Dreading the thought of another weekend trying to pretend that the heat wasn’t getting to us, mama decided that a day at a hotel, dipping into a chilled pool, not worrying about what to cook and having the option of a kids club to put a smile on the littlies faces was just what the doctor ordered. Having forgone a family vacation so far this year, we decided to splash out a little bit and treat ourselves to a day at The Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on the Palm Jumeirah – its island location was enough to convince the kids that we had left Dubai and were actually on holiday – plus the newly launched Sinbad’s Kids Club with water park sounded like the perfect way for everyone to keep their cool.
Arriving at the hotel, the stress of the journey (yes mama you know what I’m talking about!) melted away as we were shown to the pool, a shimmering blue oasis surrounded by palm trees and sun loungers, intimidatingly tranquil given the 3 little monsters in tow but utterly perfect – yes this was definitely the holiday vibe we were after! Armbands on and sun cream applied, the family was in the pool soaking up the good life and mama felt very pleased with herself. After a mammoth swim and a quick stop on the beach to dip our toes in the sea, we were all in need of refueling and headed to Plaj, a charming family friendly beachfront restaurant with an Italian-inspired menu.
The kids’ meals (salmon with mash, spaghetti with tomato sauce and a mini pizza) were hurried to the table in advance of the adult mains which was hugely helpful of the staff who hadn’t failed to notice that keeping hungry children entertained can be tricky! Lunch completed, it was time to hit the kids club for the littlies to escape the sun and digest in the comfort of an air-conditioned wonderland. Literally a mini palace for children, the kids club is accessed via a fenced off ocean-view splash park with model whale, slides and mini pool, sand play area, playground and climbing wall. And the ideally positioned loungers so that minis can be watched by horizontal parents are just the icing on the cake.
The main building is themed on a palace ‘reigned over’ by manager Isaac and his very lovely assistant manager Margaritta (otherwise known as the King and Queen!) Together with their superb team, this formidable pair has created one of the best kids clubs I have ever seen – not only because of its fantastic facilities including mini soft play area with ball-pit, tv lounge, ipad stations and games galore but also because of the genuinely caring, friendly and attentive staff. Sinbad’s is all singing and all dancing – quite literally – a 3 piece band involves the kiddos in jam sessions and budding young actors can tread the boards on a teeny stage. You name it, they do it – from cooking lessons to arts and crafts and visits from Sinbad and Jasmine, the club even has an in-house magician!
Our littlies were clearly loving all the attention from the Sinbad’s team so it was suggested that hubby and I went to relax by the pool for an hour, leaving them in excellent care. Magazine in hand, relaxing under the shade of an umbrella with a cold drink on order and the usual maternal guilt (are the kids ok? Are they missing me? Am I a terrible mother for leaving them?) put aside, I had a few of the most peaceful minutes I can remember, a 2 week holiday squished into an hour, sheer bliss.
Before heading home we all splashed about in the waterpark, the minis whizzing down the slides, swimming beneath water cannons and messing around under fountains with the other kids. Sadly the weather prevented us from using the playground, sand pit and climbing wall – although if we could have stayed longer I’m sure that all would have been possible after the glare of the sun disappeared.
Balloons in hand and still in their swimmers, 3 very happy little children entertained us with excited stories of their ‘holiday’ and were fast asleep by the time we’d driven off the Palm. Our day at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray was certainly the best getaway we’ve had in ages without even leaving Dubai (sshhh don’t tell the kids!)
Daily 8am – 10pm
Half day costs AED 150 per child
Sassy Mama Tip: From 25th June – 5th September children are invited to attend the Sinbad’s summer camp (AED 250 per day, packages also available). Day passes for parents to use the hotel facilities cost AED 250 and include 20% discount on all dining and treatments at the award-winning Talise Ottoman Spa, as well as exclusive access to the infinity pool and private beach
Sinbad’s Kids Club
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah
Telephone: (+971)(0) 55 221 1058