Style & character:
The design is so cohesively Armani, it’s easy to picture yourself at one of Giorgio’s stylish house parties – and that’s the intention. Guests are welcomed in the lobby under towering bronze arches curved like the hotel’s logo. Look closely and you’ll see the design repeated in table legs and door handles, such is the attention to detail.
This imposing ivory resort proudly faces the sail-shaped silhouette of Burj Al Arab across the Arabian Gulf. Every Waldorf Astoria hotel has a clock tower in its reception area, a spot where guests can meet; here, it adds old-world charm to a glossy grey marble atrium with glass lifts gliding up and down between the hotel’s six floors.
Peacock Alley is another historic lobby feature, a place to be seen when it was the connecting path between the original Waldorf and Astoria hotels in New York. At this Dubai outpost, it’s a catwalk of afternoon teas with a pianist setting the tone.
Sculptural flower arrangements inject rare shocks of color in an otherwise uniformly sable and taupe palette, and with muted lighting, it’s easy to get lost in the almost identical maze-like corridors.
Service & facilities:
Food & drink:
Each prefixed with ‘Armani/’, there are seven outlets to enjoy, all with Giorgio’s trademark look. End the day at Privé nightclub and start it at Mediterraneo with a pork-free gourmet breakfast buffet. Whipped to perfection, the light, airy, cheese-filled frittata demonstrate the chefs’ admirable skills.
Casual meals are available at Lounge and Deli. Head to Hashi (Japanese), Amal (Indian) or Ristorante (Italian) for a more romantic soirée. Choosing between them would be like picking a favorite child, but if one dish stands out, it’s Ristorante’s La Sfera. Made in the same way glass is blown, a delicate sugar sphere is filled with harmonious compilations of panna cotta, cream, compote, and biscuit. Cracking it open is like recreating Christmas on a plate.