The epitome of timeless glamour, Bulgari Resort Dubai is an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind stay for all the right reasons.
Having previously lived in Dubai for over seven years, I’ve experienced the glitz and glamour of the city first hand, in all its forms. But the Bulgari Resort, set on a man-made seahorse-shaped island in Jumeira Bay, exceeded all my exceptions of five-star luxury.
Dubai has been a must-visit destination for a while now; find someone who hasn’t been to the city and I’ll be shocked.
And it’s no secret that this glitzy Emirate offers a glamorous getaway; it’s a place teeming with high-end beach clubs and restaurants, a lively nightlife scene, and countless luxury hotels catering to millions of tourists each year – many of them looking for a larger-than-life, opulent escape.
But don’t let that distract you from booking a more discreet, quietly luxurious place to stay. Bulgari Resort offers a serene sense of calm that’s unmatched in this city of gold. Though you’ll definitely find gold here too.
WHAT TO PACK
Driving across the bridge that connects the bay from the skyscraper city, the impressive architecture of the resort stands proud, designed by Bulgari resident architect studio, Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel. The property is fringed with coral-inspired mashrabiya shading reflecting the style of the region and is a beautiful contrast against the clear blue skies.
The lobby, decorated with signature marble and plush Italian furniture is a sophisticated haven that is just a taster of what you’re about to experience. Check-in is seamless: lounge on one of the sofas with a cold drink while the process is handled efficiently, and you’ll be assigned a 24-hour butler available via WhatsApp to ensure your stay is of the highest standard.
The resort offers 101 rooms and suites, as well as 20 Bulgari Villas with pool, garden and sea views. I checked into the Deluxe Suite with a generous 105 square metres, tastefully decorated in true Bulgari style. The elegant, neutral colour palette is modernised with natural materials and oak wood that blends seamlessly throughout the rooms. There are balconies off the living room and bedroom, each with impressive views of the city including of the Burj Khalifa and the Arabian Gulf. Technology here is at its best with wide screen TVs, your own iPhone with hospitality on speed dial, a mini-bar area with a leather-clad espresso machine and the chicest kettle I have ever seen.
When you make your way into the dressing room, you’ll find your own yoga mat and set of gym weights, allowing you to exercise in the privacy of your own room. A Dyson hairdryer is on display, because, of course, nothing else will do. Collapsing onto the king-sized bed, I notice a pillow menu. How I have survived without my pick of pillows all these years, I’ll never know. I chose the lavender-infused for a peaceful nights sleep. There’s a square spa bath that has Jacuzzi functions in the rather impressively-sized bathroom, so you can mirror that spa feeling every day with a click of a button. Just when you think it can’t get any better? It looks out onto the ocean too.
The Food + Drink
You’ll be spoilt for choice with the dining options – there’s award winning food everywhere. Il Caffè which overlooks the Yacht Club’s marina offers a 24-hour breakfast, so if jet lag is kicking in or if you’re craving smoked salmon and poached eggs at an unusual time of the day, you can get your fix. You can’t leave without trying the award winning pizza either – the restaurant have teamed up with Rome’s SEU Pizza Illuminati to bring some of Italy’s best pizza to Dubai, available every day for lunch and dinner. La Spiaggia is located at the beach, and offers a Mediterranean menu to tantalise your tastebuds when taking a break from tanning.
But it’s Il Ristorante Niko Romito that’s the true star of the show. Boasting two Michelin stars, the flavours are fresh out of Italy and the restaurant is nothing short of a fine culinary experience. Though a simple dish, the spaghetti e pomodoro blew me away, and you have to finish with the 44k gold chocolate dessert, in true Dubai style. The Yacht Club has its own restaurant too – Italian, of course – with decor that mirrors that of a luxury yacht. It specialises in seafood, so you’ll get that true nautical feel. If you want to indulge in the privacy of your own suite, the all-day in-room dining menu is extensive and doesn’t compromise on quality.
There is something about a Bulgari Spa that is hard to beat. Maybe it’s the golden walls and the emerald green pool, or the exceptional service you receive from start to finish. Before your treatment, relax on the private beds that line the pool and look out across the city’s the turquoise waters. Or enjoy the state-of-the-art thermal baths and the oasis of calm that engulfs you. The treatment menu is extensive offering lengthly rituals, signature Hammam treatments and the Augustinus Bader Bulgari facial, exclusive to the hotel. There’s a 24-hour fitness centre that boasts only top-level equipment, and personal trainers are available for private sessions. Even going to the gym will feel pampering. Start your day on one of the treadmills overlooking the beach: there are worse places to do your daily workout…
The Little Extras
No need to pack a beach bag, there’s a generously-sized, Bulgari branded basket tote in your room for use during your stay, which you’ll no doubt want to purchase on check-out. The hotel has really thought of everything, and the addition of fresh herbal tea left in a hot flask at turndown service is exactly what you need for a post-dinner wind down. Sip it on your balcony as you watch the twinkly city in the distance. Airport transfers can be arranged too, making travelling to and from the airport just as luxurious – and seamless – as the stay itself.
The To-Do List
There’s truly no need to leave your Bulgari bubble. With its own private beach club, you can wonder down to the white sands or turquoise pool and perch yourself there for the duration of the day. If you’re looking for something more private, you can rent a beach cabana instead. The air-conditioned pod has a fridge stocked with beverages, a shower and a toilet and its own terrace area, so you can enjoy lunch on the decking overlooking the ocean. The only way to do out of office. If you are heading out to explore Dubai, then shopping is a must. Or check out some of the city’s most innovative buildings or other top places to eat, explore and relax.
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