5 reasons why Bvlgari Dubai is an opulent experience unlike any other
If you've heard Dubai isn't worth a stopover en route to Europe, then you've heard wrong. The United Arab Emirates' largest and most populous city has all the makings of a flashy getaway: stylish designer stores, gargantuan malls, and world-famous restaurants. While there's heaps to take in at any one time that would make your holiday fulfilling as such, there's also space for those who seek an all-encompassing relaxation pit-stop.
Dubai's luxury hotels are, for the most part, unrivalled. From the uniqueness of the Burj Al Arab to the charming One&Only The Palm Dubai, each residence is reason in itself to visit. But there's one in particular that caught our eye right from the start — Bvlgari Dubai, which opened its doors in December last year, and has been touted Dubai's most expensive hotel. This is where we'll begin exploring within the property, and where we'll leave the bustle of the city behind. For now, we're content staying indoors.
PRIVATE ISLAND CALLING
Now, there are hotels on islands, and there are hotels on its own isolated island. Bvlgari Dubai belongs to the latter, being the only hotel on the private, seahorse-shaped Jumeira Bay Island — and only a quick five-minute drive off the mainland. You know a place is massive when it's a workout getting around it (rest assured, there are buggy services at bay). The 1.4 million square-foot property is a first for the Italian luxury brand, both in terms of scale and magnitude. Featuring the resort, as well as six residential buildings of 173 sea-facing apartments, 15 private mansions, a beach club, and Bvlgari's first-ever marina and yacht club, it's a feat in itself navigating the island.
You could be forgiven for thinking you were on the Italian Riviera. Lounge by the custom-designed mosaic-patterned pool with a cocktail in hand, and watch as sophisticated guests waltz by. Hey, you could be one of them.
TALK ABOUT SPACIOUS
Contemporary luxury meets Italian elegance in the hotel's 101 stunning hotel rooms and 20 hotel villas. Boutique is definitely not the word to use at Bvlgari Dubai — even the superior rooms are generously-sized (at 55 square-metres) and lavished with breathtaking views of the Dubai skyline or Arabian Gulf. Designed by Antonio Cittero Patricia Viel, the designer behind Bulgari properties around the world, expect Italian designer furniture and furnishings from the likes of Flexform, Flos, and B&B, a unique feature "trunk" minibar, and a beautiful cashmere blanket on the bed so guests feel right at home. We recommend one with views of the ocean, because a languid bath in your sunken tub while watching the waves, is hard to beat.
Upgrade to one of the hotel's 20 standalone villas if you're seeking ultimate extravagance. Each comes with its own temperature-controlled swimming pool, private butler service and staff quarters, and a large living room furnished with a marble dining table. Intimate dinners within the confines of your own abode can be arranged.
Be sure to allocate me-time during your stay, as there's no more ideal time to do it than in this relaxing atmosphere. The superlative Bvlgari Spa was hands down one of my favourite parts of my stay — it's a chic, blissful haven that one would opt never to leave. Bring a book and ample time. Start off at the 25-metre indoor pool, flanked by elegant cream-coloured cabanas that allow you to shut off from the rest of the world. The Turkish-inspired hammam and bubbling vitality pool are also worth a go; my muscles were veritably loosened when I emerged. To round it all off, book in a spa treatment. Their signature journeys (ranging from two to five hours), massages, and La Mer facial treatments are nothing short of sublime.
FABULOUS FINE DINING
Here's another accolade Bvlgari Dubai have gleaned for themselves: Hōseki, their nine-seater Japanese restaurant, has already gained a reputation of being super exclusive. Meaning "gemstone" in Japanese, this omakase experience brings to each diner the freshest ingredients of the day and a uniquely one-of-a-kind meal.
If that doesn't quite strike your fancy, Il Ristorante by Michelin-starred chef Niko Romito, might. Hailing from the Italian region of Abruzzo, Chef Niko's dishes reflect the simplicity and flavour of southern Italy. Call for the lasagna; when presented, is unlike anything you've seen before. Wrapped in a delicately crisp pastry, the veal and tomato concoction sits beautifully in the middle and oozes out onto your plate when cut through. Finish off with a pot of peppermint tea, alongside a decadent slice of chocolate and raspberry cake. Our stomachs were suitably satisfied.
NO REQUEST IS TOO SMALL
At the end of the day, what we remember when leaving even the most amazing of places is the hotel's hospitality and service. From the airport transfer staff (who picked us up in a Maserati, no less) to the different waiters and receptionists we spoke to, there wasn't a single person at Bvlgari Dubai who wasn't ready to answer queries or lend a helping hand. Even without a private butler by my side, there was no lack of assistance or an affable smile when moseying along the hotel's grounds. I bid my farewells re-energised and with a genuine desire to return.
Click here to book a stay at Bvlgari Dubai.
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