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Taj Jumeirah Lake Towers (£)
JLT is the newer of Taj’s two Dubai properties. Whether they look out to the city skyline or onto the golf course down below, rooms at this five-star hotel are designed to maximise their views. A quartet of eating options include Mediterranean-style rooftop pool bar Paros, pan-Asian Nonya, sports bar TJ’s and Shamiana for Indian. Treatments at the spa include a dynamic pehlwan malish massage – a favourite of traditional Indian wrestlers – alongside some gentler wellness therapies.
Anantara Downtown (£)
This affordable option in Business Bay welcomes families and those travelling for work alike. The former can take over dedicated family rooms while the latter might appreciate the yoga deck, the 24-hour gym and a spa that’s open late too. The outdoor pool is spacious enough to accommodate all types of guest. The towering lobby has its own bar and lounge or there are more formal Indian, Japanese and Middle Eastern options.
La Ville (£)
Accommodation at this fairly priced hotel in the engaging City Walk district runs from straightforward rooms up to two-bed residences. The local area is also the focus of the modern frescoes that bring many of the rooms to life. Chival Global Social is a versatile all-day space that works for everything from breakfast to casual dinners. Graze offers a meat-first grill menu. The Grapeskin wine bar has a courtyard – dip into its extensive cellar by the glass. Up on the roof, the Look Up bar serves cocktails around La Ville’s infinity pool.
XVA Art Hotel (£)
Hidden in the alleys within the Al Fahidi Historical District, the boutique XVA Art Hotel has something its flashier rivals can never match: a 100-year-old building for a home. Its 15 rooms are individually designed and sympathetically updated. As the name promises, art is a key feature throughout the interiors – there’s even an art gallery showcasing work by local artists. There’s no alcohol on the property, but the veggie café does an excellent Arabian breakfast.
Al Seef Heritage Hotel (£)
The vintage stylings of the Al Seef Heritage transport guests to an imagined mid-century Dubai. The commitment to the theme is impressive: safes, fridges, TVs and coffee machines are hidden away in stripped-back rooms with plaster walls and stone floors. The backward-looking design is a good match for the surrounding neighbourhood, which runs along the southern bank of Dubai Creek into the Al Fahidi Historic District. The hotel’s sole restaurant serves traditional Arabic fare from morning to night. Guests are also offered access to the pools and gyms at more contemporary Hilton properties close by.
Voco The Palm (£)
There are three Vocos in Dubai – this is the newest, slotting into the run of hotels now lining Palm West Beach. The four-star property has toned down its interiors to focus on giving its guests value for money. You won’t notice anything being scrimped on elsewhere: there’s still a rooftop pool with skyline views, a gym, a spa and a restaurant doing a nice line in western staples.
Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi (££)
Offering five-star facilities at affordable prices, this unflashy resort is loved by families for its kids’ club, green spaces and Jungle Bay waterpark. On spotless Jumeirah Beach, it has great views of the Palm Islands where you can watch superyachts bob in the bay. From spacious doubles to full family suites, rooms are light and bright with excellent views on every floor. There’s enough variety in the wider offering to easily pass a few days without leaving the property – check out the watersports centre amid the multiple pools and restaurants. The spa is a possible escape route for adults, while a sundowner at al fresco Bussola offers alternative respite.
25hours Hotel Dubai One Central (££)
25hours hotels are all about bold interiors, buzzy restaurants and early hours partying. Its Dubai outpost regularly hosts all-night raves in its courtyard. Amid playful design elements like rainfall showers in the middle of the rooms, typewriters on desks and quirky artwork, you also have everything you need for a bit of R&R. The rooftop pool’s good for that too – order Mexican dishes and spicy margaritas direct to your lounger. On-site Indian restaurant Tandoor Tina and Monkey Bar overlooks the landmark Museum of the Future. The hotel will also lend you an e-bike to explore the city beyond.
Waldorf Astoria DIFC (££)
The Waldorf Astoria doesn’t just take the name of the landmark hotel in New York. It brings a touch of mid-century Manhattan to Dubai’s buzzy financial district. Mad Men was the brief for the design team, and they’ve delivered something Don Draper would approve of. Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and prominent drinks cabinets. There’s a smart gym, a rooftop pool and – something Don wouldn’t recognise – the spa has a flotation tank. The Bull & Bear restaurant majors in American and international classics, including an array of grilled meats. Michelin-starred Indian Carnival by Tresind is in the same building and makes for a fun alternative.
Palace Hotel Downtown (££)
This Address hotel is an Arabian-style palace on an artificial lake close to the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. You can catch the performances of the Dubai Fountain from its terrace and some of the rooms, which all have outdoor spaces. Dancers accompany dinner at Ewaan, while you’ll recognise waterside Fai by the fire torches that surround it. The outdoor pool has a lounge for sundowners and snacks, and there are separate spas for men and women.
