Between its gravity-defying skyscrapers and stunning desert landscape, Dubai is a dazzling metropolis, blending past and present to electrifying effect and offering something for everyone. You can splurge on a shopping spree at Dubai Mall, the world’s second largest shopping mall, encompassing an aquarium, ice rink, and the Dubai Fountain, or bargain for gold in the Gold Souk, a traditional market composed of over 300 gold merchants. You can gaze over the city’s skyline from the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building on earth, and explore Palm Jumeirah, an artificial archipelago featuring a waterpark and dolphin habitat. Or you can escape the heat at Ski Dubai indoor ski resort or bask in the sunshine on Dubai’s beaches. Synonymous with world-class hotels and resorts, this must-visit city is also a luxury traveler’s dream. Here’s my round-up of the 10 best luxury hotels in Dubai.
Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, is nestled among the lush palm groves, emerald canopies and iconic sand dunes of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve where desert wildlife abounds. Offering secluded tranquility and iconic vistas of the sweeping plains and Hajar Mountain massif, the property showcases the heritage and architecture of the Bedouins and also offers a sense of desert adventure. Offering unsurpassed luxury, the suites – reminiscent of Bedouin tents – are faced far apart and blend gently into the desert. Beautifully furnished with a unique collection of authentic Arabian artifacts and antiquities, all suites boast private pools with spectacular views of the desert and its wildlife (gazelles & Arabian oryx). A stay at Al Maha includes all meals and two activities per night’s stay (choose from a camel ride with sundowners, archery, nature walks and more).
Situated on the exclusive, manmade Jumeira Bay, an island carved into the shape of a seahorse and adjoined by a 300 m (980 ft) bridge to central Dubai coastline, the Bvlgari Resort Dubai is a true ‘urban oasis’, for visitors and residents alike. Designed entirely by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, the renowned Italian architectural firm that has created all the Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts, the sunny property comprises 101 rooms and suites, as well as 20 Bvlgari villas with pool, garden and sea-view. A full range of amenities are on offer, such as world-class restaurants, a ultraluxe spa with hammam, Dubai’s most exclusive beach club with private beach, and a unique mosaic-design outdoor swimming pool. To add relish to the guest’s stay, the complex comprises a private Marina featuring 50 boat berths and the first world’s Bvlgari Yacht Club with peerless views over the sea.
The distinctive sail-shaped silhouette of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, a glittering architectural marvel in the middle of the Arabian Gulf, is more than just a stunning hotel, it is an emblem of modern Dubai, a world-famous icon, and a symbol of extreme wealth, hence making the resort very popular among the rich and famous. Still the only (self-proclaimed) 7 star super luxury hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab offers oversized suite-only accommodation, with each suite composed of two floors that are connected by a marble staircase. Here, you can soothe your soul in a spa-like bathroom with Jacuzzi, mosaic floor, and full-size Hermes products. The opulent lobby, dotted with huge golden columns, leads to several boutiques and exquisite restaurants. The property also features a spectacular outdoor deck area, floating above the sea, which includes two pools, a restaurant and a bar.
The Armani Hotel Dubai is located within Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, and part of a mixed use development consisting of 160 rooms and 144 residences. The downtown hotel is up to the 8th floor and then 38th and 39th floors, and the residences occupy levels 9 to 16 of the Burj Khalifa Tower. The property is suave and understated, with each design detail personally chosen by Giorgio Armani himself. Behind guestroom doors, understated elegance reigns: walls are adorned with handmade leather from Florence, floors covered with Japanese tatami, and bathrooms clad in gray stones from Alicante, Spain, all blending seamlessly with the clean, curved lines of the tower’s architecture. The elegant Armani/SPA tailors every experience to each guest and features a lovely outdoor pool wrapping around one of Burj Khalifa’s corners. The hotel’s dining venues serve Italian, Mediterranean, Japanese and Indian cuisine.
