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Dubai is ‘exotic desert glamour’ at its shimmering best. It’s hard to imagine that this ‘City of Gold’ overlooking the blue waters of the Persian Gulf is a former fishing village. Now, it is famous for its splendid shopping malls, scintillating souqs, culinary prowess, glitzy nightlife, and traditional splendor. The futuristic city is famous for its profusion of skyscrapers and is one of the Top 10 Cities With Most Skyscrapers. In fact, its most famous attraction, Burj Al Arab, is one of the World’s 10 Tallest Skyscrapers. However, there’s also profound beauty and tranquility that lies beneath all its extravagance. The best hotels in Dubai bring out the best of both these qualities. From having only expensive hotels by the beach to a host of options now, Dubai caters to the entire spectrum of travelers today.
It’s a testament to how popular a destination Dubai is by the vastly changing landscape of its accommodations that now suit a whole range of lifestyles, budgets, and even themes. So, check out the 11 best hotels in Dubai, which include everything from beach hotels to skyscraping five-star glory.
Where to Stay in Dubai
Dubai is a sprawling city with neighborhoods as different as chalk and cheese. To begin with, at the top of the list is the stunning Jumeirah. It stretches for miles along the seafront in the southwest part of the city. Lined with elegant properties, it’s also home to some of the biggest five-star beach hotels in Dubai. Downtown is next, where lie the city’s newest exciting attractions, including the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain, and Dubai Mall. Moreover, this area is home to a mix of wallet-friendly as well as luxurious hotels. The manmade island of Palm has all of its glitziest hotels, including the world-famous Atlantis, what was once one of the 10 Unimaginable Luxury Hotels Opening Soon. Likewise, the Marina also has hundreds of highrises housing some of the city’s best nightlife and dining options.
On the other hand, there are also more traditional neighborhoods with sun-baked courtyards, lively souqs, and tiny winding bylanes. If you want to stay somewhere near the airport, then try Garhoud or Deira. That said, it’s Al Seef that is traditionally Dubai and overlooks the waters and dhows of Dubai Creek. This is where you can snag traditional boutique hotels and learn about the UAE’s culture while tucking into a traditional Emirati meal.
Located in the heart of Downtown Dubai, the outstanding four-star Rove Downtown is nothing less than a feast for the eyes. The hotel lies a stone’s throw from a host of Downtown attractions, including Burj Khalifa and Burj Al-Arab, while the airport is a mere 15-minute drive away.
A high-ceilinged lobby is divided into spaces for lounging, co-working, and even playing computer games. It’s peppered with a smattering of interesting design pieces, including a framed floral impression that is actually a circular arrangement of burqas. Similarly, a presentation of discarded luggage labels and banknotes from around the world makes for an intriguing display. The hotel also boasts a fitness center and a massive outdoor pool with retro deck chairs. Likewise, a retro-chic, American-esque laundromat features a flatscreen playing reruns of Friends. Apart from stellar room service, the restaurant serves up a hearty breakfast. Best of all, the hotel even houses a private cinema, where one can lounge on a lazy afternoon.
Magnolia-themed rooms are immaculate and comfortable with furnishings making smart used of space. Apart from a plush bed and elegant ensuite bathrooms, the highlight in half the rooms is the floor-to-ceiling views of Burj Khalifa.
Atlantis The Palm
The Atlantis at The Palm is undoubtedly one of the best and most swanky and expensive beach hotels in Dubai. The city’s second-biggest hotel is inspired by its legendary namesake in size and opulence, but definitely not in existence; for it sits right at the apex of Palm Jumeirah.
A red-brick facade with lots of turrets is reminiscent of mythical kingdoms from Disney’s fairytales. The hotel is nestled amongst vast, verdant gardens with lots of flora and a thundering waterfall. Guests are welcomed into a ginormous lobby that has a showstopping multi-colored glass sculpture. Did you know that even a three-week stay will fall short if you want to try out every restaurant here? The place is so huge that the designer gym is just one of the ways to work out here; there’s also a host of water sports, tennis/volleyball courts, and a jogging track. The hotel also offers free access to the Lost Chambers Aquarium and the Aquaventure water park and holds a plethora of other activities too. In fact, lounging at the ShiQi Spa and on the daybeds at the turquoise pools are the most sedate activities you can indulge in at Atlantis.
