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- Review: Etihad Business Class A350 (ORD-AUH)
- Review: Etihad Arrivals Lounge Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH)
- Review: Burj Al Arab Dubai (What An Experience!)
- Review: Bulgari Hotel Dubai, UAE
- Caviar All The Way To Bologna: My Emirates First Class Non-Review
- Review: Four Seasons Florence, Italy
- Truffle Hunting In Tuscany With Savini Tartufi
- Review: Masaccio Lounge Florence Airport (FLR)
- Review: Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich Airport Satellite (MUC)
- Resisting Temptation In Lufthansa First Class
Want to take advantage of Marriott STARS benefits, including a space available room upgrade, complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, and more? Contact Ford ([email protected]) for more details. He may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked. This is valid for paid stays at BVLGARI, EDITION, Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and St. Regis.
There’s a lot to like about the Bulgari Dubai — the hotel has incredible dining (including two Michelin star restaurants), an epic spa, a yacht club, gorgeous views of the Dubai skyline, and the beautiful design you’d expect from a hotel inspired by a fashion brand.
The resort isn’t perfect, though. For example, standard rooms are on the small side (given the rates being charged, and especially after coming from the Burj Al Arab) and have some design quirks.
If you’re looking for a well-rounded luxury resort, this is definitely gong to be a more agreeable option than the Burj Al Arab, which has a lot of highs and lows.
Booking the Bulgari Dubai
Even though Bulgari is a collaboration with Marriott, the brand unfortunately doesn’t participate in Marriott Bonvoy. That means you can’t earn or redeem points for stays at Bulgari properties, and also can’t take advantage of any Bonvoy elite benefits. It sure would be nice if that changed, just as Ritz-Carlton Reserve recently joined Marriott Bonvoy.
Anyway, currently rates at the Bulgari Dubai vary seasonally, from 2,500 AED (~$680) during off-peak periods like summer, to 5,500 AED (~$1,500) during peak periods like winter. The pricing is steep, in line with Dubai’s most expensive properties. We were staying during off-peak, so the rate was 2,500 AED.
The best way to book a stay at any Bulgari property is through a travel advisor affiliated with the Marriott STARS program, so you can receive extra perks, like complimentary breakfast, a room upgrade subject to availability, a hotel credit, and more.
Since STARS is Marriott’s own proprietary program, these upgrades are prioritized over those through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, Virtuoso, etc. Ford is happy to help with this, and can be reached at [email protected].
Bulgari Dubai location
The Bulgari Dubai is located on Jumeira Bay Island, a manmade island in the shape of a seahorse. The island contains the resort and many residences, as well as a yacht club. The residences here are among the most expensive in Dubai, which is presumably in part because of how private they are.
The resort has a pretty central location, as it’s on the coast, roughly at the halfway point between The Palm and Dubai International Airport (DXB). From here, you can get just about anywhere in Dubai within 20 minutes, which is tough to beat, whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure.
Bulgari Dubai lobby & check-in
Upon arriving at the hotel, we were greeted and helped by the bellmen and told to have a seat in the lobby lounge (which I’ll be talking about in greater detail a bit later), where check-in formalities would take place.
The lobby space is beautiful, and we were invited to enjoy a welcome drink, which seems to be a brand standard feature with Bulgari. It’s a nice touch, and a great way to start a stay.
Ford and I both had iced cappuccinos, served with tasty chocolates.
Our check-in was processed quickly, and within a few minutes we were escorted to our room. The elevators were down the hall and to the left. The hotel has its very own Bulgari store inside the lobby.
The Bulgari Dubai has a total of five floors (the ground level, plus floors one through four), and the lobby is located on the first floor. We went up to the third floor, where our room was located.
Bulgari Dubai king superior room
We were assigned room number 300, a superior room facing the beach. The Bulgari Dubai has a sleek interior design, which is modern while still having character.
Entry level rooms here are marketed as being 55 square meters (~592 square feet), though I suspect that includes both interior and exterior space. The room featured a very comfortable king size bed.
At the foot of the bed was a couch and coffee table, and then by the window was a desk with a chair, as well as a TV.
I appreciated how the nightstands contained charging ports, as well as controls for most of the room’s functions.
The bed was extremely comfortable, and there was also a pillow menu, should you have a pillow preference. On top of that, there was some pillow mist.
There was a welcome amenity on the coffee table, consisting of some fresh fruit, and some delicious chocolates and desserts.
The bathroom was separated from the rest of the room by a glass door, and then there was a curtain that could be pulled for more privacy. The bathroom had a large mirror and a single sink.
