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Sybaritic Single savours a sublime Sharjah detox

Buttons for the male and female spas

Every now and then, the Sybaritic Single goes on a detox – so spending a few days in Sharjah, the only dry emirate in the UAE’s constellation of seven, was an obvious choice.

The Chedi Al Bait has been making headlines as the newest luxury hotel selling weekends at US$68,000 (per suite – see below). Before the Sybaritic Single was allowed to check-in, his temperature was measured using the latest infrared thermometer. Following that, a welcome sparkly concoction of lavender and pearl powder was served in a flûte with a glass cocktail straw (the hotel has a serious CSR programme) alongside “magic chocolate” truffles filled with popping candy.
“Welcome home” is the default greeting at the USD 27 million hotel, which was a decade in the making as one of the most ambitious historic preservation projects in the Middle East. In collaboration with UNESCO, the former residences of the prominent Al Midfa and Al Mahmoud families were carefully converted into a 53-key luxury city resort. Perched proudly above it is the only remaining in the country 100-year-old leaning circular wind tower. Within walking distance are the Sharjah Art Foundation and the Museum of Islamic Civilisation. For anything slightly further, a fleet of 2019 Mercedes cars, an iconic 1967 Mercedes Pullman or a helicopter await.
The Sybaritic Single was fascinated by the authenticity of the place and its many hidden gems: a private museum, a proper library, as well as a charming café with a secret door to Souq Al Arsah, the UAE’s oldest bazaar. A cozy ice-cream parlour boasts 27 decadent flavours, some made from camel milk with exotic ingredients like saffron, charcoal, edible gold and Arabic mastic. Another quirky touch is the Sweet Button on the in-room telephone. Press it – and a waiter appears with your choice of fresh juice and a chic dessert under a glass cloche. Less-than-healthy (neither were the à la carte breakfast eggs with truffle and foie gras) yet so much fun!
Enhancing the detox at this luxury hotel were the functional spa and the 24-hour gym – the Sybaritic Single’s only complaint was the lack of any life past 9 PM which made him read twice as much, herbal tea in hand, and retire to bed early.  PS. Want to know what you get for that US$68,000 suite?
That’s in US dollars, per suite per night:
The weekend begins with a yacht transfer from Dubai with exclusive welcome amenities that include edible, 24 karat gold. Dockside, a 1967 Mercedes Pullman – one of only 304 in the world – transfers guests directly to the hotel.

Once at the resort, guests resort to Bait Al Midfa Heritage House, where the suite will be strewn with flower decorations on a scale of a floral atelier and utterly personalised at every turn from gold embroidered and initialed wardrobes and slippers to personalised engraved jewelry set from the renowned local designer in the resort’s Jewellery Shop.

The first dining opportunity upon arrival is the Al Bait Tray for Two, complete with a gold twist, including one of the most expensive desserts in the world adorned in gold and jewels and concocted with the most expensive organic ingredients. Full disclosure, the resort will not reveal the exact recipe of this dessert.

Next up is a private, exotic couple’s spa retreat within the already secluded Heritage House. Depending on preference (and weather), there is the choice of a treatment outdoors or in one of the atmospheric rooms in the spa.

Floating from the spa experience, the day ends under the stars watching a suitably romantic film in an outdoor cinema experience in the privacy of the Heritage Courtyard with – of course – gold popcorn or a full-on gastronomic affair, if wished.

After a night on a specially imported, USD $22,000 mattress, which provides two more hours of sleep than a normal bed, a curated breakfast is served out at sea on a yacht. All hands on deck gives way to all hands at calligraphy in a private class, with gold, at the resort.

Lunch takes place in the heart of the kitchen at Al Bait Sharjah, in the shadow of a hundred-year old windtower. In the afternoon, local tailors take measurements for a bespoke abaya and kandoora by a famous Arab fashion designer, which will then be shipped anywhere.

The day closes with a curated dinner picnic on a private island in Sharjah with a private musician and butler service while the sun dips into the horizon. Naturally, a royal bathing ceremony will occur upon return to the resort.

On the day of departure, a spiritual awakening ceremony at a private pool with a spot of yoga, segues to a romantic breakfast in the privacy of the Heritage House.  Interested?