When you combine the elegance and style of the Armani brand with the wealth and ambition of Dubai, the end result is a truly spectacular hotel.
If I had to give an award for sexiest hotel, Armani Hotel in Dubai would get it. I guess it is pretty unsurprising that Giorgio Armani’s hotels would be as stylish as his clothes. Factor in that it is located in Dubai (with all its ambition to become a world class destination),and in one of the world's most spectacular buildings -- this place was always going to be sleek, modern and sophisticated.
The Armani Hotel is not just in Dubai’s exclusive Downtown district, it is actually in the world-famous Burj Khalifa itself. This is of course the tallest building in the world so needless to say, the facade alone makes an impression. Next door is the Dubai Mall (one of the biggest and nicest malls we have ever seen), while another of the city’s famous attractions – the Dubai fountain – is right outside. While the city as a whole has been embarked on an enormous building spree since the 1960s, the Downtown area has all been built over the last fifteen or so years and is now the centerpiece of the government’s push to make Dubai a truly global hub. They have turned the area into a glittering metropolis and in the process attracted many of the world's most respected brands – including Armani.
This hotel knows how to make you feel special from the moment you reach the airport. We were picked up at the airport in their Bentley and taken right to the front door. This was Axel’s first flight, and he’s getting picked up in a Bentley...this kid! Once inside, the dark and intimate mood hits you immediately. The lighting is always dim (even in the afternoon), the furniture is sculptural and modern, while the smell is indescribable...The moment you step inside, there is a lingering scent that is simply intoxicating. I am not exaggerating – even Chris agrees.
Our room had dramatic curved windows that seemed to wrap around the entire side and provided great views of Dubai. We had a small but comfortable living room, a large bedroom, and good size bathroom. They even had a comfy little cot waiting for Axel which was a welcome touch. It’s not often I say this but besides the views, our favorite part surprisingly was the bathroom. The whole room was paneled in dark wood which made it feel very refined. The bath was full sized, and even the body wash smelled wonderful (Armani brand of course). It took a lot of willpower for me not to stick some of the body wash into my bag...Let’s just say I’ll take some full size Armani body wash any day :)
The Armani Hotel is packed full of amenities. It has a spa with a wide array of massages and treatments and three shops selling Armani products including everything from flowers to chocolate to jewelry. It also has a bar/nightclub and caters for events in its ballroom or outside in front of the famous Dubai Fountain. That’s all before including the options in the rest of the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall next door. If there is one thing which they really do well however, it is food.
From the breakfast to the various restaurants serving lunch and dinner, everything was delicious! We had an incredible lunch of assorted Italian bites, served family style. We tried several pastas as well as the burrata and the tuna carpaccio – both recommended by the chef. Rivaling the great food were the views, and staring down over the city while we ate was a perfect way to end a morning of walking around.
Perhaps even better was the dinner we had at Amal – the hotel’s Indian restaurant. Adding some gourmet flair to tried and tested Desi dishes, this views from here are even better. Dining at Amal's outdoor terrace provides an elevated front row seat to watch the city lights twinkle and the Dubai fountains below. Go for dinner to get the full experience and to escape the day time heat, order one of the set menus and let the chef pick out a wine to go with it – you are guaranteed to have a meal you won’t forget.
One of the best things about the hotel, is that you hardly need to step outside to experience some of the best things Dubai has to offer. The first thing you should do is check out the Burj Khalifa. Even if you are from a city with skyscrapers, the sheer size of this building will astound you. There are two different observation decks which allow you to look out over the city and the desert beyond – on a clear day you can see across the gulf to Iran. You can also grab some cocktails at At.mosphere on the 122nd floor – officially the world’s highest restaurant.
Just next door is the Dubai Mall, which boast 12,000,000 square feet of shopping and entertainment. Alongside the big name boutiques, there is an aquarium and an Olympic standard ice rink, so you can spend your days enjoying these and shopping before relaxing in the hotel pool or one of the mall’s restaurants. Beyond this, the best thing to do is to admire the futuristic feats of architecture and engineering which define the city. Everywhere you look are tall glass buildings and man-made islands. There are also a few remnants of the quaint historic town that existed before, which can be visited easily. If you are spending some time in Dubai, I think it’s worthwhile to take one of the hotels cars and head up to Abu Dhabi to visit the Grand Mosque - it’s such a beautiful sight!
You probably already knew before reading this based on the name and the location, but this is a beautiful hotel that drips with style. Whether you are in Dubai for work or for fun, this is the perfect place for the discerning traveler – plus how can you look past the chance to stay in the world’s tallest building? It has a sexy, sophisticated feel and it does a great job of catering to kids, without compromising the sophistication and feeling like Disneyland.
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