The rest of the bathroom was impressive, with a “compound” that had a huge soaking tub, as well as a walk-in shower with two shower heads.
As you’d expect, toiletries were from Bulgari.
Furthermore, I appreciated the sheer quantity of toiletries stocked in the room, as just about everything was available — there’s really no need to call down for any extras you may have forgotten at home.
The toilet and bidet were in a separate room, on the opposite side of the bathroom.
There was also a large closet space back by the entrance, and there was even a monogrammed beach bag. Talk about attention to detail!
The minibar was right by the entrance to the room, and was in something that was meant to look like a large luggage trunk.
The minibar had a complimentary Nespresso machine and tea selection, plus a variety of drinks and snacks for purchase.
The best part of the room, by far, was the outdoor space. This had a dining table with two chairs, as well as a couch.
The room directly faced the resort’s beach area.
But if you looked right, you had an absolutely breathtaking view of the Dubai skyline. This might just be my favorite Dubai skyline view I’ve ever had from a room, as I love the combination of the resort in the forefront, with the city in the distance.
At dusk and dawn, the view was jaw-droppingly gorgeous.
Housekeeping was provided twice per day, and it was cute how at turndown service some soothing chamomile tea was provided.
Furthermore, as a departure gift, we were given monogrammed luggage tags, which was also a nice gesture.
The rooms at Bulgari Dubai are elegant, have amazing views, and are very comfortable. However, given the rates being charged, it would be nice if they were a bit bigger, especially given how much space properties like the Burj Al Arab provide.
Furthermore, there were several design elements that didn’t make sense to me:
- The bathroom had a single sink; I don’t remember the last time I stayed at a luxury resort where the bathroom didn’t have double sinks
- There was only one control for all the curtains in the room, and no way to adjust them individually; for example, we wanted to lower the curtains on one side of the room (since the room faced the hotel’s driveway on one side) but not the other, though that isn’t possible
- There was no handle to open the balcony door from the outside, so you basically just had to plant your hand against the glass of the door and push, which again, made no sense to me
- The toilet paper roll wasn’t in a logical position; rather than being across from the toilet, it was in the very back right corner
These are all minor things individually, though it definitely feels like there was a lack of attention to detail with some elements of the design.
Bulgari Dubai beach & pool
The Bulgari Dubai has a great beach club, which can be accessed from the ground floor.
I’ll post the picture of the view from our room once again below, as it gives you the best overview of the beach. The resort has a nice protected bay with calm waters, and there’s even a dock you can swim to in the middle of the water with a couple of lounge chairs.
The quality of the beach and sand is never going to compare favorably to a place like Turks & Caicos, so do manage your expectations there, but that’s the case everywhere in Dubai. I did appreciate the sheer volume of beach seating, as it was seemingly endless, and I can’t imagine you’ll ever have a hard time finding somewhere to sit.
At the beach there are also a variety of complimentary non-motorized water sports.
Across from the beach is a circular pool, which is the resort’s main pool. This has a variety of daybeds and cabanas of sorts, which guests can help themselves to on a first come, first served basis. The pool isn’t huge, but keep in mind there are two other pools (one in the spa, one in the yacht club).
Bulgari Dubai spa & indoor pool
The Bulgari Dubai has an obscenely nice spa on the ground floor, which spans 2,500 square meters (~27,000 square feet). The spa reception really sets the tone for that — look at those views! I didn’t get any treatments, but you can find the spa menu and price list here.
As you’d expect, the spa has lots of treatment rooms, changing rooms, etc.
What’s most impressive is the indoor pool, which is 25 meters long. While there are a lot of hotels with nice indoor pools, they don’t often have views like this one has.
There was also a huge whirlpool across from the pool.
You can even lounge outside on a dock, enjoying the views of the marina area.
The spa has lots of other amenities, ranging from a hydrotherapy area, to a sauna and steam room, to a relaxation area.
Bulgari Dubai gym
The Bulgari Dubai’s gym is just off the spa, and can be accessed by guests 24/7. The gym isn’t huge, though is well equipped with both cardio and weight equipment.
Bulgari Dubai yacht club
The Bulgari Dubai doesn’t just consist of a resort, but also consists of many residences. As part of this development there’s a yacht club and marina, making this the first Bulgari property with a yacht club. The yacht club is about a five minute walk from the resort, or you can be driven there in a golf cart.
Guests can freely access the yacht club, and it’s gorgeous. It has an elegant interior space, and on top of that has another resort-style pool and restaurant.
Dining at Bulgari Dubai
The Bulgari Dubai is a food & beverage powerhouse. The resort has two restaurants with Michelin stars (one has two stars, the other has one star), a bar that’s ranked as one of the 50 best in the world, and more. Let’s go over each of the property’s dining options.
