ja the resort dubai

Deluxe Dubai: Large-scale luxury at JA The Resort

29 Dec 2023 | Updated on: 21 Dec 2023 |By Luxury London

If you want to enjoy dozens of dining outlets, water sports, spa trips, beach days, golf and more without ever leaving your resort (and with sunshine guaranteed), this is the place for you

At JA The Resort there’s an equestrian centre and marina. A nine-hole championship golf course, shooting club, multiple pools and an Animal Discovery Zone. There are even peacocks; huge, colourful, proud creatures who strut around the resort with a knowing air, as if nodding ‘Yes, we’ve landed in the lap of luxury and we’re pretty happy about it’. The likelihood is, if Dubai is top of your holiday list, that you also subscribe to a ‘bigger is better’ hotel ethos.

That’s exactly what JA The Resort prides itself on, declaring its superlative status as ‘Dubai’s largest experience resort’. Many happy visitors agree, judging by the accolades it’s winning, ranging from its spot among the top 1 per cent of Trip Advisor’s Best of the Best properties worldwide to Best All-Inclusive Family Hotel in the Middle East.

Ja the resort dubai

JA The Resort is indeed enormous. One million square metres, to be precise. That is about a fifth of the size of Glastonbury Festival and 138 times bigger than the pitch at Wembley. The headline features are its three hotels – JA Beach Hotel, JA Palm Tree Court and JA Lake View Hotel – but there is so much more contained within its vast perimeter that, by the time we leave, there’s still plenty we want to explore.

25 restaurants make it ideal for those who don’t want to leave the resort but like to choose somewhere different for every meal. Having said that, once we’ve eaten at White Orchid, I confess to returning more than once to the two-floor, beach-front Southeast Asian restaurant; it hits that sweet spot where amazing food (don’t miss out on its spectacular lobster), charming service and sunset views combine. Do book in advance for restaurants that require it and be mindful that full-board doesn’t include every drink and meal at every restaurant (although it’s clearly indicated so as not to catch you out).

The atmosphere throughout the resort is calm and 100 per cent dedicated to relaxation, whether that’s achieved by being horizontal on a sunbed (me), whacking golf balls (my partner) or zooming across the water on a jet ski (both of us). We’re by the coast overlooking Palm Jebel Ali (even bigger than Palm Jumeirah just down the coast) and just a 40-minute drive from the airport, so it’s an ideal antidote to the hustle and bustle of central Dubai.

An incredible 800 metres of private beachfront means we never have to wrangle for prime sunbathing spots, as you would in many more crowded places in Europe, and the sea is calm thanks to Palm Jebel Ali acting as a wave breaker. At the cooler times of day, we wander around the immaculate grounds, lush and verdant in comparison to the desert sand beyond the resort, and home to trickling waterfalls, greenery and a sprawling golf course. 

Palm Tree Court, where we stay, is fully committed to glossy, gleaming beach-front luxe; its 212 suites have floor-to-ceiling windows, luxe furnishings and thoughtful, indulgent design. We open the curtains to gaze out over the pristine sea of the Arabian Gulf from our 120 square metre Sea View suite. It’s huge, with a living area, separate master bedroom and two bathrooms each housing roll-top baths. We languish on our private balcony, making the most of our complimentary daily international newspaper and free sundowners between 5.30 and 7.30pm at Signatures Lounge.

JA the resort
The Tamr Pool, JA Palm Tree Court

Buggies are essential here and not just for golf; staff zip us from room to restaurant, beach, pools and back with big smiles, ensuring we never overheat in the midday sun. If ever that threatens to happen, though, we take up residence at one of several swim-up bars. Only JA Palm Tree Court guests can use the Tamr Pool Bar and its alfresco Tamr Terrace, with expansive views of the resort and privacy among the tropical palms.

We didn’t travel with children but I can say with absolute certainty that my niece would adore it here. The peacocks, first, closely followed by the adorable ponies at the Equestrian Centre and the Aviary Bird Shows. I’d also have struggled to prise her away from the amazing Just Splash Park, which is thoughtfully located (for those of us travelling without kids) away from the main pools. Whenever we pass it, it’s full of delighted children and equally happy parents (because by bedtime, after the kids’ disco and family movie nights, these exhausted kids will sleep like angels). The staff seem to welcome the little ones with open arms and I would wager that even the fussiest eaters can be satisfied in several of the 25 restaurants.

We leave already planning our next visit: on the agenda are spa treatments at the Calm Spa & Salon, exploring the marina, playing more golf and venturing further than the White Orchid to see which restaurant can knock it off its top spot.

Rooms at JA Palm Tree Court from around £350 per night, jaresorthotels.com

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