The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai provides a feast for the senses and is also a phenomenal choice for families. There, you get the convenience of a fabulous hotel in the heart of a city, but with the relaxed vibe and amenities of an upscale beach resort. You’ll feel the low-key opulence from the moment you walk in. The lobby is absolutely stunning, with a beautiful fountain strewn with lush and fragrant flower petals, surrounded by Middle Eastern design influences. If your family is planning a trip to this region, there’s simply no better place to stay. Many thanks to The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai for hosting us.
Centrally located in JBR (that’s Jumeirah Beach Residence, which is a waterfront community on the Persian Gulf.), The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai (check your dates for rates) is close enough to all the attractions any family-on-the-go will want to explore, while providing guests with the laid-back beach vacation they’ve been craving. The city-meets-tropical-beach vice feels a bit like Miami’s South Beach, but it’s cleaner and is certainly more family-friendly.
There are plenty of chic, upscale shopping and dining options within walking distance. In fact, the popular beachside boulevard is called The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence for that very reason. There you’ll find one-of-a-kind, local boutiques mixed in with international retailers. Frequently, you’ll also catch pop-up markets selling jewelry, home décor, and food, while providing entertainment, too. Nearby, you can find more shopping at The Beach and the open-air cinema. When you’re hungry, stop in any one of Dubai’s best cafes or restaurants, all located right there, along the strip.
Our spacious one-bedroom suite (lucky room number 538) was located in the newer wing of The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, and was simply fantastic. You all know how I feel about getting a one-bedroom suite whenever possible when traveling with family.
The suite provided an ample seating area, as well as a large enough living room to set up two roll-away beds. The desk area was comfortable for working.
The bedroom (which was completely separate) had a nice chaise lounge facing the window, a comfy king bed, a walk-in closet with more than enough storage, and a luxurious attached bathroom.
The gorgeous, marble bathroom provided a double vanity, a modern stand-alone tub, and an incredible shower.
I can’t say enough about this thing that might as well have been a separate room! It had two shower heads, a double-sized rain shower above, and side sprays, too. I’d say eight adults could have comfortably fit inside.
The balcony was simply beautiful, stretching between the living room and bedroom, and overlooking that breathtaking Gulf.
The Ritz-Carlton is known for being one of the most family-friendly luxury hotel brands, but The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai in particular really blew us away. They treated our girls like royalty!
The surprises started as soon as we set foot in the room. There, they were treated to Hello Kitty balloons and Hello Kitty-imprinted sweet treats by their beds, along with robes personalized with their names embroidered on them.
As part of the Ritz Kids program, each hotel gives a plush toy (either the brand’s signature lion or an animal that has some local significance). The girls were delighted to receive plush camels at this location, displayed on an adorable plate of “sand” (coconut flakes) with mini-cupcakes. The housekeeping staff even made hearts on their beds out of rose petals at turndown service!
The Ritz Kids Club was wonderful. Our second day there, it rained the entire day, which is actually very rare in Dubai, so the girls ended up spending the entire day in the kids’ club.
We were very impressed that the club was run by real professionals; many seemed to have teaching backgrounds. They actually interacted with the kids, going above and beyond merely supervising independent play. They guided the kids through advanced arts and crafts activities, teaching the children new techniques instead just passing out coloring sheets.
The club doesn’t serve lunch, but if you’re not able to pick up your kids to eat together, the staff can order room service and charge it to your room. Ritz Kids’ Club provides a full schedule of activities each day, so that the kids don’t get bored.
On warm days, the girls spent a lot of time outside. The beach is beautiful and quintessentially Dubai, with the skyscrapers behind beachgoers and The Dubai Eye up ahead. (The Dubai Eye was still under construction during our trip.)
The girls loved the family pool, which had a fast water slide. And parents can kick back and relax with a good book, knowing Dubai lifeguards take their jobs very seriously and that there are always plenty of them on duty.
Shaded outdoor playscapes made it safe for the girls to climb and run, even on the hottest of days. Staff was also available at the onsite archery area, teaching kids how to shoot arrows.
There are four dining options at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai that I highly recommend you try while there.
