Like the summer houses preferred by the Arabian sheikhs, Dar Al Masyaf offers an intimate hideaway for those who want to be secluded. Each two-story courtyard house, complete with barjeel, comprises a number of spacious rooms and suites that surround a private pool. Although the attractions of Madinat Jumeirah are nearby, Dar Al Masyaf can only be reached by taking a hotel abra (boat) across the waterway that links the hotels with the surrounding properties. So guests can luxuriate here, tucked away from the hustle and bustle, while their private butlers serve them cooling drinks. Some villas have direct beach access, others are in verdant gardens. Guests have access to all the Madinat Jumeirah facilities.
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Jan 20, 2010
I stayed in the Dar al Masyaf section of the Al Qasr, part of the Madinat Jumeirah chain in August of 2007, so my review may be a little out-of-date. The Dar al Masyaf is the more private enclave within the Al Qasr, so if you are asking for transportation from the Dubai Airport, tell them to take you to the Al Qasr lobby, where you will take an abra (boat) or buggy (golf cart) to your building. There is a small pool for every three or four buildings
(each with about 8 rooms; 4 upper with balconies and 4 lower with patios). There is a butler for each building, which is essentially a concierge service. The butler also holds a nightly happy hour (6:00 to 8:00 pm), which is a nice touch so that you can enjoy some complimentary drinks and snacks and swap stories with other travellers. The rooms at the “Dar” are lovely, with a king-size bed, large seating area (two couches and coffee table), wet bar, dressing room area, and huge bathroom (separate shower, bathtub, water closet with toilet and bidet, twin sink vanity). GREAT selection of toiletries: separate shampoo, conditioner, body wash for men and women, toothbrushes, paste, talcum powder, lotion, cotton swabs, nail kit, sewing kit, shower cap). They supply nearly everything that you will need (minus mouthwash, floss, razors). You are supplied with robes (two kinds per person) and slippers, and more towels than you can use (they do the towel animals, too). Rooms have hair dryers and safes. You also get a fruit basket (replenished daily), and two boxes of amazing sweets (in neat leather boxes that you can keep). Bottled water is free in the rooms. The lighting in the rooms is good, with plenty of artificial and natural light. The mini bar prices are steep ($5 for a can of soda), but comparable to the hotel itself. We ate a light breakfast in the Al Faroozh lounge, where four sodas and two bagels with cream cheese ran about $15 (not bad). There are also two breakfast buffets, but it was too much food for us. There were too many restaurants on the property to mention; sadly, we did not use any of them for dinner. We didn’t eat on our first night after arriving late, and we chose to eat at the Mall of the Emirates on our only other night there. We walked along the concrete pathway past the ocean and the main Al Qasr pool (huge, great amenities like fruit kabobs, Evian facial sprays, cold towels throughout the day), and staffed by TONS of lifeguards. (In fact, EVERY pool had its own lifeguard, even the small ones). We didn’t really see the Mina a’Salaam, and unfortunately, it was TOO ungodly hot in August to take advantage of our free visit to the Burj al Arab (which was not as tall as I had imagined). August really isn’t the best time to visit Dubai. While 107 degrees merely sounds hot, with the humidity, you really can’t be outside for even 2 minutes without sweating and experiencing breathing difficulty. I’m not sorry that we stopped over in Dubai; it’s something to be seen once, but I wouldn’t hurry back for an extended stay anytime soon.