Atlantis, The Palm
Atlantis, The Palm is one of Dubai’s most popular luxury hotels. The resort has everything you need right on site, including a huge waterpark, an aquarium, luxury shops and 35 restaurants, lounges and bars. Some are headed up by celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Nobu Matsuhisa, while others have crowd-pleasing options for kids and teens. It’s on the Palm Islands, some of the largest man-made islands in the world, where you could easily spend a couple of weeks visiting the various eateries and taking part in activities like underwater yoga. Little ones will be entertained at clubs with an endless range of indoor and aquatic activities, while adults can relax at one of three beach clubs, including celeb hotspot White Beach. All rooms and suites have island or city views, with all the luxury extras you’d expect. A top choice for multi-generation trips.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Best For Families
Jumeirah has 12 hotels and residences in Dubai, and we like Jumeirah Beach for a family trip. Having recently undergone an extensive refurbishment, the hotel now has state-of-the-art facilities and understated yet chic décor. Set on a private white-sand beach with views of the Arabian Gulf, the main hotel has a clever wave-like design meaning every room has an excellent view of the Burj Al Arab. Inside, guests can make use of 21 restaurants and bars, as well as an impressive spa – simply drop children off at the kids’ club, which has a huge range of fully supervised activities for all ages. Guests can also access the Wild Wadi water park, which has more than 30 rides, as well as activities like kite surfing, kayaking, sailing and water skiing.
Park Hyatt Dubai
Best For Privacy
A favourite with Dubai locals, this hotel has lush grounds and interesting architecture with Greek and Arabic influences. Just a ten-minute drive from the airport and Dubai Mall, the spacious resort is tucked away from the bustling streets where guests can relax by the palm tree-lined pool or visit an exhibition in the courtyard art gallery. Rooms and suites are housed in whitewashed buildings with blue domes and Greek-inspired décor. Each one overlooks the Dubai Creek with a balcony or terrace, while en-suites are spacious and modern with Acqua di Parma toiletries. There are two new restaurants: Brasserie du Park serves Mediterranean food and Noépe has a lovely terrace with swing seats. There’s also an award-winning spa and an adults-only infinity lagoon.
Best For Parties
25hours hotels are all about bold interiors, buzzy restaurants and partying into the early hours. The Dubai outpost hosts regular all-night raves in its courtyard, while the rooms have everything you need for a bit of R&R. That said, the hotel has lots of co-working spaces and a library filled with thousands of books for guests who want a more relaxed stay. There’s a cool rooftop pool where you can lounge on sun beds, order Mexican dishes and sip spicy margaritas, as well as five restaurants and bars – including Indian restaurant Tandoor Tina and Monkey Bar which overlooks the Museum of the Future. All rooms come with playful design elements like rainfall showers in the middle of the room, typewriters on desks and quirky artwork. Take out one of the hotel’s e-bikes to explore the city.
W Dubai The Palm
Best For A Girls' Trip
W hotels rarely take themselves too seriously and the Dubai property on the Palm Islands is the perfect spot for a fun girls trip thanks to its neon-coloured interiors and Barbie dollhouse-inspired pool, complete with immaculate lawns, sun loungers and palm trees. The hotel is another foodie hotspot with several options to choose from, including an outpost by celebrated Japanese chef Akira Back, the Michelin-starred 60s-inspired Torno Subito, and a rooftop lounge for drinks and DJ sets. Rooms are equally colourful with glass-tiled walls, freestanding baths and record players with a vinyl collection. There’s also a fitness suite and spa.
The Rove Marina Dubai
Best Affordable Option
It’s no secret that Dubai is expensive, but Rove Hotels has some relatively affordable options dotted around the city. We like The Rove Marina Dubai, walking distance of the marina and JBR Beach, lined plenty of restaurants and bars. Rooms have waterside views and each one has a power shower, mini fridge and comfy beds with crisp linen. Downstairs, guests will find colourful communal areas where they can meet likeminded travellers, as well as an all-day restaurant where a generous breakfast buffet is served. The hotel has on-site lockers for luggage storage, as well as a gaming room for kids and a laundry room for longer-term stays.
Bab Al Shams
Best For A Desert Escape
Bab Al Shams offers the best of both worlds. Just a short drive outside the city, it is surrounded by sand dunes and feels secluded and private. Plus, the resort recently had an extensive renovation with the addition of new restaurant. Ideal for a family getaway in the desert, the hotel décor is pared back with traditional Arabian influences. After entering through tall wooden arches, you’ll find three large swimming pools with desert views. The rooms and suites are some of the nicest on this list and are inspired by traditional Arabian villages – so expect plush furnishings, Persian rugs and neutral colours. Elsewhere, there’s an open-air Middle Eastern restaurant with belly dancers, as well as all-day eateries and a pool bar for snacks and cocktails. One of the best parts? The range of guest experiences – think desert drive tours, horse riding, camelback trekking, falconry and private hot air balloon rides.
Mandarin Oriental Dubai
Best For Flawless Service
With numerous properties around the world, Mandarin Oriental is known for its five-star service and attention to detail. The Dubai outpost has a pristine oceanfront setting, with five pools (some with private cabanas) and its own stretch of beach. You could easily spend the whole day by the main pool, relaxing on the day beds and ordering drinks and snacks from the bar, or indulging in treatments at the spa with its whirlpools, saunas and steam rooms. Everything is on offer for breakfast – think continental options, hot food, international cuisine and even ice-cream – while chef José Avillez heads up restaurant Tasca. You’ll also find casual restaurants, lounges, bars and a cake shop on site.
Jumeirah Al Naseem
Best For Beachside Glamour
One of our favourite properties, Jumeirah Al Naseem is a beautiful hotel inside the Madinat Jumeirah resort, collectively housing over 30 restaurants, bars and boutiques. Set among 100 acres of land, the resort has a traditional Arabian-style souk with market stalls and a long stretch of sandy beach nearby. There are also five swimming pools in addition to the facilities within the wider Madinat Jumeirah complex, including a spa, tennis courts, fitness centre and kids’ club. The resort has a laidback vibe, and the friendly staff can help with everything from restaurant reservations to day trips. Guest can also take a golf buggy to its sibling properties to use shared facilities, including the Wild Wadi water park.
Atlantis The Royal
After an eight-year build, Atlantis The Royal opened its doors in January, when a string of A-listers descended on the mega resort to watch Beyoncé perform. Now open to guests, the ultra-luxury hotel offers the kind of glitzy and glamorous experience you won’t find at many other resorts. Once you’ve taken in the sheer scale of the hotel – it has over 800 rooms and suites, multiple pools, 17 restaurants and bars, and a mini shopping mall – you’ll begin to appreciate the excellent service and attention to detail. Heston Blumenthal and Nobu head up the celebrity chef restaurants, while the vast spa offers every type of treatment. Guests can relax at the pristine 2km-long beach, lounge by one of the many pools, and listen to DJ sets from international names.
The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
Best For Understated Luxury
If you’re after the kind of resort you won’t need to leave, without too much flashiness, The Westin Dubai Mina is a great choice. Offering understated luxury at an affordable price, this resort is loved by families for its popular kids’ club, green spaces and Jungle Bay waterpark. On Dubai's pristine Jumeirah Beach, it has great views of the Palm Islands where you can watch super yachts bob in the bay. Rooms are light and bright with excellent views on every floor, from spacious doubles to family suites. Elsewhere, restaurants offer all types of cuisines, from Indian to Italian. Mina's Kitchen is a lovely spot for brunch and lunch, while al fresco restaurant Bussola is the place for sundowners and generous portions of pasta.