From underwater suites to sky-high stunners – we’ve rounded up 46 of the very best hotels and resorts in Dubai to stay at this year
Dubai certainly likes to do things on a grand scale, and the hospitality scene is no exception. From the moment you arrive to the second you depart, you’ll be swept away by the emirate’s sprawling resorts and glittering skyscrapers, which house some of the most luxurious guest rooms and suites on the planet.
You’ll find the emirate’s largest hotel suite at Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah. The Royal Suite is as big as four tennis courts, covering the entire top floor of the hotel and showcasing panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf and Palm Jumeirah. If that’s not enough to satisfy your thirst for opulence, its vast spa, stretch of private beach and mouthwatering aromas wafting from Social by Heinz Beck, are sure to do the trick.
Not all mega-suites are high-up, however. Think of Atlantis, The Palm, as its mythical namesake suggests, as a wondrous city under the sea – something that’s best appreciated from within its lauded Underwater Suites.
Floor-to-ceiling windows put the hotel’s mammoth aquarium (which contains around 65,000 fish, including rays and sharks) on show, as the wondrous creatures glide right past your bed. Whether you’re exploring The Lost Chambers Aquarium, zooming down the rides and slides at Aquaventure Waterpark, or meeting the friendly marine mammals at Sea Lion Point, splash-tastic fun is on the cards all day long.
Also boasting a coveted address on Palm Jumeirah, Dukes The Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, the sister hotel to Dukes London in Mayfair, is a top choice for its quintessential British charm that blends seamlessly with Dubai’s love of luxury. There’s a lazy river, private beach and Dukesy Kids Club to keep the little ones entertained – not to mention a clutch of excellent places to eat, including Khyber, West 14th and Great British Restaurant.
A little further along the Palm’s trunk is another outstanding family-friendly hotel, Fairmont The Palm. It’s easy to unwind when staying here thanks to highly-rated Falcon Kids’ Club, soothing treatments on offer at Willow Stream Spa, and the fabulous Little Miss India restaurant (decked out in contemporary colonial décor) providing fun for all.
We recommend upgrading to a Fairmont Gold room, which comes complete with executive lounge access, plus a host of other benefits.
Nearby is the glamorous FIVE Palm Jumeirah, with its innovative architecture, Ottoman-inspired spa and hip and happening rooftop haunt, The Penthouse.
Over on the island’s East Crescent, Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort is where you’ll find the UAE’s only over-water villas. Offering direct access to the tranquil lagoons that weave their way throughout the resort, you can throw open your patio doors and dip straight into the water for a rejuvenating swim.
For an extra treat, book a table at the award-winning Asian restaurant Mekong and take a seat at the rickshaw tables on the terrace as you embark on a culinary journey through Thailand, China and Vietnam.
Close by, Sofitel Dubai The Palm brings a dash of French flair to the emirate with its understated glamour. Set off on a boat cruise, explore under your own steam on a pedal boat, or simply lounge on the private stretch of beach. Foodies will feel compelled to make a beeline to Hong Loong restaurant for timeless Chinese dishes that’ll tantalise the taste buds with spicy flavours.
Yet another Palm Jumeirah hotspot, One&Only The Palm is dubbed one of the most romantic retreats in the city, and its location at the very end of Palm Jumeirah’s West Crescent affords you ultimate privacy. Retreat to a one-bedroom Arabesque Palm Beach Executive Suite, which boasts its own private pool just steps away from the secluded sandy beach. Throw in a treatment at Guerlain Spa and a sumptuous meal by three-Michelin-stared chef Yannick Alléno at Stay restaurant and you’ve got yourself the ultimate getaway.
In a city where too much is never enough, Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai fits right in. Take a trip back to the 18th century at this neoclassical hotel that exudes traditional European splendour. Whether it’s the world-class dining venues, including miX by Alain Ducasse, lavishly decorated suites, private cinema, immaculate white-glove service or landscaped gardens inspired by the Palace of Versailles, it’s easy to understand why the resort ranks high on the luxury list.
Departing the Palm, yet not straying from the coast, there’s a cluster of five-star hotels that grace the beachfront promenade of Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), including Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach. Head out onto your private balcony to gaze at the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf, or chill in the infinity pool with its swim-up bar.
At Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection, not only can you revel in the luxury of its stylish suites, plush spa, sparkling swimming pools and top dining spots, but you can also make the most of its premium location just a few steps away from Skydive Dubai. There, you can tick a bucket-list goal off your list by jumping out of a plane tethered to a seasoned professional.
Also fronting the lively JBR plaza is JA Ocean View Hotel, which lives up to its name with 342 sea-facing rooms and suites, all awash in the colours of the sea, with cool blue interiors and high ceilings for an easy-breezy ambience. The hotel is also home to Offside, one of the neighbourhood’s favourite haunts for British-style grub and live sports.
Just off the JBR coast, Bluewaters, is another popular man-made isle home to a mixture of hotels, residences, shops and entertainment, as well as the under-construction Ain Dubai observation wheel. It’s home to Caesars Bluewaters Dubai, which brings all the power of its legendary Las Vegas cousin to the UAE for an exhilarating stay.
It comprises a trio of resorts: Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai, the place to go for luxury, with sun-drenched fun at Cove Beach, dining delights at Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen and pampering on tap at Qua Spa; Caesars Resort Bluewaters Dubai, spot-on for a family getaway; and The Residences at Caesars Palace with its home away from home vibe ideal for longer stays.
In Dubai Marina, Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel has become something of a landmark thanks to its two glittering 45-storey towers that dominate the skyline. It’s a great place to stay if you like to be in the middle of all the action, with its ever-popular roster of world-class restaurants, including Rhodes W1 and Toro Toro drawing the city’s social set.
Meanwhile, Wyndham Dubai Marina is a style-conscious hotel with a coveted location just a stroll away from the beach, with glittering views of the buzzing marina. There’s a raft of shops and eateries on the doorstep, but if you don’t want to venture far, the hotel boasts its own great mix of restaurants, along with a lively rooftop bar and an impressive spa.
Just across Sheikh Zayed Road, Taj Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai brings a touch of luxury to the neighbourhood with its sleek and bold design that fuses Indian and Middle Eastern touches through an eclectic mixture of art. Add sweeping views of Emirates Golf Club, the marina and the sea, as well as delicious pan-Indian cuisine courtesy of Shamiana (from Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai), and you’ve got a fitting place to rest your head.
Back on the beach, heading north along the coast, One&Only Royal Mirage cuts a handsome figure amid 65 acres of lavishly landscaped gardens. The opulent resort comprises three main hotels: the magical Arabian Court, the Moorish-style The Palace, and the intimate Residence & Spa. Plus, there’s a lone Beach Garden Villa for ultimate seclusion. Indulge in a traditional Arabian spa ritual in the oriental hammam and feed your appetite at the resort’s top dining spots Celebrities, The Beach Bar & Grill and Esplanade, which are overseen by Chef Mauro Colagreco (of three-Michelin-star Mirazur fame).
The epitome of seaside suite spots, however, is none other than Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Designed in the shape of a billowing sail (a nod to the nation’s long-standing heritage), it raises the bar when it comes to Arabian style luxury. Once you have been discreetly checked into your decadent split-level suite, you can set about enjoying all the experiences this hospitality icon has to offer, from chartering your own private yacht to soaking up the rays while relaxing in a bubbling Jacuzzi on the Burj Al Arab Terrace.
Further along the coastline lies another enduring favourite, Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The shimmering beachside, wave-shaped resort is just as perfect for families (the fun-packed Wild Wadi Waterpark is just a few steps away) as it is for sun worshippers. Go and discover its coveted spot along the beach, numerous swimming pools and crowd-pleasing dining options that range from fresh flavours at Fika by Chef Izu Ani to pan-Asian delights at Beachcombers.
Just next door, Jumeirah Al Naseem delivers laid-back luxury with a décor inspired by Dubai’s pearl diving history. Families also gravitate here to see the turtle lagoon, where sick and injured sea turtles are nursed back to health.
With a prime location that places you just steps away from the seafront and a short drive from Downtown Dubai, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai has outdone itself with its first foray into the UAE. Offering a contemporary classic feel and flurry of sea-facing rooms, you can treat yourself to some fine dining (including contemporary Portuguese at Tasca by José Avillez), and pampering at the spa – we rate the Nomadic Sensory Journey, which features Emirati drumming as part of the healing process.
