Our first all-inclusive: Rixos The Palm, Dubai

Sunset on the private beach at Rixos The Palm

Since having our daughter, holidays have slowly shifted from city breaks in boutique hotels to Airbnbs near the sea. And now, here we are, on an all-inclusive. Our first.

I was partly horrified, partly ecstatic. I didn’t have to think about feeding a three-year-old for five whole days. And also, there would be gin on-tap.

The Rixos was pre-schooler heaven. Iced donuts for breakfast, daily doses of poolside ice cream, and pasta for lunch and dinner; unless mummy and daddy intervene and force you to eat fresh fish. Or grilled meats. Or some Turkish-inspired meze. We could’ve been there two weeks and not sampled everything in the buffet restaurant.

Our daughter discovered beautifully tender calamari at the beach-side fish restaurant – which she ate two days in a row – and helped us demolish a ‘mandarin garden’ desert in the Italian fine-dining restaurant, complete with chocolate soil. Only in Dubai can I imagine taking a pre-schooler to such a fancy eatery.

To make our life easier, and so we didn’t end up drinking wine in the bathroom aka ‘Travelodge style’ (it’s been done), we opted for a suite. It gave us plenty of space once the little one was asleep, but as most rooms have a balcony, you could easily sit outside. It was a perfect 30 degrees during our visit in late March.

View from a balcony at Rixos The Palm Dubai
View of the Burj Al Arab from our balcony

With three pools and a private beach, it was hard to leave the confines of the hotel, but we were determined to see at least some of this uber-modern city. We took a 40-minute cab ride to the world’s tallest structure, the Burj Khalifa. Three-quarters of the way up the shiny spike, on floor 125, you literally get a bird’s eye view.

View from the Burj Khalifa

Unfortunately, the hour’s queue to get to floor 125 didn’t go down too well with the small person. And we arrived back at ground level five minutes after the legendary fountain show, that everyone had told us not to miss, finished.

Back at the hotel we hit the beach for sundowners. We sat and dug down about six inches before we hit rock. Looking at the Dubai skyline across the water it all felt a bit Truman show. We vowed to go camping in the desert next time. But first we would spend our last day here, at the Rixos, with all the trappings of a fabulous all-inclusive holiday. Something tells me it won’t be our last.

Souvenir selfie fail at the Burj Khalifa
#souvenirselfie fail

More info on our stay…

We flew from Amman with Royal Jordanian and stayed at Rixos The Palm on an all-inclusive package. The hotel can arrange transfers. We booked tickets for the Burj Khalifa in advance as the queues get crazy.

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