Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

Chandeliers… red velvet curtains… marble floors… It’s all about glamour and grandeur at #JumeirahZabeelSaray. You see it with the first few #Valentino-clad steps you take as you enter the hotel. Lined with palm trees and waterways, the stage is set for a bit of indulgent fun.


First Impressions

Each area rocks its own design. Voda Bar is uber chic in black and white, while Sultan’s Lounge is like taking a step back in time to the Ottoman era. There’s no chance of getting bored.


Sweet Suite:

It’s a room fit for a queen. Sometimes you wonder whether there’s a point in splashing cash on a nice room when you’re in a new city that you want to explore (you’ll be out all day, right?). But then you get to a room like this and you don’t want go anywhere else. Instead, we spent time trying to figure out how high the thread count on the sheets were and whether the curtains were somehow made of liquid gold.

Oh and the bathrooms – holy tiled marble. Marble, marble everywhere. It’s like a sultan’s private bathhouse for two.




#jumeirahzabeelsaray has, hands down, the most chichi spa in town. Were talking starry ceilings, massive indoor pools, and a royal Ottoman hammam that rivals anything you’ve seen on that popular Turkish soap opera. Yes, I’m going to keep making these references 😀




It’s all about long, lazy, seaside fare at Plaj. Sink your toes in the sand and your teeth in the yummiest pizza on the palm.

For a fancier dinner affair, our favourite had to be Turkish restaurant Lalezar. Just the way you pronounce the name of the place will make your mouth water. Say it three times fast: Lalezar! You’ll be busy posing like an extra from Harem Al Sultan next to the gilded drapes and fancy tables until the food arrives. Think lahmacun meat pizzas, grilled meats, bulghur wheat in tomato sauce and salads galore. The stuffed, colourful bell peppers are a treat for eyes and taste buds alike.





Where to party

The best of hedonistic Beirut is on The Palm with @musichalldubai. From reggae to Greek zorba to an awesome Whitney Houston impersonator, you’ll have the night of your life dancing in the crowded aisles of this crazy hotspot.


#whattopack for a dazzling night out at Music Hall – curated with love by fashion consultant Rula Dajani <3

Untitled #162


Cami tank
59 AED – romwe.com

Haute Hippie sequin blazer jacket
1,330 AED – theoutnet.com

Alice + Olivia low rise shorts
1,125 AED – net-a-porter.com

Charlotte Olympia black platform sandals
3,435 AED – forzieri.com

Edie Parker velvet handbag
5,490 AED – shop.harpersbazaar.com

Michael Kors gold tone jewelry
185 AED – 6pm.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!