When the hotel was completed in 1999, Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum felt disappointed by the white, minimalist structure. To please him, the Chinese designer Khuan Chew decided to use Carrara marble, velvet, hand-woven carpets and gold to decorate the posh interiors, giving Burj Al Arab the distinction of being the most luxurious hotel in the city.
White by day and multicolor at night, Burj Al Arab is a sort of ultra-technological palace that redefined contemporary architecture and design when it was built. A heliport on its roof, pools, waterfalls, private beach and aquariums with dozens of different species of marine life are just some of the extravagant luxuries found within.
The Burj Al Arab sits on an artificial island built especially for the hotel. As you approach from the road that connects to the mainland, a symphony of light and water welcomes you at the main entrance proclaiming the obvious: every detail has been carefully designed to dazzle. With stunning palatial proportions, the interiors evoke a tale from the Arabian Nights.
The same type of marble that Michelangelo used to create his sculptures covers the floors and walls of the Burj Al Arab. The hotel has 202 suites, but the spectacular Royal Suites feature majestic marble stairs decorated with gold, private elevators that lead to the upper floor of each duplex suite, private movie theater, library, dining room for 12 guests, and superb living rooms decorated in opulent Majlis style.
The hotel is best known for its personalized service, which includes an exclusive butler for each suite and a Rolls-Royce fleet available for airport transfers or sightseeing around Dubai.
One of the hotel’s eight restaurants, Al Mahara, is recognized as one of the best in the world. Specializing in seafood, it looks striking with its underground environment lit by the glow of huge seawater aquariums. There is also Al Muntaha, located on the 27th floor, with unforgettable views of the Persian Gulf and the spectacular The Palms and Palm Jumeirah artificial archipelagos. Meanwhile, the Assawan Spa & Health Club provides a serene and stimulating atmosphere, perfect to relax the body and calm the spirit. You can enjoy its water and steam rituals, along with other soothing treatments in a lavishly decorated oasis.
It is hard to imagine a more exquisite and sophisticated destination than the Burj Al Arab Hotel. This one of a kind sail that is open to the sea is the ideal place to indulge in extreme luxury. ■