Subscribing to the latter, we went the extra few metres to DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai - Jumeirah Beach - and were pleasantly surprised.
The brand occupies a brace of tall, sleek, modern glass and steel towers at the very end of JBR, just before the road rejoins the looping system that leads round to Dubai Marina and beyond.
It is fair to say, even before the arrival of the brilliant dining and leisure concept THE BEACH between it and the bulk of the JBR offering, DoubleTree may have had a challenge enticing hungry visitors and beach dwellers that little bit further.
But make the effort and you soon realise this is a slightly calmer affair. That doesn’t mean to say it is asleep, however.
DoubleTree has modern spa and gym facilities – accessed via a walkway between the two buildings.
The latter offers impressive views from its treadmills of the rapidly emerging Dubai Eye ferris wheel in the centre of the ambitious Blue Waters island leisure and residential development.
Construction noise is surprisingly low-key, even once you head to ground level and grab your lounger beside the pool or on DoubleTree’s reserved stretch of beach.
And here lies one of this hotel’s locational advantages; while your view of the wider ocean may be partially obscured by building – which, it has to be said, is a dramatic sight in itself – you’re not fighting for a patch of sand as in some other points on this hallowed stretch of coast.
His eclectic setlist proved a cheery soundtrack to an afternoon of relaxation and swimming in the generous infinity pool – long enough to count off some serious calories if you get restless.
Pool and beach guests, including those using a collection of cabanas, are serviced by the al fresco Areia Beach Bar & Grill.
It also operates as a dining and bar area in its own right, offering swim-up and sit-up areas for those seeking refreshments, as well as tables and chairs if you want a meal.
The Entertainer-featured menu includes a well-balanced selection that partially reflects its location, with salads (Greek, Caesar, Caprese, Cobb etc) countering larger grill dishes and a decent range of sandwiches and snacks, such as Peppered Calamari and satays.
The DoubleTree club just saw off the Oriental Wrap (lamb kofta kebab, tomato, veg pickle, rocca, tahina), Italian Pannini (beef pepperoni, turkey ham, peppers, onion, chilli flakes, rocca, oregano) and Asian sandwich (teriyaki marinated tofu, baby asparagus, shitake mushroom, avocado, veg pickle).
That seemed to be the plan for the young crowd enjoying the DoubleTree’s Friday Brunch, Sip & Swim deal.
It allows customers to wander down to the pool or beach after imbibing; the brunch operates 1pm until 4pm and kids entertainment is provided.
For those on the beach and pool day package there is the option to try out one of several water sports activities, with a decent deal available for those seeking to kayak.
Either way, as the sun begins to dip, the beach takes on a different vibe. The volleyball games begin to subside and there’s a calm that isn’t always found on other patches of JBR sand.
Upstairs with a bright and stylish interior, and a large balcony overlooking the landscaped pool area and beach, this Arabic-themed restaurant has a good value-sounding and uncomplicated menu where the seafood options caught our eye.
The sea salt crushed local Sea Bass with coriander potato, green beans and garlic tahina, and the Pan-fried Prawn with artichoke ragout, dill rice and lemon coriander sauce sound like good enough reasons to return to a JBR destination that definitely deserves more attention from those who walk The Walk.
WEEKEND pool and beach day entrance fees are as follows, with weekday rates in brackets:
Adults 175AED (125AED); Children 100AED (75AED).
PRICES for the Friday Brunch, Sip & Swim deal are 299AED (inclusive of soft drinks) and 379AED (inclusive of house beverages).
AL-MEADA hosts a Saturday Arabic Brunch with a wide choice of authentic Arabic dishes, with hot and cold Mezzeh, Lamb Ouzi and Moroccan tea – and that complimentary pool and beach access. It happens 1pm-5pm and costs 299AED (soft drinks package) and 379AED (house beverages package).
TO book a restaurant table call 055 166 8092 or email email@example.com
FOR more on rooms, dining and activities at DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Jumeirah Beach click on http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/uae/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-dubai-jumeirah-beach-DXBTHDI/index.html
ENTERTAINER users will find both Al-Meada and Areia in the Entertainer Dubai App/book.