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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Hotel insider: Bulgari Resort Dubai

The boutique hotel that boasts 101 rooms and suites sits on a seahorse shaped island just a few minutes' drive from central Dubai

The welcome

Upon arrival the transition from the valet parking bay to the reception desk is like clockwork. Upon presenting at the desk, however, we are ushered to the coffee lounge for a little longer than expected while check-in is managed from the desk. Once we’ve enjoyed the hospitality in the swanky lounge we are guided to our room on the third floor of the main building, our bags follow not too long after.

The neighbourhood

Positioned on Jumeirah Bay, a seahorse shaped-island a few minutes drive from central Dubai, the hotel is surrounded by residences and is a short buggy ride from the nearby Yacht Club. City attractions such as the Burj Khalifa and Jumeirah Beach are just 10 to 15 minutes’ drive away.

The room

I’m in a deluxe beach view room which has its own balcony and the beachfront on its doorstep. The city skyline views are unlike anything I’ve seen from a hotel in the emirate until now and the set-up is comfortable and homely. Upon entry there’s a sizeable walk-in robe on the right and a funky Bulgari-branded fridge to the left. The bathroom features a dual sink set up along with a separate tub/shower and toilet. The curtains that cordon the bathroom off from the living area and the exclusively branded Bulgari amenities elevate the luxury appeal considerably.

The service

As you would expect from a boutique hotel of this kind – there are only five other Bulgari properties of this standard worldwide, with three more planned – the service is mostly on point. Staff are slick, attentive, well versed on guest offerings and interactions are personable. Some details, however, such as where breakfast was to be served and Wi-Fi services, are lacking when checking in.

The scene

Casual yet sophisticated. For a property of this calibre there are no obvious airs and graces, which means every guest is treated equally. The hotel has a boutique feel and definitely lives up to its five-star appeal.

The food

There are a couple of high-end dining options as well as a few more casual ones. ­Renowned Michelin chef Niko Romito has a presence here in the form of Il Ristorante, an establishment that provides quality food in a luxe setting. The accompanying Il Bar provides a classy ­accompaniment to the dining space and offers views across the Gulf. Dishes here cost between Dh65 and Dh325. For those who enjoy Japanese fare, Hoseki is quite the night out. With just nine seats overlooking the city skyline guests are offered a unique culinary experience. The Yacht Club offers a hearty selection of meal options and is a great “date night” or dinner-with-friends venue. Prices here start from Dh60 and extend to Dh270 depending on what you order. Il Cafe and La Spiaggia are the hotel’s two more casual eateries, the cafe offering views of the nearby marina and La Spiaggia perched on the beachfront by the resort pool. Food is served all day at both of these eateries, with prices starting from Dh60. I can recommend the king crab salad (Dh140) at Il Cafe, it was delicious and beautifully presented. Breakfast, which is included in the room rate, is served to your table at either of these restaurants all day and consists of options including pancakes with wild berries, homemade granola and buffalo burrata on a bed of cherry tomato, Taggiasche olives and pesto.

Loved

The sweeping city views; the Bulgari signature scent in the common areas; and the etchings of the brand’s first jewellery designs that can be seen on the bottom of the pool.

Hated

The confusion surrounding the technology controls in the room when it came to lighting.

The verdict

A high-end offering unlike any other in Dubai. Ideal for those looking to celebrate a special occasion, enjoy a romantic getaway or make the most of quality me-time.

The bottom line

Rooms at Bulgari Resort Dubai start from Dh4,290 a night, including breakfast, taxes and Wi-Fi.

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