I can’t believe a year has passed since our last round up of the best luxury hotels in the Middle East. 2017 has been an exciting year for new hotel openings and refurbishments while others have maintained their high standards of luxury hotel living. This year we and other travel bloggers have experienced the best in luxury hotels in the Middle East to tell you the best places to stay in the UAE, Qatar, Jordan and Oman
BEST LUXUTY HOTELS IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Best Luxury Hotels in Abu Dhabi
We were moving to Bangalore from the UK and as we were flying Etihad, we decided to take advantage of a stopover in Abu Dhabi. These couple of days were all about taking a breather after our packing and goodbyes from the UK, before embarking on a new chapter. So we decided to treat ourselves and stay at the central Sheraton in Abu Dhabi, right by the Corniche. Rooms may be a bit on the small side, but the bathroom is incredibly luxurious, the bed perhaps one of the most comfortable ever, and we had a small balcony which overlooked the dazzling skyscrapers. But with two lively boys (then aged 1 and 3), what got us extremely excited was the pool! There are two separate kids’ pools, which are cleverly hidden away from the tanning couples sipping cocktails in serenity, where kids’ can freely whizz down the slide and splash away to their heart’s content. Our boys also loved the small playground and building sandcastles on the man-made beach. We recommend eating at the on-site Mexican restaurant (Sombrero). The staff were extremely accommodating to our boys, who were each given a colouring pack whilst the chef asked them personally about their food preferences that evening.
St Regis Abu Dhabi by Our Globetrotters
If you want to combine the best of convenience staying at an inner city hotel with the feeling of being at a resort, you can’t go past the St Regis Abu Dhabi. Set in the very new Nation Towers on the bustling Corniche Road at the end of Abu Dhabi Island, this is high rise luxury at its best. Connected by an underpass to the Nation Riviera Beach Club, you’d honestly wouldn’t realise you’re right in the heart of the action!
There are two pools, one connected to the main hotel, with roof top bar, and access to several spas, salons and a gym, whilst Nation Riviera has a huge outdoor pool with swim up bar, private beach and a great little kids club Treasure Island. Dining is one of their specialities; The Terrace all day restaurant offers one of the best Friday brunches in town, as well as the Saturday New York style all day breakfast, what a treat! They have a series of other restaurants on site including Catch, Asia de Cuba and Villa Toscana. The hotel is very conveniently located on top of Nation Galleria, one of the city’s most exclusive shopping malls which includes yet more dining options, supermarket, pharmacy, one of the best kids play areas in town – Little Explorers and a cinema.
As for the rooms, these are all class! As a big family we were delighted that they had a suite with interconnecting room for the kids. Each was given their own kids pack on arrival, robe, slippers, even a rubber duck for their giant tub – with a TV, yes they got to watch cartoons in the bath! Best of all as a St Regis special touch, your own personal butler 24/7. You can’t bet that for a luxury escape all the family will love.
Best Luxury Hotels in Dubai
Atlantis The Palm by Escape with the Kids
Bab al Shams offers a different type of Dubai experience. Away from the glitz and glamour and skyscrapers of central Dubai, Bab al Shams is a desert resort offering traditional Emirati hospitality. The low rise accommodation wind around the site like the traditional souq alleyways with small local trinkets around the place. It offers three swimming pools, one heated to the perfect temperature to guarantee year round use and looks over the majestic dunes. There are plenty of included experiences such as falconry and camel riding which is sure to delight older children. The resort offers several lovely restaurant including an Italian, an Indian and an arabic restaurant with live show. But perhaps the best thing about Bab al Shams was the service you received. If you want to experience something a little different in Dubai and experience true Arabian hospitality Babydoll al Shams is the best to go.
The iconic Jumeirah Beach hotel has won many awards in Dubai and deservedly so. Having stayed at countless hotels across Dubai, there is only one hotel where I have stayed at more than a handful of times (10x to be precise) for over the last 10 years. It’s been a go-to destination from friends, couples to families; and from time to time you can even spot the celebrity or two there; with amazing food and an unparalleled breakfast experience at Latitude (Yes, it’s on the Entertainer!) puts it firmly at the top of my Dubai’s luxury hotel charts.
With one one of the best private beaches in Dubai, unlimited free unlimited access to Wild Wadi and in the shadow of the famous Burj Al Arab, this hotel is not one to miss out on. The recently upgraded rooms are fully digitised and have uninterrupted views of the sea (or Dubai’s Jumeirah residential area if you are not so lucky) are almost enough to keep you in the room, the selection of restaurants are excellent with Jamie Oliver amongst the restaurateurs. If they aren’t enough; a free buggy service will take you to the Madinat Jumeirah complex….a decadent classic yet modern bazaar built upon a lagoon just a few minutes away..
If that isn’t enough the hotel is situated close to all the main attractions in the city, which is why it makes it my favourite place to stay every time.
Lapita Hotel at Dubai Parks and Resorts, by PMP Mom
During the kids Spring break, we decided to check out the newly opened Dubai Parks and Resorts. As I was browsing and exploring the parks online and checking the ticket prices, I came across Lapita hotel within the resort and decided to book a two night stay there.
Dubai Parks and Resorts is about 40 minutes away from the Dubai International Airport. It’s HUGE and currently comprises of one hotel (Lapita), a themed dining and retail area (River Land), 3 theme parks (Motiongate, Bollywood Parks and Legoland) and a water park (Legoland Water Park).
