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15. July 2021
Once a small fishing village in the Arabian Gulf, Dubai is today one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Constantly reinventing itself to provide everything a global citizen could want for, the glittering United Arab Emirates city plays home to futuristic architecture that contrasts boldly with the bleached desert sands of the surrounds.
In addition to the imposing high-rises, including the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa, Dubai’s coastline and turquoise waters are adorned by impressive man-made islands. With innumerable entertainment and dining options, those wishing to shop can visit the world’s biggest shopping mall – Dubai Mall - or explore the city’s varied artistic and cultural highlights. Attractions range from the Dubai Opera, the Global Village and Dubai Fountain, activities from water sports to skydiving, 4x4 safaris and themed parks. Traditional wooden Emirati boats dot the Madinat waterways and are the most relaxing ways to get around, or simply slide into a luxury convertible and hit the high road – Dubai-style.
There are well over one hundred luxury Five Star hotels in Dubai - we have chosen just ten of our favourites - offering different experiences in contrasting locations.
The BusinessClass.com guide to our finest luxury hotels in Dubai:
Four Seasons Jumeirah Beach - 10/10
With the calm waters of the Arabian Gulf to one side and Dubai’s iconic cityscape to the other, the Four Seasons Jumeirah Beach resort has an ideal location. Tastefully blending classic Four Seasons style with opulent Middle Eastern touches – like the gold-leaf ceiling, freshly cut flowers in Murano crystal vases, shimmering mosaics and giant two-floor window that frames the views across manicured lawns towards the ocean. Each of the 237 guest rooms and suites boast balconies overlooking the beach or downtown skyline. The rooms have plush sofas, immense beds, an iPad Mini displaying the resort’s services, and a full marble bathroom with an oval bathtub and separate shower. The Royal Suite features a spa, gym, butler's room, and piano
Food is a fundamental part of the hotels’ identity, from the family-friendly market-style Suq with its live cooking stations and Arabic meze, to the chic beachfront Asian style eatery Sea Fu. The independent restaurants include local favourite Coya, an outpost of the London-based Peruvian restaurant, and Turkish Nusret – of ‘Salt Bae’ fame. The Shai Salon & Terrace for tea and a gentleman’s style cigar club - Hendrick’s Bar - are a delight. As you soak up the sun on the beach or at one of the pools, attendants serve complimentary refreshments. There is a 24-hour fitness centre, water sports, beauty salon and the Pearl Spa, with treatments loyal to the region’s ancient pearl diving practice.
Burj Al Arab – 9/10
An acclaimed icon of luxury, Burj Al Arab sits on an island off the shores of Dubai. Designed to mimic the sail of a ship by architect Tom Wright of WS Atkins, the superstructure has become synonymous with Dubai. Holding 28 double-story floors and 202 rooms, of which 142 are One-Bedroom Deluxe Suites, 28 Two-Bedroom Deluxe Suites, with a handful of Club, Diplomatic, Presidential and Royal Suites. The palatial Royal Suite is indeed fit for a monarch with exquisite lounges, a library and cinema room, and a full-sized jacuzzi in the master bathroom.
Al Muntaha is the hotel’s signature restaurant that juts out from either side of the mast on the 27th floor. Here Francky Semblat, with three Michelin stars to his name, hones his fine dining. Similarly, Kim Joinié-Maurin delivers at Skyview Bar & Restaurant. Al Iwan offers Arabesque dining at its best, Bab Al Yam Middle Eastern meets European flavours, while Gold On 27 is a glittering night spot with master mixologists stirring up their magic. Unmissable is Al Mahara – the hotel’s underwater restaurant experience. The hotel’s ultra-luxurious Talise Spa on the 18th floor includes infinity pools, saunas, hot tub, and treatment rooms. The Terrace is where most guests spend their days - the first man-made luxury beach facility of its kind in the world - it features two pools, cabanas, and a vast shoreline. Back in the hotel and a highlight is The Atrium. Basked in warm, natural light and flanked by golden columns, at its centrepiece is a fountain with water arches that dance in the air.
Jumeirah Al Naseem - 9/10
Jumeirah Al Naseem in the Umm Suqeim district is anchored on a seemingly endless stretch of private and pristine coastline. Translated as gentle breeze in Arabic, the palm-strewn hotel is dedicated to making every stay as serene and calming as possible. With the latest state-of-the-art facilities and framed by three landscaped, curved swimming pools that complement the cabana-style accommodation. The contemporary modern 387 rooms and 43 suites are inspired by the dunes, sea breeze and Bedouin traditions. The Ocean Terrace Rooms on the fourth-floor offer extended space, while the Resort Superior Rooms have open-plan bathrooms with Arabian touches, generous enclosed balconies, and luxurious furnishings.
