Fairmont the Palm

Fairmont the Palm is a place of many happy memories for me. It’s where my dear friend, Zahirah Variawa, had her fairytale wedding, where I celebrated my one year wedding anniversary, and where I met fashion illustrator extraordinaire Megan Hess. I honestly don’t have enough good things to say about the relaxed, elegant vacation vibe of this happy resort on the manmade Palm Jumeirah island in Dubai. You feel it as soon as the valet has whisked your bags away and you enter the spacious lobby filled with flowers and colourful art.



Gardens, sea and sun… <3

Sweet Suite

From the hotel’s vantage point, you not only get an arresting sea view, but one of the Dubai skyline to boot. Book a sea view room with a terrace and you’ll be hard pressed to find a reason to leave.


The rooms are big and bright, keeping the focus on that stunning sea view. The colours all complement the blue of the sea, with warm tones of orange, olive green and beige.


Even the bathrooms are elegant, with fresh flowers every day and beautiful marble interiors.



To celebrate our anniversary, they had rose petals strewn on the bed and a chocolate cake. I jumped on the bed before I could take a photo, but I did manage to get one of the yummy cake before diving in:



Pool & Beach

A major drawcard of this hotel is lying around in the sun and doing nothing. The pool and the beach are so beautiful, that the most activity you’ll want to do is take a dip to cool off before turning back to your sun lounger to even out your tan. In today’s fast paced world, it’s nice to take an afternoon out to truly re-energize by relaxing in the sun. And yes, taking Instagram photos counts as activity.


For those who love a more active holiday, Aquaspin classes are an absolute must-try. They are so much fun and guaranteed to be different from your typical workouts at home.


aqua-spin aquaspin3



So this is what breakfast in heaven must look like…



I also love the Baa Lounge, which has hosted many a beautiful event, including jazz nights and balmy Polynesian themed nights.  This is also the place I got to meet Megan Hess and get a signed copy of her lovely book Coco Chanel: The Illustrated Life of a Fashion Icon. She complemented my hair, which makes us besties 😀





Me and Anita, VIVA Magazine Editor


No review of this fabulous resort would be complete without showcasing my beautiful friend Zahirah Variawa on her wedding day in a stunning, custom-made Steven Khalil wedding dress.


Zahirah beautiful inside and out!



With Megan Hess and Anita Quade celebrating Z’s love!



I saved best for last. Whenever I’ve had an especially hard month, I’ll treat myself to a spa day at Willow Stream Spa. Their therapists are among the best in the UAE and the treatment rooms have a calming energy.  But what puts them a cut above the rest is that is that they also have luxury medical spa offerings curated by Harley Street Dr Rita Rakus. They have a fancy computer analyze your skin’s needs and offer red carpet facials to make your skin glow:



They also have slimming capabilities for problem areas. One hour in these astronaut-looking pants and you’ll see a difference:



Lastly, they offer these skin products from cult Swiss favourite Dr. Levy. I have very sensitive skin and for the first time in a while, I’ve been able to go about makeup free because of the effects of these products. It was also a reminder to always use SPF!




Since I’ve attended many lovely events at this hotel, here is some style inspiration for what to wear to stand out and be photographed at the wonderful Fairmont the Palm:



Pink lady


Canvas by Lands End romper jumpsuit
645 AED – landsend.com

High heel shoes
190 AED – unique-vintage.com

Michael Kors gold jewelry
275 AED – 6pm.com

Lord & Taylor gold earrings
145 AED – lordandtaylor.com

Hermès hermes scarve
870 AED – shop-hers.com

Smashbox lipstick
77 AED – beauty.com

Valentino perfume
375 AED – harveynichols.com
Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Paris holds no terrors for well-heeled travellers, who can check into one of the city’s eleven palaces such as ­ the Georges V, Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol or my favourite, Le Meurice. But for those on any kind of budget, finding a decent place to stay in the French capital can be a challenge. Bedrooms smaller than a bathroom, bathrooms smaller than a bidet, we’ve all stayed at one of them and lived to regret it. So, it’s with great pleasure that I have found almost the perfect Parisian hotel – and you don’t need to be a tech billionaire to afford it. The Bedford has been family owned and run for more than a hundred years, combining Swiss roots, French flair and English tradition. It benefits from strong leadership, attention to detail, and a staff eager to look after you. With just 140 rooms, it is large enough to intimate, but not so large that you are anonymous. It’s a 4 star, but deserves more.
The rooms
Parquet flooring; high ceilings; comfortable beds and pillows; keys rather than plastic cards; and best of all, real switches, that turn the lights on and off. The Bedford has sensibly ignored many of the technical traps that can make staying in a hotel room more challenging than setting up your own satellite transmission site. The result is a place that combines understated elegance with modern touches and old school service. Some rooms overlook the rue de l’Arcade, others look over a courtyard, but all are a decent size and a muted colour. There is air-conditioning too, which is a relief when the summer strikes.
Breakfast is a buffet in a glorious belle époque room, boasting stucco reliefs and a glass roof. Dinner happens here too, French cuisine and fairly formal. There’s also a relaxed bistro/bar that serves meals and cocktails.
A stone’s throw from the Place de la Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, and the Opera, this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris. (Marcel Proust used to live just around the corner). It is a lively area, with great boutiques, wine bars and an eclectic mix of restaurants, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and French too.
Don’t miss
The Bedford knows that many people like to travel with their pets, so they are allowed to stay too.
HOTEL BEDFORD, 17, RUE DE L’ARCADE 75008 PARIS Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 77 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 97 More information at www.hotel-bedford.com
Rooms from €250; Suites from €450


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Sara Hamdan

Welcome to a magazine editor’s guide to luxury hotels and what to wear when you’re there! My work has appeared in: The International New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety and CNN Travel. I’ve held editorial roles at VIVA Magazine, Dubai Magazine and Stylist Arabia.  Now, I freelance for the likes of Google, CNN and Savoir Flair!

Editing travel pages was always my favourite part of working for lifestyle magazines. I started this blog out of a love of beautiful hotels that provide the fairytale escape of a day as a princess where breakfast is a buffet and chocolates appear on my pillow.

PR queries, feedback and compliments? Email sara@holidaysinheels.com!