Dubai luxury hotels
The best travel advice I ever received? “Pick your hotel carefully. More than any other factor, it will color your impression of the destination.” Nowhere is this more true than in Dubai. Travelers who report “it’s just another big city” obviously didn’t make a good choice on lodging.
The problem is that it’s hard to get the inside scoop – advice from someone who’s actually been there. What follows are my recommendations based on having stayed in each of these properties.
Dubai luxury hotels – Jumeirah Beach
My husband and I picked Jumeirah Beach Hotel because we prefer water views and fresh air to the busyness of commercial areas. It came as a total surprise that our hotel also offered a close-up view of the Burj Al Arab – the sail-shaped hotel that is Dubai’s best known landmark – as well as Wild Wadi water park, a white sand beach, curvaceous pool, and mega-yacht marina.
Our room and the service were in keeping with the hotel’s five-star status. After the first morning, the staff at Beachcombers Restaurant remembered which tea we preferred and that we liked to sit on the deck just steps from the sand.
Another huge advantage of this location: Jumeirah also owns the Burj Al Arab, Wild Wadi, and the nearby Madinat Jumeirah – a charming Arabian resort – and these properties are connected by more then two kilometers of private beach, accessible only to Jumeirah guests.
Dubai luxury hotels – Al Maha Desert Resort
Not only is Dubai not “just another big city,” it isn’t even just a city. The majority of the Emirate is covered in sand dunes roamed by camels, Arabian oryx, and gazelles. Our suite at Al Maha Desert Resort enabled us to fully appreciate this view. In the early morning, we lounged on brocade chaise lounges and watched the steam wafting off the surface of our private vanishing-edge pool. As the sun rose, the desert changed colors until we could clearly see the magnificent dunes, shaped like breaking waves and reclining figures.
Al Maha is the premier spot for experiencing both traditional and contemporary Arab culture. One afternoon we watched a demonstration of falconry – a Bedouin means of hunting and now a favorite pastime of sheikhs – and we learned that Emirates is the only airline that allows falcons in First Class. Typically, a sheikh headed to, for instance, Uzbekistan to hunt with his falcons will book a whole row of First Class seats, and his birds will sit on perches next to him. Camel racing is also very popular in the UAE, and Arabian horse racing is another passion.
Dubai luxury hotels – Park Hyatt Dubai
For a completely different view, we opted for the Park Hyatt when we returned to the city. This luxurious low-rise retreat is adjacent to the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, and surroundings include lush green fairways and stately power boats.
The hotel’s 25-meter pool, surrounded by palm tress, tropical gardens, and a waterfall, creates a stunning oasis. Nearby, Amara Spa is a favorite with Emirati women who appreciate the discreet separate entrance. Eight residential spa rooms are also very much in demand.
At the Park Hyatt, Traiteur Executive Chef Steffen Gube treated Richard and me to a fabulous dinner, which we both agreed was the best meal of our trip. My seafood ravioli starter was so good that I soaked up the lobster sauce with several pieces of French bread. Chefs from around the world cook here, and each has his favorite national dish on the menu.
Afterwards, we strolled along the marina enjoying the quiet and lights reflected in the creek. Each small group of people we passed spoke a different language. In the distance we heard the call to prayer from one of the city’s mosques.
I hope you enjoy these Dubai hotels as much as we did. You might also want to consider The Address or The Palace – The Old Town – which I have personally inspected but not stayed at – or the Armani Hotel Dubai in the Burj Khalifa.
Photo credit: ADAMS / HANSEN STOCK PHOTOS.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Abu Dhabi's Desert Island Resort - Authentic Luxury Travel | August 10, 2012