20th November 2018
Direct UK flights to Dubai take less than seven hours, which makes it one of the most kid-friendly destinations for winter sun holidays at the moment.
Sneaking in under the long-haul wire is obviously cause to celebrate at Sofitel The Palm too, since they’re currently bucking Dubai’s winter price increase trend and instead they’re generously offering families discounts of up to 25% on four to seven night stays at their luxury beach resort on Palm Jumeirah.
This bold thinking is typical of famously original Sofitel The Palm. After all it’s the only resort in Dubai designed as a French-Polynesian island retreat right down to lushly planted vertical gardens, enchanting lagoons and thatched beach huts. There are authentic arts and crafts woven throughout the interior and every gorgeous, light filled room, suite or villa echoes the warmth and colour of the tropics. So much so, that were you tempted to stray no further than the resort, you could easily be in Bora Bora: apart from the spectacular views across the Arabian Gulf to Dubai and the fact that you didn’t have to endure ultra-long-haul to get here.
Plus it’s fair to say, Dubai is a lot more fun for kids than remote paradise islands. Especially in winter when it’s sunny enough for the beach, not too hot for desert expeditions, decidedly glittery at Christmas and can even satisfy cravings for snow: the city’s home to one of the world’s biggest indoor ski slopes.
Sofitel The Palm works to the belief that ‘life is magnifique’, and after a night here you’ll probably be inclined to agree. Opulent doesn’t even begin to describe family suites with onyx-laden bathrooms, Hermès and Lanvin toiletries, sumptuous furniture and beds the like of which you’ve never experienced. Unless you’ve experienced the Sofitel MyBed™ concept already: in which case you’ll know all about the wonder of all-feather beds, featherlight down duvets and pillows of your choice. For the uninitiated, it may very well be the source of your best sleep, ever.
All rooms and suites come with Sofitel MyBed™ as standard, but that’s where uniformity ends. There are one and two bedroom suites with ocean views, beach access or views over Palm Jumeirah to one of the most distinctive cityscapes on earth. Beautifully designed family apartments give you the ideal balance of independence and luxury resort service. Or you could opt for one of Sofitel The Palm’s stunning villas: an inspired choice for larger families or multi-gen family holidays.
Kids don’t have to wait until after dark to see dancing fountains in Dubai, they have fountains of their own at Amura Kids Club, along with a slide-packed pool, children’s cinema and an indoor space that’s as thoughtfully designed as the rest of the resort – only on a child-size scale.
You’ll be pleased to know that every Amura team member is fully qualified and Sofitel trained. Though as far as kids are concerned they’re just great fun: warm, friendly and energetic to be around. They also happen to be blessed with some rather unusual talents, so don’t be surprised when kids treat you to a performance of their new-found Polynesian juggling skills or noisy island drumming tricks at the end of the day.
There’s plenty of scope for creative kids to get busy with arts and crafts here too: no need to buy any souvenirs on this family holiday. Shelves piled high with books and games make for calm time with younger kids. And carefree might be the spirit of Amura, but new activities organised fresh-every-day provide the type of structure most kids are only too keen to get on board with.
Amura should more than ease any qualms you might have about taking time off parenting on holiday. And if you have any lingering doubts at all, an hour or two at SoSpa will soothe them away beautifully. This is Sofitel The Palm’s incarnation of the award-winning Sofitel spa experience, so no surprise to find it focuses on traditional French-Polynesian therapies, albeit in a luxuriously decadent 2500m² space with no less than 28 individual treatment rooms.
Even if you’re just fitting in quick 30-minute facial while the kids are off playing, the SoSpa philosophy of balancing mind and body, and completely indulging all your senses makes every single second sensational. Though you may want to think about factoring in a bit more me-time for the Hammam, therapeutic indoor pools, fabulous saunas and steam rooms.
Sticking with the ‘island retreat’ theme, the resort has no fewer than 14 bars and restaurants, cooking up everything from fresh seafood at Moana to Chinese food paired with traditional tea ceremonies at Hong Loong or fabulous grilled meat at Porterhouse.
The easy, friendly atmosphere of The World Eatery and Manava International Buffet is great for families. But if kids live by the holidays are made for ice cream rule, they’re likely to be most impressed of all by Gelati.
And if you’re tempted to head to Dubai for dinner, it’s also worth mentioning that Sofitel The Palm is one of the city’s favourite places to eat – even with seasoned city dwellers spoiled for choice.
The five-star luxury beach resort sits on iconic Palm Jumeirah island, looking clean across the Arabian Gulf towards Dubai’s unmistakeable cityscape.
How to get there
Direct UK flights from London Heathrow to Dubai take six hours, 45 minutes.
Sofitel The Palm is 35 minutes drive south of Dubai International Airport.