At the summer house

One of the last things we did as a family was spend a weekend at Dar Al Masyaf. It’s an Arabic term that translates to “summer house”. It’s one of the hotels attached to the Madinat Jumeirah area and it is beautiful.  This long walkway by the sea leads to a restaurant called Pierchic.  It’s only open for dinner and we didn’t get a chance to visit.

This beautifully dressed white horse is at the entrance of the Al Qasr hotel.  It looks so pearly, unlike its golden brothers and sisters which greets visitors as they come in.  They are quite a sight to behold and most visitors stop to take photos of the horses, which in some cases can cause a bit of traffic on that one-way road.

Of course, there were camels too!  These guys have been around a while.  First it was those funky coloured cows.  Then came the horses followed by the camels and then the falcons.  This one was located near where our summer house was.

We had an Arabian summer house and our suites were on the first floor.  Here in Dubai, the first floor is actually the second floor because the actual first floor is called the ground floor.  All lifts (elevators) have G followed by 1, 2, 3….  The villa was awesome.  As with any Jumeirah establishment, the details are what makes it special.

There was a complimentary bottle of champagne upon our arrival.  Bernie popped the cork and managed to lose it!  We couldn’t find where the damn thing went.  So we had to drink the entire bottle as soon as we opened it.  Needless to say, we were quite “relaxed’ at dinner and after that.

Our suite was great. it had a garden view whereas the other kids had the canal view. They were identical suites in every other way though. This was our huge king size bed with the writing desk off to one side.

And the view from the other side includes the sofa and the TV. I think this was actually a pull-out sofa bed which we never used since Patrick fit in the bed with us anyway. Joseph used it though and slept like a baby, or so I heard.

Each suite has a small balcony and this is the view from our balcony looking into the suite. Obviously taken early in the morning hence the unmade bed.

Our family as a whole. Happy times. This is one of the last photographs we have together, and probably the last one ever.

Outside the villa. I think we were on our way to breakfast here. This was early, 7.30am I think since we wanted to get the most out of our day before checking out.

My children. They seemed so happy. I think this was taken on our way out to dinner on our first night. The heat was still bearable that time and we were alright walking out to the main hotel. You can’t even do that now – it’s just too hot and humid to be outdoors.

I love the Madinat! There are plenty of photo-worthy views, including this one. Our golf cart driver slowed down and even stopped at one point to allow me to take proper photographs. This was on our way to Wild Wadi in the morning. It was a crisp, clear day and the shot was just begging to be taken.

I love windtowers for their simplicity, and in the Madinat there is never a shortage of these things. This is on the main hotel overlooking the gardens of the summer houses.

The impressive Al Qasr Hotel facing the canal. This is lit beautifully at night, and the light reflects on the canal – perfect for night photography.

As seen here in a photograph taken in January 2010. They’re like Pringles, once you pop…you can’t stop! There are so many angles of this structure to get on camera and on so many different exposure levels. It will never get old.

There are plenty of pool areas at the Madinat but the biggest pool is at the Al Qasr directly across the main building. It spreads out around 3 dining areas and pool bars. There are lifeguards on duty 24/7 and pool attendants are very polite and helpful. As guests of the hotels, you can access the pools at Dar Al Masyaf, Al Qasr and Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The only restriction is the Burj Al Arab facilities.

We went out for a swim at night, underneath the stars and the changing lights of the Burj. The kids didn’t want to leave!

And then there’s the various photos taken during the rest of our time here. No narrative required I think. Forgetting the fact that we did not get to watch the movie we wanted to see on their channels, or that their telephone system was busted the entire time that we were there, it was really very enjoyable.

One other facility open to guests is the Wild Wadi water theme park. After breakfast we headed down there in one of the buggies and was greeted at the gate by these guys! It was a lazy morning but hotel guests were already there. During May they opened early on the weekends to accommodate families.

There was a jester hat sitting on a stool by the entrance gate. Patrick didn’t want to put the hat on but I thought it was cute.

We love giant chess boards! There was this one on the balcony atop the big swimming pool and I made Bernie move a couple of pawns for the photograph. It was bloody hot to stay and play a game!

And that was our weekend at the summer house. Great memories to keep. The kids want to go back one day now that they know the best ways to enjoy the facilities! Maybe we’ll go back.

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