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First impression Design envy.
Food & drinks Michelin-star exciting.
Bed & bath Marble-clad and dreamy.
The crowd Sleek and well-groomed.
In a nutshell If you are ever in need of some superlative sparkle, is the place to be.
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Set the scene
For those of a philosophical disposition: an exquisite inquiry into the possibilities of traditional Middle Eastern architecture in the most hi-tech and post-modern city on earth. For those of a more unquestioningly sybaritic nature, nothing but a textbook exercise in pure pleasure under constant sun.
What’s the story?
The fifth addition to the Bulgari Hotels & Resorts portfolio, a small global collection that began with Milan in 2004 and includes Bali, London and Beijing. Like all the hotels, the Dubai one was designed by Italian-based Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel with the same perfection as the brand’s jewellery. The low-slung architecture makes a pleasing contrast to the city’s glass-fronted skyscrapers, and the marble façade is defined by coral-like layers that filter dappled sunlight.
What can we expect in our room?
Low-key luxe, dressed in an almost all-Italian catalogue of furnishings – B&B Italia, Flexform, Flos and Maxalto – in an oatmeal and oak palette amplified by rich woven textures and natural fibres, such as the cashmere blanket by Enzo degli Angiuoni and wild wool Beni Ourain rugs from Morocco. Natural stone defines the bathrooms, while a spacious walk-in wardrobe and a leather-clad mini bar in the shape of a vintage trunk suitcase ups the luxe factor. The tech is user-friendly with the main panel hidden inside the bedside table.
How about the food and drink?
The six bars and restaurants include one by Italian chef Niko Romito, for excellent veal Milanese; breakfast is included and served in the all-day Il Café restaurant, while lunch can be enjoyed poolside at La Spiaggia (hotdogs and chicken burgers). Order a cocktail from the oval Bvlgari Bar before heading to Hōseki Restaurant for an intimate omakase experience.
Anything to say about the service?
Unobtrusive, intuitive and efficient, from housekeeping to the restaurants. Check-in is personal and speedy, meaning you can get to the pool or the spa in record time.
What sort of person stays here?
Understated Italian minimalism meets ramped-up extravagance. A chichi, high-rolling tribe who are at ease on a yacht, or poolside at a yacht club in chinos, loafers, swimwear and oversized sunglasses, listening to Berlin minimal techno with a bit of DJ Khaled thrown in.
What’s the neighbourhood scene like?
This is set on its own private island, but on the other side of the bridge everything is at your fingertips.
Anything else we should know?
There’s a marina and yacht club, a first for the hotel brand and for Dubai. The jewel in the crown is the 25-metre indoor pool, with giddying ocean and city views, backed by a Vitality Pool lined with shimmering green and real gold mosaic tiles.
Is it worth it – why?
Dubai is not short of hotels, but what sets this one apart (besides its peaceful location) is it’s set in an understated, low-rise building with thrilling views of the city’s skyline. By Lauren Ho
Address: Bulgari Resort Dubai, Jumeira Bay Island, Jumeira 2, Dubai, UAE
Telephone: + 971 4 777 5555
Wifi: Free high-speed Wi-Fi
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This hotel is one of our favourite in the world, and included in our Gold List 2019. Discover more of the best hotels in the world 2019 now.
The 78 best hotels in the world: the Gold List 2019