Desert wonders: the best luxury hotels in Dubai
From classic Arabian delights to futuristic neon and lights, these are some of the city’s best places to stay.
Dubai is one of the world’s most spectacular cities; an oasis of imagination and engineering that soars above the sands of the Arabian Peninsula. It goes without saying it’s home to some of the most opulent and luxurious hotels on the planet.
More beautiful than a mirage, with a fascinating cultural heritage to match, Dubai is a vital hub of business and international trade in the region. As the home city of Emirates, it’s a popular stop en route to Europe too, and adding a couple of extra days to your trip is always a good idea.
The best luxury hotels in Dubai
Want to see what all the fuss is about? In no particular order, and by no means a definitive list, these luxury Dubai hotels are guaranteed to make you swoon.
- The best luxury hotels in Dubai
- Burj Al Arab
- Atlantis The Royal
- Raffles The Palm Dubai
- Armani Hotel Dubai
- Atlantis, The Palm
- One&Only The Palm
- ME Dubai Hotel
- Park Hyatt Dubai
- Bulgari Resort Dubai
- Four Seasons Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
- Shangri-La Dubai
- Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa
- Mandarin Oriental Jumeira
Burj Al Arab
Billed as the world’s first six star hotel, Burj Al Arab put Dubai on the map as a destination to watch. When it opened in 1999, it was unlike any at the time, a work of architectural genius with a distinctive silhouette and a suite of glamorous rooms to match.
Its shine has not diminished either, with the 202 over-the-top guest rooms and eight sumptuous bar and restaurant options – including the glittering new Gilt cocktail bar and signature seafood restaurant Al Mahara – still luring well-heeled visitors in droves.
When you’re not treating your tastebuds or lounging poolside overlooking the Persian Gulf at the pool terrace, you can kick your experience into high gear, getting behind the wheel of the hotel’s rental fleet of Aston Martin, Lamborghini or Ferrari supercars.
Atlantis The Royal
Rising 43-storeys at the apex of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, with futuristic curves and sweeping sky gardens affording enviable views across the Persian Gulf, Atlantis The Royal is described as the new benchmark for the desert metropolis.
Created by New York-based Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, it was envisioned to resemble a skyscraper that’s been deconstructed into side-by-side bits and pieces, with its towers linked by a 90m long Skypool fringed by VIP cabanas and a swim-up bar.
Were a hotelier to make a laundry list of every luxury amenity and double it in both ambition and quantity – 92 pools, check; outdoor crystal chandeliers which transform into sunshades, check; 17 restaurants and bars from esteemed chefs, check – it would look on paper a whole lot like the Royal.
Speaking of restaurants, they form a core part of Atlantis The Royal’s appeal. Among them, a branch of José Andrés’s Spanish tapas spot Jaleo, a classic sushi entry from Nobu Matsuhisa, and an offshoot of Heston Blumenthal’s experimental flagship in London, Dinner.
Raffles The Palm Dubai
Raffles Singapore is a throwback to a time when hotels were experiences, not just places to stay. Raffles The Palm Dubai is cut from the same cloth, offering palatial indulgence and service that befits its man-made location on the outer rim of the Palm.
Within this five star Dubai hotel you’ll find sprawling rooms, villas and suites, each lavishly furnished with rich silks and sparkling chandeliers. It’s elegant and luxurious, combining elements of European and Middle Eastern design into one sumptuous package.
Lobby lounge ‘Blüthner Hall’ is a grand spot to enjoy afternoon tea, while Sola Jazz Lounge and Matagi Japanese, and all-day venue Le Jardin will satisfy you from dawn till well after dusk.
Armani Hotel Dubai
If you’re going to open a five star hotel within the world’s tallest building, the brief almost writes itself: ‘go big, or go home’. Needless to say, Armani got the message, with its debut hotel – housed within the record-breaking Burj Khalifa – as stylish as you’d expect from the acclaimed Italian fashion house.
Within, every detail was meticulously overseen by Giorgio Armani himself, from the towering bronze arches that greet you on entry to the elegantly furnished rooms and suites. And the views? They’re just the icing on this very impressive cake.
Sending your taste buds on a journey around the globe, the hotel’s dining offering takes the form of five very different restaurants, in addition to a casual lounge. Among the highlights are Ristorante, infused with the essence of Italy, and Amal, where diners can savour a true taste of Indian cuisine.
Atlantis, The Palm
It may share a name with the city lost to the sea, but you won’t have any trouble finding Atlantis The Palm. Occupying pride of place at the peak of the iconic island structure, its dining and nightlife are legendary, and its waterpark officially the largest in the world.
Add in signature suites like Grand Atlantis (with not one but five balconies) and the multi-level Underwater Suite, where your views include stingrays and sharks swimming by or the city skyline gleaming in the distance, and you have a resort worthy of all its praise.
Neighbouring hotel Atlantis The Royal is expected to elevate the experience even further when it opens later this year, adding additional signature restaurants including Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, together with an impressive rooftop pool and bar.
One&Only The Palm
With so much competition in Dubai, luxury hotels have their work cut out to stand apart from the pack. One&Only The Palm succeeds in every way, with ornate Arabian-inspired architecture, manicured gardens peppered with soothing fountains, and a whole lot more.
Every detail has been carefully considered, creating a seamless and refined experience you won’t find anywhere else in the Emirate. With just 64 beautiful rooms, 27 spacious suites, and four highly-coveted beachfront villas, it retains an air of exclusivity too.
Dining is curated by six Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno; Guerlain Spa a sensory journey with nine treatment rooms, an adult’s only pool, and highly skilled therapists. And, with its location on The Palm, the beachfront is destined to become a favourite haunt.
