Wednesday newsletters always feature a hotel or flight review.
I recently enjoyed a wonderful long weekend in Dubai. You can read my trip reports here:
- Review: Emirates Boeing 777-300ER new Business Class Brussels to Dubai
- Review: Armani Hotel Dubai (today)
- Review: PHENOMENAL Six Senses Zighy Bay (Oman)
- Review: Emirates Boeing 777-300ER new First Class Dubai to Brussels
Today (December 5, 2018): Review of Armani Hotel Dubai (United Arab Emirates).
- Location: Google maps
- Hotel website: Armani Hotel Dubai
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso
Embodying beauty, elegance and grace, Armani Hotel Dubai defines superior service, immaculate design and incomparable luxury. The hotel is a part of a mixed use development consisting of 160 rooms and 144 residences. The hotel is up to the 8th floor and then 38th and 39th floors and the residences occupy levels 9 to 16 of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper. Inside the 160 rooms and suites, sophisticated colors, clean lines and unique textures blend together seamlessly with the tower’s stunning architecture and natural light to create an atmosphere of calm serenity where guests can retreat into a world of minimalist elegance. Armani Dubai also features a world-class spa and several excellent restaurants, including Armani Ristorante which is recognized as one of the best restaurants in the city.
Armani Hotel Dubai features in my top 10 lists of the best hotels in Dubai and the world’s best city hotels.
In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- Armani Hotel Dubai occupies the first 8 floors and levels 38 and 39 of the world’s tallest skyscraper, Burj Kalifa. Inaugurated in 2012, Burj Khalifa has a total height (excluding its antenna) of 828 m (2,717 ft). The building was originally named Burj Dubai but was renamed in honour of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and the president of the United Arab Emirates, after he lent money to the Dubai developers, who ran into financial issues during the construction of the tower. The design for the 162-story tower is inspired by the geometries of a regional desert flower and the patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture. As the tower rises from a Y-shaped tripartite base, setbacks occur in an upward spiraling pattern, reducing the building’s mass as it reaches skyward. The centerpiece of a large mixed-use development, the Burj Khalifa contains offices, retail space, residential units, and the Armani hotel.
- Surrounded by green spaces, water features, and pedestrian-friendly boulevards, the 5-star hotel enjoys the best location in Downtown Dubai to explore some of the city’s most famous attractions. This includes direct access to the Dubai Mall, which is the second largest shopping mall in the world and the most visited building on the planet (more than 80 million visitors in 2017). The Dubai mall houses 22 cinema screens, 120 restaurants and cafes, more than 1200 shops, the world’s largest indoor aquarium & underwater zoo, an ice rink, and the entrance to the view decks of Burj Khalifa. Both the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa surround a manmade lake, where you can enjoy every hour (in the afternoon and evening) the world’s largest choreographed fountain system, shooting water up to 500 ft (152.4 m). Some of the hotel’s rooms offer an unparalleled view of the hourly spectacle.
- Armani Hotel Dubai is one of only two Armani branded hotels in the world, the other one – of course – being in Milan, the home base of world-famous fashion designer Giorgio Armani. Armani oversaw all aspects of the Dubai hotel’s design and style, from elegant fabrics draping the walls to the Eramosa marble and Japanese tatami wooden floors. The hotel’s couture quality aesthetics and discreet minimal opulence reflect Armani’s signature palette of dark greys and neutrals, creating a serene and chic ambiance. Nowhere is this more evident than in the majestic ground-floor lobby: nestled between three glass pavilions at the base of the tower, this symmetric space reveals a cool, almost obscure ambience dominated by a tubular arch construction overhead. The lobby also flanks a beautiful double-volume wall of jewelry displays, leading toward Armani gift stores which feature fashion, jewelry, chocolate, flowers and more.
- The ultra-stylish guest corridors, with their zebra paneled wood, are trimmed with LED cove lighting at the base for a sleek look resembling a spaceship-alike catwalk as you make your way to the accommodations. The 160 rooms and suites come in 11 different categories, and are all completely outfitted in Armani Casa furnishings with earthly tones and textured fabrics the designer is known for. During my visit, I was upgraded (thanks to Virtuoso) to a magnificent Armani Fountain Suite with a separate living and sleeping area, both featuring floor-to-ceiling windows with unhindered views of the famous Dubai fountains. Offering a haven of Armani signature luxury, the room featured state-of-the-art technology, with an iPad that controlled the 40-inch LCD flat-screenTV, lighting, blinds, and the room audio (as soon as the jets of water of the Dubai fountains began, the music played straight out of the TV). The bathroom’s massive rain shower, limestone flooring, Armani monogramed plush white bath robes and deliciously scented, pebble shaped soaps added to the glamour. The minibar was stocked with complimentary cold drinks.
- The Armani Hotel Dubai is one of the city’s hotspots for dining. It features five restaurants, offering a taste of Japan, India, Italy and the Mediterranean:
- Armani/Ristorante is the hotel’s flagship dining venue, a modern Milanese style restaurant offering Italian cuisine in open spaces and private rooms surrounded by exquisite selections of the finest wine.
- Armani/Mediterraneo, elegant in its subdued tones and rich textures, is the hotel’s casual restaurant, offering buffet dining throughout the day. Each morning, it’s also the scene of a lavish and very well presented breakfast buffet.
