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Exclusive: Ola and James Jordan's first holiday with Ella and scary accident revealed

The Strictly couple shared family snaps and videos with HELLO!

Sophie Hamilton
Parenting Editor
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Former Strictly dancers Ola and James Jordan are beaming when we catch up with them, chilled and refreshed after a wonderful holiday with their 21-month-old daughter Ella.

MORE: Exclusive: Strictly's James and Ola Jordan reveal plans for baby number two

It was the family's first holiday abroad together and by the look of their stunning holiday photos and exclusive video below, the trio had a blast staying at Rixos The Palm Hotel & Suites in Dubai.

WATCH: Ola and James visit Dubai with baby Ella

"We chose this hotel because it's all-inclusive, and the only all-inclusive hotel on The Palm in Dubai. It was perfect for us with Ella because we weren't restricted on when we could eat, all our food and drinks were free and so was Ella's ice cream!

"There were loads of play areas for her too and good kids clubs – they really catered for everything. We'll definitely be going back again."

dubai hotel

The pool at The Rixos

In our interview, Ola and James tell us what they all got up to on their break away and how Ella reacted to all that sun, sea and sand. The sweet tot made quite the impression with the boys it seems, sending dad James into full-on protection mode.

There was also a scary moment for the family when Ella hurt herself by the pool, but thankfully she was okay. Read about the Jordans'  holiday below…

Hi guys, tell us all about Ella's holiday!

James: "It was her very first holiday - the first time we've been away since 2017, believe it or not. It was amazing, wasn't it Ola?

"We had wanted to fly business class but because we booked the holiday last minute the tickets were about £8000! I was like, 'I'm not paying £8000 on business class!' Sometimes you can get really good deals and I think we paid a grand for the three of us to fly economy.

"But then when we got to the airport, it was £500 pounds to upgrade, so on the way out we actually upgraded to business, so it was lovely."

MORE: Exclusive: Strictly's James and Ola Jordan on why they're dancing into a 'heartbreaking' Christmas

plane sleep

Mum and Ella sleeping on the plane

How was Ella on the plane?

Ola: "She was good, actually. She slept for a bit. We flew in the evening but we didn't realise that when we arrived in Dubai, it was two o'clock in the morning so we had to wake her up. So she wasn't very happy and the first day was a bit of a blur for the three of us because we were all so tired."

James: "It was good being on UK time in Dubai because Ella would wake up about 10 o'clock in the morning, which is great. Then she'd go to bed about 12 o'clock at night, so we got to have a drink in the evening."

Ola: "So mum and dad were by the bar a bit, with the baby running around – not very good but it worked for us."

How did Ella react when she first realised she was on holiday and saw everything?

Ola: "She loved it. Even being on the hotel balcony, she was like, 'Whoa, what is this?' Seeing the sea and everything like that – she called it a pool! Just taking her down to the pool and the beach. She loved it. She couldn't wait to get to the pool.

"You know what? Through the holiday she's grown up a lot. She talks a bit more and she's a bit naughtier now."

beach fun

James and Ella at the beach

James: "Well, my mum was around yesterday and she said, 'Oh my God, she's got so much energy.' You have some eyes in the back of your head. My mum said that my sister and I didn't have that much energy."

Well she does has two dancers for parents so maybe that's why…

James: That's true!

MORE: Christmas Eve box ideas for kids and adults this festive season

Did you have lovely weather on holiday?

Ola: It was really warm, it was lovely. Ella loved it, although she didn't love the sun cream that mummy had to put on her every morning.

"She couldn't wait to get in that pool. She actually didn't love the sand that much; she preferred being by the pool. But to be fair, James hates the sand as well – she's just like her dad."

ella jordan pool

Swimming time!

What were the best parts of the holiday?

Ola: "I think seeing Ella explore everything. We went to see the aquarium in the mall and she played with other children. She had a couple of boyfriends too!

"There was a boy her age but she wasn't into him that much. He was more into her than she was into him. Then there was a three and half-year-old - she running around with him and she absolutely loved him, didn't she James? Daddy had a word with him!"

aqarium family

Ella loved the aquarium in the mall

What did you say to him, James?!

James: "He was holding her hand and I said, 'What are you doing?!' (laughs). He got all nervous and his dad was laughing.

"The holiday was amazing. The Rixos on The Palm is all-inclusive, and when I say all-inclusive, it was everything. You had your minibar, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, ice cream, all drinks. We were having cocktails and we were a little bit greedy. I'm not going to lie!"

Did Ella like the food over there?

James: "Yeah, she did at times, didn't she Ola? She liked the breakfast."

Ola: "Well the first few days she didn't, did she? I think she couldn't just get used to it. Maybe it was the time difference. But then she got into it and she loved going to dinner."

James: "The Rixos had three a la carte restaurants that were included as well in the all-inclusive, so every night we'd go out to a different restaurant. They had a steakhouse, an Italian and a fish restaurant, which was on the water and each night we'd just rotate it. Ella loved being in the restaurants."

jet ski

James enjoying his jet skiing 

Did you get a babysitter for a night?

James: "No, we didn't, no. I know lots of people do, but I don't know, maybe since it's our first child or this is the first holiday. I just felt that we were on holiday for her."

Ola: "Yeah, we were on holiday with her so it didn't bother us that much going out together."

James: "I mean, we've been on so many holidays with each other. Of course, it would have been nice to have some alone time, but we didn't even think about it."

Ola: "It was all about her and she loved it."

ola jordan dubai

Ola and Ella taking in the view

Did you take Ella to a waterpark?

James: "Yes, we went to the one at the Atlantis, which Ola and I have been to before. When we were there, if you stayed at The Rixos for more than four days, they gave you free unlimited access to the waterpark, which was fantastic.

"I took Ella on the Lazy River but I forgot that it goes into water rapids and she hated me!! I did everything possible not to tip up. I was like, ''Oh my God, what if I tip up? I'm going to lose her?'"

Ola: "They were gone for ages. I was walking around trying to see where they're going to end up."

James: "The waterpark is really massive, and the Lazy River goes right around the park. I abandoned it about halfway around and I was as far away from Ola as I could be. Then I was trying to find my way back – my sense of direction was terrible and she was trying to find me."

beach kiss

Quality family time at the beach

Did Ella sleep well in Dubai?

James: "She slept really well actually, probably because she was busy swimming and playing all day long. By the time she went to bed, I think she was so exhausted."

ola boat

A fun boat trip

We heard she had an accident on holiday…

James: "Yes. One day she came out of the water to me when I was sitting on the bench, then she went running back to mummy, who was in the water. She slipped on when she went to slow down and cracked her head on the tiles so hard.

"I was like, 'Oh no, she's concussed.' She was okay, but you know when you watch it and you see their head break their fall. But it didn't split or anything. We just kept an eye on her for the rest of the day. I know it happens all the time as children, but when you see your child fall on a hard surface…"

Thank goodness she's ok, what a fright. What was Ella like coming home from holiday?

Ola: "She was happy. When she ran in into our lounge and saw her toys she was like, 'Whoa!' and jumping in her ball pit."

James: "She kept saying 'Home! Home!' It's funny because when we drive up to about a minute from where we live, she recognises it and she already starts saying, 'Home'."


And time for home!

Ella's second birthday is coming up soon!

James: "Yeah, February 27th. So she's definitely terrible twos at the moment. I don't mind. It's hard work but I like the fact you've got a big character. She definitely got character!

"She's talking more, she answers back more. She's growing up – a proper toddler now." ­­

For more information on Rixos The Palm Hotel and Suites visit their Instagram page @rixosthepalmdubai or website.

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