Smith & Family Parent Panel reviews
Every property featured in the Smith & Family collection – including One&Only the Palm – has been selected and approved by parents.
From its dazzling-white grand lobby to the sea-view swimming pool, the Andalucia-inspired One & Only the Palm is slick and glamorous, but very tastefully so. Eschewing the big buildings and bling for which Dubai is simultaneously renowned and ridiculed, this resort is one of the smallest in town with just 125 rooms and suites – practically a B&B by Emirati standards – but those rooms are some of the city's most spacious and family-friendly. They aren't scrimping on the luxury, though: for an utterly shameless VIP experience, rent a cabana by the striking red-and-black-floored swimming pool for the day to ensure your own private poolside seating, shower and air-conditioning. And while the mini Smiths are enjoying the daily programme of organised activities in the KidsOnly club, grown-ups get to thide out in the small but luxurious spa, a soothingly child-free haven of shaded courtyards and refreshing fourtains where each of the nine treatment rooms has its own little garden.
Perhaps the best thing about One & Only The Palm (aside from its nothing's-too-much-trouble service) is where it is: its exclusive location at the tip of one of the Jumeirah Palm islands' fronds gives it uninterrupted city views. You'd be hard pressed to find another spot that offers such family-friendly seaside luxury so close to the centre of the city.
Smith & Family
Babies, let’s face it, aren’t really going to appreciate the finer points of such a haute-luxe lifestyle, but they sure enjoy splashing about at the shallow steps of the beautiful pool when it’s winter in London. A manageable flight and time difference, plus year-round sunshine, only amplify Dubai’s family appeal.
One&Only The Palm is the Dubai hotel for people that don’t want to go to Dubai. Cuddling up, en famille, in our own daybed-shaped kingdom, complete with mountains of king-size fluffy towels, with only the very tips of skyscrapers were visible beyond the fronds. It was from this vantage point next to the beautiful palm-flanked pool that we’d gaze, transfixed, at a tiny dot of a plane 13,000 feet up dispatch a handful of thrill-seeking parachutists who then looked for all the world as if they’d splash down next to us.
In a destination known for its super-sized approach to, well, everything, One&Only The Palm was a private, pampered and privileged haven. The activity schedule is out of this world for kids aged over four, and during school holidays they go to town: free water-skiing, one-to-one swimming lessons and tennis coaching from a professional. Otis, 4, and Lula Bee, 1, have a lot to look forward to.
Anonymously reviewed by
Amber Spencer-Holmes, Smith Hotels