When backpacking around the world was still a novel experience, when there were roads that were less travelled and places on the map still to be explored, Lonely Planet guides were invaluable.
They were packed with lots of information on where to stay, what to eat and when to visit.
One piece of advice repeated time-and-again was, when seeking somewhere to relax, look for a place popular with locals and dive right in.
Residents are those in the know, they understand where is worth visiting, where is overrated and where might even be dangerous.
While the guide books are now something close to obsolete – replaced by Instagram, Google Maps and the like – the advice endures, follow the crowds.
Never has it been more apt than with Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai – a luxury property overlooking the pristine waters of the Arabian Gulf.
On arrival, the Noor lounge on the ground floor fizzes with energy, as Emirati guests gather to drink tea, taste dainty delicacies and gossip.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, has even been known to call in on occasion – and what higher accolade can there be?
Guests – local or otherwise – are greeted with fourteen bronze metal trees standing seven-, eight- and nine-metres high, creating a canopy of crystal and light in the lobby.
It’s an impressive sight, and one that sets the tone for the property as a whole – Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai is a monument to good taste, fine living and quiet wealth.
Behind Noor, a shimmering pool stretches away toward the ocean.
Dive in and music plays underwater, giving swimmers an additional sensory experience to compliment the bright sun and cooling water.
Details like this flow throughout the hotel, every element has been carefully considered to enhance the guest experience.
Created by Emirati multidisciplinary designer Aljoud Lootah, the property offers an artistic blend of local heritage with modern touches.
The main geometric pattern is inspired by khous, traditional palm frond weaving, while the curved outline references the sea, which was essential to the historic coastal town of Dubai.
Designer Jeffrey Allen Wilkes of Designwilkes is responsible for the lobby, cake shop, ballroom, meeting rooms, guestrooms and suites at the property.
Located in one of most prestigious neighbourhoods in the city, Jumeirah Beach, the resort’s spacious rooms and suites have a luxurious, contemporary feel, and come with stunning city or ocean views.
Natura Bisse products come as standard in the rooms – a real mark of indulgence.
With eight restaurants and bars, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai is the most exciting resort in the region.
Indeed, it was recognised as Middle East’s Leading City Resort at the World Travel Awards last year.
Its unrivalled location with easy access to both Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport means it is ideal for both business and leisure travellers.
It also holds the status of being the closest beachfront resort to both Downtown Dubai and the financial and business districts.
Outside, and unusually for Dubai, the property is surrounded by low-rise villas, rather than huge tower blocks – people actually live in the vicinity and the hotel is an asset to those locals.
Netsu, the Japanese steakhouse, introduces the traditional Warayaki cooking style, using straw instead of coal which creates higher temperatures of up to 1,000-degree Celsius, which is perfect for lightly searing food while leaving the inside uncooked
Meanwhile, the Mandarin Spa offers a signature Nomadic Sensory treatment, a unique journey that takes guests on a rhythmic ritual that captures the spirit of Emirati Bedouin life, using the beat of a Doumbek (Arabic goblet drum)
The extensive events facilities also include MO Canvas, a 400 square metre urban multipurpose space with an industrial edge that offers a blank canvas for a wide range of bespoke private events including product launches, fashion events, art exhibitions and workshops.
The combination of concrete with minimal finishes in this unconventional space, allows brands to customise the venue to match their event theme.
What’s more, from next month, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai is going to get even better.
The property has recently revealed it will welcome Sublimotion, a multi-sensory dining pop-up originally from Ibiza, for a three month stay.
Sublimotion opened to instant renown in Ibiza in 2014 and has been at the top of global culinary rankings ever since.
The experience is the brainchild of Paco Roncero, chef and owner of two-Michelin-starred Paco Roncero Restaurante in Madrid, and creative director Eduardo Gonzales, of Vega Factory.
This unique haute-cuisine experience features ten courses that transform with every scene, prepared with the finest ingredients and paired with incomparable performances.
The theatrical show includes 360-degree screens with imagery projected onto every surface, from the walls to the table, turning the dining room into a stage, the team into actors and just 12 lucky diners into stars.
Guests can enjoy this one-of-kind experience at AED5,000 (£1,000) per seat or combine it with everything else the luxurious beachfront resort has to offer by booking the Ultimate Sublimotion Experience suite package.
Priced from AED19,000 per night, it includes two seats at Sublimotion, round-trip airport transfers in a Tesla Model X, a stay in an enchanting suite with stunning sea or skyline views, delightful welcome treats by Chef Paco Roncero and daily breakfast served in the chic setting of the Bay or in-suite.
There is also daily access to the sophisticated Club Lounge and a 60-minute Oriental Essence spa treatment for two.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the owner and operator of some of the most luxurious hotels, resorts and residences in the world.
Having grown from its Asian roots into a global brand, the group now operates 35 hotels and seven residences in 24 countries and territories, with each property reflecting the oriental heritage and unique sense of place of the brand.
Mandarin Oriental has a strong pipeline of hotels and residences under development, and is a member of the Jardine Matheson Group.
To book a stay at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, head over to the official website.