REVIEW: The ultimate Armani Hotel Dubai experience
Giorgio Armani rose to fame with his sharp tailoring and sophisticated style. Over the years he has stayed true to his luxurious yet simple image, while cultivating a reputation as one of the fashion industry’s most innovative brands – Armani was the first to broadcast his haute couture collection live over the internet.
Given the brand’s credentials, it seems like a natural fit for Dubai and, in particular, the world’s tallest building. The Armani Hotel was opened in the Burj Khalifa in 2010, with seamless lines and a minimalist touch that reflects both Armani and the building it calls home.
Armani Hotel Dubai is one of two Armani hotels (the other one, of course, being in Milan) that bring sartorial style to life. The place looks like the set of a Bond film, with high-shine dark wood and minimal carefully thought out furnishings. It occupies the concourse up to level eight of the Burj Khalifa, as well as levels 38 and 39, with 160 slick guestrooms and suites – many of which have unparalleled fountain views.
As you would expect, all of the cons are mod. Each of the rooms has an iPad that controls pretty much everything: open and close the blinds and curtains; unlock the door; choose your TV channel; and the best bit… select the Dubai Fountain channel so that as soon as the jets of water begin, the music will be played straight out of your TV.
There are sprinklings of the Armani brand around the room, such as the soap, which is made in the exact shape of a pebble that Giorgio Armani found while walking along a beach. This pebble design is carried over onto the lids of all the bathroom amenities. Speaking of the bathroom, it’s understated but oh-so-fashionable. The separate shower and bathtub are built for relaxing after a tough day exploring Dubai Mall.
Each floor has a lifestyle manager station, so someone was at our beck and call throughout the duration of our stay.
Armani/SPA is a must-visit regardless of whether you’re a hotel guest. Just book a treatment and spend the day making the most of the fantastic facilities. The 12,000 square foot space has a minimalist design, with thermal rooms, a relaxation lounge, a fitness centre and a pool that hugs a corner of the Burj Khalifa.
We tried the signature facial, which uses vitamin C to help with uneven skin tone, ease redness, reduce fine lines and brighten your complexion. Sounds like a big job, but we certainly noticed a calming and plumping effect. The facial is a good all-rounder, working well for anti-aging as well as problem oily skin.
Armani Hotel is extremely well known for its cuisine. There are seven restaurants offering a taste of Japan, India, Italy and the Mediterranean.
We started the day with Friday brunch in Armani/Deli, which serves up authentic Italian dishes in a chic setting. There is a deli counter of cold starters including fresh oysters, seafood, salad and cheese, as well as an a la carte menu with a pasta course and main dishes. The deserts are then served buffet-style. This combination of buffet and table service works well – it means that, although there is plenty to choose from, it isn’t overwhelming, and you can easily work your way through multiple dishes.
For us, the highlight of the meal was the trio of pasta. Deliciously creamy, and each with a strong, unique flavour, without being too filling. For the main course we opted for the sea bass, served on a bed of diced vegetables – the fish was juicy and seasoned just the right amount.
This is an ideal brunch for couples and families looking to eat their way around the flavours of Italy.
If the Michelin Guide came to Dubai, Armani/Ristorante would surely make the cut. In a city overflowing with five-star restaurants, this place manages to stand out as special. Chef Alessandro Salvatico has been at the helm since its opening. We worked our way through an array of beautiful dishes, including a deliciously creamy burrata starter that was perfectly balanced with the sharp flavour of cherry tomato.
Those who are looking to be impressed should order the grilled black Angus fillet, served with truffle mashed potato, foie gras, porcini mushrooms and asparagus. After being prepared by the chefs, the meat is sliced at your table, proving how soft it is before you even sink your fork into it. The strong truffle flavour from the mash and porcini mushrooms goes perfectly with the succulent beef.
You can’t leave this restaurant without trying the signature dessert. La Sfera looks like a large pearl from the ocean, and it’s almost too beautiful to break. The flavour is changed regularly, and on our visit it was a beautifully tangy raspberry. The shell looks like blown glass, and the centre is filled with cream and sorbet. Perfect for eating outside on the terrace next to the Dubai Fountain, with the lights of the Burj Khalifa twinkling above.
Where: Armani Hotel Dubai, Burj Khalifa
Contact: +971 4 888 3888, website, @armanihoteldxb