Exclusive first review: The St Regis Dubai, The Palm – Hotel Insider

The newly opened five-star hotel brings a touch of 1920s glamour to the heart of Palm Jumeirah

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The St Regis brand has returned to Dubai, with the opening of a brand-new property on Palm Jumeirah.

One of Dubai’s most anticipated hotels, The St Regis Dubai, The Palm, is now open for overnight stays for guests who want a little bit of splendour and a taste of the hotel group’s famed hospitality.

Located on the trunk of Dubai’s man-made island, The St Regis Dubai, The Palm, is spread across the first 18 levels of The Palm Tower skyscraper.

The National was invited for an exclusive first media review of the property, and here's what we discovered.

The welcome

The adult infinity pool at The St Regis Dubai, The Palm. The National

The St Regis Dubai, The Palm, is well signposted as you drive on to Palm Jumeirah, and the entrance is located off a slip road in front of Nakheel Mall. Valet staff were quick off the mark to take the car and luggage, and usher us inside where a haven of ivory, gold and marble tranquillity awaits.

A grand staircase spirals down into the lobby – inspired by the staircase from the lobby in the very first St Regis New York, which opened in 1904. In Dubai style, this one is edged in gold and encircles a stunning crystal chandelier, but it's tastefully done. Check-in was smooth and efficient, and after only a few minutes, we were ready to explore.

The neighbourhood

If you’re in Dubai for shopping, then you’d be hard-pressed to find a better hotel. The St Regis Dubai, The Palm, is connected to Nakheel Mall via an internal ramp, and guests can swipe in from the mall using their hotel keycard. It’s also right beside Golden Mile Galleria, and a 10-minute drive from Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Marina Mall.

In the same building, guests can also visit The View at The Palm for lofty vistas of the city, and there is easy access to other Palm Jumeirah attractions including Al Ittihad Park and Club Vista Mare, which is across the road. There's no beach attached to the hotel, however, The St Regis Beach Club is due to open at the end of the year, and guests will have free shuttle services from hotel to shoreline.

The safety measures

Room keys are contactless; simply hover your card near the marker point and push the door open to enter. Each guest is also given a box containing disposable gloves, masks and sanitising wipes.

The hotel is part of Marriott International, so follows the Commitment to Clean programme, which ensures rigorous cleaning protocols using hospital-grade disinfectants, electrostatic sanitising sprayers and air purifying systems.

There are clear social-distancing markers on lifts and hand-sanitising stations in restaurants, the lobby and at entry and exit points. The hotel wasn't crowded during our visit and guests and staff were respecting distancing guidelines and face mask rules.

The room

'The National' was invited for an exclusive first media review of The St Regis Dubai, The Palm. Courtesy St Regis / Marriott

The hotel has three room categories and we stayed in a Grand Deluxe King Room with a sea view on the 14th floor. Beautifully designed, rooms evoke a sense of calm and reaffirm that you're very much in a St Regis property with gorgeous attention to detail.

A palette of ivory, blush, grey and gold suggests an Art Deco vibe with geometric patterns inlaid in the bathroom floor, wardrobe doors and headboard. There’s an abundance of mirrors – one for getting ready, a full-length, his and hers and even gold-flecked mirrored bathroom doors. The huge soaking tub is surrounded by full-height glass panelling, allowing natural light to flood into the bathroom, but with the option of setting the electronic blinds to go down if you need privacy.

It's intriguing to see Palm Jumeirah from this angle, with the trunk stretching out underneath and the fronds beyond. Rooms don't have balconies so we settled to watch the view from the comfort of a pink chaise lounge.

The service

Staff are pleasant, helpful and give the impression that nothing is too much trouble. All rooms come with butler service – we asked ours to bring us fresh bathrobes and an in-room dining menu. Guests can request a butler's help with for anything else they need or want during their stay.

The staff in Cordelia restaurant were friendly and efficient, and did not hesitate to go and find out about something if they did not have the answer already, which is exactly what you want in a new hotel as staff get up to speed.