The reason why it makes so much sense to stay at the hotel because there is NO way you can cover all the parks in a day trip and secondly, it was more cost effective too. You get free passes to ALL the parks when you book a stay with the hotel.
There is something for everyone – we enjoyed as much the kids! It was one of the BEST family holidays we ever had!
BEST LUXUTY HOTELS IN QATAR
Maldives luxury in the middle of the desert….welcome to Banana Island! Ok, it’s not the Maldives, but it’s not that far off…having been to the Maldives twice (The One and Only and the Anantara), I have had a taste of the good stuff and Doha’s little island of luxury will transport you to a luxury paradise island! Perfect for a romantic getaway or family friendly fun break…The Banana Island by Anantara is situated just a short 20 boat ride away from Doha!
From start to finish, the staff look after you every step of the way, from check-in at the boat dock to personal scuba and surfing lessons, the island truly has something for everyone. For my little family it couldn’t have been more perfect, with no time to get bored, we explored the island and didn’t hold back on anything from the surf simulator to a bowling alley, my boys (and husband!) are already counting down the days till we can come back!
The Warwick Hotel by Meldrums on the Move
The Warwick Hotel in Doha is one of the most luxurious places we have ever stayed. If you want class, comfort and fun for the whole family in Qatar then look no further. This exquisite hotel offers great food in the form of a family-friendly buffet, there is a gym over-looking the city, a rooftop pool and area to relax and enjoy the sun. This is a very clean hotel, with super-friendly staff who go above and beyond to help. Whether you have just a layover, or a longer trip in Doha, the Warwick Hotel is the place to enjoy it.
BEST LUXUTY HOTELS IN OMAN
The remote and spectacular, Alila Jabal Akhdar mountain top retreat is a must visit in Oman. The multi award-winning hotel sits proudly atop the Al Hajar mountains overlooking a dramatic steep gorge. Accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles only, the scenery is quite simply breathtaking.
The overall design and interiors perfectly reflect the property’s unique location and embrace the local culture. Facilities and cuisine are first-rate, the service is impeccable and the hotel is fully committed to sustainability and eco-tourism. All of the eighty-six traditional Omani stone suites and villas are arranged in clusters along the cliff top blending seamlessly with the surrounding terrain.
The Juniper restaurant offers traditional Omani cuisine combined with Mediterranean flavours using fresh seasonal organic produce grown on the mountain and sourced from local farmers.
Spa Alila is a sanctuary dedicated to total well-being, the space and treatments reflect the essence of the mountain as does the products that are infused with local juniper berries and rosewater. Active folks can venture out on hikes with varying degree of difficulty to explore the local area. Thrill-seekers can try the Via Ferrata cave experience, the highest protected climbing path in the region that involves ascending and walking across an exposed cave mouth, traversing along the canyon and an exposed wire bridge.
Alila Jabal Akhdar is as much a place for an adventurer who wants to get out and explore the mountainous terrain as someone who wants to relax by the stunning outdoor infinity pool. The epitome of old-world Omani charm and modern luxury it offers something for everyone.
Grand Hyatt Muscat by The Roaming Family
Oman, a tiny nation in the Persian Gulf, has no shortage of beautiful, luxury hotels. A trip to it’s capital of Muscat; however, warrants a stay at the Grand Hyatt Muscat., a luxury resort with everything a family needs.
An impressive front facade and stunning lobby greet you when arriving at the resort. Front desk and bell staff are responsive and efficient. A wide variety of rooms are available for guests, many with amazing views of the Gulf. Rooms include a coffee bar, impressive amenities and wi-fi for convenience. Upgrading to Grand Club affords guests private lounge access, continental breakfast and evening cocktails.
Although located in the Diplomatic District, the hotel is perfect for families – with a lazy river swimming pool, several amazing restaurants and a spectacular beachfront location. A plethora of activities and cultural experiences are available for guests and the staff is as friendly as can be. Omani charm surrounds you with a stay at the Grand Hyatt Muscat.
BEST LUXUTY HOTELS IN JORDAN
KEMPINSKI HOTEL ISHTAR DEAD SEA by Go Live Young
Mövenpick Tala Bay Resort & Spa by Our Globetrotters
This is definitely one of the most remote and underrated, yet best value family resorts in the region! At the very southern end of Jordan, just a short distance from the Saudi border you will find the city of Aqaba on the Red Sea – Jordan’s only sea port. Even further south again is the tiny resort village of Tala Bay, made up of just a few luxury resorts, set around a beautiful European-style marina. From here, boats take tourists out to the Red Sea for snorkelling, diving, or to simply being in this remote but beautiful little corner of the world where 4 countries meet – Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Egypt. All the beauty but none of the crowds!
Having stayed at several of the Mövenpick resorts in Jordan, this was definitely our favourite. There’s an endless choice in pools, all connected by a lazy river. Two of the pools are set aside for younger children with a toddlers pool attached to the Dana Kids Club (paid), and a larger heated pool for all the family. Separately, there’s a slide pool, or if you have come for some peace and solitude, join one of the adult pools and spas along the beach front. The beachfront also has a jetty to see the amazing sunsets!
The rooms allowed plenty of flexibility for families with a living room alcove transformed into a bedroom that could fit three – all done before we arrived with the right number of towels and water left for our group as well as free soft drinks in the mini bar – service for families the way it is meant to be! If you want a little escape too, try the Zara Spa, and indulge in all their Dead Sea products.
What is your favorite luxury hotel in the Middle East? If you could stay at only one which one would it be?