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“A lovely Christmas break at a wonderful place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of PER AQUUM Desert Palm

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PER AQUUM Desert Palm
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Al Awir Rd, Dubai, United Arab Emirates   |  
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Ranked #82 of 512 Hotels in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
54 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“A lovely Christmas break at a wonderful place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

Our first time to Dubai and we also booked last minute. We found this hotel from Mr and Mrs Smith website, so we know it must be a good hotel. We booked straight from the hotel website because they had a great offer at that time - 4 nights stay including airport transfers, breakfast, 3 course dinner and full body massage for 2 people.

The property was situated quite far from Dubai main attraction but we were glad that we chose this hotel. It's quite serene and very relaxing. The weather was perfect for us, sunny 27C and dry. The staff was very polite and friendly. We stayed in the Palm Suite, very big with sufficient amenities, bed was very comfortable.

The pool area was quite small, breakfast was adequate. The 3 course dinner at the main restaurant was amazing.

On Christmas day, we had a surprise in our a room. A bottle of Bollinger champagne complimentary from the hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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188 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

The grounds look nice upon first glance, but the operation of this hotel leaves much to be desired.

First, some general impressions: the domain is expansive and impressive, and everything is of course horse-themed as the Palm Desert is in effect a huge polo club (400 horses) with residences and a hotel attached. Unfortunately, this means lying poolside is not very enjoyable as there are a lot of flies around all the time. The dining options are mediocre, particularly Epicure. The spa had only one availability for one type of massage (that I don't like) over a three-day stretch, which means they might as well have no spa at all as far as I'm concerned.

Since the resort is quite far away from, well, anywhere, I highly recommend renting a car. If you ask the hotel to arrange taxis they will consistently be 45 minutes to an hour late (which eventually meant we came within 10 minutes of missing our flight when we left).

We reserved a room for three with the understanding that they would put in an extra bed, which we asked for repeatedly on the day we checked in. Close to midnight, we insisted they come immediately as we wanted to go to sleep. They then admitted not having any spare beds, so that one of us had to sleep on the sofa. No apologies for this at all.

The final insult was a big discussion about a dining bill when we checked out, where they tried to get us to pay for expensive Wagyu steaks that we were 100% about we never ordered. A British manager came to tell us we were lying, then removed the charge. Not the way we wanted to be treated considering we were only contesting that part of the huge bill which we considered to be unfair.

In the end, I would recommend coming to take a look here, maybe have a drink when there's a polo match on, but definitely don't stay in the hotel - they've got some work to do.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leamington Spa, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

My husband and I were in Dubai for christmas due to his working commitments. We decided to book a polo suite for Christmas day. Upon arrival we were told that we had been upgraded to a villa with our own pool. During our short stay we couldn't fault the Duty manager and all the staff who just couldn't do enough and were friendly and courteous at all times. No long faces here because they had to work on Christmas day !
The bath and bed were the biggest I have seen in a hotel.
We ate at Rare and the meal was memorable.
A place to relax and unwind, we couldn't fault it.

Room Tip: Polo suites and villa are apparently quieter
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
209 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012 via mobile

My girlfriend and I stayed in November for two nights to celebrate her birthday and we booked a Polo Suite. Upon arrival we were advised that as a gift we would be upgraded to a private villa which was a wonderful surprise. The villa itself was amazing and had it's own private pool. We ate at Rare on the first night and we couldn't fault the service or the food. We had a wonderful time and would definitely return.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
88 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

From check in to checkout this was a memorable and life enhancing experience. Style, quality and subtle ness define this location. A separated bathroom cut off by only a curtain, a wonderful queen bed and all over looking a polo field. A place to relax, unwind and appreciate the decadence at a reasonable price. Tip, eat in Rare, amazing.

Stayed October 2012
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Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

we arrived at this resort and were very impressed by the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. although our room was not ready we were escorted to the spa where we were able to shower and change into our swimwear and taken to the outside pool to relax after a lovely breakfast. the health juice on offer every morning really sets you up for the day. we then fell asleep and were woken when the room was ready. a very pleasant surprise was waiting for us we actually booked into a delux room and the hotel upgraded us to a private villa with a swimming pool. how amazing!!! the manager James was fantastic and Edward and his nutrition knowledge will go far!!! exceptional staff all round. shall return for another relaxing 5 days.

Room Tip: villa with pool we stayed in number 16
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

I selected Desert Palm because of the availability of private Pools in the hotel which can be used by families as the hotel targets Muslim customers mainly from the gulf. This was my second time in a Pool Villa. First one was around 2008 which I enjoyed more. One point of concern back then was related to privacy and the Hotel Operation Manager promised me to do something about it after getting a call following my customer satisfaction survey, but that did not happen as will be detailed below.


Reservation: Excellent. I got a quick confirmation with clear details. I used some sort of discount which was clearly understood and processed.

