OT: Which is your favourite hotel and why?

Anil Kapoor: The one place that has always stayed with me is Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, the Ottoman-inspired luxury resort located on Palm Jumeirah. The reason is more emotional than anything else. I spent a lot of time shooting my biggest Hollywood hit Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol with Tom Cruise there in 2010. It was my Indian palace in the black-tie dinner sequence. Then, when I returned to film Welcome Back there, it felt like a nostalgic homecoming. This time the hotel was fully operational, and I fell in love with it more.

OT: What is so special about Jumeirah Zabeel Saray?

Anil Kapoor: First and foremost, the sheer beauty of it. The architecture is inspired by Turkish palaces from the Ottoman times and one look at the place from outside is enough to take your breath away. It is even more stunning from the inside. The hand-painted murals, frescoes, and artwork will make you feel like you are in some medieval ruler’s grand palace. I am not particularly a spa person but I always make an exception for the Talise Ottoman Spa. Would you believe that it has 40 individual treatment rooms, in addition to the saunas and traditional Turkish hammams? There is also a fully equipped fitness centre which is my favourite haunt. The hotel’s stretch of its private beach is great for walks. MusicHall, the exciting theatre-cum-nightclub offers dinner, dance and traditional entertainment. 

OT: What about the food?

Anil Kapoor: I am a frugal eater. But even then the ten dining venues leave you spoilt for choice. My favourite is the traditional mezze platter with a dozen different flavours of hummus at Nafoorah, their Arabic and Lebanese restaurant. They serve the best pomegranate juice with mint sprigs.

OT: Why would you like to recommend Jumeirah Zabeel Saray?

Anil Kapoor: Because it is heaven on earth. It is an oasis of happiness in the midst of a desert.