In a resort scene where luxury, pampering and an international spirit converge, this sun-blazed holiday city has some of the world’s finest spas. Whether a skyscraper with views of the sea and skyline or a sprawling resort set in tropical beachfront gardens, your Dubai base is likely to have an impossibly serene spa – usually with lashings of marble, enormous hammams and oud-scented relaxation lounges. And if it doesn’t, one of the city’s best will be a short taxi ride away.
Close to the airport and souk-filled old town, in Dubai Creek, the Park Hyatt is famous for its overwater restaurant, Boardwalk, lavish brunches at Traiteur Brunch and undulating infinity pool styled like a beach, with loungers on the sand. But its Amara Spa, too, sings with stylish simplicity – book the two-hour Amara Signature Ceremony, where you’ll be scrubbed down with Dead Sea salt and then cocooned in a nourishing full-body wrap.
The Jumeirah hotel brand has a handful of glorious resorts across the city, each appealing to a slightly different crowd but all with sumptuous Middle Eastern design, fabulous destination restaurants and an Arabian-Nights-vibe Talise Spa. This skyscraper hotel, with its futuristic glass-pod elevators leading the cutting-edge design, is away from the beach in swanky Za’Abeel. However, its spa makes it feel like an urban oasis, in addition to an enormous gym and outdoor pool in which to stretch your limbs.
Well located for business meetings and city conferences, this Marriott property has room to play and work. It’s home to a seemingly floating dining terrace surrounded by water, a swish wine bar for tastings and nibbles, and a peaceful spa, set away from the hubbub. Essential-oil scents fill the latter, thanks to upmarket Neom products, and expert therapists conduct swish, results-driven Anne Semonin facials. The light-filled rooms are modern, with polished-wood floors and murals sketched on the walls.
The luxury Address brand started in Dubai, focussing on microscopic attention to detail and first-class guest services – it now has several hotels across the city. The Montgomerie is a country-clubby stay in the golf-mad area of Emirates Hills, with an 18-hole course, wedding-cake exterior and glossy, lush gardens. As well as a bracing round of golf and an outdoor pool, there’s a world-class spa, with low-lit, wood-panelled treatment rooms and invigorating aromatherapy massages.
Set away from the coast in smart Business Bay, the Dreamworks Spa inside DAMAC Maison Cour Jardin draws on the spa traditions of Southeast Asia – including Thai and Balinese massages – in its orchid-dotted, mosaic-tiled spa. This family-friendly hotel also has a vast, lounger-trimmed pool backed by a verdant living wall and a well-stocked gym, along with spacious rooms decorated in soothing, understated shades.
Cutting-edge interior design and hip, convivial dining spaces characterise this hotel set in the Greens, a sought-after development close to Dubai’s public beaches and Jumeirah Palm development. Its millennial-feel, Brooklyn-esque Native Club is no less fabulous, with crocheted bean bags and hammocks by the vast outdoor pool and chic wooden floors and potted palms in the training zone, where group classes help you get a sweat on, and “more than a gym” is the motto.
Donatella herself unveiled this Versace-themed, palatial resort, with a spa fit for the fashion crowd, complete with shimmering black mosaic tiles, mother-of-pearl detailing, two hammams and facials employing luxe ingredients from caviar to 24-carat gold. Elsewhere, you’ll find rococo furniture and embroidered fabrics inspired by Italian palazzos, high tea in marble-clad Mosaico and swish loungers and towering palms around the enormous swimming pool, with its base embossed with a huge Versace Medusa-head logo.
India’s luxury hotel brand brings a service-centred opulence to Dubai’s Downtown, with its highest skyscraper suites blessed with views of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The Jiva Spa taps into India’s traditional healing traditions, such as ayurveda, with Indian head massages, herbal compresses and coconut exfoliation all on offer. Rooms and suites give a flavour of the subcontinent with carved-wood headboards, brightly embroidered fabrics and thick, expensive rugs.
Another mega-fabulous Indian brand, the Oberoi has a vast, thoroughly modern spa using the vegan, cruelty-free Aussie brand Sodashi. Book an au naturel treatment such as a pink clay mask or a green tea body scrub, then retreat to your suite, bright with colour-pop paintings and fresh flowers, as well as eternally elegant wooden floors and cream sofas.
For a stylish and cultured stay in the City of Gold, see the best boutique hotels in Dubai and book your stay with Culture Trip. For more relaxing spa hotels check out the best spas to pamper yourself in Dubai, or if you want even more accommodation options, read our guide to the best hotels in Dubai.
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