Izakaya is a Japanese bar and restaurant located on the 5th floor of the iconic twin towers inside JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay and is just one of 11 restaurants inside the hotel.
The quirky decor starts as soon as you get towards the restaurant with kawaii puns posted over the walls and a sake cart. The fun doesn’t end there; you pass a giant cherry blossom tree, which arches over the bar, multi-colored Japanese umbrellas that hang from ceiling and a ‘wasabi girl’ complete with a green wig and looks like she is straight out of Harajuku.
If you’re like me and were tired of being cooped up inside and wanted a change of scenery then you’d understand my need to book a staycation as soon as the hotels reopened in Dubai.
Less than 20 minutes drive from my house and off the beaten track is a cluster of hotels all belonging to the JA Resort. Our final destination is JA Palm Tree Court a spacious property with it’s own 800m long private beach surrounded by luscious greenery. Upon arrival the security guard conducts temperature checks before letting you inside the car park facility and unfortunately due to the current circumstances valet is not offered. Although if you’ve parked as far away as we did they can offer to collect you via golf buggy.
The reception is shaped like a hut and reminds me of Africa. Once again your temperature is taken before entering the lobby and hand sanitizers are aplenty. The staff give us an overview of the hotel premises as it’s our first stay with them and recommend we book our dinner & breakfast due to it’s newly enforced limited capacity inside the restaurants.
Once check-in was complete the buggy awaited us. We zoom swiftly through the narrow lanes past an abundance of greenery and many vibrant feathered friends. The resort is home to families of peacocks who roam freely. Our ground floor hotel room means it has its own garden with sun beds that you can enjoy sans face mask.
After a quick change and an application of sunscreen we take a stroll down to the beach to enjoy the sunshine. (Note: You will need to carry the beach towels from your room). The staff are vigilant in checking your temperature and this time it’s the lifeguard who checks and records. The other hotel guests are scattered around on sun beds and are all adhering to the social distancing rules.
We later roam over to the beach bar which uses QR code’s to scan for the menu rather than handing them out. The staff are respectfully wearing gloves & masks at all times. They even encourage payment to be added to the room tab.
What I love about this resort is that it’s home to a lot of outdoor activities. One which is recently reopened is wake surfing so I booked myself and some friends in for a session. After a hour of fun and excitement we relax in the sports bar with some refreshments.
We head back to our room to shower before dinner and we encounter the hotels feathered friends and some stunning flora. Feeling fresh and sun kissed the stroll to the restaurant at sunset provides with many photo opportunities.
We head off to dinner at White Orchid but not without snapping shots of the sun setting over one of the pools. We opted to sit outside to catch the last of the sunset but later semi regretted the decision as the pesky crows linger whilst were trying to enjoy a lovely meal. They served up a limited menu of Thai inspired dishes. I enjoyed sea bass wrapped in a banana leaf with fragrant herbs and spices with a side of stir fry veggies in an oyster sauce.
We check out the library upstairs before waddling back to our room via the beach to hit the sack. The hotel beds and pillows were plush and super comfortable which made dozing off particularly easy.
The next morning our breakfast is served in the same restaurant and we sat outside in the same table. This time there’s a guy with a slingshot and a falcon downstairs both used to scare off the crows. Breakfast is from a set menu and the food is aplenty.
I make a detour via the gift shop to pick up a snorkeling set before heading back to the room to pack and check out. We call a buggy to save us carrying our bags to the lobby. The check out process was seamless and the reception staff wished us well and thanked us for staying with them. I’d highly recommend a staycation at JA Palm Court and would love to stay there again some day!