Monday, 31 October 2016

A Beach Day at Sofitel The Palm & Dining Among Art.

I love being nosey and seeing what other hotels are like. Dubai is pretty much the perfect place for this, it's a bit like Vegas in that you can pretty much just wander into all of the hotels, visit the bars and restaurants, and just take a look around the public areas.

Most of the hotels in Dubai also have a thing called a 'day pass', where you pay a certain amount and you can hang out at the hotel all day and use their facilities as though you were an actual guest staying there. I was staying with my old colleague Nigel (you can see my post about his leaving party here) in his swanky Dubai Marina apartment for the majority of the time I was in Dubai, but I had a night at the Four Seasons Jumeirah Beach, and The Sofitel on The Palm currently have a great day pass offer, so we went to check it out and see how the two hotels differed!

Sofitel The Palm Day Pass Dubai

The second half of my Dubai trip was much more chilled than the first half, with more relaxing and slightly less partying. After a day boat party on the Friday and then dinner at Hakkasan, we wanted to chill out on the Saturday, and I really wanted to experience The Palm, so got in a taxi and headed over to Sofitel The Palm.

As soon as we got out of the taxi and entered the hotel I was in awe. The lobby of the hotel is so dreamy. So, so dreamy. I'm obsessed with luxury hotels that use plants and water to the max in their lobby (a bit like The Mirage in Vegas), and Sofitel The Palm really goes to town on the indoor water features and foliage. It's beautiful.

After getting way too excited over water features, we walked over to the desk and after showing our passports we were given blue bands and were on our way! We were getting pretty hungry by this point as we'd slept in late (jokes, Nigel irons ALL of his clothing before putting it on and it takes forever and it legit drove me crazy. I would literally stare him down with daggers in my eyes and he would stare me down back all like 'and what?'), so we found a couple of sunbeds on the beach and ordered food off the beach menu.

With the current offer, the Sofitel The Palm day pass costs 250AED per person, and with that you get a 160AED food voucher for lunch at Maui or dinner at Porterhouse, Hong Loong or Moana. We chose lunch at Maui, which you can have in the restaurant or at the beach/pool side. We both just ordered paninis and fries, and two cocktails; I had the Coconut Rum Freezy which was ah-mazing, and Nige had some sort of green thing in a pineapple.

We chilled out at the beach, had a swim in the ocean, and then went to check out the swimming pools. The big main pool was my favourite, it was lush. It was like an oasis with cabanas surrounding it and plants and greenery all around the outside - I loved the design of it so much! As well as the main pool there were also two kids only pools, and an adults only one too but that was closed for refurbishment.

We then headed home to get changed and ready for dinner! Our dinner was at Plantation in Sofitel Jumeirah Beach Residence near Nige's apartment. Sofitel JBR felt a lot more business-like than Sofitel The Palm, and a lot quieter too.

Plantation are known for their Art & Dine concept, so the restaurant is basically an art gallery. I wasn't sure how I would feel about this, but I actually loved it (especially as the current artwork there is a photography exhibition), and our dinner was incredible! I was so impressed with the high quality and standard of the food, and the staff were some of the nicest I met from my entire 10 day trip to the Middle East.

We started with very moreish fresh crusty bread with flavoured butters, while we decided what to have. I chose the Beef Carpaccio, which I frankly could have eaten about four plates of it was that good. My mouth is literally watering just thinking about it again, it was probably one of the best beef carpaccio's I've ever had (I really love beef carpaccio).

Nigel ordered the Antipasto, and it was so huge I laughed out loud when it arrived and his jaw just dropped at the sight of it.

For mains I decided on the Red Mullet Cassolette, and Nigel chose the Daube Cassolette (Wagyu Beef). The restaurant is known for their traditional Cassolettes, a dish that's the ultimate comfort food and has flavours similar to slow-cooked meals.

Then it was time for dessert! I was pretty full by this point but my favourite was on the menu; Tarte fine aux pommes. Apple tart basically. It was delish! The perfect way to finish the meal.

Nigel went all out and had the Chocolate slice. I got major food envy, so I tried some and it was incredible. Oh my goodness. So rich and moist and just so moreish.

So how did they all compare? I don't think you can really compete with the luxury, quietness, and opulence of the Four Seasons, however Sofitel The Palm felt more exotic and I really loved the design of the lobby and the main swimming pool with the cabanas. It just felt very serene and relaxing with so much water and foliage everywhere.

I also thought Sofitel The Palm was much more family friendly than the Four Seasons, so Sofitel would be perfect for families looking for that extra luxury! Although we didn't see much of the hotel, from what I did see I'd imagine Sofitel JBR is probably great for business travelers and couples who are maybe only in town for a weekend rather than a longer length of time.

Have you been to Dubai and tried a day pass? 

Our day and dinner with Sofitel was provided complimentary, but as always it doesn't influence my opinion. You can find out the T&Cs of the day pass here.


  1. I love the idea of having a day pass so that you have totally free reign to nose around!

  2. I love that Dubai hotels have day passes and the Sofitel seems like a great pick! Noting this for my next stopover ;)

  3. I always end up using those day passes when I'm in the Middle East - they do pool and beachside luxe so well x


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