Moderation doesn’t suit Dubai, where supersized hotels in record-breaking towers, luxury yachts in glittering marinas, huge malls stuffed with designer shops, and mega parks with grand-scale attractions and amusements, are commonplace. New, superlative experiences are popping up all the time, from Ain Dubai, the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, to butler-guided tours around “seven-star” Burj Al Arab, where one can get a sneak peek at some of the hotel’s grandest, most palatial suites.
When only the best will do, it’s these bold, outrageous (and expensive) suites that set the emirate’s shiny hotels apart – with views of a new landmark like Ain Dubai or access to an attraction like the adrenaline-fuelled, hotel-based adventure, Edge Walk (see more on this below). Then there are the suites that literally drip in Versace fabric; are built around a vast aquarium; overlook a snowy ski slope; or occupy a floating piece of history. Here’s our pick of the most exciting hotel suites in Dubai.
The Queen Elizabeth Royal Suite on the QE2
Best for: Staying in the Queen’s former quarters
Price: AED 5,160 (£1,047) per night
Size: 79 square metres
The Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), a former transatlantic Cunard liner first launched in 1967 with six million nautical miles to her name, is the setting for refined period elegance. The now-docked luxury hotel is permanently moored in Dubai and boasts a grand theatre, an interactive museum, cosy rooms, fine-dining restaurant, and now the world’s largest – 1,000-person capacity – floating nightclub, aptly named Float. The ship was never shy of a good party: passengers consumed nearly 20 tons of lobster, one ton of caviar and 70,000 bottles of champagne each year before her retirement, and the Grand Lounge alone can fit the Cunard’s first ship, the Britannia, in with a squeeze.
Guests looking to push the boat out (chortle chortle) can opt for The Queen Elizabeth Royal Suite which was formerly reserved only for the Queen and other members of the Royal family. The well-appointed but compact cabin is rather bijou compared to some of the signature suites on cruise liners today, but it does include a king-sized bed, a separate lounge and dining space, a delightful outdoor terrace, and, moreover, a palpable sense of history that other ships don’t have. Though the suite is widely referred to as “invitation only”, it can be booked for as little as £1,000 a night, which is very reasonable.
Read the full hotel review: QE2
The Aspen Ski Chalet at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates
Best for: Family fun in the snow and sun
Price: AED 10,440 (£2,118)
Size: 228 square metres
The Aspen-inspired ‘lodges’ at this novel snow-and-sun destination overlook the frosty, blue-hued interiors of the world’s largest indoor ski slope from one aspect, while enjoying sunny Dubai skyline views from another. Families of up to six can book the three-bedroom chalet: think three floors of alpine-style interiors with wooden flooring, stone walls, antler chandeliers and four-poster beds. Anticipate family photos on the grand staircase as your private butler unpacks and presses your clothes; tucking into macaroons and marshmallow-topped hot chocolates together by the crackling faux-fireplace; and slipping into a freestanding bath in one of the marble bathrooms (complete with Hermès amenities) after a big meal prepared by an executive chef.
Guests can practice their own parallel turns with complimentary access to the Ski Dubai snow park – home to five slopes and resident King and gentoo penguins – as well as perks including breakfasts in the hotel’s Executive Lounge, airport meet-and-greets and private check-in and check-out. All you need to decide is what to do next, pool or piste?
Read the full hotel review: Kempinski Mall of the Emirates
The Underwater Suites at Atlantis, The Palm
Best for: Drifting off to sleep as you gaze at finned-friends
Price: AED 30,000 (£6,080) per night
Size: 165 square metres
The choice is spoiling when it comes to unique suites at Atlantis the Palm – with two very different but equally famous signature digs including the Underwater Suites (Poseidon and Neptune) and the Bridge Suite, which spans the East and West Towers. The former is built around the resort’s vast aquarium, the Ambassador Lagoon, allowing guests to soak in the jetted tub or drift off in bed to a mesmerising aquatic parade of sharks, rays and fish as they float past the 70cm-thick floor-to-ceiling windows. Absolute relaxation is inevitable. These three-storey suites even have private lifts between floors (look over the waters of the aquarium from the lounge upstairs) and around-the-clock butler service to ensure no guest ever has to exert themselves.
Elsewhere, the aforementioned Royal Bridge Suite occupies the hotel’s famous arch, measuring in at 924 square metres (and costing from £20,000 per night). The suite has had more than its 15 minutes of fame, providing a prestigious backdrop to many a film and reality television series (read: Real Housewives on holiday). With soaring ceilings, a library, games room, large dining room with a 16-seat dining table covered in gold leaf, guarded entrance, private lift and crack team of butlers and chefs, the three-bedroom dwelling is popular with celebrities and passing dignitaries.
Read the full review: Atlantis, The Palm
Armani Dubai Suite at Armani Hotel Dubai
Best for: Highest hotel suite in the world’s tallest building
Price: From AED 30,000 (£6,090) per night
Size: 390 square metres
If you like Armani suits, you’ll love Armani suites. This hotel of sleek designer dreams was the first designed by Georgio Armani himself (the second is in fashion capital Milan). Interiors are the embodiment of smart, chic minimalism in muted tones, but what sets this suite apart is its location on the 39th floor of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, which the hotel partly occupies.
The two-bedroom city pad has its own private study, dining room, walk-in wardrobe and gym, and the toiletries are, of course, by Armani. For its 10th anniversary in October 2021, the hotel hosted Coldplay who performed for the founding designer for one night only. It’s that kind of place.
Read the full review: Armani Hotel Dubai
Imperial Suite, Palazzo Versace Dubai
Best for: Unbounded opulence
Price: AED 77,000 (£15,947) per night
Size: 1,200 square metres
Located on the highest floor of the hotel, with 180-degree views of the Dubai Creek, the two-bedroom, two-storey Imperial Suite is utterly majestic, dripping in Versace branding and Italian design details from Baroque to Roccoco. Revel in wall-to-wall luxury with smooth parquet flooring, Carrara marble tiling (there’s some 40,000 square metres of marble used throughout the hotel) and hand-crafted mosaics, bespoke Versace furniture (among the 12,000 pieces in total) and walk-in wardrobes. Highlights include a private gym, sauna, Miele kitchen, Instagrammable grand staircase, and huge outdoor terrace with its own pool and Jacuzzi.
In the hotel’s porte-cochère alone, 400,000 pebble stones were used, and around 120,000 metres of fabric and 50 million pieces of tesserae used in the mosaic work throughout the rest. Mosaico and Vanitas’ ceilings were hand-painted by artists flown in from Italy, and Giardino’s décor – hotel’s all-day dining restaurant – is said to be modelled on the Versace dress that Jennifer Lopez wore to the Grammy Awards in 2000. Characterful indeed.
Read the full review: Palazzo Versace Dubai
Suite Me, Me Dubai
Best for: Those looking for a party atmosphere
Price: From AED 20,000 (£4,131) per night
Size: 2,131 square feet
The Suite Me rooms at the ME hotel are space-age in looks, dominated by deep midnight blues and rich navy colours. They are sleek and futuristic, a world away from their bling-as-you-like neighbours. Each suite has its own entertainment zone with a bar and full-sized pool table. Other ways to relax include a soak in the massive Jacuzzi or rain shower. ‘ME+ Benefits’ available to Suite Me guests include private check-in, your bath prepped to the exact temperature of your choice and a deliciously late check-out time of 4pm. Guests of these suites are treated more like family than simply visitors; there’s an opportunity to enjoy a one-to-one mixology workshop to create your own cocktail; a session with one of the talented chefs from Latin American restaurant Deseo will help you to create their signature dessert; and somebody will guide you personally around the hotel to find the most instagrammable spots.
Though the glistening Downtown Dubai skyline starring Burj Khalifa lies in the distance, the views from Business Bay are a little office-block bland. Shut the world out and enjoy the uncluttered calm of the late Dame Zaha Hadid’s curvaceous interiors. The legendary architect designed the hotel inside and out, so simply wandering its soothing, undulating halls is an immersive experience in itself.
Read the full review: ME Dubai
The Presidential Suite, Jumeirah Burj Al Arab
Best for: Unapologetic luxury
Price: From AED 114,000 (£23,720) per night
Size: 7,211 square feet
In what’s commonly referred to as the world’s only seven-star hotel because of its incomparable luxury, The Burj Al Arab’s new display suite, now hosting ticketed tours, has been fitted with interactive digital displays to help guests relive the history of the hotel, while memorabilia, such as David Guetta’s decks from his lockdown DJ performance on the helipad, have been gathered to recall some of the landmark’s greatest events (there’s even the original napkin on which the first ever design of the hotel was scibbled out by architect Tom Wright in 1993). It’s not just the suite that’s impressive though, simply walking through the lofty atrium (one of the tallest in the world) and spying things like the in-built aquarium (there’s 50 species of fish) is pretty mind-boggling.
The hotel’s two-bedroom Presidential Suite remains one of the most opulent in the world. Imagine Pharaoh hues of blue, purple, yellow and gold, vast lounges benefiting from two-storey windows, a separate staff entrance, a library, a pillow and duvet menu (with nine varieties to choose from) and three master bathrooms stocked with full-sized Hermès toiletries, including perfume and cologne.
Read the full hotel review: Jumeirah Burj Al Arab
Presidential Suite, Address Sky View
Best for: Hassle-free holiday
Price: From AED 13,500 (£2,800) per night
Size: 2,476 square feet
Address Sky View’s one-bedroom Presidential Suite may come with an eye-popping price tag, but it’s nearly three times the size of an average house in the UK with a dining table that seats 10 people – and the views are spectacular, looking out to the Burj Kahlifa. The hotel itself is now an integral part of the skyline, two glass towers linked by a floating bridge – much like the famous Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
If views are what you’re after, their latest offering, Sky Views Dubai, is reason enough to visit. Guests have easy access to this vertiginous attraction, offering brave hearts the chance to harness up and walk around the edge of the building (otherwise known at the ‘Edge Walk’) or hop on its thrilling glass slide that runs from level 53 to 52 of the tower.
Read the full reivew: Address Sky View
- View our pick of the best hotels in Dubai