My one night stay at Anantara The Palm.

Day 1.

Heading briefly under the sea as we drove through the Palm Jumeirah Tunnel.

After driving to the eastern crescent side of the Palm Jumeirah archipelago we arrived at Anantara The Palm for our weekend staycation.

Along with Atlantis The Palm, Anantara The Palm was one of the first resorts constructed on Palm Jumeirah and opened in 2013.

I had booked our one night stay a month prior while Dubai was under 24 hour lockdown for a very reasonable rate. Although many hotels were still open despite the lockdown almost all facilities were closed.

It was going to be our second wedding anniversary so it seemed like a good excuse to get out of the house though despite what would be a limited resort experience.

Thankfully the 24 hour lockdown had since eased and two days before our stay it was announced that hotel beaches in Dubai could reopen.

The Thai-inspired resort is known for its extensive and large swimming pools. Unfortunately hotel pools in Dubai were still closed however.

With the hotel operating at reduced capacity due to the pandemic the main lobby was closed and check-in was instead at the lobby in the Anantara Residences.

We had arrived at 1pm and although the official check-in time was 3pm our room for our stay was ready.

Being whisked in a buggy to our waiting room.

For our stay we had booked one of the resort's overwater villas. While the normally rate was 3500-5500 AED ($953-1497) per night, I managed to take advantage of a pandemic reduced rate of 1350 AED ($367) including dinner and breakfast.

Hannelie enjoying the ride.

The resort's overwater villas are the only ones in the UAE.

While there are undoubtedly more luxurious overwater villas in the Maldives, unfortunately none of them were a 20 minute drive from home.

The villa was a generous 106 m2 (1141 sqft) in size.

Minibar with espresso machine and snacks.

Wine refrigerator.

The King sized bed and the glass floor with the sea below.

The bathroom complete with benchseat and a ladder towel rack.

The toilet and bidet to the left and the rain shower to the right.

L'Occitane toiletries.

His and hers vanities.

And the large bath tub for two.

The sunbed put on the patio.

And a pair of sun loungers with the skyline of Dubai Marina in the distance.

Hannelie waving excitedly with all the new space she can crawl around.

Luckily the May weather was unseasonally cool (low 30s celsius) so we headed out for a stroll.

And went to the resort's Revo Café for lunch.

Apart from in-room dining, the café was the only one out of five restaurants at the resort that was currently open for guests.

As most establishments in Dubai were not allowing children to dine in as part of the government mandated pandemic restrictions, it was great to simply sit down for a meal at the hotel café for lunch.

While Rianda opted for a hot caffe latte I went for one over ice.

Rianda's very healthy Chevre goat cheese and fig salad with rocket, honey glazed walnuts and pomegranate vinaigarette.

And my not so healthy Wagyu burger with buffalo mozzarella, Canadian veal bacon, dill pickle, shallots, tomato, mustard and barbecue mayo on a sesame bun.

Checking out the lagoon rooms as we walk back. There was quite a few people staying in them and it seemed a shame that they literally had the pool right on their door step but weren't allowed to use it.

Hannelie posing for a photo on the glass floor back in our overwater villa.

Rianda was a little hesitant to step on the glass floor at first but after a bit of encouragement from Hannelie she gradually mustered up the courage.

Catching a few rays on one of the sun loungers.

Hannelie and Rianda relaxing on the sunbed.

And looking out to the houses lining the fronds of the Palm.

We then spent the afternoon relaxing in the villa.

Just after 3pm we got a knock at the door for the delivery of a small cake to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It was red velvet and definitely tasted as good as it looked.

At about 5pm we ventured out to the beach. There were numerous precautions with the recent reopening and we had to get our temperature checked, wear face masks and socially distance etc.

We also had to bring our towels from our bathroom (and then ring room service for replacement ones) since the hotel could no longer hand them out at the beach by law.

The sea within the Palm was very calm and almost resembled a giant swimming pool so it was nice to just take a dip and relax.

Hannelie tasting the salty water.

Although initially a little reluctant she quickly relaxed and enjoyed the warm water.

And drying her off after her first proper swim in the sea.

The sun beginning to set between the Atlantis The Palm and the underconstruction Royal Atlantis Residences.

After the beach excursion we headed back to our villa.

Where Hannelie promptly passed out for an extended nap after giving her a quick bath in the tub.

Just before 7pm we went for a stroll at dusk.

After walking through the eerily deserted main lobby we headed to the resorts Lotus Lounge for a drink.

Unfortunately with the pandemic restrictions alcohol could not be served. Rianda's Magnitude 6 (apricot juice, papaya syrup, orange juice, passionfruit seed, tonic and lemongrass) on the left and my Arab's Bliss (sparking date juice, raspberry purée, apple juice and rose water) on the right.

Hannelie was full of energy after her sleep and couldn't resist climbing about the couch while we sipped on our mocktails.

Back at our villa with the lights of Dubai in the distance from the balcony.

With the hotel restaurants closed we ordered in room service for dinner. My green chicken curry and Rianda's butter chicken.

For dessert we shared the sticky toffee pudding and a slice of berry cheesecake.

And Hannelie fast asleep in the cot after a fun and relaxing day.

Day 2.

The sun rising above the Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in the early morning.

Palma Residences located on a finger of reclaimed land.

Shoreline Residences lining the main trunk of the Palm Jumeirah.

Another manmade island just offshore from the coast of Dubai.

The private island is personally owned by the Vice President and Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The Rixos The Palm hotel which had now temporarily closed with the pandemic.

Back at the Anantara The Palm

And the overwater villas.

Hannelie was now wide awake and went for an impromptu crawl over the glass floor.

I then put on my running shoes to work off some of last nights curry and cheesecake.

Wearing my black running gaiter at the end of the Palm Jumeirah Boardwalk. Fines for not wearing a mask had recently increased to 3000 AED ($817).

Some workers sterilising the wooden boardwalk.

Running past the Royal Atlantis Residences.

The Sofitel Dubai The Palm where we stayed 5 months prior.

And back at the beach at the resort. I was a little nervous about passing the temperature check given that I was hot and sweaty from my morning run but luckily I had no issues.

And soaking my feet in the gently lapping ocean water.

Back in the villa with Hannelie eating her porridge for breakfast.

Just after 9:30am our breakfast was delivered. It was quite interesting sitting down for breakfast while watching fish swimming past below.

Rianda's congee on the left with my carb overload basket on the right.

While Rianda had the healthy egg white omelette I indulged with the tasty eggs benedict with smoked salmon.

After the sumptious breakfast we headed out to one of the sun beds on the beach. Hannelie doing a little holiday dance with Rianda clapping on.

And one last dip in the sea.

Just after 12pm we packed up and called for a ride back to the lobby to check-out.

And back in the Kia after another wonderful and relaxing pandemic staycation!

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