A new Palm Dubai experience at the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa – Hotel Insider

Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah could never be described as short on hotels or short on variety.

However, among a handful of new openings this year, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, The Palm, Dubai has arguably been one of the most anticipated. The National sampled the Taj brand’s third property in Dubai, which opened in March.

Home

Relieved of our car and luggage, we are ushered to comfortable armchairs in a spacious, airy lobby that subtly displays the resort’s main theme of sun, sea and sand. Evident in a central art installation and a stunning Preciosa flow chandelier comprising over 11,000 pieces of crystal, the mood continues throughout the resort via patterned rugs, more creative lighting and bubble murals and catchy pebbles.

Welcome drinks, chilled flannels, and a garland made from tiny seashells accompany check-in. We are also introduced to our “butler”, Shapna, who shows us to an ocean-facing suite on the third floor while detailing the resort’s restaurants and facilities. Our bags beat us upstairs, impressive.

The neighborhood

Taj Exotica is a lavish white property near the end of Palm’s Eastern Crescent. Elegant architectural details provide a noticeable contrast to neighboring buildings.

The resort faces the Arabian Gulf, facing Jumeirah and downtown Dubai. On the reverse side, the bedroom balconies offer views of the resort pool, private beach, large courtyard garden and central palm fronds and quiet waterways.

Security measures

Generally, staff wear face masks. Many guests, however, exhibit poor mask discipline indoors during our stay. Restaurant and bar tables are well spaced out for social distancing and the pool is large enough to avoid overcrowding.

Bedroom

Taj Exotica has 258 rooms and 67 suites with balconies ― two in the case of our elegant suite ― overlooking the resort and the Palm beyond.

Wooden floors run through a living room with a sofa, coffee machine, TV, table and chairs, and a separate marble bathroom, into a bedroom with similar beige upholstered paneling and marble wall details. wood.

A plush bed faces another widescreen TV and a Dubai-themed blue wall, complemented by turquoise and green fabrics. A generous dressing room flanks a marble bathroom with two sinks, a walk-in shower and dedicated toilet, as well as a bathtub.

Commendably, refillable ceramic pots, rather than plastic miniatures, dispense Molton Brown laundry products.

The service

For a new hotel launched without a soft opening, Taj shows no signs of the growing pains you might expect. Staff are well-trained, cheerful, and eager to answer any questions you may have, including the sleek new restaurants and tranquil spa.

The scene

The 70 meter swimming pool of the property.  Photo: Taj Exotica Resort & Spa

If “epic pool” is on your wishlist, this one will get your vote. At 70 meters, it is the longest in the Palm.

The area is serviced by countless lounge chairs, including plush cushion options and cabanas, while a dedicated beach area a few steps away is also dotted with lounge chairs. A staffed kids’ club, tennis courts, and a golf putting green are also available.

Furniture design excels throughout, lending elegance to public spaces, restaurants, and even a stunning games room equipped with air hockey, billiards, chess, foosball, and video thrill games.

Jiva Spa occupies a quiet corner on the first floor. In addition to a fitness center and yoga space, nine rooms are dedicated to Ayurvedic therapies, facials, body scrubs and wraps, as well as head, body and foot massages and “experiences”. of signature”.

The food

There are seven restaurants and bars, each featuring a distinctive aesthetic. The international buffet and the Palm Kitchen à la carte restaurant serve breakfast until 10:30 a.m. in a spacious setting indoors and on the terrace, accompanied by a violinist. Salad, cereals, fruits and hot dishes, including shakshuka and Indian staples, are supported by a live cooking station for eggs, omelettes and dosa. Expect table visits from chefs carrying freshly baked croissants.

Gourmet restaurant Varq (named after the gold leaf trim and symbol of royalty) evokes contemporary and often lavish twists on Indian favorites. Its ‘the canvas is the plate’ message is demonstrated by the impeccable Hyderabadi lamb shank sunheri nalli, accompanied by varq (Dh130) and Chilean sea bass. The decadent smoked chicken dish murgh sirka pyaz (Dh120) is only bettered by an addictive mutton sukha (Dh130). Achari haldi fish tikka (Dh120) pleases the eye as much as the palate.

Roaring Rabbit is billed as a British-influenced pub, but a quirky and expensive Alice in Wonderland theme elevates it beyond that brief. The friendly team offers inventive cocktails and gastropub favourites, including refreshing Cornish crab salad (Dh95), indulgent classic Scotch eggs (Dh75) and jaw-dropping barbecue wings (Dh85).

Rooftop Bar and Lounge Raia’s “Mumbai to Marrakech” vibe combines more inspired decor with indoor or outdoor seating. A central bar offers a long list of drinks while the food straddles the Mediterranean to the Middle East, as shown by its lively Panorama brunch.

Highs and lows

So many highs, ranging from this game room and pool area to interiors curated by Hirsch Bedner Associates that give this resort a sense of privacy and sophisticated play, despite its expanse. It would be good to see less reliance on plastic bottled water, albeit free for pool patrons.

The insider tip

For slow, golden sunsets, head to the Taj Club Lounge (depending on room quality), your room’s balcony, or better yet, Raia’s swings, perhaps preceded by a tea l afternoon at the Emperor Lounge on the lobby level, to a soundtrack by a resident harpist.

The verdict

With plenty of stay options on the Palm, it’s reassuring to find that Taj Exotica is doing something different. The attention to detail is tremendous and gives this spacious resort a warm personality that combines playful chic and upscale style, all while being family friendly.

The bottom line

Room-only prices at the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa start from Dh650 ($177), excluding taxes and fees. Check-in from 3 p.m.; departure at noon.

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, East Crescent Road, Palm Jumeirah; https://www.tajhotels.com/en-in/taj/taj-exotica-dubai/

This review was conducted at the resort’s invitation during the global coronavirus pandemic. It reflects the hotel standards of the time; services may change in the future

Updated: July 22, 2022, 6:02 p.m.

Richard F. Gandhi