Try Japanese-South American fusion food at Summersalt, the vision of Japanese-Argentinian Chef Cristian Goya. For incredible views of Burj Al Arab, dine at Rockfish, the Mediterranean seafood restaurant by Executive Chef Marco Garfagnini, and inspired by his home in coastal Tuscany. The rooftop restaurant, Ambar specialises in Arabian mezze, while modern Japanese fare is served at Katsuya. There is a full spa, fitness centre and complimentary water park, and guests can visit the turtle lagoon, which is part of the Jumeirah Turtle Rehabilitation Project. Wander through the lush gardens and try and spot the 14 varieties of palm trees. Jumeirah Al Naseem is ocean calm done right.
Taj Dubai - 9/10
Balancing its rich Indian heritage, signature Taj service and modernistic design, the impressive Taj Dubai is at the heart of the city’s business and leisure hub on Burj Khalifa Street. It is in easy access to popular attractions, shopping, entertainment, and nightlife. In a shimmering tower with 296 lavish rooms and suites, each elegantly decorated and spacious with a large walk-in shower, standalone bathtub and dedicated wardrobe area, their large floor-to-ceiling windows providing classic city views. The décor is in neutral tones, with parquet floors, patterned rugs, and the Indian influence apparent in the splashes of fuchsia and turquoise. Suites have fully equipped kitchens and dining rooms. The Presidential Suite occupies the entire 35th floor. The epitome of Taj opulence, it has two large ensuite bedrooms, a living and dining room with kitchen, dedicated majlis area, private massage room, gym, and a dedicated butler.
Inspired by Dubai’s cultural diversity, there are numerous dining options. Enjoy international cuisine at Tesoro, a Mediterr-Asian blend at Treehouse and an eclectic blend of classic and contemporary Indian cuisine at the signature Bombay Brasserie. A Victorian-inspired gastropub, The Eloquent Elephant is where you grab casual cocktails or a cold ale. To complete the experience is the Jiva Spa on the fourth-floor with Indian-inspired treatments, yoga, his and hers saunas, steam baths, a modern fitness centre, and an outdoor swimming pool. The hotel is set away from the beach, but with all else and transfers available, that does not detract from the experience.
One&Only The Palm - 9/10
Located on the West Crescent of the Palm Jumeirah peninsula and inspired by Andalusia's Moorish palaces, is One&Only The Palm. Offering stunning beachfront accommodation with contemporary chic interiors in its 64 stylish rooms, 27 suites and private villas. All have verandas with garden or gulf views. Some include butlers. Designed for effortless privacy with shaded majlis-style seating, they are serene and sophisticated. If indulging, the Palm Manor Grand Suite has an entrance foyer, open-plan lounge, kitchenette, dining area and workspace. The king-sized bedroom features additional seating, an elaborate bathroom an enormous marble bathtub and a walk-in rain shower. The duplex, 2-bedroom villas boast private pools.
Dining options include Zest, a Middle-Eastern, Asian and Western fusion restaurant, Stay by Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno, a French fine-dining restaurant with a seasonally evolving menu, and The Pastry Library where guests can create their desserts. Adjacent to the Hotel's private Marina sits the 101 Dining Lounge, perched over the water and serving seafood, afternoon tea, snacks, and refreshments. Retreat to the 18-metre-long pool or simply lounge on decadent daybeds, taking regular dips to cool off in the sea. The resort's Guerlain Spa is set amidst outdoor gardens and has its pool and eight private treatment suites where it offers exclusive treatments, including in the Cure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez nail salon, and the Zouari Hair Salon by Alexandre Zouari.
Bulgari Resort Dubai – 9/10
On a seahorse-shaped island that juts into the blue waters of Jumeirah Bay, the Bulgari Resort Dubai delivers with confidence. The low-rise design by renowned architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel seeing the 15 private mansions, 101 guestrooms and suites, 20 villas and Bulgari’s first-ever Marina and Yacht Club realised. All rooms boast a balcony with expansive sea, marina or skyline views, oversized bathtubs, separate shower, and an abundance of Bulgari bath products. The remarkable seafront and skyline villas with a private butler, rank among the most expensive accommodations in the city and the stylish 1 to 3-bedroom villas include kitchenettes, marble bathtubs and private pools – many with the beach right on their doorstep.
The resort has six restaurants, including the Italian restaurant Il Ristorante by three-Michelin-starred chef Niko Romito, Il Bar, and Hoseki Restaurant for Japanese cuisine. The Yacht Club Restaurant serves seafood cuisine, Il Cafe international fare and light meals, the Lobby an incredible afternoon tea. Guests needing a sweet treat will find artisanal haute couture chocolates at Bulgari’s Il Cioccolato. There is a sizeable spa with a hammam, indoor swimming pool, fitness centre, beauty salon and traditional barbershop. Italian touches dominate throughout, of course, with travertine marble from Tivoli in the rooms, and Vicenza stone walls in the spa. Active guests can enjoy water sports, cycling around the property and much more.
The Jeffrey Wilkes-designed Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai lends a sense of place to its seaside location. Taking inspiration from Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Asian influences, the resort is bright and airy by day, intriguing and romantic by night, with serene pools leading to secret gardens and walkways to the pearly white beach. The hotel’s 178 rooms and 78 suites are spacious, the beautiful villas gilding the mix. Designed with muted tones and vibrant accents of orange, blue and gold against the ocean backdrop provided by the floor-to-ceiling windows. This understated elegance is enhanced by Moroccan rugs, Lebanese mother-of-pearl, wooded floors, textures, and fabrics from around the world. All water-facing rooms have balconies.
