We've just returned from our fourth visit to The Palace at the One & Only Royal Mirage in Dubai.
The Royal Mirage is actually three connected properties with The Palace, Residence & Spa and Arabian Court. On all four occasions we have stayed in The Palace but residents of any of the hotels can use the other property's facilities so there is a wide choice of restaurants etc. to choose from. The whole property is easy to get around and you can easily stroll from one end to the other.
What really characterises the One & Only family of hotels for me is the service provided by their fantastic staff. Everyone, from General Manager down to your housekeeper is incredibly friendly, always ready to say hello, have a chat or help you out with anything. Our two boys absolutely worship the chefs who make them pretty much whatever they want for their tea! The staff to guest ratio is incredibly high compared to European or US hotels, meaning there is always someone on hand to make your stay as relaxing as possible.
As a five star property the hotel has multiple fabulous swimming pools, gyms, watersports etc. etc. Everything you would expect in a luxury resort. There are many restaurants that cater for every taste, from a Mediterranean buffet to Indian, to Moroccan, to Asian fusion to steak / seafood and every point in between.
We have always stayed at The Palace and the standard (called deluxe) rooms are very spacious and beautifully appointed. Most of the year they have a policy of only allowing one child in the room with you but during very quiet seasons such as August this policy is relaxed so you can have two children in with you. On the subject of children it is also worth mentioning how welcome they are made to feel, with members of staff going out of their way to play with them. The resort also features a fabulous Kids Club which is so good that our two boys (6&5) actually ask to go there rather than sit endlessly with mum and dad in the evening!
I notice some of the other reviewers mention the half board offer. This is indeed well worth taking if available. Your dinner food is fully inclusive in some of the restaurants, whilst you also have the flexibility to dine in the 'posher' restaurants where you can either take the Table d'hote menu or you can have free reign and receive a credit against your bill.
Our first visit was probably 9 years ago now and a lot has changed since then. Initially the property was on it's own on Jumeirah beach but now it has skyscrapers towering over it from behind, and the view out of the bay is dominated by the Palm development and associated buildings. When we first went they were dredging sand up for the Palm and incredibly some work is still going on.
There were a few things on our most recent trip that served as warnings - alas not everything is perfect! They were pretty minor but worth mentioning. When we arrived we were greeted as having never been before, when in fact our last visit was January 2011 and as I mentioned, this was our 4th time. Not great database management! Also on a few occasions, and perhaps as a result of some cost cutting due to the economic fun and games currently, we found staff a bit awol around the pool and in one of the restaurants. Again, in a normal hotel you wouldn't blink and eyelid, but here where everything else is perfect you do notice.
Overall, a highly recommended hotel that I'm confident everyone will enjoy. We've been as a family and also for a romantic short break. There is something for everyone.