A coastal city the United Arab Emirates and a place like no other place in the world, the popular Middle Eastern travel destination grew from humble beginnings as a small Gulf trading centre to one of the world’s most glamorous destinations. Dazzling, evocative and futuristic in equal measures, the spectacular place is famously home to some of the world’s most expensive hotels, gasp-inducing shopping malls and theme parks and headline-grabbing mega projects such as its palm-shaped islands complete with shiny, soaring buildings.
Juxtaposed with their futuristic concepts such as robocops and flying taxis, is Dubai’s more traditional side where Eastern values permeate the city, from the maze of traditional souks to the collection of striking grand palaces. What potential visitors are probably unaware of is that Dubai is now catering to an increasingly hip and creative crowd, with pockets of cool and arty neighbourhoods cropping up such as Dubai’s new ‘Design District.’ To help you choose the perfect accommodation for your Dubai stay, here are the best cool and unusual hotels to choose, from the glamorous and unique to the creative, quirky and hip…
XVA Art Hotel – a bohemian, arty gem
A tiny boutique hotel full of Arabian artwork and classy minimalist touches, that attracts an eclectic crowd who come for exhibition openings, art fairs and film festivals. Located in the heart of the tranquil old Bastakiya quarter (11-minute walk from the nearest train station), the exceptionally rated XVA Art Hotel is the perfect place to discover the history and culture of the city.
With only 13 bedrooms on offer, each one has been decorated in a different style by local or regional artists and designers. Opt for an upgrade and expect private outdoor seating areas. They offer minimal facilities including free Wi-Fi, minibars, and tea and coffeemakers but plenty of character and atmosphere. The creative Dubai abode also has an acclaimed art gallery and a design shop, three shady courtyards, a relaxed vegetarian restaurant with lush courtyards dining, or guests can head out and explore the surrounding neighbourhood to find traditional Arabian delicacies.
- Prices from $75 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for XVA Art Hotel
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W Dubai Al Habtoor City – ultra-trendy upscale hotel
Avant-garde design and first class service are combined to provide ultra-luxurious accommodation and lifestyle experiences in this flagship hotel. The 5-star exceptionally rated W Dubai Al Habtoor City is located in the Business Bay district of the city and overlooking the Dubai Creek and the Persian Gulf, visitors cannot fail to be impressed by the high standard and sheer volume of facilities on offer. The sleek, futuristic-style 365 rooms and suites are incredibly opulent and the upgraded rooms feature Gulf views, round beds, whirlpool tubs and/or kitchenettes.
The trendsetting Dubai hotel also offers no less than five contemporary dining venues, a W Lounge, WET® pool, FIT fitness centre, a signature spa, a swish outdoor pool with private cabanas and even its very own nightclub. The W Dubai Al Habtoor City is the type of ultramodern upscale hotel that perfectly reflects the very high standards of accommodation available throughout Dubai. Easily one of the coolest hotels in Dubai!
- Prices from $120 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for W Dubai Al Habtoor City
A cool, creative destination hotel in the heart of Dubai, located close to the Palm, the beach, the Marina, a metro station and the creative district of this fine city. This is a fun and funky Dubai hotel with a huge personality, the highly rated 4-star Media One Hotel offers comfortable and contemporary sleeping quarters with floor-to-ceiling windows offering skyline or archipelago views and is jam-packed with modern conveniences including SMART TV’s, iPod docks and glass-walled bathrooms.
Upgraded rooms and suites are ultra-lush. The hip Dubai hotel is like a holiday resort all on its own with a Mediterranean restaurant, a cool rooftop bar and lounge with terrace seating and even its very own nightclub. There is also a casual cafe, a gym and an outdoor pool, a sauna and steam room and easy access to the very best bars and nightlife the city has to offer right outside its front door.
- Prices from $85 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Media One Hotel.
Rixos Premium – trendy upscale waterfront hotel
The 5-star exceptionally rated Rixos Premium is a hip and style-conscious hotel located on the Jumeirah Beach Residence a trendy waterfront neighbourhood along the Gulf, complete with its very own beach club and an impressive spa. The ultra-modern design sports angular glass towers, and a long sleek lobby that is home to high-end boutiques and a glamorous nightclub.
Bedrooms offer floor-to-ceiling windows, plush carpets and lots of silver and gold touches as well as touchpad room controls and internet TV, while bathrooms have stand-alone tubs and rainforest showers. Guests can choose from no less than six restaurants serving Italian, American and Turkish fare, several bars or just opt for tea in the lobby with a live musical accompaniment. The contemporary Dubai hotel also has a beautiful infinity pool, a nightclub, a modern spa, and direct access to the private Azure Beach – gorgeous!
