Can the vertiginous place live up to expectations?
Aura Skypool stands out as one of the biggest openings in Dubai in 2021. Creating its own genre somewhere between a pool club, restaurant, and tourist attraction, Aura’s appeal is undeniable. Its 360-degree infinity pool is something we’ve never come across, and the one thing Dubai never knew it needed.
Sitting atop the St. Regis Palm Jumeirah, guests can use the hotel’s valet parking, but enter through a separate entrance, in an elevator that flies directly to the top – 51 stories high.
A chic reception area greets us as we enter, and we are led to an island pool bed, which faces the top of the Palm, with Atlantis in the center of view.
There is a chill in the air, so we quickly plunged into the precisely 32 degree pool water. Before booking, you can choose the location of your bed (and its view), with different packages depending on your proximity to the pool. You can swim all over the building without stopping, so you can enjoy the full expanse of views from any side.
We chose to sit inside for lunch, as floor-to-ceiling windows always help convey a perfect view of the city and the sea beyond. The menu is a pan-Asian situation, with international favorites for good measure. Wagyu Beef Sliders (Dhs145) are a perfect example – each burger is carefully researched and surprisingly more gourmet.
Glazed Miso Salmon (Dhs145) is another home dish, cooked to perfection and topped with a delicious pineapple relish – although we would have liked to know the main dishes don’t have a side. The pieces of Wagyu strip loin (Dhs185) arrive on a small dish, accompanied by a soy sauce with ginger to pour or to soak as you wish. The meat is super tender and flavorful but not as pink as we would like.
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Service is slow at times but always enthusiastic, with staff eager to chat and make recommendations. As the desserts go on, the pineapple marinated in palm sugar (60 Dhs) crowns them all. An explosion of flavors of sweet and creamy ingredients, from passion fruit gel to mango yogurt ice cream, come together to create something we’ve never seen or tasted before.
The afternoon arrivals slot is starting to find their beds, and with a little help from the DJ and saxophonist, the mood begins to rise. Aura offers three times: morning, afternoon, or full day, and we highly recommend choosing one of the latter two as you’ll want to be in a prime position for the sunset (a list of things to watch out for). To do !).
Aura SkyPool Lounge, 50th Floor, Palm Tower, Palm Jumeirah, every day from 10 a.m. to sunset, from 170 Dhs. auraskypool.com
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