1. Palm Grill
This lunch and dinner spot ranks high on the list. Palm Grill is an indoor/outdoor, laid-back, beachside venue offers 180-degree views of the Gulf.
My husband, Serge, and I spent two great afternoons at this location, sipping chilled wine and enjoying delicious snacks from the happy hour menu.
You can sample grilled specialties as well as freshly caught seafood, like tiger prawns, Omani lobsters, and freshly-shucked oysters.
2. Lobby Lounge
While this glamorous lounge is known for its afternoon tea (complete with irresistible cakes, pastries, scones, authentic tea from around the world, and a harpist for relaxing entertainment), we weren’t able to experience it this time around.
We did, however, really enjoy relaxing on the terrace, overlooking the grounds and the Gulf as we sipped iced tea.
The Lemon Balm Iced Tea is one of the most delicious iced teas I’ve ever tasted, with just the right amount of sweetness and some edge, thanks to the mint.
This fantastic Italian restaurant is open only for dinner, which you’ll want to get a reservation for so you don’t miss out! I had the mouthwatering Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina, which is served with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and smoked provolone.
Serge had the indulgent Ravioli Con Brasato Di Vitello (veal ravioli with sage and parmesan fondue). Each plate is perfect for sharing.
We opted for wine over cocktails, but the restaurant has an impressive variety of Negronis to choose from. If that’s a drink you like, be sure to dine here.
This large, bright, and airy restaurant hosts an elaborate international buffet breakfast each morning. I especially loved how there was a different, fresh juice offering each day as soon as we walked in, right next to the newspapers.
Pork is available, but like other hotels in Dubai, they keep the pork in a separate section from the rest of the food.
There’s a great selection of breads and pastries, and we really enjoyed the selection of Arabic and Indian dishes, too. (I was a big fan of the labneh cheese, in particular.)
The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai
The Ritz-Carlton Spa has a lovely and welcoming lobby with a soothing fountain. The facility beautifully blends Eastern traditions and European techniques. Staff members greet guests with a detox juice and a cold, wet towel.
I enjoyed the hot and cold plunge pools, the steam room, the sauna, and the heated lounge chairs, ahead of my treatment. There are relaxation and nap rooms inside the women’s locker room, but there is also a co-ed relaxation room available in case you’re going to the spa with someone of the opposite sex. There’s also a small outdoor pool.
I was pampered with the indulgent Arabia Felix, which is the spa’s signature treatment. (It’s named after the ancient lands of the Southern Arabian Peninsula, which were known as Arabia Felix in the 6th and 18th centuries.)
It started with a foot bath in warm camel milk, followed by a Dead Sea salt scrub. It concluded with a complete back massage, using heated essential oils. I was served dates and hibiscus tea afterward. The entire experience really was a feast for the senses. I especially love how they cater to the traditions of local Emirati women by only assigning same-sex therapists. I wore pajamas for my treatment, but the spa has long robes available, as well. (I assume this is so that women won’t be seen wearing pants in the co-ed areas.)
Why Families Love The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai
From its luxurious rooms, to its decadent dining options, to its blissful spa, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai (check your dates for rates) will awaken your senses at every turn. The attention and care given to making sure your children have a great experience will surpass your hospitality expectations. And when your kids are having fun and in good hands, you can relax and enjoy yourself more.
The central location of the property ensures you’ll see and do everything on your Dubai bucket list. And bring home more than a few souvenirs while you’re at it! To explore a new city, immerse yourself in a different culture, and experience a fabulous beach vacation all rolled into one, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai is best choice for your next family vacation.
We received complimentary accommodations, spa treatments and some meals from The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own.
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About Carmen Sognonvi
Carmen Sognonvi is a luxury family travel content creator at Top Flight Family, named a top 10 family travel Instagram account by Time Out New York and Brit + Co. Her insights on travel have been featured in The Washington Post, INSIDER, Huffington Post, Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, and more. Carmen firmly believes that you can (and should) travel with your kids from a young age. She offers families practical solutions for travel, as well as tips on how to travel in luxury for less. She lives in New York City with her multiracial and multicultural family of four. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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