One thing Dubai is becoming world-famous for is their ability to cater to the tourist market. So it’s not hard to fathom that some of the world’s best hotels are in Dubai. So let’s zoom in on this city in the UAE and explore some of the best hotels in Dubai.
The Best Hotels in Dubai
The famous pink facade and spade-shaped void down in the Bahamas is also in Dubai. The Atlantis Resort feels like an underwater world, especially the lobby, which is filled with giant marble pearls gyrating in bathtub-sized oyster shells, scaled columns, and mythical creature murals. But most eye-catching are the 3000 hand-blown pieces that make up Dale Chihuly’s glass sculpture, which erupts from the center of the lobby like a blue-green geyser crowned with a fiery top.
With more than 1,500 rooms, an aquarium and a packed water park that are free to guests, and a famous Friday brunch at Saffron, the Atlantis is a busy place. But there are also some great respites, like old school barber shops and a dive center that allows you to swim with the dolphins. Even kids can escape their parents in the dark club-like lounge that features movies and video games.
The coolest escape happens to be out of most people’s price range. At $8,500 a night, a discount from the more expensive Royal Bridge Suite that straddles that famous void, the Poseidon and Neptune Suites are the most incredible rooms I have ever seen in any hotel. Guests enter on the third floor and descend into a spacious family room that overlooks the top of the aquarium. But on the bottom level, the bedroom and bathroom look into the fish tank. While you’re laying in bed or sitting in your tub, you can watch stingrays, sharks, groupers, and other schools of fish swim by.
This room alone makes the Atlantis one of the best hotels in Dubai.
After seeing the Neptune Suite, everything else by comparison was pretty lackluster, even though it was an incredible resort. For dinner, I ate at their Lebanese restaurant, ordered the special, which included about twenty different cold and hot appetizers and a mixed grill, and watched a pair of belly dancers perform. The least expensive room at the Atlantis, however, is about $300 a night. This price includes the water park, aquarium, and possibly breakfast. While the waterpark’s lazy river is actually pretty exciting, with a series of rapids, the rest of the park is an exercise in waiting on lines and is really a waste of time.
You can’t enter the tallest hotel in the world without being shocked. Even the ceilings on the first floor are massive. While there are a few kitschy designs like pillows labeled B, A, R in the sports bar, there are enough incredible offerings to outweigh any of the cheesiness. The pool deck that sits between the two towers of the JW Marriott is peaceful even as the city expands around visitors. What’s more, they have the coolest contraption in smoking accessories: rubber hookahs that won’t break on the pool deck.
Except for the penthouses that only royalty or celebrities can afford, the rooms are rather small. But I guess many things appear small when you have such an expansive and impressive view of the city. The best view, however, is from the Vault bar on the 71st and 72nd floor, where you’re more than 1,000 feet above Dubai.
The highest you can dine is on the 68th floor at the appropriately named Prime 68 steak house. I had lunch at Kitchen 6, also apropos, for its six different kitchens that include Arabic, Indian, Italian, Asian, salad, and desert. Of all the buffets that I ate in Dubai, this one was best.
Attached to the racetrack that hosts the world’s richest horse race is the Meydan Hotel. While the hotel is beautiful inside, the real treat here is everything connected to the track and stables.
I got a chance to tour the stables, where horses that belong to the royal family and other Emirati elites reside. At the entrance to the white stables, Arabian horses, many of which have brown faces and a white patch at the center of their heads, stare out from red-shuttered stalls.
While I missed their morning workout–a one-hour trot, followed by a five minute swim in the horse pool, and then a thorough shampooing–I did have the opportunity to watch thirteen horses take their evening walk around the 150-meter loop behind the stables.
The track also runs a programs for youngsters, teaching them how to treat, feed, and care for these incredible creatures.
Burj Al Arab
While I didn’t get to visit this beachside hotel that has been dubbed a seven-star resort, I did get to snap a few photos during the sunset.
If you’re thinking about booking a stay at any of these hotels, please do so through these affiliate links for the Atlantis, JW Marriott, the Meydan, or other exceptional Dubai hotels. You’ll get the best deal.