All rooms channel the resort’s underwater theme with an oyster, coral, and ocean-blue palette, shell mosaic mirrors, and driftwood and coral-like furnishings. Choose rooms on the higher floors whose balconies have views of the entire palm-shaped island.
Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai
There’s nothing like living in a hotel by the beach in Dubai, and the majestic Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai is one of the best. The magnificent five-star property takes inspiration from opulent 18th-century European palaces and has a coveted location on the western crescent of Palm Jumeirah. Naturally, it offers once-in-a-lifetime vistas of Burj Khalifa, Burj Al-Arab, and the Marina skyline.
You know you’ve arrived someplace special as you step into the lobby at the hotel, where there is more than just one showstopper. For one, there’s a 24-carat gold-leaf-plated grand atrium. Also, there stand dramatic columns made of one-of-a-kind pink Portuguese marble. If that wasn’t enough, the chandelier is studded 40,000 Swarovski crystals. The lush landscaped gardens only add to the hotel’s glory. The staff go above and beyond, right from the butlers to the ‘Lady in Red’ ambassadors. Enjoy a dip in the largest indoor pool in the city or at the sun-kissed outdoor lagoon pool, making it one of the best hotel pools in Dubai. Dig into world cuisine at any of the hotel’s eight restaurants or catch a movie at the intimate private cinema. For some true indulgence, book a session at the decadent sanctuary that is the Cinq Mondes Spa.
Emerald Kempinski’s rooms are some of Dubai’s most spacious, complete with massive marble bathrooms, lounge areas, and outdoor patios. All rooms are decked out in platinum/gold tones with crystal chandeliers and are fit for royalty.
Canopy by Hilton Dubai Al Seef
Canopy by Hilton Dubai in Al Seef is one of the most affordable and fashion-forward hotels a budget-conscious traveler can find in the city. The chic hotel lies in the heart of culture-rich Al Seef right on Dubai Creek. Combine that with a gamut of excellent facilities, and it makes this hotel something of a rare gem in the city.
A bevy of human-figure statues with bowler-hat lights greets you as you walk inside this design-led hotel. The best part about the open-plan lobby, aside from the lashings of natural light, is the specially-curated book collection stacked in ceiling-high shelves. Indulge in some R&R in the steam rooms, saunas, and treatment suites or work out in the gym. Swimming enthusiasts and lazy loungers will love the rooftop pool in equal measure. Four restaurants include a Mediterranean-themed breakfast place, a shisha lounge, and even a rooftop lounge with excellent views. Finally, the hotel even allows renting rollerblades and bicycles, which you can ride down the Dubai Creek.
Monochrome rooms feature a smattering of sleek black accessories that include everything from 50s-style fridges to rotary dial phones. They also feature murals of the city’s skyline, smart mod-cons, designer bathrooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows with gorgeous views. Those looking for some indulgence can ask for a Plush room with a hammock overlooking the Creek.
At The Top Hostel
How would you like to live at the highest hostel in the world? Welcome to At The Top hostel on the 66th floor of Elite Residence Tower at the northern end of Dubai Marina. The hostel is popular with a range of travelers because it offers stellar accommodation on the cheap. Plus, the place offers sweeping views across the Marina and the entire coastline. Additionally, it’s also popular with LGBTQ tourists for being one of the Top 11 Fay Friendly Hotels in Dubai!
A fun, light-filled reception welcomes visitors to this fun hostel. One can choose from bunk/regular beds in dorms and private rooms, both of which receive lots of natural light that makes the place feel expansive. What’s more, all rooms feature massive windows with jaw-dropping views of the beaches. However, the best places at this hostel are the common ones. After all, where else would you find a hostel with an outdoor pool on the 66th floor? It also has incredible views of the Marina and the Persian Gulf. A large complimentary continental breakfast is a great way to begin your day in the city. A well-equipped kitchen makes whipping up quick meals easy at all times. Finally, tAt The Top also offers free walking tours of the neighborhood.
