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blue infinity pool surrounded by blue lounge chairs and palm trees

We’re culturally conditioned to see the start of the year as a moment for strict resolutions and steep goals. Now, we think, is the time to rehaul our entire lives and adopt habits we previously couldn’t conceive of doing weekly, let alone daily. Still stressed from last year, my mental picture of intense self-improvement and new professional milestones remains distant and pixelated. I call timeout and pack my bags—direction: Dubai. Initially, the international hub of the UAE may not seem like the ideal destination for total relaxation. Dubai conjures up visions of modern architecture, world-class shopping, and nightlife, after all. Lucky for me, Sofitel Dubai the Palm offers spacious beaches, idyllic pools, inventive dining, and restorative rituals for a full reset. Located on the exclusive Palm Jumeirah, Sofitel Dubai the Palm offers a chance to escape reality—without leaving cosmopolitan city life too far behind. 

CONCIERGE SERVICE AT ITS FINEST

hotel room with a bed on a wooden frame a dining table with beige chairs and wooden desk with a beige chair
Courtesy of Sofitel Dubai the Palm

Running low on energy, the last thing I want to do is handle logistics. Arriving at Sofitel Dubai the Palm, I quickly realize I’ve come to the right place. Checking into the freshly renovated Signature Palm Suites, I’m struck by the excellent service and tranquil ambiance. The only adults-only offering on the property boasts luxurious 24-hour butler service, ensuring that everything would be taken care of—down to the smallest of my needs. Parvis, my butler, shows me to my room, revealing an expansive suite. 

Freshly redecorated in a sleek Scandinavian design, my room is a stylish sanctuary. Complete with a spacious lounge area, ample closets to keep luggage out of sight, and a wraparound balcony facing the four-poster king-size bed, it’s easy to picture a romantic getaway for two. Flying solo, I’m instantly struck by the white marble bathroom featuring both a shower fully loaded with L’Occitane products and what can only be described as a truly enormous bathtub. Eyeing it up, I have a feeling that I could remain fully submerged and stretch out my long legs without having to curl into a ball. I vow to test it out later, and Parvis assures me that I can Whatsapp the butler team to set up a bath ritual for later that evening. 

RITUALS OF RELAXATION

white bath tub filled with bubbles pink flower petals and candles lit next to the tub
Courtesy of Sofitel Dubai the Palm

While I could comfortably spend my stay in the luxe privacy of my room, I head out to explore what the resort has to offer. Only one decision remains: stretching out on a lounger on the beach or in a cabana by the pool? Opting for the beach, I choose a spot towards the shoreline. Stretching out in the sunshine, I enjoy a glass of fresh lemon-mint juice as I allow my mind to drift. Here, listening to the distant sound of birds singing in the palms, it feels easier to admit how badly I need this break—a hard reset towards self-care. 

As the day draws to a close, I amble back from the beach to find my decadent bath ritual waiting. The warm glow of flickering candles set the scene. Sinking into the luxurious foam, I extend out like a starfish, delighted to confirm that my earlier hypothesis was correct. After an indulgent soak, I wrap myself up in a plush white robe to watch the sunset from my balcony. The butler team sends up a negroni to complete my ritual. Watching the sky shift from a fiery orange to a deep blue, I vow to incorporate more soft moments into my life—more sunsets and less scrolling. 

REST AS A FORM OF ACTION

overhead shot of blue outdoor pool surrounded by lounge furniture and greenery
Courtesy of Sofitel Dubai the Palm

Determined to achieve a complete reset, I resolve to hit the spa the next day. Since access to the entire spa complex was included in my stay at the Signature Palm Suites, I arrive early for my massage to explore the facilities. Parvis wasn’t kidding when he mentioned that the spa facilities are expansive. Cycling between the indoor cold plunge pool and the hydrotherapy room, I quickly pass the time. The spa even boasts an outdoor pool, and compared to the busy main pool, this is certainly an oasis. Logging 20 laps, I pause to rinse off before my massage, delighted to discover the same range of L’Occitane products from my suite. Shampooing and conditioning my hair, I am fully primed to unwind by the time my attendant calls me. I follow her into my treatment room for a relaxing 60-minute massage. Breathing deeply, I inhale the fragrant scent of lavender and feel my muscle tension begin to lift. 

A FEAST FOR THE SENSES

Strolling to dinner, I revel in the evening warmth even in the depths of winter and regret not booking a longer stay. Situated directly on the beach, Laguna lives up to its name. The resident DJ opts for an upbeat, but ambient mix that creates a festive ambiance without the need to shout my order at my server. Laguna’s menu, consisting of a diverse selection of Mediterranean cuisines, makes it difficult to choose just one dish. Luckily the sharing-plates concept makes it easy to sample a range of options. Sipping from a flute of sparkling wine, I narrow down my choices to three selections: baked feta drizzled with honey and topped with roasted cherry tomatoes and pomegranate seeds, Wagyu beef meatball tartar sprinkled with shaved truffle and parmesan, and ossobuco pasta. Despite feeling full, it’s impossible to leave the table without at least a bite of the Catalan crème brûlée topped with fresh blackberries. 

Across the bay, I can see the distant high-rises of the Dubai Marina district glittering on the horizon. As my time in Dubai comes to close, reality beckons whether I’m ready or not. Yet after committing to relaxing like it was my job, I feel…well, relaxed. While my own apartment lacks the stunning views, delicious meals, and chic furnishings found at Sofitel Dubai the Palm, prioritizing relaxation as a ritual is within my grasp. Or I can always hop a flight back…

In partnership with Sofitel Dubai