Dubai’s ten best hotels

Dubai’s ten best hotels

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Long term Dubai resident Robert Lyndhurst offers his advice on where to stay in the burgeoning emirate

1. Madinat Jumeirah

Assuming you’re not rich or important enough to stay in Burj Al Arab, this 867-room resort is arguably the best place to stay in Dubai right now, targetting everyone from recharging executives to holidaying families. Corporates can cocoon themselves in the luxury beachfront Dar Al Masyaf Villas, while Mina A Salam and Al Qasr hotels combine luxury and Arabian touches enough to make you feel you’re away from home. There are more than 20 restaurants to cater for every taste, a meandering souk for shopping and on site theatre, and it’s close to the emerging “new Dubai” district.
Overall rating: 9/10
Madinat Jumeirah, double room Dhs 2900 (£444) plus 20 per cent tax, www.madinatjumeirah.com, tel. 971 4 3668888

2. Park Hyatt Dubai

Less than a year old, the Hyatt’s first premium branded property in the Middle East doesn’t disappoint. Although it’s only five minutes from the airport in the heart of the city, you can hear a pin drop. The panoramic Arabian-meets-African design is a refreshing change in skyscraper-ridden Dubai and it overlooks the Creek on one side and 18-hole Creek Golf Club on the other. The rooms are spacious and there are eight “spa rooms” if it’s too much effort to walk to the spa. A smattering of quality eateries cement the upmarket feel.
Overall rating: 9/10
Park Hyatt Dubai, single room Dhs 1250 (£191) plus 20 per cent tax, doubles Dhs 1400 (£214) plus 20 per cent, www.hyatt.com, tel. 971 4 6021234

3. Emirates Towers Hotel

This hotel still manages to retain its classy feel even though it’s no longer the new kid on the tower block. The Sheikh Zayed Road icon is perennially popular with business travellers who warm to its consistently good service, restaurants and design. Despite the city’s increasing traffic problems, you’re only a short drive from the airport and a half-hour from Jumeirah, making journeys east and west bearable.
Overall rating: 8/10
Emirates Towers Hotel Dubai, Deluxe double Dhs 1800 (£276) plus 20 per cent, www.jumeirah.com, tel. 971 4 3300000

4. The Ritz-Carlton Dubai

The Ritz would probably be at the top of the hotel tree in Dubai were it not for the encroaching Jumeirah Beach Residence development which has played havoc with its access and changed its previously idyllic character. Once inside though, you’re a world away from the cranes this is tranquil European stylish dining and reclining at its best. The Sheraton and Marriott are currently investing millions in their beds, but they still have a way to go before they beat the Ritz. If you find it hard to leave the kingsize bed behind, you can take one with you for Dhs6,775 (£1,026).
Overall rating: 8/10
The Ritz Carlton Dubai, AED 3,300 (incl taxes) (£505), www.ritzcarlton.com, tel. 971 4 3994000

5. Grosvenor House Dubai

This 45-storey upscale newcomer in Dubai Marina is chic even by the city’s extravagant standards. Nip to the top (Bar 44) for a cocktail and check out the grandiose Buddha Bar on the ground floor, which isn’t so much a bar as a glassy cathedral to consumerism. You won’t see any shellsuits checking in here; perfect for discerning singles or couples.
Overall rating: 8/10
Grosvenor House, Deluxe standard from Dhs 1150 (£176) plus 20 per cent, www.lemeredien.com, tel. 971 4 3998888

6. Le Meridien Mina Seyahi

Not perhaps the most striking of all Dubai hotels, but for all-round affordability and family fun it still takes some beating. The hotel backs right out onto a stunning lawn/pool area, with the sea behind, and the two outside outlets – established Barasti and newcomer Bussola – are ideal for drinks and dinner. Whether by choice or accident, it now finds itself in the heart of ‘new Dubai’ and will continue to do well with overseas visitors. The sister Meridien hotel by the airport is good for those on in-and-out business and has a 15-strong restaurant scene which takes some beating.
Overall rating: 7/10
Le Meredien Mina Seyahi, Deluxe sea view Dhs 1600 (£245) plus 20 per cent, landview Dhs1500 (£230) plus 20 per cent, www.lemeredien-minaseyahi.com, tel. 971 4 3993333

7. Dubai Marine Beach Resort

Much like the Park Hyatt, the Dubai Marine Beach Resort scores well on location. A peaceful oasis in the heart of the city, opposite the Jumeirah Mosque, this low-level resort is the perfect place to unwind and it’s one of the few resorts where you can see a gentle tide lap the beach. Plenty of eating options line the hotel’s exterior at the back, although the quiet image can turn 360 degrees later on, when the popular Boudoir and Alamo Mexican bar/restaurant draw in the thirsty expats.
Overall rating: 7/10
Dubai Marine Beach Resort, from Dhs 1116 (£171) single (incl tax), www.dxbmarine.com, tel. 971 4 3461111

8. Shangri-La Dubai

Among the towering newcomers on Sheikh Zayed Road, the Shangri-La is strong on Asian restaurants, as you’d expect, and the cosey pool area is among the best in the city. Again, one for business travellers more than families.
Overall rating: 7/10
Shangri-La Dubai Dhs 1600 (£245) plus 20 per cent double room, www.shangri-la.com, tel. 971 4 3438888

9. Sheraton Dubai Creek

This refurbished hotel boasts an attractive water-side location, but it is let down by the surrounding Deira traffic. Manages to cater for corporates and holidaymakers alike. Book a table on the Vivaldi restaurant terrace during winter and soak up the view.
Overall rating: 6/10
Sheraton Dubai Creek, double occupancy from Dhs 785 (£120) plus 20 per cent, www.sheraton.com, tel. 971 4 2281111

10. JW Marriott Dubai

Definitely one for ‘foodies’, this 351-room hotel has a plethora of quality venues. The JW Steakhouse and the Asian Bamboo Lagoon, with its bridge over a trickling water feature, are among the favourites. The hotel recently opened seven executive business suites on its Executive Floor. Although close to the airport, its congested location is the main drawback.
Overall rating: 6/10
JW Marriott Dubai, from Dhs 1000 (£153) plus 20 per cent single occupancy, for doubles add Dhs 100 (£15), www.marriott.com, tel. 971 4 2622600

Source: Times Online