Bulgari Dubai The Bulgari Bar
The Bulgari Bar is part of the hotel’s two Michelin star Il Ristorante Niko Romito restaurant. The bar has won its own awards, though, as it’s ranked as one of the world’s 50 best bars. It’s a lovely bar area with both indoor and outdoor seating, overlooking the marina.
You can find the drink menu here. What’s especially cool is that the cocktails are all made table side on a cart, so it’s as fun to watch the drinks being made, as it is to drink them (and they were very good, for the record).
Also, each drink order comes with quite the selection of snacks!
We really enjoyed our pre-dinner drinks here…
Bulgari Dubai Il Ristorante Niko Romito
Il Ristorante Niko Romito is the Bulgari Dubai’s two Michelin star restaurant. There’s a collaboration between Bulgari and Niko Romito, so each Bulgari property has one of these restaurants. When we stayed at the Bulgari Milan, we fondly remembered having an amazing meal at the Niko Romito there, so it was such a pleasure to be able to repeat that experience in Dubai.
The restaurant has both plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, and we got a great table outside.
We had a delicious dinner here, starting with another drink from the bar, prepared table side.
You can find the dinner menu here. Service began with an amuse bouche, a vegetable broth, and a selection of freshly baked bread.
For starters, I had the potato gnocchi with green card and asiago cheese, while Ford had the vegetable lasagna.
For mains, I had the roasted tuna, while Ford had the veal Milanese.
This was served with a variety of vegetable sides.
We were so full at this point, and at the conclusion of the meal were offered some sweets on the house.
What an amazing meal this was!
Bulgari Dubai Il Caffe
Il Caffe is the Bulgari Dubai’s all-day dining restaurant, which is on the ground floor overlooking the marina. There’s a cool tuk-tuk just outside the restaurant, which I couldn’t help but take a picture of.
As you enter the restaurant, there’s a counter with all kinds of sweets and other treats, which you can enjoy there or to-go.
The restaurant has a cozy interior, with everything from tables, to couches, to outdoor seating under umbrellas.
This is also one of the places that the Bulgari Dubai serves breakfast, and it’s where we chose to eat. You can find the breakfast menu here. Breakfast was a la carte, with the choice of several set menus. We decided to have the “Dubai” breakfast. This consisted of a bunch of bread and sweets to start.
We were also served our choice of coffee and juice. We had a french press coffee, as well as some mango juice.
Breakfast then consisted of fresh fruit, halloumi with eggplant, shakshuka, and ful medames.
It was way too much food, but it sure was yummy.
Bulgari Dubai The Bulgari Lounge
The Bulgari Lounge is the Bulgari Dubai’s lobby lounge, and you can find the menu here. It has everything from coffee, to cakes, to food from some of the resort’s restaurants. It’s a nice indoor-outdoor space, thanks to the sliding doors being open.
What I found most interesting was how busy this area was. The Bulgari Lounge was packed with locals (Emiratis) enjoying coffee and tea from morning to night. This really seems to be a local hotspot, which isn’t the case at many other resorts.
Bulgari Dubai Hoseki Restaurant
Hoseki is the Bulgari Dubai’s one Michelin star restaurant. The restaurant is a counter with just nine seats, and has an omakase concept. You can find the menu here. We didn’t have the chance to eat here, but I imagine it’s a treat.
Bulgari Dubai La Spiaggia
La Spiaggia is the Bulgari Dubai’s restaurant on the beach by the pool, and it’s open throughout the day. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack, or drinks here. You can find the all-day dining menu here, and find the beach menu here.
Bulgari Dubai Yacht Club Restaurant
At the yacht club, the Bulgari Dubai has yet another restaurant. This is an Italian restaurant with a focus on seafood, and it’s also a very nice space. You can find the menu here.
Bulgari Dubai service
Service at the Bulgari Dubai was very good across the board. Staff were friendly, competent, and accommodating.
The Bulgari Dubai is an impressive resort. For one, the resort has amazing dining outlets, including two restaurants with Michelin stars. Furthermore, the Bulgari Dubai has a gorgeous spa with a nice indoor pool, a yacht club, and an impressive pool and beach area. If you want privacy, this resort is tough to beat.
My only real criticisms of the Bulgari Dubai is the room design, where there’s some attention to detail lacking. Furthermore, the Bulgari Dubai is definitely skimming the market with pricing, so the value isn’t necessarily that great in peak season. Then again, Dubai has plenty of ultra-wealthy visitors, so I imagine that’s not a concern for many.
What do you make of the Bulgari Dubai?