Dubai is home to any number of impossible and global world records, and a few of those even include our hotels. Across the city, unique and unusual properties can be found.
While there are a number of familiar hotel chains, there are also a few exclusive resorts. Given that the hotels in the city are where many of the best restaurants and clubs are located, residents and visitors in Dubai often find themselves inside some of these amazing buildings – even if they are not staying over at the hotel. Even though the temperature is hot, these properties are very cool!
1. JW Marriott Marquis
Tallest hotel in the world? Check! Home to some of the best restaurants in the city? Also, check! While many visitors to Dubai enjoy visiting the observation deck at the Burj Khalifa, views from Vault, Morah, and Weslodge inside the JW Marriott Marquis provide incredible vistas of not only the world’s tallest building but also busy Sheikh Zayed Road (and having a cocktail on the 70th floor or better isn’t all that bad either). With 1600+ rooms, five bars, and nine restaurants, this hotel is well located for exploring the city.
2. Armani Hotel
Hotel located in the world’s tallest building? We’ve got that too! Located in some of the lower floors of the iconic Burj Khalifa (yes, the one from Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), this hotel is actually a building within a building. With some of the best views in Downtown Dubai, be sure to bring your wallets to this hotel, as sophisticated Italian luxury does not come cheap. If you plan to visit this property, as soon as you get out of your taxi, take a minute to look up (and then keep looking – it’s a stretch to see the top of the building!). If an overnight stay is too much of a hit on your bank account, then make a reservation at one of the on-site restaurants or spa to have a small peek into this one of a kind hotel.
3. Burj Al Arab
The world’s only seven-star hotel also finds its home in Dubai (which is, incidentally, the world’s third tallest hotel). Located across a private bridge, while the lobby interior might remind you a bit like a dated Vegas casino, the suites, each a two-story space are absolutely incredible (and include full sized his and hers Hermes toiletries). Much like the Armani hotel, if you’re looking to visit the property without staying over, there are day passes to the Terrace available and the seven-course high tea in the lobby is a memorable experience. Bars and restaurants are also open for reservations.
4. One and Only The Palm
One of the best brands in the world has not one but two properties in Dubai (with the sister property located closer to the trunk of the Palm). The newer property on the tip of one of the largest fronds on the Palm Jumeirah comes complete with its own jetty and is a big favorite among out of town celebrities and those who have their own aquatic transportation. With one of the best restaurants in the city (overseen by a 3 Michelin star Yannick Alleno, who visits the property during the year), O&O The Palm is the perfect luxury beach getaway.
5. Emirates Towers
One of the most recognizable buildings on the Dubai skyline and the fourth tallest hotel in the world, the hotel tower soars next to the commercial tower located next door (connected by a series of shops and restaurants in the middle, including a large gym). Located on the Metro line, Emirates Towers are part of the Jumeirah group (with their famous motto ‘Stay Different’) and walking distance from the city’s main financial hub, the Dubai International Financial Center (home to The Gate Village, a center for world-class dining).
6. Palazzo Versace
Armani isn’t the only designer with a hotel in the city. This neoclassical building is dripping with signature design. Located on the Dubai Creek, the location is closer to the airport and set apart from the bustle of some of the more downtown properties. Every single piece of furniture was designed, and tailor-made by Versace himself for the hotel and rooms are exclusively furnished in Versace Home Collection. Famed musician Quincy Jones recently opened his bar, Q’s, at the property, and is a unique venue for live entertainment.
7. XVA Art Hotel
Located in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood (part of the Bastakiya Quarter arts district) this location is for those looking for a bit of a local experience in the city. With the inclusion of Arabic heritage in its architecture, this smaller property is home to only 13 rooms, each uniquely designed and located off one of the three shady courtyards. The hotel is also home to its own gallery, XVA, which specializes in contemporary art from the Arab world, Iran and the Sub-continent.
8. Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai
One of the most recent hotels to open in the city, this property invites the vibes of Miami into Dubai. Looking back onto the marina skyline, the hotel is all modern sophistication. With a unique look done of glass and numerous terraces combined with enhancements for the contemporary traveler (sign into your Netflix account on the television!), this is an excellent destination close to many exciting restaurants and clubs on the Palm and in the marina.
9. Atlantis Palm Jumeirah
Looking for a place that’s family friendly? Look no further than Atlantis Palm Jumeirah! Complete with its own water park (Aquaventure!) and a small aquarium (the Lost Chambers), this hotel, located at the top of the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah, seems best suited for those ready to enjoy a relaxing beach holiday for a week or so. Home to numerous restaurants (including Gordon Ramsey’s Bread Street Kitchen), it would take you a week to work through all the F&B outlets. If you’ve got cash to splash, have a look at the one of a kind Royal Bridge Suite or an Underwater Suite for a truly memorable experience.
10. Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates
You know how we have that whole skiing in the desert thing? How about a ski chalet in a hotel overlooking the ski slope? Book one of the ‘Aspen Chalet’ rooms at the Kempinski for completely unique views on Ski Dubai. While the remainder of the rooms are elegant in their own right, the entire property is adjacent to the Mall of the Emirates. That’s right — you can literally shop ‘til you drop when staying at Kempinski’s connected property.
This is just a small list of the many (many!) fabulous hotels in Dubai. Do you have a favourite? Or another one that you suggest? Let us know!