Roam+Board :: Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

jumeirah zabeel saray dubai hotel[trip style = luxury + beach + sun]

{Editor's Note: I know it's been awhile since I've done a Roam+Board, and I've got a list taller than the Burj Khalifa lying in wait. The first R+B of 2013 goes to---opening the envelope---a resort I was a guest of (and HIGHLY recommend) while in Dubai last month.}

What There are times when photos overhype a hotel. This is not the case for the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, completed in January 2011. The scale, stature and sizzle of this 405-room resort sends you into a Nirvana-like state with every glance---and that's just the lobby. Oversized silk drapery, regal velvet seating, Anatolian carpets, triangular arches and ornate chandeliers {the size of my living room} grace the space.

Situated on the Western Crescent of Jumeirah Palm Island, every room has a view. Dripping in more velvet and fine everything, the bedrooms also shine on the inside. Gold-leaf walls provide the backdrop for my evening throne which makes the intricate wooden cutout above the bed glow. I go to sleep dreaming about serenading the Middle East atop a flying carpet.

Yet, I almost miss the bed because the bathroom is so decadent; it stops me in my tracks. Clad in light grey marble, the vanity is decorated with a pounded copper sink and lit by twin and twinkly Moroccan lights. Two stairs lead to the bathtub, and into another world. Big enough to bathe a baby elephant, the bath area is a room unto itself topped in a golden dome. I consider sleeping in the tub one evening---because I can.

The rest of the property---which you can see featured in MI4---is the city below your throne's perch. Twelve restaurants, a spa, a beach, an infinity pool and a 29-seat screening room provide substance and distraction in your Ottoman-inspired kingdom.

Where Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a 40-minute drive from Dubai's Airport {DXB}.

When It was 26-degrees C when I visited in early December, so you can imagine summer is s-c-o-r-c-h-i-n-g---it's the desert after all. Visiting in the winter, spring and fall means less sweating and more savoring.

Who/Why Dubai is SO international it's as common to eat beside a relative of Dubai's ruler {Sheikh Mohammed}, as it is to lounge at the pool beside a Brit, Russian or Japanese.

Cost Rates start at $250 per night and include WiFi. Note: it's a 20-minute drive to leave the man-made palm island, but taxis are cheap. In fact, a common local saying is "gas is cheaper than water."

More Dubai Dubai in 30 Photos SEA ---> DXB Nonstop, Flying High With Emirates First Look :: Dubai

[photos taken by @tripstyler except lead photo, courtesy of the hotel]