Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

Bulgari Resort Dubai

Dubai

A slice of exceptional Italian style and sophistication in the Arabian Gulf.

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Bulgari Resort Dubai
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Bulgari Resort Dubai

Location

The hotel is found on the manmade Jumeira Bay, an island carved into the shape of a seahorse. It’s about a 10 minute drive from downtown.

Travel Information

It’s a 25 minute taxi from Dubai International Airport.

Top Tips

Hop into one of the hotel’s fleet of Maseratis to visit local sights. City attractions such as the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall are just 10 minutes drive away.

5-Star X-Factors

The seclusion and tranquility that is sometimes so hard to find in Dubai.

Bulgari Dubai

Chic and ultra luxe yet low key and understated, this is what the city has been crying out for. It’s no surprise, then, that this new opening is already being heralded as one of the best new hotels in the world.

Over 100 years ago, pearl fishers harvested natural pearls from the crystal clear waters of the Arabian Gulf. It’s fitting, then, that the legendary Italian jeweller, Bulgari, would situate its latest luxury offering on the reclaimed land that protrudes into these azure shallows.

Seclusion on a seahorse

Crossing the 300 metre bridge over sparkling blue waters to reach Bulgari’s own seahorse-shaped island in Dubai’s Jumeria Bay, it’s clear we’ve left the hubbub and skyscrapers of city life behind. The action is there if we want it - a 10 minute drive back to the main sights and eateries - but here, in this new addition to Bulgari’s already exceptional collection of hotels, is Dubai but not as we know it. We arrive at a low slung Mediterranean village - such was the vision of the Milan-based architects who designed this, and all other Bulgari properties.

Elegant leather, marble and bronze feature heavily; a blend of contemporary Italian and traditional Middle Eastern design. Throughout the property, a coral-like latticework is a recurring motif, filtering the sunlight and emulating the shade-giving Middle Eastern fretwork synonymous with the area.

Entering the lobby, we are surrounded by glimmering water and bright white sand - the hotel separates two bays - one with a private beach, pool and villas; the other home to Bulgari’s first yacht club and 50 berth marina.

Cityscapes

As we wander along lushly planted paths to our room, we remark how utterly tranquil this spot is - a true urban oasis. Opening the door to our suite, we’re immediately stunned by the view through our floor to ceiling windows, that stretch from the living room, to the bedroom and bathroom. The twinkling skyline of the city captivates on one side, and the translucent sea waters lap on a palm-fringed sandy beach on the other. It’s a moving tableau that is best enjoyed from the deep soaking bath tub, that faces onto the view.

All rooms have a huge private balcony, with the comfiest of day beds, sofas and a dining tables. Inside, it’s a sophisticated palette of taupes and greys; cashmere, and high thread count linen. A focal point is the beautiful minibar, hidden inside a vintage leather trunk, and stocked with endless treats.

Bulgari villas

There are 20 Bulgari villas, each with personal butler service. For the utmost in luxury, I suggest splashing out on the 540 sqm Bulgari villa, the biggest on the property. With views over the beach, a spectacular oval pool, large garden, home cinema, indoor jacuzzi and hammam, you really would never need to leave - it’s your own private palace.

Venturing out to swim in the warm shallows of the sea is a must, though. The cabana-lined outdoor pool faces onto beach, and onto La Spiaggia, the smart poolside club. We order a cocktail and some light bites (try the Wagyu beef burgers) and recline between the billowing curtains of our super king shoreside day beds, listening only to the sound of bird song and waves.

Spa retreat

As the desert heat starts to climb, the sleek and sophisticated Bulgari spa is the ultimate cooling retreat, and a true showstopper. Here we find a vast fitness suite; hammam and even an authentic Italian barbershop. The best spa therapists are recruited from across the globe to offer supreme service, and my Balinese massage leaves me floating for the rest of the day. And while every element stuns, it is perhaps the indoor pool, lined with a mosaic of real gold tiles, overlooking the sea, that is the piece de resistance.

Marina dining

As the evening approaches, we are spoilt with an abundance of dining options. The Yacht Club restaurant, overlooking the harbour, serves up the best seafood tower we have ever ordered, while we watch the boats come and go, bobbing on the inky water.

Il Ristorante, by three Michelin-starred Niko Romito sits across the water, enjoying the same view. This is smart Italian fare, with an unmissable house risotto and an equally unmissable wine list.

For immersive Japanese dining, take one of just nine seats at Hosechi, and enjoy a unique Omasake experience overlooking the city skyline. Ingredients are imported fresh from Japan. Bookings required.

The cicadas chirp as we walk back to our room and sink onto our balcony’s loungers. The city skyline is alive, flashing red, then white, then green; the tip of the Burj Khalifa glows in the distance. Yet here, on this beautiful private island, that all seems a world away. Here I’ve found the Dubai for me.

Holly Rubenstein
Holly Rubenstein


Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer