After an amazing flight via business class from Frankfurt to Dubai on Lufthansa, we arrived around 11:30pm local time. The airport was enormous and new, much like everything in Dubai. The arrivals hall, however, was a mess. Dave and I stood in line for over 45 minutes waiting for our turn to clear the border, all the while watching a 1 minute advertising reel for the Samsung Galaxy and Atlantis Resort over and over on huge tv’s until we never were convinced that we absolutely hated both of those products. Finally we made it to the front of the line where the officials weren’t questioning everyone, but rather were just chatting with each other. I didn’t have to say a word and both of our passports were stamped and we proceeded to the One&Only desk to find our car.
Mohammed met us and showed us to our car, a sleek BMW 7 series. Doors were opened, Evian was in place and soon we were off on the vast highways of Dubai to our hotel on Palm Jumeira. Palm Jumeira is actually one of two manmade “palms” (islands in the shape of a palm). The ride was about 30 minutes and soon we were at a guard booth giving our names for entrance. The entrance consisted of a giant circular driveway with pillars with literal flames on top. Mini Olympic torches. We circled around a shallow pool and two hotel employees dressed in traditional white linen opened our car doors and showed us to the lobby.
We sat on an ornate couch and were given sparkling fruit drinks while relaxing for a moment. After our details were given, we were quickly shown around the first floor of the hotel and eventually led to our room via a candle-lit hallway. Upon arrival to our door, our guide told us that since it was our honeymoon, the hotel had a special surprise for us – a room upgrade. We were completely blown away when we walked into our suite – a huge living room with multiple couches, tvs, 2 balconies, a master bedroom also with couch, sitting area and walk-in closet, and a bathroom roughly the side of a NYC studio apartment (and a smaller bathroom off the dining room, too!). Fresh fruit and pastries were all set up for our arrival. We were completely blown away by both the size of the suite and also the decoration – it could not have been more ornate or more Arabian feeling, although nothing tacky – only the finest furniture and tapestries.
After our guide left and we literally jumped up and down out of excitement, we realized it was after 1am and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet. We spent WAY too much money (the first of many times in Dubai) ordering room service, which we ate on one of our balconies. We went to sleep around 3am after showering (SUCH a nice shower and 2 choices of bathrobes!!). Nothing to do tomorrow but a desert safari at night Our honeymoon is off to a rockstar start.
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