Chic and glamorous, One&Only The Palm is an exquisite low-rise boutique oasis located on the lush, landscaped private peninsula of the Palm Island crescent. Blending Moorish and Andalusian architecture with contemporary chic interiors, the property consists of 90 rooms and four exclusive beachfront villas. At One&Only The Palm, you can hide away from the everyday and soak up the sun beside shimmering pools and the private, white-sand beach; capture the calm of the day in the Guerlain Spa, set amidst ponds, fountains and open courtyards; and tantalize your palate with an enviable selection of bars and restaurants under the culinary guidance of three-Michelin-stars Chef Yannick Alléno. Across the water is , the property’s equally stunning sister resort, where the world’s most discerning travelers are also assured of a warm welcome, understated luxury and discreet, attentive service.
Inspired by palaces of continental Europe, Raffles The Palm Dubai -formerly known as the Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai – is a five-star luxury beach resort dedicated to the finest elements of life. Guests are welcome to immerse in an elegantly curated stay, dining and leisure experiences at this landmark destination on Palm Jumeirah, and discover Dubai’s iconic palace by the sea. Each of the spacious rooms and suites is embellished with hand-crafted Italian touches and offset by carefully selected amenities to complete the atmosphere of elegance. The refinement is complemented by exceptional leisure facilities, such as a private beach and lagoon pool, five culinary experiences including a Japanese restaurant as well as one of the largest wellness center – Cinq Mondes Spa – with 23 treatment rooms.
Bringing fresh, sophisticated style to dynamic Dubai, Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach captures the city’s energy and excitement in a glamorous beach resort. Boasting a palatial lobby, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows looking out onto the beautiful gardens and Arabian Gulf, the property is an oasis nestled into the heart of the exclusive Jumeirah area. With polished marble and custom Murano chandeliers, it exudes luxury with understated elegance. The 237 spacious accommodations – including 49 suites – offer views of the Arabian Gulf on one side and Burj Khalifa and the downtown skyline on the other. Three pools, watersports and many shopping and dining outlets provide plenty of activities to occupy all.
Al Qasr means ‘The Palace’ – and this hotel truly is the jewel in the crown of Madinat Jumeirah (or ‘city of Jumeirah’). Designed in the style of a Sheikh’s summer residence, the hotel replicates traditional royal architecture, coupled with luxurious modernity throughout. Approached along a tree-lined avenue, adorned with beautifully sculpted Arabian horses, the hotel itself will take your breath away. The design of 292 rooms is a tribute to the age-old architectural styles of Arabia. As part of the magnificent Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Al Qasr offers all the facilities and activities of the wider resort, with traditional wooden abra boats transporting guests to more than 40 world-class restaurants and bars. The resort boasts a re-creation of an ancient market, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, with 70-plus boutiques and galleries, a mile-long private stretch of beach, watersports, 19 indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and complimentary access to Wild Wadi Water Park.
Located in Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht club on the banks of the majestic Dubai Creek, Park Hyatt Dubai provides an idyllic setting for a luxury getaway. This 5 star resort offers 223 luxury rooms including 34 suites, all of which offer stunning views overlooking the Dubai Creek and marina. The hotel’s award-winning dining venues offer the finest in Western, Thai and French cuisines. With floor-to-ceiling windows, wood-fired ovens and theatre kitchens, the hotel brings excitement and style to dining, both indoor and al fresco. As a premium Dubai city resort, the property also offers its guests a number of exciting activities such as Seawings, the aerial seaplane taking off of Dubai Creek and an 18-hole, par-71 championship course that rolls into thousands of undulating yards, or pampering spa treatments at the luxury Amara Spa, one of the finest Dubai spas.
This dynamic property is rising in Dubai from the coastline of the largest man-made island in the world, the Palm Island. Positioned as the flagship property it is, Atlantis The Palm is situated at the apex of the Palm Island’s outer crescent, surrounded by the beautifully tranquil sea of the Arabian Gulf. The palatial hotel is one of Dubai’s most impressive resorts, part blockbuster luxury hotel (more than 1,500 rooms and suites!), part aquatic wonderland. The resort has some of the most elegant hotel rooms in Dubai, designed to immerse guests in absolute comfort and unparalleled luxury. The hotel’s underwater suites have breathtaking underwater views, including the “ancient” ruins of the mythical lost city of Atlantis and its 65,000 marine inhabitants. Families will love the hotel’s Aquaventure Waterpark, where they can discover an underwater world at The Lost Chambers Aquarium or meet the incredible marine mammals at Dolphin Bay and Sea Lion Point.