XVA Art Hotel
Travelers looking for culturally-rich digs with oodles of history should consider the XVA Art Hotel by the Dubai Creek. The historic gallery-cum-hotel was once home to a prominent retailer family. Hidden in the ‘sikkas’ or alleys of the now-historic Al Fahidi neighborhood, the hotel was originally part of the city’s well-to-do Bastakiya community. In fact, it can’t even be reached by vehicle! The adventure through unlabelled bylanes begins after visitors drive as far as Al Fahidi Street, after which they need to call the hotel for directions. In a country that is half-a-century old, this 100-year-old property is nothing less than a national treasure.
As you arrive in the hotel, you’re handed a much-needed map. An imposing internal courtyard is centered around old gnarled trees that are embellished with baubles. The time-honored, historical setting is the perfect canvas for avant-garde displays like movie-scene-print upholstery and contemporary art. The on-site XVA boutique and art gallery is the main draw here. It features original works by Arabian artists, vintage clothes, and more. Moreover, the XVA Cafe which serves a delicious local breakfast is very popular with locals too. Additionally, the hotel also has a luxuriating spa, bikes for hire, and a table tennis room.
You can choose from 15 rooms individually designed by local designers, which feature themes ranging from Arabian clothing and henna tattoos to lunar and even sugar-based ones. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms and alcohol-free minibars, while the Deluxe rooms have seating areas overlooking the internal courtyard.
Queen Elizabeth 2
What’s better than a hotel in Dubai by the beach? It’s the floating hotel Queen Elizabeth 2, of course! The QE2 cruise ship, once a British maritime history icon, is now a historic floating hotel. It’s permanently moored at Mina Rashid Port in the Persian Gulf in Bur Dubai and is close to a posse of attractions.
This restored floating time capsule is full of glorious features from her sailing heydays, like carpets, paintings, and period furniture. Additionally, it has 21st-century high-tech creature comforts like apps for controlling TV channels, lights, and even cabin access. The hotel also has a laundry list of luxuriously fabulous amenities, including an outdoor pool, a decadent spa, a well-equipped gym, and even a theater. What’s more, there are eight restaurants and lounges to dine at, so there’s something to keep everyone entertained. However, its the sense of nostalgia that is the highlight at the hotel Don’t miss taking the tour with Peter Warwick, who’s not only met the last Titanic survivor but even had tea with Nelson Mandela!
Even though rooms are smaller than most city hotels, all of them, including the entry-level ones, come with king beds, bathrooms, wood panels, original porthole windows, and nautical accents. If you want more space, go for the Captain’s Club Rooms that have large bathrooms, separate living areas, and private balconies.
Travelers looking for a centrally-located yet affordably luxurious hotel will love Conrad Dubai. The hotel lies right opposite the World Trade Center, with the metro station providing more than easy access to explore Top 14 Things to Do In Dubai.
A balcony-free, all-glass facade makes the exterior of the hotel as striking as it gets. The star of the European-style lobby is the sweeping marble staircase. It leads to stone-clad pillars etched with patterns inspired by the Tribulus Omanense, which is the UAE’s national flower. In fact, all other areas of the hotel are an extension of this floral ode. There are so many options to dine at this hotel that guests are spoilt for choice. Indulge in deep-tissue massages and hammam facials at the Conrad Spa. However, it is Conrad’s palm-filled pool deck that is the absolute surprise. It not only has a terrace and a bar-restaurant but also a pool with a waterfall and tropical foliage. To top it all, an affable and approachable staff make the huge space seem familiar and less intimidating.
It’s no doubt that the highlight in each of the rooms here is the floor-to-ceiling windows with awe-inspiring views of the city and the sea. Second to that are the smart mod-cons, which include bedside panels featuring a host of shortcuts. That said, plush floral carpets, lavish bathrooms, and Arabian-accented furnishings, and are a bonus.
Indulge in elegant and sophisticated living at Grosvenor House Hotel and Apartments in Dubai, which is a mere 20-minute walk to Jumeirah beach. The luxurious twin-tower hotel connected by a sleek, white walkway lies at the northern end of the Marina.
