Depending on how much time you spend on social media, you might have seen lots of coverage on the new family resort in Deira Islands that opened up recently. Centara Mirage Beach Resort, it’s called.
This is our first time staying in a resort which is completely focused on the little people. They have literally designed it to make kids happy – adults come second. But hey – they kinda know that if the little people are happy, the parents will be too, right? 🙂
Here’s our review on the resort, having spent two nights – three little ones in tow. Read on if you are planning on a staycation here.
Let’s start with the location.
Deira Islands? Since when did Deira have an island?
I didn’t know that either.
Being complete marina snobs, this would be our first time driving pass that new bridge (pretty cool, by the way) towards the new Deira Islands. It’s about 35 minutes from the marina. Not too far, right?
If you are flying in from overseas and planning on staying here – bear in mind that Deira Islands is about 25 minutes from Downtown Dubai. There isn’t anywhere you can ‘walk to’ if you are staying here (similar to most AI resorts in Dubai) – so if you were to stay here, it is literally to stay put and have some proper R&R time.
How are the rooms like?
We were booked into the Mirage Superior Room Sea View with Bunk Beds. The girls (ages 3, and 5) loved the bunk beds, and whilst they did provide a cot for the 1 year old, it is to be mentioned there there is enough space on the bed for the little one to share with you if you wish.
For a family of 5 – I did feel that the room was still quite spacious at 41 square metres. There is no bathtub – just a shower room, so if you have a baby and need a little bathtub to bath the little one in, have a chat with the team to see if they can provide one.
Whatever room type that you choose – I would recommend you pick the sea view, as the other side of the building is facing a construction site and nothing much else.
You say it’s family-focused. What do you mean?
The resort has been designed to consider – what I feel all aspects of what a family with kids need :
The building is a narrow and long, with lifts to the middle of each side so whatever room you are in – it’s quick to get to the lifts. I remember seeing 6 lifts to each section, so eventhough the resort was absolutely full when we stayed (school holidays as well) – there wasn’t a long wait for lifts.
Once you’re out, everything that you need for the kids is right there, and has been properly designed so that it is buggy friendly.
I’m talking toddler pool, family pool, kid’s club, confidence course, slides, lazy river, even a diving board for the bigger, braver people. They understand that kids get cranky when they need to walk a lot (okay, maybe just ours?), so all the entertainment is closeby to keep them happy.
Within the main building itself, there is also the Mirage family lounge (kind of like a club lounge, but for families…) where they serve food at specific times, and also a happy hour time with drinks (5:30-7pm). There is also a pretty big kids play area to keep them entertained when you wanna chill and have a drink. Have you been to a club lounge with a kids corner?!
Can I drop my kids in the kid’s club there?
Their kid’s club is called Camp Safari and it’s above Sands Beach Club. Drop off age is 3 (up to 9).
They close for sanitation at 1pm – important time to note in case you wanted to have a peaceful lunch (first) with your other half before picking the little one(s) up. Lunch in Suan Bua and Uno Mas starts at 12:30pm, Sands (downstairs) at 12:00pm.
They then shut at 7pm in the evening ( a bit early, I did feel). Dinner in Suan Bua and Uno Mas starts at 6:30pm, so technically you can have a quiet half an hour with your other half before picking the kids up from the kids club at 7pm 🙂
What’s the minimum height to participate in the activities?
- Minimum height for the ‘Waterpark’ is 100cm.
- No you cannot go down the slide(s) with the little one on your lap.
- You are also not allowed to ‘hang’ in the water area as there isn’t much space to do so – the lifeguard on duty will politely ask you to sit on the sunbed or just stand beyond the water, haha.
- Minimum age for the bouncy castle is 2.
- Minimum height for the rope-climbing course is 140cm.
- No restrictions for Aquapark.
What about the food?
We dined in 3 different restaurants, as well as the Family Lounge over our stay.
Suan Bua – This is their main restaurant, thai. Food is okay – buffet-style. Tip : Get in line before 6:30pm for dinner as it gets busssssy.
Uno Mas – Argentinian Grill. Ala carte. Best meal here over our stay. We had dinner here on the second night, and lunch on the third day. Tip : Opens for booking 24 hours beforehand so make sure you pre-book (on the app, reception will give you the QR code)
There is also a lebanese restaurant called Sheesh which serves shisha and is meant to be really nice, but we didn’t get the chance to try it out this trip.
Is there a spa?
Cenvaree Spa is located opposite Uno Mas on the Ground Floor. We were lucky enough to get a couples massage during our stay there (yes – they do have a couples room).
They also have a spa for kids aptly called Candy Spa and the girls got completely
spoilt pampered with a mani treatment and pleats for their hair.
How is the beach like?
As with all man-made islands in Dubai, the sand is not the fluffy stuff you get along Jumeirah Beach. It’s much better than Palm West Beach though, but yes – keep the little ones in their swim socks or sandals as there are a lot of broken shells amongst the sand.
You can probably see from the photo below that the beach extent is quite wide, so it does get sun for most of the day (until sunset, of course…)
Things to be aware of before you go
- Due to the layout of the building and it being North facing, part of the lazy river and slides are in the shade from mid-day onwards (stayed, Feb). The family pool gets sun for most of the day, and then half of it is shaded by say 4pm (see photo above).This is great for the summer months but possibly not the best for the winter months IF you and the kids are afraid of the cold. Didn’t stop people from using it while we were there though – it was busy busy busy 🙂
- Because of Point 1 above, sunbeds by the family pool gets taken up very quickly. A lot of eager parents head out to place towels and belongings at 8am before heading to the breakfast hall. So if you want to get that prime spot – unfortunately you have to join the crowd and do the same, haha.
- The entire ‘outdoor area’ is gated and opens up at 8am. So you can’t pop out for a stroll at the beach if you wake up at 6am, you gotta wait till they open it up. Then the pool and beach area ‘shuts’ at sunset, but they do have an outdoor cinema where you can chill to watch movies with the little ones.
- If you want to dine in Suan Bua for dinner, make sure you go there early, before 6:30pm to queue up as it does get very busy.
- If you want to dine in Uno Mas (or Sheesh), make sure you pre book 24-hours beforehand.
- Family pool, lazy river, and waterpark water was temperature-controlled when we were there. Splash pad and Aquapark is not.
Centara Mirage Beach Resort is a family focused resort which has so much for the little ones. The all-inclusive package keeps the parents very happy as well 🙂 We had such a good time, the girls didn’t want to leave!
I would suggest a minimum of 2 nights here, and possibly not more than 4 nights unless you eat outside due to the number of restaurants and food choices. The shaded pool areas can be a plus for those who don’t like the sun so much, and perfect for the summer months. Otherwise, plan your day better – hit the pool and slides in the earlier part of the day when it’s under the sun, and spend the rest of the day at the aquapark and the beach, which is fully lit until sunset all year round 🙂
- Centara Beach Resort Dubai
- Deira Islands
- We were guests of Centara Mirage Beach Resort during our stay.
- We stayed in February 2022, so all details mentioned here was relevant and applicable during our staycation. Please double check directly with Centara Mirage Dubai for current updates.