Dubai is the only place in the world to boast two One&Only resorts; the distinctive Royal Mirage featuring three separate accommodation wings (The Palace, Arabian Court & the Residence & Spa) and The Palm located close to the Atlantis Resort. Having visited the former I can vouch for its elegance and understated, tasteful luxury. This is a very fine place to stay, not too stuffy – it’s unmistakeably classy but not in an inaccessible way. The lawns and grounds are immaculate, the pool areas beckon you in, and the Arabian styled guest rooms are lavish in just the right measure.
The Palm is a relatively new offering, and is clearly visible across the water from the Beach Bar & Grill located at the Royal Mirage. When I visited it was in was in the final throws of completion awaiting a soft opening, but 12 months on from that its flourishing with rave reviews. No surprises there.
Leaving the Middle East for the Indian Ocean (as many honeymooners do for an ideal twin centre holiday) you will find a One&Only presence at both Mauritius and the Maldives. One&Only Maldives at Reethi Rah is one of the best loved of all of their resorts, and a true favourite on dedicated luxury hotel review sites like Been, as well as Tripadvisor. Located in the North Male Atoll this multi award winning all-villa resort symbolises casual elegance to a tee. An international tennis academy, modern Japanese sushi restaurant and minimum villa size of 135 square metres are just a few of the things you can expect to enjoy whilst here.
Their highly coveted offering in Mauritius is equally as impressive, the slightly larger, French styled Le Saint Géran which features 175 rooms and suites set in a 60 acre site on the east coast of the island. A dedicated kite surfing centre, an Alain Ducasse acclaimed 3 Michelin starred restaurant, and a Gary Player designed golf course are key elements of this fine escape.
That leaves three hotels to tell you about, the newest of which I shall leave until last. If anyone has seen the movie Casino Royale, you will have also seen the One&Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas which was featured for filming of this hugely successful British film. An outstanding address in the Bahamas, Ocean Club is set on perfectly manicured grounds which overlook the stunning golden sand beach and sparkling Atlantic Ocean from an enviable position. Bond checks into an Ocean View Suite here, but he spends too much time playing poker and not enough time exploring the Balinese spa concept, pools and water sports of this luxury retreat.
A resort that should rank highly on anybody’s list of ’must visits’ is Palmilla at Los Cabos in Mexico. All the charm and attraction of Mexico combined with the ambiance of an O&O resort makes for an intriguing combination. Highlights here include the Charlie Trotter restaurant C and the Jack Nicklaus designed golf course which features breath taking ocean vistas and no less than 27 holes. There’s also a romantic chapel for weddings and events.
The portfolio is completed in South Africa at One&Only Cape Town, a marvellous city hotel graced by Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Restaurant and the largest rooms and suites to be found in the ‘Mother City’. All rooms look out to the harbour and Table Mountain and guests must try to take a trip to the Spa Island for a massage with a difference. By night you can sample some of the finest wines of the country in the 5,000 bottle Wine Loft which acts as a Sommelier led walk in wine list for guests dining at Maze.
To summise, each of One&Only’s seven hotels are uniquely different, embodying facets of the culture of their location, whilst being underpinned by seemingly effortless service, tasteful decor and resounding helping of style with substance.
Carole Booth is Commercial Director at Destinology.