Giorgio Armani chose the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, as the site of his first namesake hotel, which is swathed in the Milanese designer’s sober minimalism and signature bronze, brown, gray, and taupe color scheme. Guestrooms occupy the first eight floors, plus levels 38 and 39 of the soaring 160-story tower; the hotel’s curving floor-to-ceiling windows show off panoramic views of Dubai’s surreal desert-meets-starchitect skyscraper skyline. Armani-clad “personal lifestyle managers” assist guests with everything from delivering cappuccino and complimentary Armani/Dolci chocolate to arranging art gallery tours and desert safaris. The top-to-bottom branding is an inseparable part of the experience: Nearly every object in the hotel—toiletries, pencils, even sugar cubes—bears the Armani logo. For guests who want to take the look home, it’s easy to hit the in-house Armani Privé boutique. For those seeking more brand variety, Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping malls, sits right next door.
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At the foot of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, sits Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping malls and a great spot for observing Dubai’s mix of nationalities and cultures. At night, the outdoor plaza, lined with patio restaurants such as the Rivington Bar and Grill, draws locals and foreign sightseers snapping photos of the world’s largest dancing fountain. Indoors, impeccably made-up young Emirati women wearing slim-fitted abayas browse the windows of Tori Burch, Temperley, and Chanel in the Fashion Avenue. For local design, check out S*uce for a curated collection of contemporary brands, diffusion lines, and unique pieces by up-and-coming regional designers. The mall is linked by an indoor walkway to the Dubai Metro. Ride one stop to the Dubai International Financial Center, where you'll find contemporary art galleries and the Zuma and Petite Maison restaurants.
Need to Know
Rooms: 160 rooms; from $490 [1,800 AED]. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The hotel’s seven restaurants and lounges are dining destinations in their own right, but staff say Mr. Armani’s personal favorite is Amal, the Indian eatery. At Hashi, serving contemporary Japanese cuisine, try the sushi with sake flight. Gym and spa details: The 24-hour gym includes access to a sequential thermal bath and outdoor pool. At the Spa, treatments that incorporate bespoke Armani wood, jasmine, and jade oils are designed to relax, relieve pain, restore fluidity of movement, or enhance vitality and internal balance. Spa hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.
Who’s it for: The hotel attracts an international crowd of business travelers and shoppers who appreciate the easy access to malls and the Dubai metro. Our favorite rooms: The Armani Dubai suite, personally designed by Giorgio Armani, occupies all of floor 39 and has the hotel’s best views. Table with a view: Skip the tourist-filled Burj Khalifa observatory and go for a drink and a Wagyu burger slider at the bar at At.mosphere, the world’s highest restaurant on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa.