Dar Al Masyaf: Hotel review

Holiday-makers in Dubai looking for luxury accommodation with top-notch service and impressive facilities at a fairly reasonable rate will not be disappointed in the Dar Al Masyaf.

Located between the visual icons of the Palm Jumeirah and the Burj al Arab, the hotel is part of a massive but beautifully set out three-hotel resort called Madinat Jumeira. Unlike the other two, it comprises 29 well-appointed ‘summer houses’ built in traditional Arabian style, each with its own private pool. This helps to provide a sense of exclusivity, aided by the ever-helpful presence of an exclusive butler.

The houses, which can be shared or private, provide spacious, luxurious accommodation with balconies, wi-fi, complimentary bottled water and bathroom phones among other features. There are two types, the Gulf, which are beside the resort’s private beach, and the Arabian, which rather than the sea overlook the waterways. People express different preferences: it seems to be a matter of personal taste rather than quality of accommodation.

Between the summer houses and the other facilities lie traditional Arabian gardens and a network of waterways navigated by boats called ‘abras’. Golf buggies provide a much appreciated complimentary shuttle service around the resort, counteracting the drawback of being spread out.

As well as the two restaurants belonging to the Dar al Masyaf, guests can make use of the 38 other restaurants, bars and cafes in the other hotels and Souk, or shopping mall, of the resort. With over 95 retail outlets, it is hardly surprising that guests comment that there is really no need to leave the resort.

The resort’s health club and spa also receive many favourable mentions. As well as the usual full range of machines, etc, the Quay health club offers exercise classes, personal training and programmes designed for children. It also has a climbing wall and a high altitude suite providing hypoxic training. The Talise spa was awarded ‘The Best Treatment Destination’ at the VIVA magazine Beauty Awards 2011. It employs 76 staff in a series of island treatment rooms and provides a huge range of treatments from many different traditions as well as a vegetarian restaurant and spa pool. Its director describes it as a ‘venue for life-style change’.

Service in general is a key feature throughout the resort. For example, complimentary ice cold towels, ice lollies and ice buckets for keeping drinks cold are most welcome at the poolside. Another example is that time and again guests single out ‘their’ butler…or indeed all the staff… as a major factor in their enjoyment of their stay.

Families are welcome and well served. There is a very popular children’s club for 4 to 12 year olds with its own pool and lifeguards, a theatre providing family-friendly entertainment, and of course complimentary access to the extraordinary Wild Wadi water park next door, with its 30 rides catering for all ages and swimming abilities.

When guests report returning many times and compare the Dar al Masyaf favourably with luxury resorts all around the world, both in terms of quality and of price, it is clear that this hotel would be an excellent choice for anyone planning to holiday in Dubai.