When I landed in Dubai I went straight to the Emirates counter. They informed me of my 30 hour layover and were horrified that JetBlue did not provide me with accommodations in Dubai. Because they didn’t have any affiliation with JetBlue’s incompetency, they couldn’t help me, but I wasn’t expecting them to anyway.
I called someone very near and dear to me for advice. He told me to go to “the sail.” I got in a taxi and the driver had no idea what the F I was talking about. I told her to take me to the nicest hotel in Dubai, as that is what the sail is, ok, it’s actually the nicest hotel in the world….details, details. She still didn’t know. So she connected me to her hotspot and we googled the real name of the hotel. Burj Al Arab. Yes. That one.
I arrived at “The Burj” and had to provide my reservation details to get access to the hotel (term used incredibly loosely). My bags where whisked out of my taxi and brought up to my “room,” again, term used loosely. I was met by a sweet, intelligent young woman who gave me a tour of the lower floors and escorted me to my “room.” My room was a two story apartment. Extravagant carpeting, furniture, wine, chocolates. Brass and gold and mirrors and everything else that screams LUXURY. I had two bathrooms full of Hermes products. Sandals, robes, slippers. Perfume and chocolates on the pillows. The entire apartment was controlled by a remote, that had my name on it. Golden iPad. Yes, REAL gold. Full office. Separate changing room. Hot tub. Amazing view. Oh, and a butler sitting outside my door.
Yes, a butler. Although I had a remote that was capable of opening and closing my doors from my bed, I didn’t need it. The butler did it for me. The butler turned my lights on and off. I never touched a door handle.
The service was insane. It was a little much for me – I remember walking down to the lobby and being approached immediately by someone I had never seen before – and they knew my name and wanted to be sure I knew where I was going and offered their assistance. It was crazy.
The Burj itself has 7 restaurants. A sky bar. A beach, A beach bar. An INCREDIBLE spa. And so much more that I didn’t see. It’s also connected to two other Jumeirah resorts, which are also incredible. You can take buggies between the resorts and all the facilities are open to guests only.
I didn’t get left alone in my apartment until about 11pm. My time was off and I was wide awake – I think it was sensory overload. I ate a box of mini pastries and popped open some wine. I barely drank the wine because I was still sick but enjoyed the few sips that I had. I took a bath. I took a shower with all 8 shower heads. I took selfies on the giant bed and opened and the closed the remote controlled curtains several times. I looked into doing Dubai activities but made the executive decision to spend every minute of my time in Dubai at the resort. It is likely that I will find myself in Dubai again, but it is highly unlikely that I will find myself back at The Burj. One can dream!
I stayed up all night. I only had my carry on luggage which was full of Bali surf-beach gear (nothing too nice…) so I didn’t venture up to the Sky Bar. I was perfectly content in my apartment. I sat on all the furniture and took a million pictures. I watched weird Russian music videos, danced around in my robes, and sent out hundreds of snap chats. I tried all of the Hermes products and I smelled fantastic.
Around 8 am I took a nap. I got up around 10 and ordered breakfast. Oh, it was quite the spread. While I waited for it arrive, I walked down to the lobby to explore. I was immeditately greeted and had a list of possible activities explained to me. I went back upstairs and had my fantastic breakfast – eggs, cereal, baskets of pastries, coffee, toast, entire plate of bacon….everything I could possibly want.
After breakfast I headed down to the lobby to catch a buggy over to the sister resort, which had an awesome open air souk. It’s a market with souvenirs and clothes and really cool stuff. I bought some random crap and walked around for a bit. I loved it.
There are little gondolas that take you up and down the resort, stopping at different restaurants. Unreal. I took the gondola as close to the burj as I could, then hopped on another buggy to the executive pool at the burj. Holy crap. (PS: every driver knew my name, without any introduction). When I arrived at the pool I was handed a soft cooler full of bottled water and was asked if I needed a cocktail. A nice chair and towel was set up for me immediately.
I didn’t stay there long as I knew there was more to explore. I went down to the Burj Beach and sat at the awesome beach bar before heading out to a chair. A waiter brought me chips and salsa and I had a fantastic mojito. Surprisingly enough, it was reasonably priced.
I could have stayed on that beach for a week. Maybe 5. But I had a spa appointment that I was about to be late for. I arrived back at my room and my butler had already informed the spa that I was running late. I was whisked up to the spa and given a neck and back massage. I then had an eye treatment done, which I’m starting to really enjoy while traveling. I had one done in Switzerland and I desperately needed it. Extensive traveling can take a toll on the body, especially the face, and for me, my eyes. After my treatment I went up to the pool / Jacuzzi and watched the sunset over the marina. It was a dream. Oh, and all of the clocks in the spa were Rolex. Shocking.
After my treatment I went back to my room and packed up. I didn’t have to check out until it was time to leave for the airport. I told my Butler that I wanted to see the Sky bar before I left and jumped in the elevator. When I arrived up there, two women greeted me by name and gave me a tour, even though the bar was closed. I didn’t know this before I got up there. Nicely done, butler, nicely done.
Dragging myself out of my luxurious wonderland was made easier by the brand new BMW that arrived to take me to the airport. My driver was fantastic. He used to live in Brooklyn but was held at gun point a few too many times (late 80’s – 90’s) so he left. He spent some time in Paris and then he and his wife moved to Dubai. They had recently been to Bali and he was very jealous that it my was next destination. We had an awesome chat and the car was beautiful. He assumed I was flying Business on Emirates and was a little surprised when I said I was back in econ. And back to “reality.”
Ah yes, an Emirates flight from Dubai to Denpasar, Bali. Reality. Yes, yes please!