Dubai’s new five-star JA Lake View Hotel impresses not only with its design credentials but how it has applied sustainability into the build of the luxury, Miami-style resort.
Situated between the hubbub of Jebel Ali’s industrial zone, the Jebel Ali Palm — for now a calm and unpopulated “island” — and the endless azure ocean that stretches ahead, interrupted only by elegant yachts cruising past or hotel guests rippling by in canoes, the hotel is the third property in the popular JA Resort Complex.
It joins the all-suite Palm Court and the longstanding JA Beach Hotel, an original Dubai hospitality offering built in 1981, which has been fully refurbished, signaling the management’s belief that the surrounding area of undisturbed desert will become a metropolitan oasis once the Palm is complete (circa 2025).
Named ‘Dubai’s Most Sustainable Five-Star Resort’ in June 2019 at the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards, JA Lake View is designed with the current and the future climate in mind. Small wins like paperless check-in will have a big environmental impact at the 348-room hotel, as will solar power, no plastic water bottles, and an innovative food waste programme (hello, guilt-free brunches!).
Having worked on the refurb of JA Beach Hotel 10 years ago, Brewer Smith Brewer Group (BSBG) came back to the resort and worked on all aspects of the new hotel, including architecture, interior design, consultation and engineering. The result of the three-year project is an impressive and ultra-contemporary complex that takes advantage of its picturesque setting, with balcony rooms and suites overlooking a 9-hole golf course, remodeled with ponds that border the poolside terraces. The narrative of the hotel’s architecture — which undulates in a sort of “w” wave — and the interior design references and connects to its surrounding environment, from the first moment that guests arrive.
The raised turning circle and reception front provides an elevated entrance into the vast atrium of the hotel, which tunnels beyond the swimming pool outside and out across the rolling golf course, pulling the scenic view inside to create an impressive “wow” moment even before check-in. The high, panoramic windows at the end of the atrium offer a seamless transition between the resort and the lush, peaceful setting.
BSBG describe the seamless connection between architecture, interior design and landscaping throughout the hotel ‘as subtle as it is compelling – with authentic feature elements, patterns and materiality offering a smooth continuity between all areas’.
Loyal returning guests of the resort needn’t switch allegiances to the younger sister thanks to the JA Beach Hotel enjoying a facelift in the summer. With the hotel boasting a base return of 30%, a conscious decision was made to renovate over the summer of 2019 and open in tandem with the JA Lake View. The refurbishment is an impressive fete of engineering, with glass balconies added to all 235 rooms and suites, providing scenic vistas of the pool, 800 metres of private beach and the sun setting on the ocean horizon.
In addition, the interiors have been modernised, with all new furniture and décor including mid-century touches and contemporary black marble finishes in the rooms, completely new marble reception desks with orb pendant lights overhead and a hint of Art Deco, a larger kids play zone and refurbished restaurants.
With the choice of 23 restaurants and bars across the resort complex, including those situated at Palm Court, guest of all hotels are spoilt for choice. For fine dining, head to Greg Malouf ’s latest venue Phoenicia at the JA Beach Hotel, named after the ancient Mediterranean civilisation that originated in the Levant. Diners are invited into a Greek taverna with white walls and rustic graf-wood latticed ceilings and pops of Levantine purple, where Mediterranean dishes are infused with a Levantine twist.
Meanwhile, at JA Lake View all outlets impress with their contemporary design pops and delicious food. A must-try is Kinara by Vikas Khanna, the Indian-born chef who many will know from hosting MasterChef India. Khanna has created a delicious menu of Indian fusion food, such as Arabic kunafa — traditionally a sweet dessert — presented as a savory starter infused with Indian spices. Enjoy amidst dark woods, mashrabiya screens and modern lighting that sets the scene.
To work off the calories, the one-million-square-metre JA complex offers guests a plethora of activities, including a choice of seven swimming pools, a 9-hole championship-standard golf course, horse riding stables, water sports and courts for tennis, badminton and squash, to name a few.
From all areas, views of the 85-berth marina with sleek yachts, the lush golf course hugged by ponds, and the twinkling ocean lapping the golden sand, are guaranteed to cast a spell on guests, whether they’re staying for business or on holiday.
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