XVA ART HOTEL Far from the skyscrapers, tucked away within the shaded alleyway of Al Fahidi, one of Dubai’s oldest neighbourhoods is this bijou gem. The restored traditional building is centred on an airy stone courtyard that is home to the XVA vegetarian cafe: a place of cooling respite when exploring the historical precinct and busy souks hugging the creek during the hotter months. XVA is one of Arabia’s leading contemporary galleries, and its hotel offshoot continues the theme, with rooms designed by leading artists including Karim Rashid and thoughtful works featuring throughout. xvahotel.com
BEST FOR FASHION FANS
ANYONE FOR POLO?
DESERT PALM A very different palm, set not by the beach but in the surprisingly lush grounds of Dubai Polo Club. Desert Palm is a sister to the Maldives’s ridiculously goodlooking Huvafen Fushi, but in place of underwater treatment rooms and overwater bungalows, there’s a heavy equestrian theme to the small-scale retreat – the world’s richest horse race is held in Dubai each March – and guests can spend the nightly happy hour watching chukkas taking place on the adjacent polo fields. Perhaps what’s most refreshing is the abundance of green: it’s the desert, yes, but not as you know it. desertpalm.peraquum.com Plan your getaway with BAZAAR’s edit of Dubai’s top retreats.
CHI-CHI FOR ME
ONE&ONLY THE PALM There’s a host of glitzy, gaudy offerings out on the man-made archipelago known as the Palm Jumeirah (take a bow, Atlantis). Mercifully, the One&Only The Palm is a low-rise hotel (a rare Dubai beast indeed) that offers a mix of beachfront rooms and mansions. You’re a little far away from the action out here on the “fronds” of the Palm development, but what you lose in proximity you make up for in aesthetics and access to the resort’s ESPA. Our top pick for a best-of-both-worlds beachside break. thepalm. oneandonlyresorts.com ARMANI HOTEL DUBAI Mr. Armani’s Arabian outpost is all you’d expect from the Italian designer: subtle, restrained, and utterly on-brand. Plenty of tonal hues and excellent regional Italian fare at Armani Ristorante (Yes, yes, you want to eat authentic Arabian food during your stay? That can be a challenge, considering UAE’s catering to Western tastes). Armani Hotel Dubai’s position within the lower floors of the sky-worshipping Burj Khalifa means you’re perfectly placed to take in the nightly light show at Dubai fountain, and are just a stroll from the aforementioned Dubai Mall. dubai. armanihotels.com JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS Dubai is obsessed with records, and the definitions that make some of those records possible. The new JW Mariott Marquis is the world’s tallest freestanding hotel (the actual highest hotel is the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong’s IFC Building, but office space takes up its lower floors). That aside, it’s convenient for the airport and the Burj Khalifa, rooms are generous and discreet in style, and the restaurants and room service are top tier. Head to Vault, on floors 71 and 72, for cocktails. Alternatively, indulge in shishas (hookah pipes) at the hotel’s gleaming Arabian restaurant. mariott.com.au