- Prices from $160 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Rixos Premium
Hotel Zabeel House – cool, hip and fun
Located in Al Seef, the new cultural district on the shores of Dubai Creek, the four-star exceptionally rated Zabeel House offers plenty of Dubai luxury but with a more laid-back vibe. Part of a collection of eclectically designed hotels located in the most interesting neighbourhoods, bedrooms are cool and contemporary retreats perfect for the modern day traveller and offer touchpad technology and sleek, contemporary comfort.
The bright communal spaces are designed to encourage socialising. With four very different bars and eateries to choose from, guests can enjoy authentic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, or sip handmade cocktails at the bar. The funky Dubai accommodation also prides itself on offering flexible working spaces for those looking to mix business with pleasure.
- Prices from $80 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Zabeel House
Lapita Dubai Resort – swish Polynesian themed resort
A beautiful resort hotel offering Polynesian decor and flower-decorated pathways that also provides direct access to Dubai’s famous theme parks including Legoland and Motingate. The 5-star and exceptionally rated Lapita Dubai Resort Hotel (part of the prestigious Autograph Collection) is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious hotels in Dubai, the chic Dubai accommodation offers beautifully decorated spacious bedrooms, suites and villas that have plenty of modern conveniences as well as balconies.
The gorgeous 3-bedroom upgraded villas offer private pools and complimentary minibars and the communal areas at this cool Dubai hotel take you away from the dust of the desert and into a Polynesian paradise. The lush resort offers a wealth of dining, shopping and entertainment options, as well as an extensive outdoor pool area and play park, spa and fitness centre and a trendy rooftop tapas bar.
- Prices from $140 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Lapita Dubai Resorts
Vida Downtown Hotel – a shopaholics delight
Perfect for those looking to enjoy a spot of retail therapy in Dubai, the 4-star exceptionally rated Vida Downtown has a contemporary Arabian feel, and is just a short walk from the world famous Dubai Mall (and just a 15-minute walk from Burj Khalifa skyscraper). Bedrooms at this chic Dubai hotel are sleek and contemporary with plenty of traditional Arabian touches, from fishbowl style bathrooms to ultra-trendy spacious suites with kitchens, dining areas and private terraces. The onsite Japanese Izakaya style restaurant Toko is one of finest in Dubai, but you are also only moments away from the bars and restaurants of the Sheikh Zayed Road if Japanese cuisine isn’t your thing. Other hotel highlights include also a fitness centre, a hip retro food truck a truly spectacular outdoor swimming pool surrounded by attractive cabanas.
- Prices from $140 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Vida Downtown Dubai
Rove Downton – cool and hipster-friendly
For something a little quirky and unique in central Dubai, this funky hotel is a great option. With direct views of the Burj Khalifa, and just across the road from the Dubai Mall, this The Rove Downtown Hotel is one of the very best affordable hotels to be found anywhere in the city. Hip and trendy, the Rove Downtown is packed with quirky decor, stencilled walls and elegant contemporary Arabian touches. Bedrooms are comfortable and fun and feature oversized wall slogans, bright colours and funky furnishings with lots of mod cons, while communal areas very much focus on the social elements of hotel living. There’s a hip international restaurant and bar offering open-air dining on a terrace with bench style seating and plenty of power points and USB sockets for work focused millennials. The cool Dubai hotel also has its very own outdoor pool, complimentary parking, a trendy and sociable lobby lounge, 24/7 guest laundry facilities and a cool outdoor swimming pool.
- Prices from $80 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Rove Downtown
Armani Hotel Dubai – the famous fashion brand’s hotel
Located in Burj Khalifa with spectacular views out across downtown Dubai, and interiors designed by Giorgio Armani this was always going to be a first-class hotel. With every design touch overseen by Armani himself, the trendy Dubai hotel exudes minimalist chic and has the designer’s signature neutral palette throughout. The 5-star exceptionally rated Armani Hotel Dubai is set in a set in an ornate, high-rise glass tower and bedrooms are sleek and come complete with Itouch technology and every guest is assigned a Lifestyle Manager or personal butler-concierge for a really wow-inducing stay! With a lush arrow-shaped outdoor pool, a contemporary indoor pool, a luxury thermal spa and a choice of 8 modern restaurants including the signature Italian Armani/Ristorante, the Armani Hotel is about as five star as you will ever find anywhere in the world!
- Prices from $240 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Armani Hotel Dubai
Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort – Thai inspired resort with a private beach
A Thai inspired resort hotel located on the Eastern crescent of the man-made Palm Jumeirah, the 5-star exceptionally rated Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort is perfect for those who like their beach life to be a little more luxurious. Complete with its very own private beach, the contemporary Dubai hotel also has a few awards under its belt and attracts a very exclusive clientele. The beautiful Dubai accommodation is built around three lush lagoon pools, funky little tuk-tuks chauffeur guests around the resort that offers an international buffet, a cool retro style cafe, a modern spa, a Turkish bath, no less than two gyms, an Asian restaurant amongst other culinary delights. Even the standard bedrooms are comfortable and elegant, and if you upgrade to your own Beach Pool Villa you will have the use of your own private infinity pool on a sea-facing terrace – pure bliss! Thai cooking classes and water sports are available. Unique luxury and opulence await at the Anantara!
