The gal could have become almost blasé about experiences in Dubai. From Thai over-water villas here, to indoor ski slopes and alpine chalets there, to a floating terrace that was floated all the way from Finland, what more could amaze? Well, yet another luxury hotel managed to live up to the by-now-expected par. Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah was that final experience, on this particular trip, and the initial stay was superb. Since it is impossible to do justice to the entire 319-room hotel, let us just concentrate, now, on the food. Look at the raspberry dessert, above. It is called Raspberry 11 which seems to stand for 11 types of raspberry-something and it is one of the treasures at Social, by Heinz Beck, left.
I think back to the time Heinz Beck first cooked for me, as a surprise, a welcome back to my villa at Le Touessrok in Mauritius, I had been out and when I returned, there he was, cooking on the balcony. Now Heinz Beck is so famous, with his amazing Michelin three-star restaurant Pergola atop Waldorf Astoria Cavalieri in Rome. Here his menu is superb, and so is the ambience. The evening started with sunset, from the terrace of beach-view Suite 421 at this gorgeous hotel. I was to dine with David Wilson, whom I have seen running other top hotels, in Bali, in Beijing, and now here. His Bentley picked me up. My dirty jeans were rushed away, to be returned, smooth as silk and in a full-length plastic bag, a mere three hours later.
But our dinner. I had caprese, which turned out to be deconstructed. Here are the ingredients, you do what you want – I did, thanks to a glass of Livio Felluga Vertigo Rosso delle Venezie 2013 (oh the style here, loved the Beck-bespoke Laguiole butter knives on the Nikko side plates, and the potato foccacia, and slim-slim grissini, and the crisp-crust sourdough roll). I went on to seabass baked in a salt pastry shell, bashed open table-side, and served with tiniest bits of cauliflower, and truffle sauce with orange perfume. And then we both proceeded to the raspberry confection. Heaven.
Of course the gym was 24/7 and I was able to have a quick workout before my breakfast arrived, on the dot of 6.30 a.m. It was, even without Heinz Beck’s involvement, as stylish as I by now expected from this luxury hotel (being run by a highly experienced hotelier always helps). I had Maison Francis Miot preserves, on a level to the French palate with Bordier butters. While having yet another cup of coffee I read about the hotel’s just started Secret Garden Brunch, making use of the large gardens, which enclose two pools, one adult only. There you are, hotel one side, beach the other. But my watches, all of them, were moving on fast. Down at the shiny-marbled lobby, I asked if the Financial Times had arrived yet. It is already in the car, I was told with a smile. So I, the Rimowa Porsche wheelie, and the brand-new-looking jeans, boarded the Bentley, for the next place. If you want to see round my suite, read below.