Zip further along the coast to Pearl Jumeira and you’ll find another H2O-centric option, the exclusive Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai. The Dubai incarnation of the Miami-meets-Mediterranean hotspot, complete with signature all-white décor, comes with calming views of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai skyline – stunning sunsets are the cherry on top.
Heading downtown, which is home to a clutch of the emirate’s record breakers, including Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Fountain and The Dubai Mall,
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai makes the most of its status the world’s tallest five-star hotel, with 72 floors dedicated to luxury and guestrooms boasting stellar views of the city skyline. Splurge on a night in the top-floor split-level penthouse with its mesmerising floor-to-ceiling window vistas.
Also in the area, Renaissance Downtown Hotel Dubai lures foodies with its showstopping Japanese restaurant, Morimoto Dubai, led by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, as well as the lively BASTA! and Bleu Blanc. If it’s not food you’re after, you’ll find peace and tranquillity at any of the stylish suites or at Six Senses Spa, which has six different treatment rooms, each dedicated to a different sense. Choose from a range of soothing treatments and feel your tension ease away.
The stylish rooms and suites at Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Canal View boasts picture-perfect vistas of the bustling Downtown Dubai and the Dubai Water Canal. It’s great for families too, with the option for connected rooms.
A city on the move, Dubai is constantly adding new properties to its luxury repertoire and Address Sky Views is chief among the grand new openings attracting attention. The sleek resort places you in the heart of bustling downtown, offering stunning views of The Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa. The jewel in the crown, however, is its picturesque rooftop infinity pool, which delivers attention-grabbing Instagram posts.
Meanwhile, the new ME Dubai is making waves as an architectural marvel, designed by the late, great Zaha Hadid. Putting you in the thick of the local cultural scene, the hotel is located just a few minutes from crowd-pulling attractions including Dubai Opera. Plus, it’s pet-friendly, meaning you don’t have to leave your furry friend behind. Pampered pooches even receive a welcome kit and can dine from a menu of fetching doggy food especially prepared by the hotel’s chefs.
Film buffs will be treated to a hefty dose of Hollywood glamour at the newly-opened Paramount Hotel Dubai. Inspired by the rich history of Paramount Pictures, the cinematic style resort adds a dash of silver-screen flair to the heart of Dubai’s dynamic Business Bay district. With Hollywood-themed rooms, Californian inspired cuisine and nightly entertainment, you’ll feel like a star strutting along your own red carpet.
Meanwhile, Armani Hotel Dubai is so cohesively Armani that staying there is akin to being at one of Giorgio’s stylish house parties –only in reality you’re on the eighth floor of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.
Fashion mavens will also gravitate towards Palazzo Versace Dubai, which brings a touch of 16th-century palatial decadence to the Culture Village district on the banks of Dubai Creek. A neoclassical-meets-Arabian styled resort, the artistic direction of Donatella Versace is evident throughout and captured perfectly in the two-bedroom duplex Imperial Suites.
If you feel like having an A-list moment, you can follow in the footsteps of supermodel Bella Hadid and Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander by heading to Bulgari Resort Dubai – the fifth international property for the design legend. With the added attraction of its own private mini man-made island location off the Jumeirah coastline (Jumeira Bay Island), a swanky line-up of high-end eateries, and the world’s first Bulgari Marina and Yacht Club, it has quickly become a favourite among discerning travellers.
Dubai is synonymous with shopping and those in need of some retail therapy will want to stay as close as possible to the action. Just around the corner from The Dubai Mall (which is home to more than 1,300 stores and family-friendly dining and entertainment spots galore), is the boutique Vida Downtown, located on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard. The property will lure you in with its contemporary charm, posh French dining at La Serre and the delightfully kitsch Vida Food Truck.
Meanwhile, at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, you can join the starry-eyed guests carrying designer shopping bags from the adjoining mall from which it takes its name. You can stash your buys in your cosy ski chalet-style room as you watch the adventure seekers zooming down the slopes of Ski Dubai.
Directly linked to the ever-popular Dubai Marina Mall (which boasts hundreds of stores, including high-street favourites Mint Velvet and Maje), Address Dubai Marina offers you the chance to enjoy some quality shopping on a more manageable scale. Be sure to enjoy some post-spree rejuvenation at the lavish spa and outdoor infinity pool.
