From the moment you arrive at Lapita Hotel it feels as though you’ve been whisked off to some far flung tropical island. Dubai’s newest resort hotel is ideally located within the new Dubai Parks and Resorts complex (home to Legoland, MotionGate and Bollywood Parks) in Jebel Ali and offers a one of a kind experience amidst exotic surroundings.
Having recently launched the Daycation Brunch, the team at Lapita have gone all out in offering guests a unique dining experience and the opportunity to truly let go and unwind… if only for a few short hours on a weekend afternoon. Entering into the lobby of this sprawling resort it doesn’t feel like the Dubai desert, as wooden fans whirr overhead and ornately carved pillars give way to lush garden views. It feels like another world, one of relaxation and island vibes.
The daycation brunch is held downstairs from the main lobby in Kalea, the hotels all day dining restaurant. Greeted on arrival with tiki themed cocktails, we begin to feel a sense of paradise enveloping us and though the space is large, it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Outside on the terrace is our preferred seating option for its close proximity to the kids club, BBQ and massage area. Yes, you read that correctly, Lapita’s Daycation brunch (much like Brunch In The Clouds in Abu Dhabi) has a specific area where guests can indulge in shoulder massages while they take a break from all that eating and drinking.
Better still, the Daycation Brunch could perhaps be the most family friendly brunch we’ve experienced. There’s a special kids area with a firm focus on healthy eating and though sweet items are present (candied apples and ocean themed cupcakes) the emphasis is very much on fruits and vegetables. The kids area is part of the hotels Luna & Nova Kids Club and is overseen by the friendly Lapita team, who make sure your little ones have plenty of fun playing games and being active, as opposed to sitting in front of television screens.
For those without children, don’t be dissuaded at the thought of screaming kids ruining your afternoon. As the Daycation Brunch finds the perfect balance in offering as much fun for adults as it does for the kids. Skillfully blending party brunch and family friendly into a brunch like no other, outside on the terrace you’ll find a live duo playing upbeat hits. While inside there’s loud dance music emanating from the speakers.
Inside is also where you’ll find the majority of the food. The buffet spread while not the largest we’ve encountered (that award still goes to Al Qasr) is still very impressive. Aside from the usual brunch staples of breads, salads and sushi, there’s plenty of innovation on display and a number of dishes we’ve never seen at a brunch before. Here are just some of the dishes which should not be missed:
- Sushi Cakes: Layers of rice, vegetables and raw fish. Need we say more?
- Dig your own vegetable garden: A new-take on the salad bar in which organic vegetables have been ‘planted’ within edible soil. Grab a trowel and start digging for your carrots, lettuce and asparagus in a fun and interactive way.
- CandyKool Popcorn: This fruit flavoured popcorn is rainbow coloured and comes with a liquid nitrogen twist. The popcorn will create wisps of smoke from your mouth when eaten, giving the impression that your some sort of dragon or demigod.
- Hand Pulled Noodles: The noodle soup station has the noodles hand pulled before your very eyes by Chef Li Zhang. A fantastic piece of dinner theatre and the freshest noodles that money can buy.
- Naan Bread Station: Have you ever tried a coconut or beetroot naan? You can now…
Also of note is the Poisson Cru, a Tahitian speciality similar in vein to a Peruvian ceviche. The name basically means raw fish and at Lapita you can either have the chef whip it up for you or be adventurous and make your own, from a variety of dressings, flavoured oils, pickled items and vegetable garnishes. We wholly recommend the sea bass in tigers milk. Served in a coconut husk it feels like the very definition of tropicana, taking diners on a culinary journey to the reaches of the Polynesian Triangle and beyond.
Outside in the gardens things are less buffet heavy and revolve around live cooking stations. Highlights include the spit-roasted whole lamb accompanied by flavoursome gravy and well textured Yorkshire puddings (though the roast potatoes could’ve been a bit crispier). The BBQ station grills up lobster, shrimps, calamari, octopus, beef, lamp chops and sweet pineapple, with sauces located in small silver buckets suspended from a wire. Finally, don’t miss the Fijian fish curry – you are in the South Pacific after all.
The level of interest in maintained with the dessert offerings and imagine Lapita branded macaroons scattered across bamboo stems in a playful jungle setting. Gold bars that are actually made of chocolate, a soft serve ice cream station and a giant eclair clocking in at almost two meters in length! Passion fruit, mango and pineapple feature heavily in the cakes and baked goods and for lovers of the Bounty chocolate bar, it’s been turned into a cake just for you. Our favourite though were the ‘dum dum’ cakes of contrasting blue and red dough topped with icing, rainbow sprinkles and lashings of chocolate.
We must mention the theming which really encapsulates the theme of the South Pacific. The space itself resembles a traditional Polynesian house with thatched roofing and wooden pillars bound by rope. The Polynesian Islands are known for their sandy shores, coral reefs and ocean waters and all of these elements are cleverly incorporated into the thematics of the brunch. Watermelons carved with tribal faces, drinks served in glasses designed to look like Moai statutes (the type you’d likely see on a visit to Easter Island). Look upwards and you’ll even witness wooden canoes suspended from the ceiling.
Lapita hotel is operated under the Marriott brand and the levels of service are exactly what you would expect from the world’s biggest hotel chain. Staff dressed in Hawaiian shirts are quick to clear tables, replenish cutlery and ensure that drinks are never empty and provide a warm “Aloha” with each guest encounter. It’s a warm and friendly service style that though not completely personal, is ideal for the family focused nature of this brunch.
The Daycation brunch is more than just food and drink and it becomes a whole day affair. Brunch includes full access to the Lapita’s two swimming pools and lazy river with guests being able to stay after brunch for as long as they want. The lagoon style pools are beautifully heated and cater really well to the family crowd, with the main pool being the deeper and more spacious. However, the children’s pool has the advantage of shallow waters, basketball nets and a fountain system. If relaxing is your thing, why not grab one of the food shaped inflatables and float along the lazy river as it meanders around the resorts extensive grounds. After a day of relaxing visitors can walk straight out into RiverLand and the Dubai theme parks or perhaps check into the hotel.
Our family is currently a little obsessed with Disney’s ‘Moana.’ An animated film about a Polynesian girl who leaves her island on an ancient quest and this immersion into Polynesia at Lapita Hotel had us all very excited. In the film one of the characters sings: “The Island gives us what we need and no one leaves.”
Perfectly summarizing our Lapita experience, we truly wish we didn’t have to leave but this little taste of paradise has encouraged us to look into making our next visit more staycation than daycation.
The Daycation Brunch at Lapita is held each Friday from 1pm – 5pm
195 AED (soft drinks)
295 AED++ (house beverages)
95 AED++ (children under 12)
Location: Lapita, Dubai Parks & Resorts, Sheikh Zayed Road, Jebel Ali Village, Dubai
Social: Instagram / Facebook / Twitter
Hours: 1pm – 5pm
Phone: 04 810 9407
We were invited to dine at Lapita Hotel. All views are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE.