My twin sister Katrine and I move from the Burj al Arab, where we were royally spoiled, to the Madinat Jumeirah Resort and Spa, which is right across the street. It is our birthday, and we are thrilled to be celebrating it together in Dubai. You can see from the photo that this move is not exactly harrowing, since our butler Rae (whom we will miss desperately) is handling all the details. Not only did the Burj send flowers and a birthday cake, but the Madinat Jumeirah also greeted us with a cake, champagne, and a screen saver on our room’s computer that said, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” The two hotels had coordinated our celebration (both are part of the Jumeirah brand).
I now have a better understanding of these hotels’ six- and seven-star ratings (even if self-proclaimed). With a ratio of seven staff members to every guest at the Burj, everyone in the hotel seems to recognize guests by name, and there are continual service surprises in the forms of food, wine, flower, and gifts on your bed in the evening. There is a culture of anticipating guest needs and exceeding them at every point. When I order a converter plug for my computer, the butler arrives with two converters on a silver platter. When I order a bottle of water, six arrive. It seems as though we’re always answering the door! When I commented on the constant interruptions, Katrine wisely said, “It’s probably something we ordered”—and it always was.
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