November 12, 2021
By Tamara Hinson
A fabulous choice for winter sun and a great spot for fans of retail therapy, Dubai is the ultimate urban-playground-meets-beach destination. You’ll also have some of the world’s best hotels to discover – extravagant five-star pads are what it’s all about in this city famed for luxury.
However, you don’t have to blow your budget to enjoy a holiday to Dubai. Here's where to stay, whatever your budget.
The next best thing to a stay in an Emirati palace, this beautiful hotel, in the heart of Old Dubai, is one of the best hotels for couples in Dubai. With beautiful rooms filled with nods to the traditional side of the region – think woven furniture, airy courtyards and elaborate stonework – it’s a great option for travellers keen to immerse themselves in all things Emirati. There’s also the Saba’a restaurant, which specialises in local cuisine, the highlight of which is a delicious mezze buffet.
Guests also get access to the amenities at the nearby Canopy by Hilton Dubai Al Seef and Hampton by Hilton Dubai Al Seef (a five-minute shuttle journey away).
One of Dubai’s newest hotels, Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown has a fantastic location – stay here and you’ll be just 2.6km from the Burj Khalifa, where the newest experience on offer is the chance to visit the At The Top observation deck at sunrise.
The hotel itself has a laidback vibe, which has made it a hit with hipsters who love the home-from-home decor: thick rugs, spa-inspired bathrooms and super-fast wi-fi. Travellers can also look forward to a yoga studio, 25m-long infinity pool and the Off The Wall bar, where the hotel’s team of mixologists will whip up cocktails and mocktails made with local ingredients (rumour has it the head mixologist trawls the souk for the finest ingredients every morning).
One of the tallest buildings on Sheikh Zayed Road, the Sheraton Grand Hotel is a great option for those want a tranquil base to retreat to at the end of the day – step inside this five-star hotel in Dubai and you’ll find vast expanses of marble, plenty of softly-lit cubby holes and a beautiful gym on the 53rd floor. Put it this way – working out is considerably less painful when the view from your treadmill looks this spectacular.
It also has one of the widest ranges of restaurants you’ll find in a Dubai hotel. Those with a love of seafood should head to Miss Lily’s, which specialises in Jamaican cuisine, while NIDO is a wonderfully cosy bar where you can wash down delicious cocktails with Spanish tapas.
This fabulous hotel opened in late 2020. Filled with funky artwork and with a beautiful rooftop pool offering great views of Dubai’s so-called big six (the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Frame, the doughnut-like Museum of the Future, the Burj Al Arab, the Dubai Creek and Ain Dubai), this is a brilliant wallet-friendly hotel just a few metres from the nearest metro station, and a short hop from the Dubai Mall.
There are 327 rooms – all with individual décor and quirky touches such as antique lights and framed drawings of deconstructed bicycles – and two restaurants: The Spice Tree, which serves up delicious Indian cuisine, and Larte Cafe, an Italian restaurant that serves some of the best pizzas in Dubai.
You’ll struggle to find a hotel with a better location than this beautiful property: The Palm Jumeirah, the Mall of the Emirates and The Pointe, where you’ll find the world’s highest waterfalls, are all within easy reach.
This newly opened pad has the world’s highest infinity pool, a spectacular spa on the 75th floor and some of Dubai’s most gorgeous hotel rooms. Opt for a Deluxe Marina View Room and you can soak up the views of the superyachts, although if you plump for a Sea View room, you might just end up with stunning views of Ain Dubai, which became the world’s tallest observation wheel when it opened earlier this year. There are also five fantastic restaurants to choose from (we recommend ZETA Seventy Seven for delicious Asian fusion cuisine).
We love this beachfront property, which you’ll find in the prestigious Jumeira area. It’s within easy reach of Dubai’s top attractions, including the Aquaventure water park at Atlantis, the Palm and the fantastic Pointe area, where you’ll find some of Dubai’s best restaurants.
But back to the hotel. With just 178 rooms and 78 suites, it’s got a more intimate feel than similarly luxurious properties, and with 6 restaurants, a sprawling 2,000-square-metre spa and a brand new kids’ club, boredom is unlikely to be an issue. And don’t worry if you can’t bag a beach view – the views in the other direction, towards downtown Dubai, are fantastic.
You know your hotel’s a bit posh when the suites have names, not numbers, and our favourites at the Habtoor Palace Dubai include the beautiful Sir Winston Churchill and Bentley suites. We also love the fact that every guest at this 234-room hotel gets butler service and access to the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah’s private beach.
It’s close to a number of Dubai’s most popular attractions, including the Dubai Mall (head there to check out the brilliant Infinity des Lumieres digital art gallery, which opened in 2021) and the new Time Out Market Dubai, where you can feast on cuisine from around the world.
Atlantis, the Palm is the kind of five-star hotel we’d happily check into for a month. Or two, come to think of it. This enormous resort’s amenities include an aquarium (one of the world’s largest), the Aquaventure water park, one of the biggest and best spas in Dubai, and more pools and beach areas than we can count.
It’s a brilliant destination for travellers looking for a destination with wow factor – even the resort’s nail bar has its own team of mixologists. Guests keen to bag a room with a view can book an underwater suite that looks out onto the aquarium and don’t miss the legendary party brunch at Saffron, which takes place every Friday. Expect DJs, live acts and unlimited food and drink.