Placed at the end of the Palm Jumeirah’s eastern crescent, the Thai-temple like silhouette of the Anantara rises into spectacular view. Fringed and trimmed with typically eastern architectural motifs, stepping into the lobby is not unlike entering Thailand itself. Warm hostesses and a speedy reception check-in, replete with a cooling drink and a warm towel, set the tone for famed Thai hospitality. We especially liked the tuk-tuk buggy the fabulous lagoon that lapped at the balcony of our comfortably appointed room. For a night and a full day, surrounded by Thailand’s signature style, we weren’t in Dubai at all; the Far-East came to us in the heart of the desert.
Accustomed to the opulent décor of the glitz-loving luxurious hotels in the Middle East, the simple and clean lines of our comfortable hotel room, stood out. A plumped bed, wooden desk and TV, all dressed in rustic hues, was ambient and almost home-like in its appeal. What we weren’t prepared for, despite having prior knowledge of it, was the gorgeous lagoon that greeted us at our balcony. It is literally an ocean of a swimming pool at our doorstep and is the definitive USP of the room.
We got into our bathing suits and stepped simply swam into Anantara’s man-made ocean of bliss. A few minutes swimming interspersed with room service and lounging on the balcony, only to dive again into the luxurious pool, was heavenly to say the least.
The In-room Massage
On account of the spa not being operational as yet, we had in-room massages arranged. The efficient masseurs entered the room with massage beds, music, fragrances and towels. After a quick briefing on our health and problem areas, the masseurs recommended the popular Arabian massage that focussed on just the back and shoulders for a full 60 minutes. With the right amount of pressure and a combination of long strokes and kneading, my back, neck and shoulders were completely loosened and limber with hardly any pain at all. After all, getting rid of those pesky knots usually comes with its fair share of pain. Flabbergasted at the results with none of the unpleasant side effects, this in-room spa treatment was one of the best we have had in a while.
Dubai does have its share of delicious Thai restaurants but Mekong, with its colourful décor and spectacular cuisine, is, without exaggeration, the best Thai food we have had in the city. A fabulous array of tuk tuk seats took up the entire outdoor area of the restaurant. Sitting in the ingeniously fashioned seat with colourful lanterns on the ceiling and a table top laden with authentic food was as Thai an experience as we have had in Dubai so far. While all of the food was delicious, our favourites were the fresh wrapped Vietnamese Spring Roll, the Plah Goog Sod (Crunchy prawns in roasted chilli paste) and the Yam Mamuang Kub Hoy Shell (King scallops with a green mango salad, pine nuts and a tamarind glaze).
Room rates start from AED 1,350++ in low season.
Room types include:
Premier Lagoon View room
Premier Lagoon Access room
Deluxe Lagoon View room
Deluxe Lagoon Access room
One Bedroom Beach Pool Villa
One Bedroom Over Water Villa
Two Bedroom Beach Pool Villa
Tel: +971 4 567 8017