“The journey of the sun and moon is predictable but yours, is your ultimate ART.”
The sun was our journey, it was our destination and our dream. Cold winter nights, damp days, and endless darkness were all too much for the soul. We needed to create our art again. This time it was Dubai, a magical place grown in recent years. It is easy and simple and gives you the relaxation and peace that every explorer craves just once in a while.
A short flight with Emirates from Heathrow, layered with jumpers and winter boots, we landed in the desert city in the early hours. Whisked away by a giant car it was only a short drive to our first Roda Hotel experience. It could only be described as something out of a movie set. As we pulled up, the building towered above us. The sun shone down and this ethereal white reflected into our eyes. It was a complex mix of the magnitude of the Roda Al Bustan and the fact we hadn’t seen sun in what seemed to be an eternity. Stepping through the glass door the magnificence of the entrance hall was astounding and the blue carpets made you feel as if you were floating on an ocean.
Al Bustan sits in the heart of Dubai, close to some of the city’s finest shops and the International Airport. There are seven restaurants, the Flow Health Club & Wellness Centre, pools, tennis courts, of course high-speed WIFI, and giant TV’s to boot.
Up to our rooms our tired legs wandered our eyes alert with so much to see. The room was set into the corner of the hotel and the size was ten times that of my London apartment. A living area, a desk, a dining table, picturesque blues skies pouring through the window, two bathrooms and a giant bed fit for a King. Quickly kicking our shoes off we made ourselves at home.
The bed was so inviting we could do nothing but take a nap, before we sneaked down to breakfast just before it closed. This is a place where you can eat whatever your heart desires, from fruit to fried breakfasts to croissants to green tea, we were certainly never going to go hungry. So far at every step we had taken around the hotel we were greeted with smiles from the teams working and the dining staff were no exception, our every need catered for, even though we were a little late.
Next it was time to head to the pool to drench ourselves in sunshine. Of course we had forgotten sun-cream, but the hotel shop had all the essentials we needed. After a beautiful day of sunbathing we were revitalized from our winter blues. Some how we managed to fit in another nap before dinner. With seven restaurants to choose from we had a glance at all of them the: Rodeo Grill Restaurant or the Blue Elephant which has been Voted Best Far Eastern Restaurant in Dubai, but we ended up in the Hibachi restaurant and what a perfect choice that was.
Utterly beautiful freshly made sushi, amazing live cooking demos from fantastic chefs who severed up a selection of meats and fish. My choice, the salmon, was perfect. I can honestly say that it was some of the best food I have tasted in a long time. Prawns and salmon that melted in your mouth, bursting with flavour and great entertainment on top, even if you don’t stay at the hotel then it is a must if you visit Dubai.. It feels slightly strange that we were only in the hotel for one night, but it felt like we had spent days blissfully unaware of time.
“It is only through seeking that we find what we are looking for.”
With goodbyes to those that had looked after us so well we were off again, in a giant white car, watching through the window as we journeyed to Dubai Marina and our next stop, the Roda Amwaj Suites, a place dreams are made of.
Entering though an underground car park it was hard to imagine what we were about to find. Into the elevators we went up and up to the 24th floor, there we entered our apartment it was bigger than a house we were completely dazzled. There were wooden floors for days, a downstairs dining table fit for 12 and a kitchen bigger enough to serve a feast. This vast open space with views over the sea and the marina was beyond breath taking.
Up a giant staircase we went, which lead us to a carpeted luxury bedroom vast in size but designed to make you feel cosy. Of course, there were two bathrooms with all the little luxuries of shower gels and shampoos, a fully stocked fridge perfect for a sunbather, and the final Roda touch, Wifi in every part of this giant apartment.
Now assuming the role of sun chasers there was no time to waste as we grabbed our essentials and headed to the beach just three minutes away. The rest of the day was spent wishing night would never fall and we could stay basking in the heat forever.