- Armani/Hashi offers an innovative interpretation of Japanese cuisine (with the freshest fish and artful sushi and sashimi expertly paired with hand-selected beverages) in a vibrant setting overlooking the iconic Dubai Fountain.
- Armani/Amal is the hotel’s Indian restaurant located on the third floor. Interpreted as a sepia reflecting restrained forms and touches of deep colors, the venue offers a culinary road trip to India, with exotic curries, tandoor specialties, and fragrant side dishes.
- Armani/Deli is modeled after an Italian inspired gourmet market, offering everything from a simple snack and homemade pasta to daily changing menus and an indulgent Friday brunch.
- Reflecting Armani’s lifestyle, interior design, and wellness ethos, the 14,000-square-foot Armani/Spa on the third floor creates an environment where guests can rewind, refresh and reinvigorate both their body and mind. The spa features gender-segregated, Arabic thermal areas with saunas, dry-heat laconiums and steam rooms, in addition to relaxation lounges and several plush, oval-shaped treatment rooms with adjustable massage tables. Skincuticles and Georgio Armani branded products are used for the treatments, specially prepared for the Armani/Spa by L’Oréal.
- The spa also offers access to an outdoor deck, which features a bar, two rows of very comfortable sun loungers and an arrow-shaped pool that wraps around one the building’s corners, hereby offering a stunning perspective of the glittering spine of the Burj Khalifa. It’s neither the largest nor the most spectacular pool in Dubai, but the way the design manages to both conform to and reflect the leaf-like curves of the Burj Khalifa in which it is housed is certainly impressive. There is another pool in Burj Khalifa that’s worth checking out, too. Perched on the 76th floor and part of the Armani Residences (not the hotel), it is the second-highest swimming pool in the world and offers excellent views of almost the whole of Dubai.
- What really sets this hotel apart is the “warm, Italian-style service, providing guests with a “home-away-from-home” experience. Every guest is assigned a Lifestyle Manager, or personal butler-concierge, who handles everything from arranging childcare to booking of the hottest restaurant tables in the city. The young staff at his hotel is clearly very well-selected and well-trained. They make you feel welcome in a way that seems more genuine and relatable than at other hotels.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
With its impressive design, world-class facilities, and spacious rooms, Armani Hotel Dubai is one of the city’s most exclusive addresses, housed in the world’s tallest tower. Yet, the property does have a few minor issues that you need to know before considering a stay here:
- The views from the hotel are not as extraordinary as they could have been, since most of the rooms are on the tower’s eight lower floors, which means you can still actually see the ground. If a view is what you are after, make sure to book one of the hotel’s Signature Suites or the Armani Suite, which occupy the hotel’s exclusive 38th and 39th floors.
- The spa and all its facilities are accessible by non-hotel guests, who can make use of the pool, gym, rain-shower, sauna and steam rooms. Although the clientele and vibe is chic and upscale, some guests may not like fact that they have to mix with non-guests on the pool deck.
- Although the pool deck is very nice, the pool itself is quite small for a hotel of this size. Also, loud music is played all day long on the pool deck, which is at odds with the hotel’s overall tranquil ambience and has the potential to disrupt your state of mental relaxation (I believe though the music is played to mask Dubai’s ever-present soundtrack of construction).
- Armani Hotel Dubai is a downtown hotel, not a beach resort. If you don’t know that before going in, then you haven’t done your homework very well. The hotel is perfectly located to explore some of Dubai’s main tourist attractions, but if you’re looking to relax on a beach, then you should stay at another hotel.
- The room windows can be quite dirty (due to frequent dust and sand storms), which can lead to poor visibility, making it difficult to take pictures through the windows.
- It’s not cheap to stay at Georgio Armani’s Dubai outlet, with rooms normally starting at around $600 USD per night and suites can cost many times that. And that’s not even taking into account the pricey spa treatments and restaurant meals. That said, I found the accommodation rates to be in line with what you would expect at a 5-star Dubai hotel. And you can always save some money by booking via Virtuoso, which entitles you to complimentary daily breakfast, one lunch or dinner, and a small spa credit.
- Location: 9/10
- Design: 10/10
- Pool: 8/10
- Rooms: 9/10
- Food: 8/10
- Breakfast: 9/10
- Spa: 8/10
- Service: 9/10
- Value for money: 10/10
- Overall experience: very good: 8,8/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a property like Armani Hotel Dubai (and/or receive many free perks).
- Save money: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, one complimentary lunch or dinner at Armani/Mediterraneo for two, and $35 USD spa credit).
- Room tip: the rooms and suites with the best view are located on the Burj Khalifa’s fountain side. The hotel’s Signature Suites and the Armani Suite, which occupy the hotel’s exclusive 38th and 39th floors, have the best panoramic vistas.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Dubai’s high season – November to March – offers balmy temperatures and mostly sunny days. This is the best time to participate to outdoor activities or simply relax on the pool deck. May to September can be uncomfortably hot, but if you can tolerate the heat and humidity, you can save hundreds of dollars as this is low season.
HOW TO GET THERE
Armani Hotel Dubai is located a 20 minute drive from Dubai International Airport (DXB), which is served by most major airlines. Check the Wikipedia page of Dubai International Airport for an updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Dubai.
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