A glimpse of this chandelier is enough to convince me that the budget--if there was one--to build the Jumeirah Al Qasar Hotel in Dubai was huge to open-ended. Where a simple lamp would have been sufficient to light the stairway, they chose the biggest bunch of crystal available.
This provides an idea of the opulence and evidence that US accounting principles and financial controllers were not involved. No pennies were pinched...
Like at Cheers, everyone knows your name at the Jumeirah Vittavelli. Some people like this, because recognition boosts his or her ego. But, some might find this a bit scary, if you think about it. When greeted by someone, who you have never seen before, you wonder how he or she knows your name. I believe that the hotel forces staff to memorize faces and names from the welcome photo taken upon arrival. And, they learn your room number and departure date.
Then again, living in the age of NSA surveillance, something as simple as a hotel trying to make a guest feel welcome is seemingly harmless. This is evident, when the manager and his staff show up to wave you off on the boat trip to Malé to catch your flight, even at night.
Or are waiting at the airport dock to carry your bags and escort you to the check-in counter.
One leaves with pleasant memories of the resort and its staff. What more could one want from a vacation?
Speaking with the manager about life on the Maldives and other hotels, I learned that we were blessed not to have been able to book our first choice. We were told that this hotel is booked out years in advance by the same guests. We would have found the same level of luxury (One and Only hotels are very good) and service, but the ambience is very different. Whereas this hotel (Jumeirah Vitaveli) is calm and relaxing, the other one is loud and vibrant. DJs rule the pool and beach. David Beckham (whose incomprehensible fame is irritating at best) is in residence, so I can imagine the added uproar.
We were fortunate to have been unable to book a room. We would have hated every minute...which adds to the appreciation of where we landed. We enjoy the tranquility of the pool beside a white sandy beach and clear turquoise water, with few people and little noise.
What I like about the hotel we chose: no peanuts. With drinks, either at the pool or at the bar, one is served cashews and olives, good olives. Peanuts, which I dislike, are a sign of cheapness, as displayed on US airlines (although some seem to have moved down the cheapness scale to indescribable, shapeless bits of surely corn, everything in the United States is some part corn).
Of course, there are other pleasing aspects to this hotel: setting in turquoise water, luxury, service (Asia is different from the US; in Europe, service is a dirty word), scant humanity (although full, one runs into a handful of other guests only at breakfast and dinner) and the fact that there is nothing to do...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.