The Japanese steakhouse Netsu by Australian Chef Ross Shonhan serves up warayaki cuisine prepared using traditional straw fire cooking. Bar Netsu is a delightful locale to sip on Japanese-inspired cocktails and artisanal sake. Tasca by José Avillez serves Portuguese cuisine in a trendy setting with views of the hotel’s infinity pool. At The Bay, a mix of Indian to Italian and Japanese cuisine is served in the brasserie-style dining room or on the terrace. The Spa is a highlight. An escape to private relaxation pods with a range of treatments that draw on Asian and Arabian influences. A hammam suite adds Middle Eastern flair. The Fitness & Wellness Centre provides strength training and there are numerous watersports and other activities on offer from the resort.
Al Maha is a private retreat just 45 minutes from Dubai. A guest-only oasis sheltered among palm groves in the iconic dunes of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. The hotel offers secluded tranquillity and never-ending views towards the Hajar Mountains. The 42 Bedouin-style tents combine the heritage of Arabia with luxury, all with temperature-controlled swimming pools, private sun decks, a large bedroom, a spacious bathroom with a soaking tub, a separate rain shower and all amenities, as well as antiques true to the setting.
Al Diwaan Restaurant serves an array of foods throughout the day and has both inside seating and a large deck overlooking the golden desert. At the Hajar Terrace Bar enjoy pastries and fruits in the morning, while in the afternoon high tea is provided. Committed to holistic treatments that echo the location and embody the culture of the region, is the Timeless Spa. There is a fitness centre and a large pool. A library with rich wooden tones, an airy hotel lounge filled with traditional artefacts and an intimate bar for a late afternoon respite from the desert heat. Each holds its own intrigue. If lounging around the sun-drenched property not for you, take a guided walk for a better view of the landscape, flora, and fauna that call the desert home. Join your field guide on an exhilarating 4x4 drive in the dunes outside the resort, or consider archery, falconry, horse riding or nature walks, all are available from Al Maha.
Read our expert review and find the best rates for Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort And Spa
Armani Hotel Dubai – 8/10
Envisioned by the Italian fashion icon Giorgio Armani, the Armani Hotel Dubai occupies 11 floors of Dubai’s iconic skyscraper, Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. One of only two Armani branded hotels in the world, the other being in Milan, the home of world-famous fashion designers. Armani oversaw every aspect of the Dubai hotel’s design, the result seeing Armani’s signature palette of dark greys and neutrals creating a serene and chic ambience. Consisting of 160 rooms and 144 residences, the rooms have curved lines, luxury fabrics and all modern appliances. Sophisticated colours and unique textures blend seamlessly with the tower’s stunning architecture and natural light to create a world of minimalist style.
The Armani/Ristorante is the hotel’s flagship dining venue, a modern Milanese style restaurant with an impressive selection of the finest wine. Armani/Hashi offers Japanese cuisine in a vibrant setting overlooking the Dubai Fountain. Armani/Mediterraneo, is the hotel’s casual restaurant, offering buffet dining throughout the day. Armani/Amal is the hotel’s superb Indian restaurant on the third floor. Reflecting Armani’s wellness ethos, the spa on the third floor will invigorate body and mind. Featuring gender-segregated, Arabic thermal areas with saunas and steam rooms, Giorgio Armani products throughout. Find the arrow-shaped pool that wraps around one of the building’s corners to offer a stunning perspective of the spine of the Burj Khalifa. The ground-floor lobby is flanked by a double-volume wall of jewellery displays that lead toward Armani gift stores which feature fashion, chocolate, flowers and more.
Park Hyatt Dubai - 8/10
Located in the impressive Dubai Creek, the Park Hyatt Dubai provides an idyllic setting for a luxury getaway. Its 225 rooms stylish and spacious, the Mediterranean decor enhanced by Moorish details. Neutral tones, plush carpets, arched doorways, and wooden accents. The bathrooms are spacious with deep standalone baths, walk-in showers, double vanities, and large windows. All rooms boast balconies, most of them overlooking the marina or the golf course. A 100 metre infinity lagoon leading onto a beautiful private beach, and a 25 metre swimming pool set among mature palm trees.
The resort hosts world-class dining outlets including Noepe restaurant which serves seafood and The Thai Kitchen for authentic Thai dishes prepared in open kitchens. There are three bars, each with its ambience and flavour. Brasserie du Park showcases a variety of brasserie-style dishes ideal for sharing over casual chats. Guests can practice their swing at the 18-hole championship golf course or charter a yacht from the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. Rent a cabana with views of the Arabian Gulf, sun yourself on the comfy daybeds, or try your hand at paddle-boarding, surfing, or a range of other water sports. If some spoiling is in order, treat yourself at the Amara Spa, considered among the finest in UAE, or try your hand at a master-cooking-class in one of Park Hyatt Dubai’s restaurants.
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