You’ve dreamed about it for years. Somewhere on that bucket list is a trip to the most luxurious hotel in the world – no matter what the cost might be. And who knows? You might win the lottery or enjoy some other unexpected windfall, opening the door to a stay at the pamperlicious, luxe-tastic, decadently designed Burj Al Arab. Yep, the world’s most luxurious hotel is in Dubai. Were we really all that surprised? Let us introduce you to this mega indulgence…
Burj Al Arab – construction and background
Shaped like a boat’s sail and docked on a man-made island off the coast of Dubai, Burj Al Arab has been drawing luxe-chasers since 1999. Inspired by the Vasco de Gama Tower in Lisbon, the tower is an iconic fixture of the Dubai skyline and has been a symbol of luxury for more than two decades.
Before construction on the building could begin, workers had to build the offshore platform on which it would stand. This entailed driving 230 concrete piles into the offshore sand bed, each one 130 feet in length. Then, engineers amassed tons of rock around the piles as the core of the foundation. It took three years to “reclaim” the land needed for the foundation from the sea; after this was in place, the building of the tower could begin.
Some 2,000 workers and three years later, Burj Al Arab was completed. While that may seem like a long time, the sheer size and scope of the project was daunting; 92,000 cubic yards of concrete and 9,000 tons of steel were used to erect the massive structure, and that’s not even including the materials used to build the Burj’s manmade island.
But what a glorious edifice! The building spans 56 floors (topping 1,000 feet in height) with an atrium soaring to 590 feet (roughly 18 stories). Like the sails that inspired its form, Burj Al Arab effortlessly “blows” in the Persian wind, guiding travelers on unequaled adventures.
Rooms and amenities in the world’s most luxurious hotel
Given its reputation for luxury, it’s little surprise Burj Al Arab’s 56 stories are actually coupled into two-level suites – 202 of them, in fact. The smallest suite (one bedroom) is a sprawling 1,820 square feet in size, while the largest (three bedrooms) is an insanely huge 8,395 square-feet. Compare this to your average three-bedroom home in the burbs, which is around 2,500 square feet total. Prices range from the low $1,000s per night to $24,000 per night. Pocket change.
Fittingly, the design of each room is breathtakingly ornate. White columns are a common feature, as are gilded mirrors, vibrant linens, postered beds, pianos, bars, and bedazzled chandeliers. Each room has its own distinct theme, though opulence is a common thread: plush everything abounds, fabrics are silken and shimmering, art is exquisite and original (including some impressively detailed Islamic tile art), and technology is state-of-the-art. Perhaps most impressive are the views – sweeping vistas of the Persian Gulf and the horizon beyond.
Amenities at Burj Al Arab
The bennies of staying at Burj Al Arab are quite outside the scope of what most hotels offer. For instance, you can expect Hermès bath soaps, a remote-controlled ecosystem in each room (which somehow manages to direct the curtains, lights, TV, and music at the tap of a few buttons), multiple types of pillows, 24-hour concierge service, and an indulgent buffet breakfast. That’s all pretty standard, actually, and quickly ramps up with more pricey digs.
The Royal Suite, for example, includes a private bar and butler; a lounge, library, and private cinema; multiple HDTVs; a welcome beverage; professional luggage unpacking and packing; and a range of more than 200 complimentary newspapers – on top of all that ho-hum standard stuff.
Drinks and Dining at the Burj Al Arab
While you may be tempted to explore Dubai while nesting at the Burj, think again; this hotel is a destination unto itself, and that includes posh dining and drinking options. First up: Gold on 27, where glittering gold chairs dock at an infinite bar, waiting for you to sidle up and order. We recommend this spot for a before-dinner nibble and sip. Our rec: the divinely paired Arabic French Fries (they come with halloumi cheese) and the Djin Genie cocktail (Aperol, vodka, blood orange purée, and a trove of other surprises).
Come dinner, head to Al Iwan – arabesque dining at its native best – or Al Mahara, where seafood takes center plate. Helmed by Chef Kim Joinie-Maurin, Al Mahara offers a unique prix-fixe experience that pairs up with other on-premise properties for an exquisite culinary journey. Everything from Foie Gras with truffles to miso-laced White Cod is in attendance, but that’s just a teaser – you’ll have to check the website for up-to-date offerings.
When dinner’s a wrap, head back to the 27th floor for a shared Merchant Coast cocktail for two (barrel-aged rum and maple syrup mingle with orange and chocolate bitters) at Gold on 27.
Onsite amenities at the most luxurious hotel in the world
As part of its suite of pampered offerings, Burj Al Arab does guests right with copious wellness programs and relaxation activities. For starters, you can work off your meal (or build up an appetite) at the onsite gym, where an indoor pool, personal training sessions, fitness programs (like yoga, HIIT seshes, tailored full-body workouts, and more) get your blood pumping. Then, grab a cabana by the pool outdoors or lounge by the manmade beach – exclusively for Burj Al Arab guests – while you sip a martini or three. If you need a bit more personal attention and stress relief, head upstairs to the onsite spa where facials, massages, and more await – savored as you spy the pulsing city in the distance.
If all that weren’t enough, here are a few more perks of making the Burj your home for a while:
- Afternoon tea
- Children’s programs (including a dining team devoted to making the tots luxe, but nutritious, meals)
- Luxury car and helicopter service for sightseeing in Dubai
- Personal shoppers
- Daily tours of the Dubai and beyond
- A yacht, available for hire
- Business centers within each suite
- A dream come true
We know – who could possibly afford such a luxe indulgence? Well, we certainly hope you can someday – and you’ll invite us along for the ride. For now, though, isn’t it fun to dream?
For more on this towering monument to luxury, visit the Burj Al Arab website.