Opened in 1997, Jumeirah Beach Hotel is one of Dubai’s first modern resorts. The broad, wave-shaped tower sits next to a white-sand beach with a full flight of water sports, and it gets year-round traffic including many sun-seeking Russian package tourists and British families. Despite a capacity of more than 1,200 guests, the hotel has enough pools and restaurants to absorb the crowds. The guestrooms are still some of Dubai’s largest (that’s saying a lot), and the hotel is a convenient 20-minute taxi or free shuttle ride to the Gold Souk on Dubai Creek, or to the Mall of the Emirates, site of Dubai’s famous indoor ski slope. Kids will want to max out time at the Wild Wadi water park just up the beach, to which Jumeirah Beach Hotel guests enjoy free entrance. Couples migrate to the 24th-floor Uptown Bar patio for cocktails and breezy views of the Persian Gulf and the lights of Dubai’s iconic skyscrapers, including the Burj al Arab and Burj Khalifa.
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You can stroll for miles along Jumeirah Beach, but a visit to the Gold Souk or financial district requires taxi or hotel shuttle service. The nearest shopping mall is Madinat Jumeirah, a replica of a traditional souk that mixes shops selling Oriental tourist kitsch with restaurants along man-made canals plied by electric-powered dhows. Down Jumeirah Beach Road, locals hang at the Lime Tree Café next to a Spinney’s Supermarket, where one can buy flavored camel's milk for the kids.
Need to Know
Rooms: 617 rooms; from $431. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Eighteen restaurant, café, and bar options include Mediterranean alfresco dining at the seaside Villa Beach and an international buffet at Lattitude, which also has country theme nights (Britain, Japan, India). A new Indian restaurant opens in February 2015. At brunch and from sundown till the wee hours, the 360˚ lounge, a glassed-in rotunda at the end of a pier, serves pan-Asian cuisine to a DJ beat. Gym and spa details: The hotel has a full-service Talise Spa and Talise Fitness center with Technogym equipment, five swimming pools, water sports, and tennis courts. Golf privileges and equipment rental at a variety of city and desert courses can be arranged.
Who’s it for: Families who want the convenience of beach, pools, and water park and wish to expose kids to foreign culture. Couples who want to combine a beach and city holiday while interacting with travelers from many countries. Our favorite rooms: Westward-facing superior Ocean Suites have private terraces with Burj al Arab views. To escape the crowds, book one of the 19 Beach Villas in a compound set apart from the main, massive hotel building. Quiet month: During Ramadan, live music and public dancing are curtailed throughout the resort and city proper.