After many visits to Dubai (before deciding to move here) I had stayed at numerous hotels. When I actually moved to Dubai (the initial few months without an apartment) I had the pleasure of living in a few other hotels. This being said, I have developed a very good understanding of the Dubai hotel scene. Thus, I am writing this quick guide to help travelers choose the best hotel for their tastes and needs.
Hotels in Dubai are distributed across 5 main locations:
- Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Walk (JBR). A massive high rise city centered around a man-made lagoon, with seven km of the pedestrian walkway that will take you a full day to explore. It was the first development of the new Dubai, and it has experienced continuous evolution thanks to the new addition of the Beach, a waterfront complex with retail stores, a restaurant, and a sand beach with water sports and a splash pad. Most recent development Bluewaters – an artificial highlight connected to the Beach by a bridge that houses 132 shops and restaurants, Caesars Palace Hotel and the new addition of beach clubs in Dubai the Cove Beach. Bluewaters also houses Ain Dubai the world’s tallest 250 ft Ferris Wheel.
- The Palm is dominated by the grand Atlantis Hotel, Palm Jumeirah has seen an explosion of hotels in the past couple of years, with pretty much all hotels brands opening an outpost here. It mixes residential and tourism in a peaceful environment, with palm trees, lined boulevards, and endlessness beaches.
- Jumeirah Beach. Quiet residential areas dominated by villas, it became home to many of the very luxury hotels, starting with the super famous 7-star Burj Al Arab thanks to the pristine beaches and the unconstructed view of the Gulf (which does not happen in Marina anymore after they have built Palm Jumeriah).
- The downtown area, including Business Bay, DIFC and City Walk. This is the modern Dubai, the business center and the home of Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world as well as Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the Middle East. It provides a more city experience, far from the beach but rich in excellent restaurants, bars, and shops. It’s where the money moves and people go hang-out.
- The Creek & the Old Town. It’s somehow chaotic and a bit run down for my taste, but It’s probably the only authentic remaining part of Dubai, with its vibrant day-to-day life of the city’s locals, traditional markets, art galleries. Make sure to experience cultural experiences and authentic meals including Camel based treats.
Secondly, for this particular post, the classification of hotel class for you to choose from when picking a hotel in Dubai.
Hotel Class indicates the general level of features and amenities to expect. The star rating is provided by Booking.com, Expedia and Giata.
Finally, I have selected a few of my favorite hotels across the above categories.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Hotel Class: 5
Location: The Palm
Address: West Crescent The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai 114843 United Arab Emirates
Hotel Style: Luxury, Romantic, Moorish & Andalusian
The One&Only The Palm is an intimate luxury beach resort. The One&Only The Palm is located on the lush, landscaped private peninsula of the Palm Jumeirah crescent.
One&Only The Palm blends Moorish and Andalusian architecture with contemporary chic interiors, consisting of 91 rooms and 4 exclusive Beach Villas. Stylish guest rooms are secluded in a residential environment within the tri-level Manor House, six low-rise Mansions and four private Beach Villas. One&Only resort’s facilities include a stunning 850 square-meter swimming pool, 450 meters of beachfront and the outstanding all-suite One&Only Spa and fitness center.
As a pastel-colored oasis of tranquility, The One&Only The Palm is a perfect hotel for honeymooners or couples in search of a romantic gateway.
The hotel-style is a modern reinterpretation of traditional Arabic architecture with very classy furniture and interior.
The hotel has three main restaurants
- STAY by Yannick Alleno (French, European) $$$$
- Zest (Asian, Middle Eastern) $$$$
- 101 Dining Lounge & Bar (Seafood) $$$$
The hotel is far to reach, however, you could take a boat ride complimentary from their sister hotels in the Marina The Palace At One&Only Royal Mirage Dubai and Arabian Court At One&Only Royal Mirage Dubai
Hotel Class: 5
Location: The Palm
Address: West Crescent Palm Jumeirah
Hotel Style: Eclectic, Modern
Price Range: AED 764 – AED 2,130 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of Rooms: 350
In perfect W style, the W the palm is cool, stylish and just a bit too much of everything.
Launched earlier this year, the hotel promotes itself as a “destination”. It is in fact, more than a hotel, it’s a beach club which organizes great events like WAKE UP CALL a W Hotel music festival. And it’s also a foodie destination. The management has done amazing work to attract chefs of the caliber of Massimo Bottura, famous Italian 3-star Michelin Chef of Osteria Francescana, and Akira Back, Michelin Star Chef Akira Back the Korean-American superstar Chef of the homonymous restaurants around the world.
W The Palm is where the glistening Arabian Gulf’s curvaceous coastlines meet the stunning geometry of modern skyscrapers. W Dubai – The Palm is an extraordinary oasis remixing never-ending interpretations of music, fashion, design, and fuel from sunrise to sunset, non-stop. W Dubai – The Palm recently won the award of Leading Hotel Interiors at the Leaders in Hospitality Awards 2019.
W Dubai – The Palm offers some of Dubai’s best fine dining restaurants
- Akira Back (Japanese) $$$$
- Torno Subito Dubai by chef Massimo’s (Italian, Meditteranean) $$$$
- Voda Bar (Bar) $$
- SoBe Dubai (South American) $$
Hotel Class: 5
Address: Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard
Hotel Style: Great View, Luxury, Modern
Number of Rooms: 220
Towering high at 302m across 63 levels, Address Downtown is a veritable landmark of a luxury hotel, situated in the very center of Downtown Dubai. The hotel directly overlooks Burj Khalifa, offers uninterrupted views of the daily Dubai fountain show (the world’s tallest water-music spectacle) and is connected to The Dubai Mall (the world’s largest shopping mall) by a foot-bridge. A standard room features a dressing area with Hollywood mirrors and an L-shaped sofa seating area. The marble bathrooms are fitted with dual sinks, a bathtub, and a rain shower.
