When it comes to location, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts could not have picked a better spot for its newly opened Dubai iteration. Set on Jumeira Bay, a man-made seahorse-shaped island, with a scenic tableau of the yacht-speckled Arabian Gulf as well as the city’s dramatic skyline, the hotel is a quiet bolt-hole that seems far from the madding crowd, but is just on the other side of a 300m bridge that is connected to the mainland.
More precisely situated on the south of the island, the 13-hectare property is anchored by the 101-room hotel, a low-slung building that separates two bays: one, a sweeping stretch of white sandy beach lined with 20 villas, and the other, a chichi marina, complete with a string of private residences and the Bulgari Yacht Club – a first for the hotel brand and for Dubai – that is fast becoming the city’s place to see and be seen.
In contrast to Dubai’s ubiquitous skyscraper hotels, the property’s understated low-rise architecture is the work of Milan-based firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, whose white Carrara marble façade is defined by three floors of coral-inspired horizontal layers that filter through the sunlight while subtly nodding to the ornate, latticed details found in traditional Middle Eastern architecture.
Inside – in addition to the almost all Italian catalogue of furnishings from B&B Italia to Flexform, Flos and Maxalto – the luxury quotient is amplified by Iranian green onyx, Shanxi black granite from Mongolia and heavy wild-wool rugs handcrafted in Morocco.
The guest rooms are spacious cocoons that pull in evocative beach or ocean vistas, best enjoyed from your private balcony, the deep-soaking bath tub or perhaps from the spa’s 25m lap pool, which also comprises a Vitality Pool lined with shimmering green and real gold mosaic tiles. But it’s the in-house restaurants that draw the attention – not least Il Ristorante which serves elevated takes on Italian classics from pasta al pesto to veal Milanese, courtesy of Michelin-starred chef Niko Romito.