the resort’s trump card though, as in any Four Seasons: its staff, decked out in light blue shirts and beige shorts. Passing so many in the corridors – some with manuals, others with large fruit bowls – reminded me that so much in hospitality is unseen, and the level premium brands go to even before the first guest arrives.

Opposite the restaurant village is another interesting aspect, the ballroom and meeting facilities. We walk under more stunning turquoise-and-silver murano glass chandeliers. It’s clear Four Seasons Dubai doesn’t only want to be seen as a leisure resort and the ballroom (which can be divided in two) has a fabulous large window offering seductive views. Four Seasons hopes its equidistance, between the financial centre and ‘new Dubai’, will appeal to the corporate community.

In time, a Mandarin Oriental and Bvlgari will open nearby and present top-end competition, but for now Four Seasons can enjoy ‘first mover’ status.

The resort is on track to open on schedule on November 16, with an official opening earmarked for early December, and will be a strong addition to the city’s ever-growing five-star portfolio.

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