Last month we told you about the impending launch of the Bulgari Resort Dubai and we’re excited to let you know that it’s finally open. Although the hotel officially opened its doors to the public only today, Friday got a sneak peek of the hotel (and Bella Hadid, who, with actress Alicia Vikander, and Dubai’s most stylish residents, was at the glam opening party) and we have the verdict on the year-long wait and buildup: The stunning resort lives up to the hype.
Here are five things you need to know about this new entrant in Dubai’s luxe hotel portfolio.
1: It’s a home away from home
In a market full of over-the-top, opulent hotels, the Bulgari Dubai is an understated gem that feels like walking into a tastefully done designer home. Earthy, muted colours interspersed with burnished gold and copper are a theme that runs throughout the hotel, especially the rooms. But mind you, that doesn’t mean quality has been scrimped on: Cashmere blankets by Enzo degli Angiuani are scattered across beds and plush leather couches and high-end Italian furniture such as Maxalto, Flexform, Flos and B&B have been used. In the Villas, Devialet phantom speakers stand incongruously on tables next to books on art investment, the history of Rome (Bulgari’s hometown) and award-winning fiction like H is for Hawk. Designer Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel has characterised all spaces with clean lines, lots of natural light and open spaces.
Even the fitness area called The Workshop looks like a super-luxe home gym – cosy and divided into small, naturally-lit studios so you get personal attention and aren’t intimidated; but well-equipped with Technogym equipment so you’re sure to break a sweat.
2: There’s plenty of privacy
The Bulgari Dubai’s location on Jumeirah Bay Island is a winner. Located just minutes away from the shopping and dining hub of Jumeirah Beach Road, the resort’s location on the new seahorse-shaped man-made island keeps it well-connected enough that you can head out at midnight if you’re craving fast food, yet offers it the seclusion and distance from busy city life that holidaymakers seek at far-flung hotels in Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. Currently, it’s the only property in the area so you’ll have trouble finding a taxi as the island and the hotel is still relatively unknown. But they won’t stay that way for very long.
Privacy is an important element in the guest services offered at the hotel too – all guests can enjoy in-room check-in and a packing and unpacking service. If you’re splashing cash on a Bulgari Villa then you have a special road that leads straight up to the villas without having to show your face in the main resort building.
Out on the private beach that wraps around the curving marina, closed, shack-like private cabanas offer even more privacy.
3: It’s fashion forward and design-led
From its maritime design inspired by the structure and materials of a boat (lots of wooden panels and water-filled open spaces) to the art that’s casually scattered around the property, design and fashion form the DNA of the Bulgari Dubai and are resolutely Italian. The Maglia Pantheon pattern on the carpets and the screens around the lobby – a blend of circles, squares and eight-point stars – are inspired by the tiles of the Pantheon in Rome; rooms are decked with illustrations of Bulgari’s signature jewellery collections. Walk into Il Ristorante and elegant black-and-white photographs of Italian fashion and film icons and Bulgari storefronts dot the walls and corridors. Sophia Loren’s face is ubiquitous. Coral-like sunroofs and screens create dappled veins of light and shadow across balconies and open decks are crafted, like the brand’s jewellery, to perfection and you’ll walk on, touch and see lots of Italian marble. Touches that characterise every Bulgari hotel (Dubai is the fourth to open) include the woven Bulgari beach bag with slippers and towel bag that await guests in every room; mini-bars are crafted to look like quaint vintage trunks.
4: It’s family-friendly
The Bulgari Resort Dubai is the first in the Bulgari portfolio to have a kids club. The Little Gems club is off the La Spiaggio beach club and has a private pool for tots and babysitters to watch over them while parents enjoy the resort’s many offerings or nip down to the Bulgari Il Cioccolato boutique or the designer concept store – it retails a selection of items from top international designers and even features some of the luxury furnishings you’ll find in the rooms. There’s also an option of interconnecting rooms and suites for families. Talking of firsts, the Bulgari Resort Dubai is also the first Bulgari hotel to have a Bulgari Marina & Yacht Club. The 50-boat harbour houses an Italian restaurant and outdoor pool and bar, a 360sqm ballroom that can hosts events and gatherings and a secret lemon-tree garden called La Limonaia. This fourth Bulgari resort is also the largest resort (in terms of area) in the collection.
5: The price
It’s touted as Dubai’s most expensive hotel. Superior rooms at the hotel are going for Dh3,000 per night (to compare: a Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite at the Burj Al Arab will knock you down by Dh7,000 for just one night). Three thousand dirhams still is a big splurge, we know, but it’s well worth it for the world-class service, the stunning views and the trendy environment you’ll get to unwind in. And who knows? Maybe you’ll bump into a supermodel or two. The hotel definitely looks like the place where cool young things will hangout.