JA Palm Tree Court

Want to leave the city behind? Get on Sheikh Zayed Road, past Dubai, past the industrial zones of Jebel Ali, take a right towards desert and sea – and you will arrive: a seaside oasis just 20 minutes away from Dubai. This laid-back hotel is popular year-round with couples and families seeking to unplug a little from life. What it offers in return is a sojourn filled with greenery, long stretches of sandy beach, and the ultimate swim-up pool bar.


The Welcome

Follow the winding path and beware the peacocks! They’re crossing roads, they’re taking your parking spot, and you’ll later find them chillin’ next to you at the beach. They’re not so good at playing hide-and-seek:


Peacock peek-a-boo 😀



Peacocks guide us to our room… or just stand prettily in the way…


jebel ali entrance

Welcome to heaven! Mode of transport: golf carts


Sweet Suite

The rooms are no frills and keep the focus on the sea. The sea view rooms are so inviting you won’t want to leave your balcony, though the garden view rooms also give a nice splash of greenery that we so crave living in the desert.

jebel ali

Knock, knock… Sea view calling…


We opted for a beach bungalow and got the fabulous mix of garden and sea view. Absolute highlight? Being woken up by the sound of what turned out to be baby peacocks tapping on the balcony door! This is the private terrace in front of the room that opens out onto an expanse of sea…


Playing peacock peek-a-boo



Beach time!



White Orchid is a great Asian fusion restaurant with excellent grilled meats and Thai curries. This is also the venue for breakfast in the morning with everything from Arabic foul medammes to fluffy omelettes made to order.

jebel ali restaurant

White Orchid Restaurant: two levels of delicious


This hotel is really ideal for pure relaxation. People don’t come here to party up a storm and kids are usually in bed early. We spent most of the day at the beach with a good book and the rest of the time chasing the peacocks to get close enough for a good photo. I managed one:


Trying to blend in…

And anyway, who needs a club when you can hang out here past sunset?


The home of drinks with umbrellas…



For a relaxing stay at JA Palm Tree Court, enjoy beach attire in vibrant colours. Here’s an outfit inspired by beach sunsets at the resort:


Jebel Ali beach retreat


Pierre Balmain high waisted shorts
2,460 AED – net-a-porter.com

Soludos sandals
240 AED – nordstrom.com

Beach bag
54 AED – hm.com

Tech accessory
37 AED – cottonon.com

Floppy hat
110 AED – luxurydivas.com

Revo round glasses
33 AED – emblemeyewear.com

Beach wall art
505 AED – kohls.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!