Dubai residents now have the opportunity to indulge in the charm of the French Riviera without leaving the UAE. The exquisite Monaco Island is situated amidst the picturesque Arabian Sea and boasts four lavish 5-star hotels, all of which offer breathtaking sea vistas, pristine white sands, and crystal-clear turquoise waters.
Envision being surrounded by a serene island, where opulent luxury is the norm, and your senses are tantalized by a distinctly European ambiance that leaves you feeling invigorated and thrilled.
During the past weekend, we had the opportunity to explore the captivating Cote d'Azur-Monaco Island, nestled in the heart of Europe, right here in Dubai. Witnessing the city's remarkable transformation over the years has been truly exhilarating, with the addition of new attractions that have revolutionized the tourism industry. The Heart of Europe is an extraordinary and awe-inspiring island project in Dubai, consisting of seven islands, with Monaco Island being one of its most captivating gems.
The Heart of Europe is a cluster of seven islands situated within The World, Dubai. This remarkable global landmark comprises 300 islands, meticulously reclaimed from the sea and designed to resemble the world map. Located 4km off the coast of Dubai, this engineering marvel comprises private and resort islands, offering an iconic and unparalleled experience for visitors.
The visionary Josef Kleindienst and his esteemed company, JK Properties, are leading the development of The Heart of Europe, an extraordinary collection of seven islands located in the European section of The World. Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Ukraine, Main Europe, Switzerland, and Monaco are the seven islands that make up this exceptional destination, set to become an unparalleled island luxury resort.
Currently, Monaco and Sweden Islands are operational, while the other islands are still in the development phase. During our visit, we were given the opportunity to explore a magnificent luxury villa that was nothing short of a palace, situated in the heart of The Heart of Europe. This tropical villa boasts seven opulent bedrooms, surrounded by lush greenery and breathtaking ocean views, accessible only by boat. Bentley has exquisitely designed the interiors, and the villa is equipped with a private gym, spa treatment room, and even an ice room for respite from the scorching Dubai heat. Additionally, a fully-equipped kitchen and an onsite chef make it the perfect choice for large families or groups of friends.
Monaco Island has only opened 200 rooms to guests, with the remaining 400 rooms scheduled to open by the end of October, marking the official launch of the hotel to the world. One of the hotels on the island will be themed around Italy and exclusively cater to families with children, providing a unique and delightful experience for guests of all ages.
It's time to delve into our travel experience, which was indeed a momentous occasion as a couple following a 20-year hiatus from solo trips due to parenting responsibilities. Our excitement was palpable, and rightfully so. The ferry ride to the island departs promptly at noon from the pier located in Jumeirah. It's worth noting that on-site parking options are limited, albeit free of charge, ensuring seamless access to the pier without parking woes.
As we arrived at the jetty, the courteous staff warmly welcomed us before escorting us onto a luxurious 30-minute boat ride to Monaco Island. As we journeyed towards the island, we were mesmerized by the breathtaking panoramic views of the sea and the stunning Dubai skyline. Upon reaching the island, we were captivated by the impressive cluster of properties, a true engineering marvel standing proudly in the middle of the Arabian Ocean. The hotel staff greeted us with refreshing drinks and hot towels, setting the tone for our luxurious stay.
We were informed that the hotel is committed to sustainability and self-sufficiency, producing its own electricity through the utilization of solar power and generators. Additionally, they purify their water on-site, showcasing their dedication to responsible tourism practices.
Since check-in was 3 pm, we decided to satisfy our appetites with some scrumptious lunch while our room was being prepared. Shortly after, Katarina, a Guest Relations team member, greeted us and kindly escorted us to our suite. To our surprise, she revealed that we were the first guests to inaugurate the room, which had never been occupied. We felt a sense of exclusivity and privilege as we entered our pristine new quarters.
Our suite, situated on the second floor, welcomed us with an elegant hallway featuring a small powder room and a capacious living area. The living room was furnished with a stylish ivory sofa set, a large smart TV, a mini fridge, and a convenient tea/coffee station, providing all the amenities for a comfortable and luxurious stay.
The highlight of our suite was the expansive balcony accessible from all the rooms, offering breathtaking views of the ocean. The bedroom was equipped with a comfortable king-sized bed and adorned with trendy decor. The eclectic interior design seamlessly blended different styles and motifs to create a one-of-a-kind aesthetic. The smart electric panels placed on the bedside provided a high-tech experience and made it convenient to control the lights and air conditioning.
The bathroom in our suite was equipped with a large, luxurious oval bathtub and all the necessary amenities. What stood out to me was the hotel's choice of providing dispensable hand soaps and lotion, a clever and eco-friendly approach that I appreciated. It's a thoughtful way to save on the hotel's budget while still providing guests with quality products.
The most memorable aspect of our stay was undoubtedly the stunning temperature-controlled pool, which we had entirely to ourselves. We eagerly changed into our swimsuits and jumped into the refreshing water, which had a depth of only 1.2 meters. As a non-swimmer, I felt completely at ease due to the shallow depth of the pool. We had an absolute blast lounging on the pool floats and taking plenty of photographs to capture the moment.
It's rare to find a hotel with so many pool floats available for guests. Typically, if there are children around, the floats would be occupied by them while parents keep a watchful eye. However, at this hotel, I was pleasantly surprised to witness two adult males embracing their inner child as they sat on fighter jet floats, playfully squirting water at each other with attached water pistols. It was a heartwarming and fun sight to behold.
Another couple enjoyed their drinks while lounging on a comfortable rubber ducky. It took me a little while to get on it, but once I did, I didn't leave it for two hours. My husband joined me, and we relished the opportunity to unwind and enjoy each other's company without any distractions - no stress, no kids, no work - just pure, unadulterated fun.
If you share my passion for sunsets, then you know how captivating it is to watch the sun descend below the horizon while standing on the beach. Although I could have enjoyed the spectacle from the balcony of our suite, I was drawn to the water's edge, where the view was even more magnificent. The sunset was truly a sight to behold, and I was completely awestruck.
Currently, the hotel only has one restaurant called "La Brasserie" open to the guests, but they have plans to introduce more dining options in the near future. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and depending on the package you have booked, you can enjoy your meals at this charming French-themed eatery.
The resort was filled with a diverse mix of people, including groups of boys and girls and couples seeking to unwind from the stresses of life. While the resort caters exclusively to adults, you might expect a similar atmosphere to adult-only resorts in the Caribbean. However, given its location in Dubai, it's important to remember to respect local culture and traditions. Our stay at the Cort d'Azur was undoubtedly memorable, and we highly recommend it to anyone visiting or living in the UAE.