Jumeirah Beach Hotel is, according to Virgin Holidays, the most family-friendly resort anywhere outside the USA (top of its global poll was Orlando’s Disney complex). From a luxury viewpoint, the hotel, known as ‘The Wave‘, actually offers something for everyone. Look at its architecture, a 26-floor wave-shaped ziggurat with 617 rooms, all of which face the ocean. This was the first of the Jumeirah hotels, says the gal, and legendary hotelier Gerald Lawless, long-time President and CEO of Jumeirah, was its opening GM, back in 1998.
For convention and other meeting goers, the conference centre is slightly separate from the main hotel, and breakfast can be served over there so no need for CEOs and the like to mingle with dozens of schoolkids on holiday, which they would hardly enjoy. Honeymooners are also protected, by rooms (small size 500 sq ft) that are well sound-proofed. There are two club lounges, one that is adult only, and the other has an adults-only upper level. But back to kids, this is just heaven, with masses of pools as well as the beach, and the fitness centre has a climbing wall. Right next door is Wild-Wadi, with moving water and lots of other excitement – and this is the only hotel that gives free access to Wild-Wadi.
Mahmoud Sakr, the absolutely lovely GM of this hotel, has even instituted sleeping bags so that when kids arrive they can choose the pattern on their bag – and parents love this as it does not mess up the room so much, and housekeeping staff love it as it is much quicker to tidy a sleeping bag than make a bed (average stay here, by the way, is four nights). In the morning, kids adore their small-person corner in the enormous Latitude restaurant, with its total of seven cooking stations. For dinner, many kids love ordering pizza, delivered to the room by a room service person in pizza uniform. Alternatively, go to any Jumeirah hotel’s many restaurants and sign to your room.
I stayed in BC-3, a ground floor cabana with an enormous terrace. It was divine. Three minutes’ walk from the lobby, no elevator wait, no elevators at all, in fact. It was cream and light, and opened right on to that terrace. I did my morning exercises out there, looking across the water at another luxury hotel, Burj Al Arab, and I smiled at the success of both.