Location: Quite remote and far from the center of the city. Dragon Mart (Chinese Outlet) is the closest. The other place to go is opposite to Dragon mart where you need to drive inside the residential area to find a shopping complex that has restaurants, groceries and other services. Closest proper Mall would be Mirdif I believe.

Finding the Hotel-Reception: Confusing. It will be on a right turn after you drive by Dragon Mart. There is a sign on the main road that says Desert Palm. Then, you will come across another entrance which can confuse people. You need to take a left and drive straight where you will find another entrance on your right. Best thing is to ask the security. Poor signage is used. There is a lot of room for improvements here. Simple things to get a better first impression!
Valet: Not as fancy- limited space, but OK.

Check in: So and so. Two desks busy staff. Welcome juice was a plus. Check in is at 3 pm, but I was there at 2.30 and was told I had to wait since the Villa is not ready. I was promised to get a call whenever it does. I came back at 3:20 and the room was ready, but without a confirmation call!

Privacy: My villa was opposite to the valet-reception building and there was a window which overlooks limited spaces of the pools of 2 Villas perhaps. One of them was the one in which I stayed last time and the second was the one given to me this time! I told my wife last time to avoid being there. The hotel is selected to have 100% privacy for the family to swim. I highlighted this but it was unfortunate that the staff were trying their best to avoid making any changes (I hope there was no training for that). I ended up going up and I asked my wife to move to a specific point where I was able to see half of her (limited part yet visible). I told them I was really appreciate it if another room and was promised to have the same when and if available (The usual way of saying No). A curtain or some board/sign on the window would solve the issue. I highlighted this after my first stay but nothing was done it seems in 4 years time! My advice: avoid the ones close to the valet and look for that window from the patio and make sure your families don't go there. The Villa doors can be improved to wipe out areas of concerns to some customers. I mentioned this earlier too, but no improvements were made just promises.

Villa: The villa has a nice design overall. However, I was not so glad to see that the villa was not in the same condition as the one I had before. I am not sure if perhaps specific ones are allocated to reservations with discounts! It did not have the same cleanliness, finishing surface level. Living room was spacious with large windows/doors and a dining area. Bedroom size was ok. the bed was comfortable. There are indoor and outdoor rain showers. Bathroom is ok. There was little noise coming from outside.

Bathroom amenities: Below Average. You can find more in other 5 stars hotels in Dubai.

Private Pool: Nice - Approx 8X2.5 with a depth of 1.45 (I guess there are two standard depths). It is more suitable/recommended for adults i.e. Honeymooners. I had to keep an eye on my children all the time and make sure they have the proper swimming gear at all times. But it was ok.
There is no public swimming pool for children; however, they can use the hotel main one to as the depth increases in steps. They can stay on the first or second step, but would require continuous monitoring. Better do it in your Villa.

Breakfast: Included as part of the reservation. No buffet! You basically order what you need which is not the best option for breakfast. Buffet is more practical, but I guess since the number of visitors to this resort varies or is kind of limited this makes sense, from the management point of view not the customers. There were few people, but we were not checked upon frequently. We ordered Arabic bread which never came. When serving the food we were told that it will come. I tried to point at the waiter, but he was not looking. We ended it finishing the food without it. When leaving, I was asked about the experience and my answer was" not so good since we never got the bread as promised", with "sorry" in return. What we had was good, but not amazing.

Spa and other activities: Did not try that since it was a single night stay.

Prices: Overpriced generally when it comes to food and mini bar. As far as the Villas are concerned some might prefer a package to a similar resort in another country for a price over AED 4000. Private pool is the only reason for going there.
Customer Satisfaction Survey- Not received so far ( 17 days after my stay). Other Dubai Hotels Chains do so within a day to a week maximum. I wonder what kind of impression would they be looking for if they actually care! However, I did fill it 4 years back "Wake up- Management!!".

Overall, I would say that I was disappointed in this visit. I will not come back unless my wife insists. Hopefully by that time, more options with better service levels will be available in the Emirates. Final advice: Go for Premium Suite in Rotana Arjaan if you have children, private pool is around 90cm deep.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms facing the check in area/valet parking.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about PER AQUUM Desert Palm

Address: Al Awir Rd, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Location: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Dubai > Dubai
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#61 Romantic Hotel in Dubai
#73 Luxury Hotel in Dubai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — PER AQUUM Desert Palm 4*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Desert Palm by Per AQUUM is a boutique retreat with just 38 rooms, suites and private pool villas. Set on a private polo estate the property offers two award winning restaurants – Rare and Epicure, an internationally acclaimed LIME Spa and an inviting bar which overlooks one of the four championship sized polo fields and Dubai skyline beyond. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Desert Palm Resort And Spa
Desert Palm Hotel Dubai
Desert Palm Dubai

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