In a city like Dubai where extreme lavishness forms the order of the day, locating the cream of the luxurious crop can be a fairly arduous task. Luckily, there’s this carefully curated selection of gems to help you find your way
When it comes to the room with a view, this title has some worthy contenders. The Palace Downtown’s Imperial Suite is a tasteful four-bedroom affair with a private balcony opening out to the majestic dance opera of the Dubai Fountains; the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa delivers an exquisite lounge and desert grandeur with its Presidential Suite; the Palm Atlantis delves into aqua fantasia through its Underwater Suite that offers you floor-to-ceiling views of nearly 70,000 marine creatures; while the ubiquitous Burj Al Arab discards all attempts at subtlety with the blazing gold swagger of its Royal Suite, a private cinema, personal elevator and rotating bed included. But our pick of the lot merges class, sophistication and grandeur with an iconic sense of fashion – the Armani Dubai Suite at the Armani Hotel. Occupying Level 39 of the towering Burj Khalifa, this Giorgio Armani-designed ode to sensibility and sensuality is opulence minus the silly frills – two bedrooms, a bar, study, a private gym area – each accented in stunning hues of grey and dull turquoise and absolutely ravishing. Armani Dubai – www.armanihotels.com
[Tip: If a luxe hotel perched on a lush waterfront plot, surrounded by the fabulous Dubai creek and beautiful gardens, is more your idea of fun then look no further than the Palazzo Versace Dubai, a stunning property in the midst of the Culture Village. Check yourself in for a lavish experience and don’t forget to check the American Express Extra Night Offer at Preferred Hotels & Resorts’s properties, whereby you can enjoy an extra third, fourth, or fifth night when you book two, three, or four consecutive nights based on the property you choose and pay with any American Express® Card from February 1, 2016 to October 31, 2016.]
You’re welcome to have an affair with Pier Chic and its romantic, bedecked ambience jutting out into the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf, with an array of note-perfect seafood at hand. Or you could dabble in Executive Chef Julian Mercier’s stylish French flavourings at Margaux. Within Eauzone’s modern Asian aromas and stunning pool-dipped environs, romance is but a given. You could give in to your Arabic cravings at Al Hadheerah’s cultured Bedouin setting and flourishes of Middle Eastern exotica. Or you could pick the Izakaya shared-dining ethos, stunning selection of cocktails, and robust sake cellar of Zuma. But if we had just one vote to cast, it would go to another Japanese star. Tomo, situated on the 17th floor at Raffles, has quickly become the go-to address for those who like their drinks with stunning views of the city’s skyline, their food with an authentic touch courtesy Chef/Owner Chitoshi Takahashi, and their Japanese with a delicious selection of Wagyu, Sushi, Sashimi, and creative Japanese dessert such as the chestnut, baked cheesecake, and rolled milk cake assemblage of the Cake Sanshu on the menu. Tomo – www.tomo.ae
[Tip: If you are looking at combining a great stay with a food-fueled itinerary then the Grand Excelsior Hotel Bur Dubai, with easy access to Dubai’s commercial hub, and an impressive array of eight bars and restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisines is yours to pick. Remember to book with your American Express Card and avail benefits of the Extra Nights Offer at the Preferred Hotels & Resorts listed properties].
Nightlife roars across the city’s richly diverse assortment of bars, lounges, pubs, and clubs. During Dubai’s cooler period between November and February, al fresco is the way to go. The Four Seasons Resort scores on this front with its rooftop Mercury Lounge, inclusive of spectacular views, a gamut of exotic cocktails, décor that oozes chic, and bar snacks that put many primary menus to shame. Another hot ticket is White Dubai at The Meydan, which spoils you with an open view of Dubai’s quintessential skyline, and a sound & light system custom fit for a bevy of international DJs. If White seems too showy and starts to get on your nerves though, head on over to Mina A’Salam’s Bahri Bar, a breezy colonial style affair whose big wooden verandah is perfect for conversation and flirtation, as are those sundowners accompanied by a sublime sunset. And while the Address’ Neos, the Hilton’s Pure Sky Lounge, and the Grosvenor’s Siddharta Lounge are other undeniably sexy affairs, our nod goes to an old classic – the Rooftop at One&Only Royal Mirage – where an Arabian nights vibe, plush Moroccan décor, potent spirits, and lounge sounds from the Orient whisk you away to a little place called bliss. Rooftop – www.oneandonlyresorts.com
While Dubai’s Spa and relaxation offerings are just as memorable, we’re not even going to bother with options for this one. Our uncontested pick is the celebrated Talise Ottoman Spa at the hush-hush Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. Delicately carved turquoise doors usher you within a palatial haven of hydrotherapy rooms, floating baths, snow rooms, saunas, and thalassotherapy pools, culminating in the Turkish Hammam whose exquisite collection of murals and mosaics will have you sighing even before you’ve begun with any treatments. The much-awarded Talise is a discovery for both senses and soul, and as you sit back later with an al fresco mint tea at one of Dubai’s Lebanese gems, Al Nafoorah, you’d be forgiven for thinking that life is a leisurely breeze. For appointments at Talise – JZStalise@jumeirah.com