Armani Hotel, Dubai

LOCATION: The Burj Khalifa, right in the heart of downtown Dubai. It’s 15 minutes from the airport, round the corner from the shopaholics’ paradise that is Dubai Mall, and overlooks the beautiful Dubai Fountain, a perfectly-timed symphony of lights and music which is bigger and better than its sister at The Bellagio in Las Vegas.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: We’re told not to judge a book by its cover, but when that cover is the tallest building in the world, it’s hard not to – and as first impressions go, it doesn’t get better than this. At an astounding 163 storeys, the Burj Khalifa has to be seen to be believed. No matter how much you’ve read or how many pictures you’ve seen, there’s no getting a sense of scale until you stand on ground level and look up… and up and up. If you can bear to bring your gaze back down to earth, the sleek glass building oozes sophistication – an impression that was certainly helped along by the three Porsches parked outside when I visited.

THE FACTS: The Armani Hotel occupies floors five to eight and 38 and 39 of the Burj Khalifa, with 78 deluxe and classic rooms plus another 82 suites of varying sizes. Each room boasts beautiful views over the skyline and dancing lights of Dubai Fountain – spend at least one evening in to see the fountain light up at half-hourly intervals. The rooms are completely clutter-free – probably too minimalist for some tastes – with chic furnishings and plenty of space. Make use of the hotel’s lifestyle managers too – it’s a well-established concept, but they promise to cater to guests’ every need, from booking restaurants and excursions to picking out personalised spa treatments.
Breakfast is served in the ultra-modern Mediterraneo restaurant, but at dinner there is a choice of Italian, Indian, Japanese and deli-style food. If the quality of the cuisine at Indian restaurant Amal is anything to go by, where we enjoyed cutting-edge cooking combined with traditional flavours from the sub-continent, guests won’t want to eat anywhere else.

A GOOD BASE FOR: Exploring downtown Dubai, whether on a short stopover or as a precursor to a chilled out holiday at one of the emirate’s luxurious beachfront properties.

WOW: Where would you like to start? Aside from its jaw-dropping location and breathtaking views, it is a lesson in the art of minimalism. The hotel really feels like a masterpiece, with every flower-filled vase and every plumped-up cushion carefully placed for the perfect impression – Armani isn’t just a name around here, it’s a way of life. This is the kind of property that would rather dispense with door handles than spoil the ultra-smooth expanse of dark wood lining its catwalk-like corridors – and who really needs to expend any effort opening a door when you can swipe your way into the high-tech rooms?

HOW MUCH: From AED 3,500 for an Armani deluxe room per night (approximately £595)

dubai.armanihotels.com

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