There’s so little time and so much to do in the emirate… But if you need an excuse to branch out and explore different neighbourhoods, consider these Dubai hotels when it comes to picking where to dine, soak up the city views and rest your head.
1. Caesars Palace – Bluewaters Island
This Las Vegas favourite has now landed in the United Arab Emirates so if you can’t live out your The Hangover fantasies in Nevada itself, there’s always the desert of Dubai. Just like in Sin City you can indulge in treatments at Qua Spa. Instead of glimpsing the High Roller in Vegas you can take in the sights of the world’s largest observation wheel, Ain Dubai, which is also situated on this manmade island.
There are 12 dining spots to enjoy at the resort including Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen – another Vegas hotspot – and pools for days to really give true meaning to the name Bluewaters Island.
2. The Address – Dubai Marina
Attached to Dubai Marina Mall, this one’s a great choice for retail therapy lovers who want to be right next to the biggest brands from across the world, all under one roof. Think of all your favorite European and American brands, sprinkle it with some local flavor and you get the idea. The hotel is just one of many of the same name dotted around the emirate. The one in the Marina neighborhood is the home of Shades, a serene pool lounge popular for sundowners, and the international restaurant, Ruth’s Chris Steak House which is loved by the Kardashians. Stay here and the cherry on top is gorgeous views of the water. Just dropping by is easy too as the Marina Mall tram stops right outside the hotel.
3. Atlantis, The Palm – Palm Jumeirah
Located at the centre of the crescent of The Palm – a manmade island shaped like a palm tree – this ocean-themed resort is noticeable from all around Dubai. The site features a variety of marine and entertainment attractions, as well as Aquaventure Waterpark. It’s home to one of the largest open-air marine habitats in the world, with over 65,000 animals in lagoons at the Lost Chambers Aquarium. Once you’ve worked up an appetite swimming with dolphins and gazing at sea lions, book a meal at Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen & Bar or Nobu. In fact, with so many tourists lining outside to get pictures of the magnificent structure, a dining booking is one of your best bets for getting up close.
4. TRYP by Wyndham – Barsha Heights
While Barsha Heights isn’t in a particularly touristy area, the residential neighbourhood is where you’ll find this city of expats winds down with a spot fo karaoke at Lucky Voice or continues the party in casual style post-brunch. For that reason, the area is a bit of a secret spot for when it comes to booking more affordable hotel stays. TRYP by Wyndham’s claim to fame has to Barbary Deli + Cocktail Club, a dark and sultry restaurant and bar, that attracts celebrity guests. With it going against the grain in the conservative city and playing sexy movies on-screen, it’s no wonder people are flocking to experience it. For a more family-friendly experience take to the terrace when the weather allows.
5. Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai – DIFC
Another global brand in Dubai, this hotel puts you in the heart of the Financial District as its appeal is heightened by the offering at ikandy ultralounge. For unobstructed views of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, head to the stunning rooftop poolside terrace accessible from the Sheikh Zayed Road, which runs through Dubai to Abu Dhabi. It’s Vietnamese restaurant Hoi An is also regarded as one of the nest South East Asian spots in Dubai.
6. La Ville Hotel & Suites – City Walk Dubai
The contemporary 5-star hotel is right on City Walk, an outdoor stretch of shops that are popular with the locals. The area is especially pretty when lit up at night and it makes for a much cooler stroll down the shiny pavements lined with eateries such as Sugar Factory when the sun goes down. Staying at La Ville also means good proximity to Green Planet, and indoor jungle filled with birds, spiders (in cases of course) and even cute sloths.
That’s if you can bear to leave the hotel which creates a chilled out vibe with its live music offering in the courtyard, and poolside brunch.
7. Palazzo Versace Dubai – Culture Village
Reminiscent of a 16th century Italian Palace, there’s no mistaking you’re at Palazzo Versace Dubai with a striking entrance that features the designer brand’s logo on the lobby floor. They take Italian furnishings to the extreme with an entire restaurant that will remind you THAT Jennifer Lopez Grammys dress. Yes, the walls and chairs at Giardino are botanical print and every piece of furniture and fabric in the 215 hotel rooms and suites are designed and tailor-made by Versace exclusively for the hotel.
Less than 15 minutes away from Dubai International Airport and located along the shores of the historic Dubai Creek, it’s also the setting of Quincy Jones’ first jazz club and a restaurant named Enigma which changes its concept seasonally.
8. QE2 – Mina Rashid
Ever wanted to go on a cruise but not sure you could commit with being stuck on the water? This is a happy medium with the Queen Elizabeth ship named the QE2 finding a home in Dubai. The QE2 completed 1,400 voyages, sailed 6 million nautical miles and hosted almost 2.5 million passengers. After completing 25 tours around the world in 39 years, now Dubai visitors can sleep in a cabin but don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere. So you can pretend to be Jack and Rose on the Titanic without any feelings of dread.
9. Lapita – Jebel Ali
Theme park fans only need to consider one place to stay when in Dubai. Lapita is located right by Dubai Parks and Resorts which is collectively the world’s largest theme park. Comprised of Legoland Dubai, Legoland Waterpark, Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks and linked together by Riverland, you only need to walk or hop on a buggy between your bed and all the rides. The Polynesian-themed accommodation is catered for kids to have a great time but adults are well taken care of in the various restaurants, bars and in the spa.