You won’t have to walk far to find a luxurious world class hotel in the UAE, the country is full of them. As a result, we have produced our bucket list hotels throughout the UAE that we have stayed in the past, or we wish to stay in the future and why we chose them.
1. Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa
Although we have not stayed here it is definitely on our bucket list. If you want to experience the ‘real’ UAE with sand dunes and a stunning desert landscape this is the perfect resort. Whilst it is secluded, you will most likely encounter wild Arabian Onyx and Gazelles grazing around the resort. Two complimentary desert activities every day are also included in your stay. It is also one of the highest rated resort throughout the whole UAE!
2. One&Only Royal Mirage
Emma has stayed at this stunning Arabic designed One&Only hotel back in 2014, and absolutely adored it. Situated just off the Palm with stunning views of it from its own private beach is unbeatable. Walking along the beach you also have great views of Dubai Marina and its many impressively designed skyscrapers. We would say it is one of the best located hotels in Dubai due to the surrounding views. For food lovers, there are also 8 different restaurants with a range of gourmet dishes from around the world. The hotel itself is separated into three distinct environments, The Palace, Arabian Court and Residence & Spa, each with unique rooms. During low season, you can find great deals on this hotel, so keep an eye out if you are wanting to visit Dubai around summer.
3. Burj Al Arab
Probably the most iconic hotel in Dubai. It is famous for supposedly being the only 7* hotel in the world. Set on its own island overlooking the Palm, it is also the worlds fourth tallest hotel, so expect to have great views of Dubai from your hotel room! However, to live up to these standards it is one of the worlds most expensive hotels to stay in. The cost of staying in a suite begins at USD$1,000 per night and increases to over USD$15,000 per night; the Royal Suite is the most expensive, at USD$28,000 per night. Even though the average traveller could never justify spending this much on a hotel. It is definitely worthy of our list, as who wouldn’t want to stay there?!
4. Atlantis the Palm
Another iconic hotel, famous for being the first hotel built on the Palm. Situated at the very end of the Palm with views over the Arabian Gulf, it is impressive to say the least. It is BIG with 1,539 rooms, so don’t expect a secluded stay whilst here. The resort has an underwater aquarium, opportunities to swim with dolphins and complimentary access to the Aquaventure water park and the Lost Chambers Aquarium. Not to mention, it is also rated the best valued hotel in Dubai, for what you get!
Located in the eastern crescent of Dubai’s man-made Palm Jumeirah harbour islands. This sophisticated, Thai-themed hotel has individual villas set around a lagoon-style swimming pool. Its large swimming pool is fringed by a beautiful white sandy beach, and the resort provides a wide range of eating options. Lit up at night, The Anantara has to be one of the prettiest resorts in Dubai. Even if it is as far from traditional Arabesque architecture as you can get. For what you get, the resort offers fairly good value for money, with rooms starting at around USD$460 a night. But do check during low season as prices may be lower.
6. Waldorf Astoria the Palm
Yannick has stayed at this beautiful resort on the Palm. It is located right next to the Anantara. And we love it for the value you can get out of it. Especially if you own Gold status with Hilton, you’ll be able to get their amazing suites for as much as you pay for basic rooms in the surrounding places. So yea, this is actually a somewhat affordable hotel on the palm. And the room design is amazing, probably one of the most modern in the world. The whole hotel is made of white marble, which you’ll also find in the rooms, especially the huge bathrooms.
1. Jumeriah at Etihad Towers
The Etihad Towers is currently the top rated Abu Dhabi property on TripAdvisor, thousands of people cannot be wrong in loving this hotel. Emirates Towers is a mixed use office, condominium and hotel. It includes a luxury shopping mall, should you feel the need to visit Hermes, Tom Ford or even Waitrose during your stay. It also has a fairly good beach situated right next to it.
2. Zaya Nurai Island
This fairly new island resort is honestly pure luxury. Previously a small, uninhabited natural island close on the coast of Abu Dhabi. It offers well-equipped beach villas, private pools, excellent service, and a wide choice of restaurants and boat transfers, near Saadiyat Island. The island has been developed as both an upscale resort and an exclusive real estate development. The resort is mostly clustered on the north-eastern side of the island, where 32 one bedroom villas line a crescent-shaped beach. Due to the limited hotel rooms you are guaranteed privacy and relaxation, whilst only being a 10 minute speedboat ride from downtown Abu Dhabi.
Another stunning island resort. However, it is slightly different to any other resort throughout the UAE. The Anantara resort is a small collection of villas surrounded by an Arabian Wildlife Park. Which is home to thousands of free-roaming animals including Arabian oryx, sand gazelle, Arabian (mountain) gazelle. As well as larger animals such as cheetah and hyena (the resort is fenced from dangerous animals). The resort feels like you are more in Africa than in the UAE, especially during sunset overlooking the savannah and surrounding landscape.
4. Yas Viceroy
Iconically designed, and a hotel honourably on our bucket list. In addition, we has previously stayed here and loved every minute of it. If you’re a fan of the Formula 1 you will have most likely seen this hotel during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Especially after dark it transforms into what looks more like a space ship than anything else. Literally every part of this very special hotel has been thoughtfully designed so you’ll be amazed wherever you look. There are two rooftop pools, one of them with a bar, with great mood lighting all around. And best of all – go during the very hot summer months and you’ll be able to snag a room here from as low as 80USD or even one of their amazing suites with wraparound balconies and panoramic track and marina views for under 200 USD. But do your wallet a favour and don’t go for the Formula 1 weekend – prices will be starting at a few thousand dollars per night even for the basic rooms!
Ras Al Khaimah
1. Banyan Tree Al Wadi
If you’re looking for somewhere to relax, unwind and switch off from the world and enjoy total isolation for a few days then the Banyan Tree Al Wadi is the place for you. Located in Ras Al Khaimah, the UAEs northern most emirate. The Bayan Tree group is synonymous with luxury and relaxation but also sustainability of the environment and the surroundings of where their resorts are located. It is the UAEs first desert resort and spa to offer an all-pool villa concept with a dedicated nature reserve, including Arabian Gazelle and Oryx. For golf lovers you also have access to Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach and eighteen-hole championship golf course at Al Hamra Golf Club.
2. Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach
And last but certainly not least is this great beach resort. Also by the Banyan Tree hotel group. Stretched along a private white sandy beach and fringed with desert greenery, the resort is an impressive illustration of love twined with adventure. Again like the desert resort, this is an all pool villa resort capturing the magic of personalised dwellings in the shape and form of traditional tents. The Spa is not on site, but it is located just 20 minutes away by complimentary shuttle. It is actually the Banyan Tree Al Wadi Spa and the facilities are impeccable. As it is not in the main cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, during low season you may be able to grab a great deal on this hotel, so keep an eye out!
Do you have any further questions, additional hotels you think we missed, or you just enjoyed and found this guide useful? If so, do not hesitate to comment below on your thoughts! We love hearing from you guys! 🙂 Happy Travels!
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