ME Dubai Hotel
The only hotel to be designed by renowned Pritzker-awarded architect Zaha Hadid, ME Dubai Hotel, enhances Dubai’s Business Bay with a modern and defying style that looks like a scene out of a sci-fi movie.
Step into the realm of tomorrow as you enter the guest rooms, each boasting curved leather beds and wall art that mimics the rolling waves of desert dunes, all lending to the truly futuristic atmosphere.
On the dining front, Roka is your go-to option for cold drinks and light eats, while Central Cosmo Tapas & Bar – the hotel’s all-day venue – is the perfect tribute to Spanish cuisine.
When it’s time to relax or work off those calories, there are creature comforts aplenty: a rooftop pool and a therapeutic spa, in addition to a 260 sqm gym with a Technogym Biocircuit, allowing users to create personalized workouts.
Park Hyatt Dubai
Glittering highrises and man made islands are what most associate with Dubai. Yet, it has an intriguing cultural side too, much of it found along the shores of Dubai Creek. At Park Hyatt Dubai, overlooking that very waterway, the best of the old and new is within reach.
Each of its chic Dubai hotel rooms, like the Mediterranean-inspired Lagoon Beach Suite, combine European and Middle Eastern aesthetics to create a space that’s warm, inviting, and relaxing. Basically everything you’d want from a hotel of this calibre.
Taking advantage of its creekside location, it’s home to a myriad of al fresco dining options too, from QD's Bar & Grill on the water’s edge to French-infused Brasserie du Park and the very popular Cielo Sky Lounge, a roof bar perched atop the Dubai Creek Yacht Club.
Bulgari Resort Dubai
The name ‘Bulgari’ sets an expectation when you hear it. One of the globe’s leading jewellery brands, they’ve also fashioned one of the very best hotels in town: Bulgari Resort Dubai.
Situated on the unique Jumeira Bay, a man made island in the shape of a seahorse, the sun-dappled escape features 101 rooms and suites, complemented by 20 Bulgari villas with pool, garden and sea views. Just as its siblings in Paris and London, interiors are as elegant and tasteful.
Adding a further dash of exclusivity, the resort is home to a private marina complex featuring 50 boat berths and the first world’s Bulgari Yacht Club, with peerless views over the sea.
Four Seasons Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
Jumeirah Beach is Dubai’s seaside playground; a posh neighbourhood where luxury resorts line the shore and beach umbrellas are never vacant for long. Four Seasons Dubai at Jumeirah is in the heart of this iconic strip – and it offers a lot of good reasons to check in.
To begin, there are numerous delicious restaurant and bar options, a smorgasbord of cuisines from Turkish to Peruvian and Japanese. Cocktails in Hendrick’s Bar, mezze plates in Shai Salon, fresh sashimi at Sea Fu… there is a venue for every occasion.
Guest rooms are enchanting too, each with sea, city and garden views that make you stop and take notice. If there’s one, in particular, worth noting, it’s the Royal Suite, boasting Venetian chandeliers, a baby grand in the living room, and a bathroom so exquisite it’s almost a destination in itself.
Shangri-La Dubai is in good company amid the towering skyscrapers of Sheikh Zayed Road. Its restaurants will take you on a culinary journey through Asia, Europe, India and South America, while CHI, The Spa and the pool offer welcome respite from the desert heat.
Within its plush confines are 302 spacious rooms and suites, together with 126 apartments, each affording sensational views of the forest of glass and steel that surrounds it.
Horizon Club and Presidential Suite guests also have exclusive access to Level 42, a terrace and one of the most photogenic spots in Dubai. For something truly special, a private dinner on the terrace can also be arranged.
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa
Four wheel driving amid the desert dunes is just one of the city’s must-do activities. Rather than just take a day trip, Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa allows you to fully immerse yourself in its untamed wonder with camel treks, falconry, signature desert safaris and more.
Just 45 minutes drive from the city in Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, the five-star tented resort is designed to showcase its wild and rugged landscape, but not at the expense of comfort.
Each of its 42 air-conditioned suites features beautiful, handcrafted furnishings, a private deck and temperature-controlled pool. Signature alfresco restaurant Al Diwaan is a perfect spot to indulge and enjoy the view, while Timeless Spa is a perfect spot to relax after exploring the desert.
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira
Dubai hotels rarely do things by half measures. At the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, a beachfront oasis with interiors by acclaimed designer Jeffrey Wilkes – also responsible for the brand’s Bangkok and Tokyo flagships – you have a hotel that ticks every box… sometimes twice.
Entered via a forest of lights leading your eyes to the sea beyond, a swimming pool lined with deckchairs and cabanas, and rooms adorned in bright blues and earthy tones that echo the landscape outside, every aspect of the hotel feels in perfect harmony.
When the time comes to satisfy your hunger pangs, eight venues including modern Portuguese Tasca by José Avillez and Netsu by Australian chef Ross Shonhan have got you sorted.
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Desert wonders: the best luxury hotels in Dubai
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
16 Apr 2013
Total posts 51
Very surprised Palace Downtown Dubai isn't listed. 5 star luxury nestled within a stones throw of Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa, with fountain views to die for.
07 Feb 2022
Total posts 13
Thanks for the recommendation, AV. Will check it out.
Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer
12 Apr 2017
Total posts 213
Nice review. I would be interested in thoughts on other decent hotels in Dubai which are a little cheaper than these ones. Such as, The Obelisk, Paramount or the Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City.
14 Oct 2021
Total posts 9
For a little luxury while in transit in Dubai The Dubai International Hotel deserves a mention .
03 May 2013
Total posts 665
Park Hyatt is my all time favourite. Well located, intimate, superb service and wont bring on a migraine onset as you walk into foyer or your room ;).
03 May 2013
Total posts 665
For my money Park Hyatt is the way to go. The whole layout airiness and location make it a gem. Refined without any bling.