- Prices from $190 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort
One&Only The Palm – true Dubai grandeur
As one of the most exclusive and secluded beachside resorts, the 5-star exceptionally rated One&Only The Palm is frequented by an exclusive and eclectic clientele. Situated in a quiet location at the tip of the iconic Palm Jumeirah, the sophisticated Dubai hotel offers unrivalled views of the Dubai Marina and the Jumeirah Beach Residence. Five-star service comes as standard at this first-class resort that offers three restaurants by Michelin-starred French chef Yannick Alléno, a range of indulgent spa treatments in the UAE’s only Guerlain Spa and a spectacular pool.
The swish rooms and suites are surrounded by lush gardens, fountains, pavilions and pools and offer free Wi-Fi, entertainment systems and living areas, plus grand bathrooms with free-standing tubs. All have verandas with garden or gulf views and some even include a butler service. Opt for a super plush bi-level, two-bedroom villas on the beach feature and expect bars and private pools. The One&Only is one of Dubai’s most family-friendly luxury hotels with a full program of children’s activities, a kid’s club and babysitting services.
- Prices from $350 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for One&Only The Palm
Taj Hotel – Eastern style upscale comfort
The 5-star exceptionally rated Tai Hotel Dubai is an upscale hotel designed for those looking for a good range of facilities in a more intimate setting. Situated directly between the Business Bay and Downtown Dubai, the chic and trendy Dubai hotel looks out directly towards the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, and is perfect for those travelling for both business and pleasure. Interiors are comfortable and contemporary but do not overwhelm, while visitors can also spend time in the spa and gym or around the large pool and sunbathing area. The hotel also offers the Bombay Brasserie Indian restaurant, the Eloquent Elephant gastropub and a nicely conceived pool bar serving light meals. In 2016, The Taj opened its very first nightclub, The Billionaire Mansion, that serves up cool cocktails and headline DJ’s to the young, rich and beautiful of Dubai. Other hotel highlights include a butler service, a breakfast buffet served up in a trendy glass-enclosed restaurant, an art deco-style bar, and a rooftop lounge with plush sofas, a luxe spa and a fitness centre.
- Prices from $160 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Taj Hotel
The H Dubai – contemporary upscale boutique
The 5-star exceptionally rated The H Hotel Dubai is an elegant, modern hotel just a short walk from the Dubai World Trade Centre, and within easy reach of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper and observation deck. Offering sleek bedrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and separate sitting areas, comfort and luxury is assured on every floor. If you upgrade to a suite or apartment you could also enjoy your very own private pool. Situated in a state of the art tower block, the swish 40th-floor rooftop cocktail bar is a great place for sipping a drink or two whilst taking in the superb views, and visitors can choose from three further bars and lounges as well as six restaurants including a British themed gastropub. There’s also a fitness centre, a well-appointed spa and both indoor and outdoor pools.
- Prices from $90 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for The H Hotel Dubai
La Ville Hotel & Suites – unique urban boutique
Set in a striking monochrome complex, this delightful and unique Dubai hotel offers gorgeous views of the Burj Khalifa, as well as comfortable accommodation and a first class service. The 5 star exceptionally rated La Ville Hotel & Suites (part of the prestigious Autograph collection) is located in the pedestrianised area of City Walk, where a wide range of swanky eateries, high-end shops and cinemas are right on your doorstep at La Ville. The plush 78bedrooms are spacious and calm, with plenty of crisp white linen, pillow-top mattresses and separate seating areas, while creamy bathrooms have wet room style showers and oversized bathtubs. The lobby is designed with socialising in mind with a small cafe and elegant lounge, while the tranquil outdoor courtyard has decorative water features and low sofas. Their classy restaurant Chival, offers all-day dining while the Graze brasseries opens out onto a swish courtyard for informal al fresco dining. There’s also a trendy wine bar, a gym and a lush rooftop infinity pool.
- Prices from $140 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for La Ville Hotel & Suites
Fairmont Dubai – perfectly sums up the glamour of Dubai
Over the top and thoroughly indulgent, the 5-star very highly rated The Fairmont Hotel offers a lifestyle experience that will make your trip to Dubai complete. With more than a dozen bars and restaurants, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a large Roman-themed spa and a sensory experience where staff lead you to your table using night vision goggles, this gorgeous Dubai abode is the pinnacle of Dubai excess and exuberance. An air-conditioned footbridge connects the hotel to the metro station opposite for guests to take the 10-minute journey to Downtown Dubai or you can stay at the hotel and laze around one of the two giant rooftop swimming pools. The polished bedrooms offer floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf. The lobby is stunning with a library-style lounge room, and the service is first class at all times. Try opulence, Dubai style.
- Prices from $100 per night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Fairmont Hotel