Grosvenor House (££)
Inspired by the London original, smartly dressed doormen greet guests at this twin-towered property overlooking Dubai Marina. Rooms are comfortable and almost understated by local standards. Dining options are eclectic: Indego By Vineet is a highly rated Indian, Toro Toro is a South American steakhouse, there’s Rhodes W1 for afternoon tea, and Jason Atherton is in charge at City Social and Row on 45. For drinks, Bar 44 and Siddharta Lounge look out across the marina. Both towers have a gym and terrace pool, and guests can also access the private beach and tennis courts at a nearby sister property.
The Dubai Edition (££)
Close to the Dubai Mall, this downtown hotel brings the Edition’s modern aesthetic to the Middle East. Rooms in neutrals and pale wood tend to let the location do the talking through floor-to-ceiling windows. A dramatic arched window in the Italian Duomo restaurant gives diners a full view of the Burj Khalifa. As night falls, the rooftop pool’s leafy terrace becomes the Thia Skylounge, a sophisticated spot for cocktails and shisha. A well-equipped gym is open 24 hours, and the spa offers customised facial, massage and body treatments in soothing surrounds.
Mandarin Oriental (£££)
A ‘forest of lights’ lines the lobby at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira Beach, which continues to dazzle with its five pools and five-star service. Set aside at least a couple of hours to enjoy them both from a private cabana. The oceanfront setting is pristine, the spa – with separate facilities for men and women – is outstanding and the breakfast menu all-encompassing. Its plush rooms tend to have a terrace or balcony looking out to the city skyline or across the Arabian Gulf. Multi-Michelin-starred Portuguese chef José Avillez oversees the menus at Tasca, or there’s Netsu for Japanese dishes cooked over a straw-fired grill.
Four Seasons Resort (£££)
The Four Seasons Resort is closer to Dubai’s downtown than many of Jumeirah Beach’s oceanfront hotels – and a match for most in terms of its facilities. You’ll find a 24-hour fitness centre, tennis courts, a beauty salon and a spa here. One of its two pools is adults only. Even standard rooms are spacious and have private balconies with views. Eleven restaurants include an outpost of Coya and one of Salt Bae’s Nusr-Et luxe steakhouses. The top-floor Mercury Lounge is the place for sunset cocktails.
Park Hyatt Dubai (£££)
The Park Hyatt has a quieter take on luxury than many of its rivals in Dubai. There’s an art gallery in a courtyard, treatment rooms have their own tranquillity gardens, the pool is surrounded by palm trees, and its elegantly understated rooms have balconies or terraces pointed at Dubai Creek. Your dining options include a French-style brasserie and Noépe, which turns out Japanese cuisine in a Cape Cod-inspired setting – try the swing seats on its terrace. Retro bar Seventyseventy is the place to cut loose with imaginative cocktails. The adults-only ‘infinity lagoon’ can be fun too.
Bab Al Shams (£££)
A short drive outside the city, Bab Al Shams offers the best of two worlds: downtown Dubai remains on tap, but there’s a splendid seclusion to be enjoyed among the sand dunes. Entering the resort through a set of tall wooden arches, it’s clear that traditional Arabian culture is the key influence – Persian rugs and tasteful neutrals define the comfortable rooms. But there’s some 21st-century luxury on display here too. Three large swimming pools come with desert views, and you can get out into the desert itself for driving tours, horse riding, camel trekking, falconry and hot air balloon rides. An open-air Middle Eastern restaurant lays on regular belly dancers.
Address Sky View (£££)
In a place with many dramatic panoramas, Address Sky View deserves its moniker and has become an Insta favourite. The Dubai cityscape can be enjoyed in-room from a balcony, from the spa, from the lobby terrace or – most spectacularly – from the 54th-floor infinity pool that spans the property’s twin towers. The well-appointed spa is on the same level. The hotel’s location is good too, with the buzzy Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) restaurant scene on its doorstep – though you may want to eat in-house at lively Asian fusion spot Cé La Vi.
Jumeirah Al Naseem (£££)
This stylish property sits within the Madinat Jumeirah resort, which has more than 30 restaurants, bars and boutiques spread across its 100 acres – as well as a traditional-style souk with market stalls. There’s a long stretch of sandy beach nearby or five pools to swim in, as well as tennis courts, a fitness centre and spa dotted around some sister properties. The vibe is friendly and laidback – you’ll be offered a golf buggy to move around, or you can hitch a lift on an old-school abra water taxi. Jumeirah Al Naseem is good for kids, who might also appreciate the turtle rehab lagoon. Adults seeking an escape should try the Summersalt Beach Club.
One&Only Royal Mirage (£££)
There are in fact four parts to this 65-acre One&Only resort: the Arabian Court, the Palace, the Residence & Spa and, next to its private beachfront, a garden villa. The properties share a maximalist approach to interior design – mosaics, painted ceilings and golden accents all vie for attention. On Jumeirah Beach, close to the Dubai Marina, the Royal Mirage a short boat trip away from its sister property on the Palm. Guests can spend days at the beach club, take sundowners at the Jetty Lounge, try Indian restaurant Nina for dinner, then retire to rooms looking out to the Arabian Gulf.