A boutique stay with shopping opportunities on the doorstep also comes courtesy of the super stylish La Ville Hotel & Suites CITY WALK, Dubai, Autograph Collection. Situated at the heart of City Walk, one of Dubai’s most chi-chi urban lifestyle destinations, this low-rise property is a magnet for visiting fashionistas and influencers alike. That said, the hotel’s rooftop infinity pool with premium Burj Khalifa views is worth the stay alone.
If you feel like decamping to a sprawling resort, our favourites include JA The Resort in Jebel Ali, which is a firm favourite for a staycation among Dubai’s long-timers, and it’s easy to understand why. Home to JA Beach Hotel, JA Palm Tree Court and the recently added JA Lake View Hotel, the resort is set within 128 acres and offers a variety of room types, from dedicated family hideaways to luxurious suites.
There’s never a dull moment thanks to the 800-metre private beach, four landscaped swimming pools, over 16 restaurants and bars and an impressive line-up of activities, giving you plenty of opportunities to make memories. Keen golfers can practise their swing at the 9-hole par 35 course, or brush up on their technique at the on-site Leadbetter Golf Academy.
If you’re up for thrills and spills, Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Autograph Collection is just the ticket. Situated within Dubai Parks and Resorts’ borders, you can spend your days splashing away at Legoland Waterpark, taking your little ones on a mini-adventure at Legoland Dubai, or enjoying the rides and shows of Motiongate Dubai and Bollywood Parks Dubai. After a day on your feet, the Polynesian-themed resort invites you to lounge around its heated pools, and soak up the laid-back atmosphere at the rooftop lounge.
Drawing the region’s equestrian elite, Meliã Desert Palm Dubai is a hidden gem. Set in 160 acres of greenery and sand, with just 38 rooms, suites and villas, this exclusive hideaway is sure to impress. Whether you want to stomp the divots (polo players take to the field October to April), trot through the estate on an Arabian stallion, or enjoy a soothing massage at Samāna Spa, there’s luxury at every turn.
More equestrian action can be enjoyed at The Meydan Hotel, which overlooks Dubai’s spectacular Meydan Racecourse. As well as getting a thrilling view of racing thoroughbreds, the hotel can arrange stable tours that’ll give you a glimpse into the jockeys’ room, saddling paddock and parade ring. The hotel also has a fabulous array of restaurants.
No trip to the UAE is complete, however, without going beyond the big city and escaping deep into the desert. Nestled amid the golden dunes of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai will capture your imagination with its wildlife wonders (including the protected Arabian oryx). Get ready for starry nights, spellbinding sunsets and Arabesque luxury in the form of sun-drenched bungalows, traditional Arabic fare and ultimate rejuvenation at the resort’s renowned Timeless Spa.
Another dearly loved desert escape is Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, which charms guests with its Arabian Nights style architecture, views of the undulating dunes and alfresco dinners served beneath starlit skies. Nature walks, falconry and infinity pools, not to mention the sublime Satori Spa, will make it a struggle to leave this desert diamond – that much is guaranteed.
Back in the city, visitors looking to soak up a little more history should cross the Garhoud Bridge to the Deira side of town and the banks of Dubai Creek, the emirate’s historic heartland. Nestled beyond the greens and berths of Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, the tranquil Park Hyatt Dubai is a gem.
Its white-washed walls and blue domes channel a Greek odyssey while desert-hued interiors remind you that you’re still in Arabia. Watch yachts bobbing on the water from your stylishly appointed room and enjoy the serene vibes at the award-winning Amara Spa.
On Oud Metha Road, Marriott Hotel Al Jaddaf, Dubai is a popular choice for its modern, thoughtfully-designed rooms and suites (think Frette linens and deluxe amenities). It’s also home to a great steakhouse, Scots American Grill, and the tranquil Saray Spa offering soothing treatments and dreamy full-day pamper packages.
Shaking up the south bank of Dubai Creek, Canopy by Hilton Dubai Al Seef is urban cool personified, with its contemporary art inspired by the emirate, lively SOL Sky Bar, and handy location close to the shops, cafés and pop-ups on the creek. Just next door, Hampton by Hilton Dubai Al Seef is bright and quirky, with its outdoor pool and hearty hot breakfasts.
Lastly, Al Seef Heritage Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton, will wow you with its traditional architecture (characterful guestrooms feature woven fabrics and wooden beams) and dreamy infinity pool.
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