HOW MANY ROOMS? 350 rooms and suites
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS: This resort is the go-to spot for travelers looking for plenty of fun in an urbane and stylish setting, all on Dubai’s famous Palm island. Like all W properties, this one is a showstopper for the brand with epic views, swanky accommodations, and dining options headlined by celebrity chefs.
WHERE IS IT? On the western crescent tip of Palm Island, this resort is close to plenty of recreational options as well as a short drive to the best dining, shopping, and tourist hot spots. The drive to the airport takes less than 30 minutes.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Playful, energetic, and packed with design, this is a hallmark W property (despite being rather new) with elements that reflect the brand’s most recent evolution. As the original design hotel brand, W has been met with plenty of competitors across the industry, but continues to hold its own for its style and innovation plus lots of fun along the way. For example, wander the art-filled hallways and scan your phone’s Spotify app to pick up curated music that was specifically designed for each space of the hotel. The lobby boasts a glass sculpture that runs the length of the atrium space; the shape has a purpose though. It’s actually a W in the form of a soundwave (how fitting for a brand so focused on music and design).
During my visit, the resort was hosting theinfamous W Wake Up Call festival, which takes place at different W properties around the world each year. Headliner entertainers and wild parties kept the entire place rocking the whole weekend. Guests had traveled from near and far to be a part of the big event, and several members had even bid points for unique Marriott Bonvoy Moments experiences like backstage access during the festival and the opportunity to drive luxury cars across the desert through several of the Emirates culminating in a lavish desert picnic and stargazing event.
ROOM FACILITIES: Guest rooms bear checkered mosaic tiles in blue, purple, and white hues reflecting the sunset and sunrise colors of the desert. As expected, the décor is exceptionally fashionable with plenty of modern style in the lighting and decorative art. W’s standard array of room types (and monikers) is available including entry-level options known as Wonderful rooms with spacious bathrooms complete with Bliss Spa toiletries to larger Wow and the largest E Wow Suites known for their entertainment areas with spacious terraces overlooking the pool area and Arabian Sea. Wonderful rooms, on their own, are expansive with curvaceous sofas and cushioned headboards supporting soft bedding so plush you could sleep twice as long despite the jetlag. Power and USB outlets are everywhere from by the bed to near the bar and workstation islands (instead of desks, they double as standup bars) in front of the balcony. Open-plan bathrooms boast rainfall showerheads and deep soaking tubs. Rooms range from island and partial ocean views to more traditional ocean views; many also look out toward the pool areas. Some of the rooms (many of the larger Fabulous rooms, for example) have Arabic inscriptions on the wall from Lebanese singer Fayrouz, which prove very popular with regional guests.
This hotel participates in the Make a Green Choice program allowing travelers on stays of two nights or more to forego housekeeping in exchange for loyalty program points or a food and beverage credit. All rooms have furnished balconies, and some of the most premium options have soaking tubs or whirlpools.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS: Torno Subito, the beach-facing Italian restaurant under the helm of Chef Massimo Bottura, serves home-style cuisine with a modern twist from its open kitchen. The décor is similar to a 1950s or 1960s diner with playful photographs on the walls and both indoor and al fresco seating. LIV is the all-day dining venue with buffets serving international and regional fare. Guests can dine indoors or out, and the motto here encourages people to “detox, retox, and repeat.” On the top floor, Akira Back serves Japanese-Korean fusion cuisine and draws plenty of acclaim from locals and guests from other hotels. This is Chef Akira Back’s first restaurant in the region. Expect everything from sushi and barbecue to mouthwatering ramen. The vegan menu earns high accolades. On the same floor, SoBe and its outdoor terrace serve craft cocktails and Latin American fare modeled after the energy of Miami’s South Beach. Of course, guests can always order food and drinks poolside from the Wet Deck.
LEISURE FACILITIES: The multiple pools with infinity edges spilling into each other and overlooking the skyline and Arabian Sea are a highlight here. Numerous nest-shaped day beds are scattered about, and while they are free to enjoy, they do require a minimum food and beverage spend. There are plenty of shaded lounge chairs, and most days, a DJ keeps the outdoor area quite active and entertaining. Once a week, the Friday brunch is a huge draw with a thumping pool party, incredible buffet spread with live cooking stations, and bikini-clad visitors looking to see and be seen. The fitness center is well-equipped and open at all hours while the spa, a favorite in the area, has a full host of massage and beauty treatments with wet and dry relaxation areas.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES: Wireless Internet is complimentary, and meeting space abounds (atypical of some W properties around the world).
PRICE: Internet rates for a traditional room on the random dates we checked start at $204, but guests can also redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for a stay here.
VERDICT: A destination in itself, this resort is everything you expect from a W and more. When you pair it with the opulence and energy of Dubai, the W brand truly shines in this setting.
CONTACT: W Dubai – The Palm, West Crescent, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Phone +971-4-245-5555.www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/dxbtp-w-dubai-the-palm/