Make sure to check out the observation deck on the top of Burj Khalifa.
The hotel houses unique restaurant concepts, serving a variety of cuisines from Asian, European to local Middle Eastern specialties.
- Zeta Restaurant Lounge (Japanese, Fusion) $$$$
- Neos (Bar) $$$$ The hotel’s night lounge, Neos, is located on the 63rd floor and overlooks the ever-changing Dubai skyline and iconic Burj Khalifa.
- STK Downtown (Steakhouse) $$$$
Hotel Class: 5
Location: City Walk
Address: Al Multaqa Street
Hotel Style: Trendy
La Ville Hotel & Suites City Walk Dubai Autograph Collection is the perfect Dubai lodging if you want to feel like you’re in the city. Set directly at CITY WALK, an urban living destination in Dubai the distinctive low-rise hotel offers a relaxed vibe, with many surrounding restaurants and shops.
The hotel houses 4 restaurants:
- Grapeskin Grape Bar & Kitchen (Wine Bar, Quick Bites) $$$
- Graze Gastro Grill (Steakhouse, European) $$
- Chival (International) $$
- LookUp Rooftop Bar (Bar, International) $$
Hotel Class: 5
Location: Jumeira Bay Island
Address: Jumeira Bay Island Jumeira 2
Hotel Style: Trendy, Modern
Price Range: AED 1,660 – AED 6,377 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of Rooms: 121
Exclusively located on Jumeira Bay, The Bulgari Resort Dubai, features 101 rooms and suites, 20 exclusive pool villas, various signature dining options, a 1,7000 square-meter-meter Spa with indoor pool, a private beach, a Little Gems Club and the first world’s Bulgari Yacht Club and Marina.
The resort houses 6 restaurants:
Hoseki (Japanese) $$$$
Hōseki is a minimalist authentic Japanese cuisine created by Chef Masahiro Sugiyama. With just nine seats, dining at Hōseki is a unique Omakase experience. Located on the 4th floor of the Resort, Hōseki is open for lunch and dinner and reservations are required.
II Cafe (Italian, Meditteranean) $$
Open from morning to late night and featuring a large deck terrace overlooking the Marina, Il Café shines as a celebration of sculpted woods, Italian design, and natural sunlight. With its resort casual chic mood, it is the perfect spot to gather with friends and relax.
Il Ristorante – Niko Romito (Italian, Meditteranean) $$$$
Echoing the elegant design of the original Bvlgari Hotel Milano, Il Ristorante – Niko Romito at The Bvlgari Resort Dubai celebrates the rich heritage of Italy. Bvlgari Hotels and Resorts’ own Michelin starred Italian chef, Niko Romito, has curated a blend of modern and classical Italian concept exclusively for Il Ristorante, interpreting the exquisite flavors of Italy with modern simplicity.
Il Bar (Bar) $$$
The bar is shimmering against a panoramic backdrop of the seaside promenade, it celebrates some of the most sumptuous views of the Arabian Gulf.
La Spiaggia (International) $$
Enjoy a variety of international food and drinks during the day; while by night, the beach club glistens under the lanterns and candlelight and offers the perfect spot to enjoy the sea breeze.
Yacht Club Restaurant (Italian) $$$$
Settled on the end of the Marina, the world’s first Bvlgari Marina and Yacht Club overlooks a 46-boat harbor and recreates the charm of a Mediterranean atmosphere in the heart of the Gulf. Open for lunch and dinner, it features an Italian Restaurant specializing in fish conceived to offer its diners a timeless dining experience.
Hotel Class: 4
Location: Jumeirah Beach
Address: The Walk, Dubai Marina The Walk, Dubai Marina
Hotel Style: Modern, Family
Price Range: AED 529 – AED 1,906 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of Rooms: 109
For a more affordable option, the DoubleTree represents a good choice. Boasting a fantastic location on “The Walk” – a vibrant, waterfront promenade in Dubai, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai – Jumeirah Beach hotel is surrounded by cafes and restaurants and is close to business hubs including Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Media City, and Dubai Internet City.
Relax on the soft white sands of the hotel’s private beach, swim in the sparkling outdoor pool and enjoy cocktail or two.
DoubleTree by Hilton offers a great choice of restaurants including:
- The Maine Oyster Bar & Grill (Bar, Seafood, International) $$
- Gastro Kitchen (International) $$
- Al-Maeda (Lebanese, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern) $$
- Ramusake Dubai (Japanese) $$$$
- Copper Dog Dubai (Bar, British) $$
Hotel Class: 5
Location: Bluewaters Island
Address: Bluewaters Island
Hotel Style: Modern, Hip
Price Range: AED 874 – AED 5,818 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of Rooms: 194
Located on the lavish man-made island of Bluewaters and connecting to the iconic Jumeirah Beach, Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai presents all the signature elements of the Caesars Palace experience. Make sure to check out Ceasars Palace newly opened Cove Beach Club
Epic Dining at Ceasar Palace Bluewaters
- Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen Dubai (British) $$$$
- Roman Lounge (Cafe, International) $$$
- Zhen Wei Dim Sum & Pan Asian Cuisine (Asian, Chinese) $$
- Bacchanal (International, Buffet) $$
- Paru (Japanese) $$$$
- The Piazza Lobby Lounge (Lounge, Cafe, Afternoon Tea) $$$
- Havana Social Club (Bar, Cuban) $$$
Restaurants not to miss on the Bluewaters Island