Atlantis The Royal (£££)
After an eight-year build, Atlantis The Royal opened its doors in 2023, when a string of A-listers descended on the mega resort to watch Beyoncé perform. Now open to all, this 800-room ultra-luxe property is considered by some to be the most lavish hotel in Dubai, and it certainly offers a level of glitz and glamour you won’t find at most other resorts. Heston Blumenthal and Nobu both have restaurants here, while the spa caters to every need and want. The private beach is well over a mile long and you’ll lose count of the number of pools. Most remarkable of all, perhaps, is the attention to detail that’s on display throughout.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel (£££)
Among the dozen hotels and residences this group has dotted around Dubai, we like Jumeirah Beach for a family trip. A 2023 refurb gave it state-of-the-art facilities and elegantly understated décor. Its private white-sand beach looks out to the Arabian Gulf, while the property’s wave-like design gives all rooms a view onto the Burj Al Arab. There are no fewer than 21 restaurants and bars around and about, 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 also get access to the Wild Wadi water park, which has more than 30 rides, as well as activities like kite surfing, kayaking, sailing and water skiing.
One&Only One Za’abeel (£££)
One&Only One Za’abeel Dubai opened in December 2023. Occupying two skyscrapers that are joined by The Link cantilever, it bills itself as a vertical urban resort. Rooms and suites are among the largest in the city. Soothing neutrals and sculptural lighting reflect the property’s name, which means ‘white sand’ in local dialect. The two towers also house a spa, a fitness hub, a kids’ club and some luxury retail spaces, while The Link features restaurants from the likes of Anne-Sophie Pic and its beach club has the UAE’s longest infinity pool.
Bulgari Resort (£££)
On its own private island off Jumeirah, the Bulgari Resort is about as exclusive as hotels can get. A notable proportion of guests arrive by superyacht, which they can moor in the property’s own marina. The opulence is presented with a seductive Italian accent – picture marble bathrooms, Bulgari’s own toiletries and handcrafted furniture from the old country. The bar has appeared on the World’s 50 Best list – chandeliers and black marble bring the glamour and the drinks tend to be elevated classics, including five luxe takes on a negroni. Niko Romito is all about Italian fine dining or there’s nine-seat Hoseki, where sushi master Masahiro Sugiyama does his thing. Just bear in mind he gets booked up quickly. The spa, the gym and the beach club are all here too.
The St Regis Dubai (£££)
St Regis has brought its old-school charm to bear on glitzy Dubai. It’s an intoxicating mix: St Regis signatures like butler service, afternoon teas, bloody mary cocktails and nightly champagne sabre ceremonies all translate well to gold-tinged interiors. Euro brasserie Cordelia covers breakfast and seafood-focused dinner services. In between, there’s Dip Pool Bar for straightforward crowd-pleasers like pasta, pizza and salads, or the Greek-styled beach club. Within the same building, there are also the world-renowned restaurants that make up St Regis Gardens, including Sushisamba and two-Michelin-starred Trèsind Studio, Signor Sassi and Chez Wam (see the Eat & Drink section for more).
Four Seasons Hotel DIFC (£££)
The eight-storey building that now houses the Four Seasons could be overwhelmed by the skyscrapers that dominate the DIFC district. It isn’t because of what’s contained inside – and the glass-sided pool on the roof. Rooms come with elegant workspaces for business travellers, though you’ll need a Terrace Suite if you want fresh air with yours. The excellent spa is another draw, as is the food and drink offer. Luna Sky Bar and the Churchill Club both have terraces by the rooftop pool. The stylish Mina Brasserie is a buzzy dinner spot with art-deco interiors and a fairy-lit terrace.
Armani Hotel Dubai (£££)
This is Giorgio Armani’s first hotel. He’s taken over the first eight floors of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and has a couple of levels of suites higher up. The legendary designer’s eye is apparent in every just-so detail. Beyond the high-end gift shops on the ground floor, there’s a spa on level three with steam room and sauna. The terrace is where you’ll find a pool with bar. Elsewhere, the food and drink offer spans Japanese, Italian and Indian options. The Privé club is for late nights and the plush rooms will ensure a good night.
Jumeirah Marsa Al Arab (£££)
At the tip of the peninsula on Dubai’s most exclusive private beach, Jumeirah Marsa Al Arab features an avant-garde design by architect Shaun Killa, 387 hotel rooms and suites, 82 luxury residences and an 82-berth superyacht marina by D-Marin. When it opens early next year, guests will be able to enjoy five pools, ten restaurants and nine bars, and unobstructed views of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah from every bedroom. An impressive spa will be set over three floors. The space will provide female-only spaces and 13 treatment rooms, each with a private terrace and views over the Arabian Peninsula.