Even with the plethora of brunches taking place across Dubai and beyond every weekend, finding one that offers hotel beach and pool access is a rare treat, with most establishments seemingly keen to keep a partition between its in-house residents and those just there to eat and drink the establishment dry on a Friday and Saturday.
However, Maya – nestled in in the beautiful environs of Dubai’s Le Royal Meridien hotel – has proved a welcome exception. Pay the Dhs500 brunch cover charge and you’re given access to the hotel’s expansive pool and beach area, both before, during and after the brunch – though it’s worth noting that you can’t take any food or drink ordered during this time, out of the restaurant. That’s of relatively little concern anyway, Maya’s outside seating stretches out into the sun soaked gardens – so you’re still situated in a prime spot to spend the afternoon. Make sure you pick up one of the welcome cocktails, we can’t recall exactly what’s in it – only that you’ll probably be requesting them all afternoon from that point on.
The menu is a-la-carte – a big sell for us, (particularly after growing increasingly docile having enjoyed more than our fair share the aforementioned specialties from the bar) and is essentially a smorgasbord of Maya’s finest Mexican offerings. The BBQ chicken salad is the pick of the starters, and the main event of rib-eye steak and marinated chicken fajitas is bolstered superbly with the option of Caribbean lobster tails and seasoned lamb chops.
With an emphasis on mass-sharing and the assembly of wraps while grazing on nachos, the format for this ilk of cuisine seems far more suited to the all you can eat concept but, admittedly, that could just be us fajita fanboys here at Esquire talking.
After the bell tolls at five pm, (and the waiters will serve you practically up until this happens, as opposed to numerous other brunches that call last orders about 45 minutes before) your options are two-fold. Watch the sunset at the beach while you try and swim off the stone you’ve probably just put on, or, congregate with the emerging evening crowd at Maya’s outside bar, where the atmosphere is cranked up a notch and Dubai’s nightlife is your oyster…