As the sun went down we headed back to the apartment and even seeing it for a second time, it took our breath away, I have simply never stayed anywhere like this before. Thoughts of food were on our minds but first a quick work out. The gym itself had the latest equipment, someone on tap to help you if you needed any coaching on the machines and TV’s all around to keep you occupied.
The apartment is set close to the buzz of the newly built Marina, which meant that we had the pick of restaurants and coffee houses to choose from for our evening entertainment. This area is fantastic and a treat but it is very reminiscent of an American beach town there is little culture and plenty of chains but that doesn’t really matter, as it makes life simple and means relaxing in the surroundings is very easy to do.
After a walk along the beach it was back to the luxury we could now call home for a few days. Stepping into the wonderment of our apartment we found newly delivered fresh fruit, water and orange juice, as well as fresh towels. The vast blinds that covered the windows were now all down our apartment was ready for bed and so were we.
Roda Amwaj Suites are perfect if you are thinking of travelling as a group, family or if you have a longer stay planned. Or if you are looking for a totally different holiday experience it means you can be entirely independent and on your own time scale but have the luxury of when you need a little help with a taxi, directions or the apartment cleaned, it’s all on tap.
We had a new adventure planned for the morning and this was exactly the time where we benefited from the staff on tap to help. We needed a taxi to head to the desert and a good price to get us there. Leaving civilisation behind the endless journey was filled yellow sand and hazy skies. Eventually we arrived at a shack in the desert wondering if we were in the right place our eyes suddenly caught a glimpse of dune buggies. Yes this was the right place.
Big Red Tours took us dune bashing in 4 wheel drive buggies with automatic gearboxes, riding in the dunes was amazing, refreshing and exhilarating. The important thing about Big Red Tours is the staff are friendly, the bikes and buggies are maintained, and the experience. If you are in Dubai it is an experience not to be missed.
Returning back to busier shores we headed to the beach again for more sun soaking and the easy life. The day and night rolled into one with dinner and a stroll again our day was once again done.
“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between.”
The morning came and it was time to move locations for the last time. Our journey was nearly complete but nowhere near finished. We took a slight diversion to the Dubai Autodrome where they were preparing for the 24hr series. It is certainly worth checking their calendar when you are in Dubai.
Our final Roda experience took us to Roda Al Murooj in the hustle and bustle of Down Town Dubai. Greeted by smiling faces we where once again taken to a magical room which over looked the pool as well as another spectacular view of Dubai. Flowers and fruit adorned our room and all we really wanted to do was stay in the luxury but a new adventure awaited us.
We headed down to the pool to catch the last few moments of sunshine. Handed our red fluffy towels we immediately stretched our legs and watched the sun glisten off the pool. Hungry from all our sunbathing we moved to the outdoor dining area, it felt more like a Japanese garden with flowers and greenery surrounding us.
As evening drew close we decided to take a moment away from the usual obvious glamour Dubai had to offer and experience a moment of calm in the Double Decker. This is a bar themed around London transport and for us felt like a little bit of London had been dropped in the middle of Dubai. Just a drink for us but if you want pies and a taste of London they have a complete selection to try.
Suitably relaxed we headed to the Mall a five-minute walk across the road and we stepped into most magnificent giant mall I have ever seen. Endless shops, fish tanks, food halls and dancing water fountains there was no end to its magnitude. Make sure you’re prepared, take water, supplies and comfy shoes this is no place for the faint hearted or the tired. We eventually found our way out of the mall and I don’t think have ever been so grateful to rest our weary legs back in the safe luxury of our hotel.
After another night of amazing sleep in one of the most comfy beds in the world, we headed down to breakfast in our little Japanese garden over looking the pool. You have the choice of inside dining or outside but the garden was to beautiful not to take advantage of. In true Roda style there was everything we desired for breakfast.
We spent another day in the lap of luxury by the pool spread out on our red fluffy towels, a cheeky light salad by the pool and our journey had come to an end. Our Roda experience was unforgettable, and we felt like part of a new family by the end of the week.
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.”