A huge main lobby is filled with soft carpets, mahogany furnishings, gleaming marble floors, modern sculptures, and skylights. The highlight of the hotel is the lavish, Asian-themed B/Attitude Spa with dragon motifs, lanterns, and dark wood screens. What’s more, each tower has a lovely outdoor pool which, which is shaded during afternoons. Plus, guests here can use all the amenities at its sister property Le Meridien, to which the hotel operates regular shuttles. Apart from 14 restaurants serving world cuisine, the hotel is particularly popular for housing a host of hip nightspots, including the Siddhartha Lounge and Buddha Bar.
All rooms, even the entry-level ones, feature plump beds, a flourish of high-tech mod-cons, and equally lavish bathrooms. That said, both Deluxe and Premier rooms with butler service and access to club lounge, are worth upgrading to.
Five Palm Jumeirah
One of the best affordable hotels in Dubai by the beach is the opulent and grand Five Palm Jumeirah. This beachfront hotel exudes a high-flying feel and is something of an architectural marvel with its enormous glass cube entrance. Moreover, the hotel occupies a prime location on the western side of the trunk of The Palm and boasts striking views of the city’s skyline.
What catches the eye straight away is the glass bridge connecting the hotel’s two wings, as well as the perfect cyan-colored pool that runs all along the center. The lobby houses imposing interiors, with a double-helix wooden installation as the showstopper. Additionally, subtle Art-Deco accents, velvet furniture, and a soothing grey-teal-bronze color palette lend a touch of glamour. Apart from an appetizing breakfast, the hotel also has multiple options for dining. On your day off, lounge on the brollies and daybeds on the stunning stretch of beach right out front. Once the sun is high, retire to the decadent Italian-marble-ridden spa, which offers a multisensory experience.
Even though the entry-level, road-facing rooms feature double-glazed windows, we’d recommend booking the unparalleled sea-view rooms. Fabulous bathrooms, a slew of high-end mod-cons, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows leading out to balconies definitely make it worth staying here.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Sitting right at top of this list is one of the best seaside hotels in Dubai, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The iconic, wave-shaped hotel sits in a massive Arab-inspired complex with palm-fringed waterways, a bevy of restaurants, and even its own souq. What’s more, it even has a fabulous waterpark, making it very popular with families visiting the city.
The cleverly-design 26-story hotel has Burj Al-Arab and sea views from all its room. A high-ceilinged lobby with shimmering chandeliers welcomes visitors to this stately getaway The hotel channels a thoroughly coastal vibe with its comfy and modern aqua-tinged décor. With as many as six swimming pools to choose from, guests here will never have to wait to lounge comfortably on a daybed while sipping cocktails from the pool bar. Families with children can go crazy at the Wild Wadi Waterpark next door, as well as the kids club and host of sports amenities at the hotel itself. Additionally, there’s also an on-site dive center, spa, as well as a gym. Finally, it’s the long stretch of private beach with fabulous Burj Al-Arab views that is the most-loved feature here.
All rooms at this premier Dubai beach hotel are swathed in deep blues and greys that mirror the colors of the sea. Moreover, they’re all spacious, have peach-colored marble bathrooms with colossal bathtubs, and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Persian Gulf. Best of all are the Ocean Suites with grand balconies and the Villas with individual plunge pools.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars / Food Tours in Dubai:
- Authentic Emirati Cultural Meal and Talk in Old Dubai: Head to the Al Fahidi historic district to dig into an authentic Emirati meal and engage in an intriguing cultural exchange.
- Iris Lounge: One of the city’s most affordable restaurants, Iris offers a double whammy with its stunning rooftop dining experience. It lies on the 27th floor of The Oberoi hotel and serves international cuisine.
- Salt: “Salters,” as loyal fans of this place are known, line up outside this famous retro silver food truck that serves everything from Belgian shortbread cookies to its signature wagyu beef burgers.
Recommended Activities In Dubai:
- Dubai by Night 4-Hour Tour: There’s nothing like seeing magical Dubai by night. Explore its shining sights on this 4-hour night tour.
- Dubai Afternoon Desert Safari and BBQ Dinner: Is there anything more mysterious than the ethereal desert that the city lies on the edge of. Strap yourself in a 4WD and explore the dunes on this 6-hour thrilling adventure.