By the pool, staff were friendly and service was good with our sun lounger being set up quickly and an ice-filled bucket containing water and refreshing towels delivered to us poolside. But staff having to run between two pools, located on either side of the hotel, meant there was often a bit of a wait when looking to order drinks or the bill.

The scene

The St Regis Dubai, The Palm. Courtesy St Regis / Marriott

Suave and sophisticated, The St Regis Dubai, The Palm, is a refreshing addition to Palm Jumeirah's hotel offering. It has two long infinity pools on either side of its central tower, one for families and the other adults-only. It’s a good system as the family pool gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon, when the adult pool picks up the rays.

The division also means that if you're trying to have a relaxing staycation, you can do so without the sound of screaming children. Likewise, families can make as much noise as they want without worrying about disturbing other guests.

That said, the family pool wins when it comes to views, with the sea visible in the distance. On the other side, the adult pool overlooks Nakheel Mall's rooftop, residential Palm Jumeirah buildings and a hotel under construction.

Elsewhere, the second floor is home to the Iridium Spa, a definite must-do. We tried the Serenity Massage (Dh650) which uses Amra Iridium hot stones and The St Regis signature body oil. This level is also home to The Exercise Room, equipped with top-range machines and open 24 hours a day.

The soon-to-open St Regis Beach Club will add another element to the hotel, that will definitely be welcomed by those seeking more extensive dining and leisure options.

The food

Grilled king prawns at Cordelia restaurant. The National

When it comes to dining, there’s all-day restaurant Cordelia, Her by Caroline Astor, which is open at lunchtime and for afternoon tea, and Dip Pool Bar, although this currently only has outdoor service available.

Cordelia spans the width of the third floor and has a sophisticated vibe courtesy of 1920s-style decor including curved velvet chairs, geometric panelling, plush sofas and overhead chandeliers.

Breakfast is a served buffet, with additional dishes available a la carte, and lunch is a curated menu with some crowd-pleasing choices.

Dinner at Cordelia was a delight. We started with oyster gratin (Dh89), which had a delicious habanero spice, and paired perfectly with our tuna ceviche (Dh89) from the raw bar. For mains, the wood-fired seafood is delicious. We tried the king prawns (Dh165) and were impressed by the size and grilled flavour, as well as the sizeable sides of lobster mac and cheese (Dh35) and tasty white asparagus (Dh25). We also tried the lamb chops (Dh210), which were perfectly cooked.

Dessert is a chocolate-lovers dream, a creamy 70 per cent Guanaja chocolate paired with refreshing coconut ice cream (Dh60).

Highs and Lows

Unwind with some time out at the spa at The St Regis Dubai, The Palm.

The hotel’s design is a high – every space has been carefully thought out and offers the finesse you’d expect from a St Regis property, but without the stuffiness to make guests feel uneasy if coming from the pool, gym, or the mall next door. The spa-like bathrooms in the guest rooms are another high point, as is the spa itself.

Lows are the fact that there’s no beach, which is undoubtedly one of the joys of staying on Palm Jumeirah. We’d also have loved a balcony to unwind while drinking in the view after a busy day of shopping.

The insider tip

The cigar bar in The St Regis Bar at St. Regis Dubai, The Palm.

Head to The St Regis Bar at sunset any day of your stay to watch the staff masterfully complete a celebratory bottle sabering ritual designed to mark the transition from day to night. We were not informed it was happening, so missed out, but visited the bar later, where the friendly staff gave us a rundown of what we didn't see, plus a tour of the amazing circular cellar and separate cigar room.

The verdict

If you’re a fan of The St Regis brand, you’ll feel right at home in this hotel which ticks all the boxes for service, style and sophistication. It is also a great pick for anyone planning a shopping weekend complete with a post-retail spa pick-me-up. If you’re a fan of Palm Jumeirah for its ocean proximity, then perhaps hang off until The St Regis Beach Club makes its debut.

The bottom line

Check-in is from 3pm, check out at noon and rooms can be cancelled free of charge before 11.59pm on the day before arrival. Overnight stays start from Dh775 ($211) a night, excluding taxes.

The St Regis Dubai, Palm Jumeirah; www.marriott.com