Enjoy beach views, world-class cuisine and first-rate amenities at one of Dubai’s most luxurious hotels.
One of the fastest-growing cities in the world, Dubai is home to some of the most decadent hotels in the Gulf. Regularly appearing on best hotel lists, their reputation is well earned. With guest transfers by Maserati or helicopter, gold-tiled swimming pools, suites with private elevators, caviar tasting menus and gallons of champagne flowing freely, it’s almost impossible to avoid extravagance in the emirate.
One and Only The Palm
One and Only The Palm offers villas as well as rooms and suites | Courtesy of One and Only The Palm / Hotels.com
At this ultra-luxurious boutique hotel you’ll find fine-dining restaurant Stay by Yannick Alléno. The acclaimed French chef, who oversees food and drink across the resort, is at the helm of Paris’s Pavillon Ledoyen, proud recipient of three Michelin stars. Here, you can enjoy Andalusian-style architecture, peaceful pools and a Guerlain spa. There are also villas with private pools on the beach, and each room has either a terrace or balcony. Inside, plush carpets, dreamy beds and velour sofas offer every comfort, while deep freestanding tubs are the focus of the bathrooms, which are stocked with Acqua di Parma toiletries.
You can arrive at Dubai’s “seven-star” hotel in style, either by Phantom Rolls-Royce or helicopter transfer, landing on the helipad where Roger Federer and Andre Agassi once played tennis. The hotel offers duplex suites decorated with a nod to Neoclassicism, while ornate winding staircases connect the floors. The en suites feature whirlpool baths, walk-in showers and full-size Hermès toiletries, including perfume and cologne. Wellness lovers should head to the spa for a 24-karat gold facial. Other luxuries include air-conditioned cabanas equipped with TVs and fridges on the pool deck, and tasting menus served against a wall of exotic fish at Al Mahara.
Mandarin Oriental’s inaugural hotel in the Middle East is home to Dubai’s first-ever dedicated caviar restaurant. Located in the hotel’s lobby, Beluga offers roe-loving gastronomes indulgent caviar-themed tasting menus. The signature dish is golden almas caviar, the most expensive caviar in the world, which costs 1,550 United Arab Emirates dirhams (£339) and is topped with real gold flakes. Vying for your appetite is Michelin-star José Avillez’s Portuguese rooftop restaurant, Tasca. The guest rooms are also the height of luxury and feature Natura Bissé beauty products throughout. Balconies perfectly frame the hotel’s infinity pool as it spills into the horizon of the Arabian Sea.
Sunrise falconry demonstrations and sunset champagne camel treks bookend lazy days at this desert conservation reserve hotel, just one hour from the coast. Vintage Arabesque decor transports guests to bygone eras; this is a lavish update on a Bedouin village, with tented villas decorated with antique travel trunks, artists’ easels, thick distressed teak furnishings and Persian rugs. Large en-suite bathrooms share the wraparound wooden terrace, and each has its own private infinity pool tucked between majestic dunes. Passing gazelles often stop for a sip, and the Arabian oryx, which the resort is named after, wander silhouetted along the horizon. Nature drives led by field guides provided by the resort are also available to guests. Dine on the terrace of Al Diwaan restaurant as the sun sets for an unbelievable view of the desert.
Behind its distinctive white coral-like framework, this low-rise, Mediterranean-style beach retreat houses a spa with a gold-tiled pool. Each of the hotel’s 101 modern rooms and suites has Bulgari cashmere throws and leather trunk minibars. There’s also a stylish street of 20 villas, each with private pools and serviced by a legion of personal butlers. The gift shop here sells diamonds and the resort’s must-visit restaurant, Hōseki, is a 12-seater gem in both name and nature; Hōseki means ‘gem’ in Japanese, and its superlative sashimi is flown in daily from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market.
Al Naseem’s royal suite is vast in size, spanning 500 square metres. Even its standard rooms are loaded with luxury touches, from caramel leather chairs to mosaic-tiled bathrooms with twin designer sinks. The hotel is also home to some of Dubai’s best restaurants, including Flamingo Room by Tashas. Plastic straws are completely outlawed at this eco-conscious resort. The hotel’s biggest draw is its turtle sanctuary, where hawksbill sea turtles are rehabilitated before being released back into the sea.
This luxurious hotel in the financial district bridges the gap between business and leisure. Soft aubergine leather swivel chairs accompany the desks and the rooms are decorated with objets d’art. Even the minibar makes a style statement, with stemless crystal martini glasses making for an exquisite nightcap. Guests can indulge in spa treatments using products from organic beauty brand Neom, or look out over the city while enjoying a massage by the glass-sided rooftop pool. Breakfast is also worth a photo, with mason jars of power juices and towering stacks of fluffy pancakes. As night falls, join the after-work crowds at the hotel’s restaurant, Mina Brasserie, where guests fill the leafy terrace to enjoy views from Luna Sky Bar.
This creekside palace, themed around the Italian fashion brand Versace, is right on the doorstep of the world-class Jameel Arts Centre. Framed sketches by the fashion house adorn the corridors, while the walls of the hotel’s restaurant, Giardino, are decorated in the green-leaf print of the low-cut Versace gown that was worn by Jennifer Lopez at the 2000 Grammy Awards. The label’s Medusa logo is cut into the base of thick crystal glasses, woven into the plush upholstery and tiled in a mosaic on the floor of the hotel pool.
Exuding the old-school New York charm that the Waldorf Astoria brand is known for, this hideaway on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah island is a bastion of luxury beach holidays. Behind the dazzling white facade lie two temperature-controlled pools, a long stretch of private beach, a fine-dining restaurant by Michelin-star Heinz Beck and a spa with waterbeds in the relaxation room. The royal suite occupies the entire top floor and has its own elevator and majlis, a traditional Arabian lounge that accommodates 20 guests.