When it comes to luxury hotels, there are many excellent options around the world. However, one hotel consistently rises to the top of “best hotel” lists created by travel publications and reviews sites. That hotel is the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.
What makes the Burj Al Arab stand out?
The Burj Al Arab is frequently referred to as the world’s first and only “7-star” hotel. While there is no formal rating system for hotels above 5 stars, the Burj Al Arab is renowned for its over-the-top luxury and attention to detail. Some key things that make this hotel extraordinary:
- Its stunning architecture and interior design – the 56-story sail-shaped building is a Dubai landmark.
- Butler service – each guest has a personal butler to attend to their needs 24/7.
- Luxury amenities – including Rolls Royce pick-up service, private beach access, 9 onsite restaurants, etc.
- High service standards – the staff to guest ratio is around 8 to 1.
- Cutting edge technology – including electronically controlled curtains, underwater speakers in pools.
- Privacy and exclusivity – the hotel is on a private manmade island and only guests and authorized people can enter.
From the moment you arrive, everything is taken care of for you at this luxury property. No request is too big – the Burj Al Arab strives to make every guest’s stay memorable through five-star service.
Where is the Burj Al Arab located?
The Burj Al Arab is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Specifically, it is situated on a man-made island just offshore of Dubai in the Persian Gulf.
The hotel is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. Its unique sailboat-shaped architecture makes it visible from many points in Dubai. Once you see its distinctive silhouette, you know exactly where it is located.
Who built the Burj Al Arab?
The Burj Al Arab was built by Atkins, a global construction and engineering firm. Construction on the hotel started in 1994 and was completed in 1999, taking 5 years to build at total cost of $1 billion USD.
The chief architect was Tom Wright of WKK Architects. The design of the hotel was intended to mimic the sail of a ship in tribute to Dubai’s history as a port city relied on trade via the sea. Interior design was handled by Khuan Chew.
The Burj Al Arab was commissioned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. He wanted an iconic luxury hotel that would put Dubai on the global tourism map. The construction of this engineering marvel proved Dubai could achieve such world-class projects.
What features and amenities does the Burj Al Arab offer?
As a self-proclaimed 7-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab offers every luxurious amenity and service imaginable. Here are some of the top features and facilities guests can enjoy:
- Rooms and Suites – 202 duplex suites ranging from 1-3 bedrooms with lavish furnishings like rotating four-poster canopy beds and private cinema rooms. Interior decor is 18th century Versailles-inspired.
- Butler Service – Each suite comes with personal butler service 24/7 to cater to all guest needs.
- 9 Onsite Restaurants and Bars – A wide array of dining choices from Al Muntaha (200m high fine dining) to Scape Restaurant & Bar (contemporary European).
- Pools – Two outdoor infinity pools, one saltwater and one freshwater, plus heated indoor pools and jacuzzis.
- Spa and Fitness Center – A luxury spa, wellness center, and private fitness club.
- Private Beach – Exclusive beach access with water sports like sailing and snorkeling.
- Helipad – The helipad on the 28th floor can accommodate choppers up to 6 tons.
- Business Center – High tech business facilities with video conferencing, secretarial services, and event spaces.
- Kids Club – A supervised activity center to keep kids entertained.
- Tallest Atrium Lobby – The 180m tall lobby is one of the tallest in the world with dazzling fountain displays.
No detail has been overlooked at this ultra-luxury property. They offer both leisure and business travelers an unparalleled experience.
How much does it cost to stay at the Burj Al Arab?
As you might expect, the Burj Al Arab does not come cheap. It is routinely ranked as one of the most expensive hotels in the world. Nightly rates currently start around $2,000 USD a night for the most basic 1-bedroom suite during low season. In peak seasons like during holidays, rates can soar to over $10,000+ per night.
The two most lavish accommodation choices are the Royal Suite and Royal Panoramic Suite, both spread over two floors. These 3 bedroom suites cost upward of $20,000+ per night depending on the time of year. Since opened, the Burj Al Arab has become famous for its stratospheric prices that match its stratospheric height.
While out of reach for most travelers’ budgets, those who can afford to splurge will find extraordinary service and amenities that aim to make every guest feel like royalty. The Burj Al Arab is a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.
What do reviews say about the Burj Al Arab?
The Burj Al Arab is highly rated across travel review sites, press articles, and guest evaluations. Here is an overview of what both travel critics and patrons have to say:
- Travel Experts – Repeatedly referred to as “world’s best hotel” and awarded 5 stars by most publications. Described as “most luxurious hotel on the planet” by The Telegraph and “a hotel so outrageously lavish it is said to be a temptation for even the most stout-hearted of ascetics” by Travel & Leisure.
- Guest Reviews – Earns a nearly flawless 5 star rating on sites like TripAdvisor. Visitors rave about the unparalleled levels of service and amenities. Negative feedback is exceptionally rare and limited to a few guests finding the prices unwarranted.
- Awards – Voted “Best Hotel in the World” by readers of Ultratravel Magazine. The Burj Al Arab has won countless other global awards since opening in 1999.
- Prestige – The extraordinary architecture and reputation has made Burj Al Arab an icon, attracting elite guests like Tiger Woods, Bill Gates, and Giorgio Armani. It’s hard to rival the prestige.
Overall, both experts and everyday guests agree – the Burj Al Arab offers an absolutely extraordinary, incomparable hotel experience. For those who can afford the nightly rates, it represents the pinnacle of luxury accommodations.
How does the Burj Al Arab compare to other top luxury hotels in the world?
The Burj Al Arab stands in a league of its own, but it does face competition from other elite hotels around the world when it comes to over-the-top amenities and service. Here’s how it compares to a few other top luxury lodgings:
Four Seasons Hotel George V (Paris)
- Rooms: Classic elegance with Louis XV furnishings in a historic 1928 building. Balconies overlook Paris monuments.
- Amenities: 3 Michelin star dining, indoor pool, spa, fitness center, business facilities.
- Service: Impeccable old world European service. Attentive concierge and house car service.
- Price: Around $1,500 – $2,500+ per night.
- Prestige: Long esteemed by elite travelers. Historic cachet and Paris location are big draws.
Mandarin Oriental (Hong Kong)
- Rooms: Ultra spacious guestrooms on Victoria Harbour with panoramic views.
- Amenities: 9 acclaimed restaurants and bars, award-winning spa, infinity pool, fitness and yoga studios.
- Service: Warm Asian hospitality. Extremely personalized service.
- Price: Starts around $550 per night up to $7,000+ for luxury suites.
- Prestige: Historic early 20th century building in the heart of Hong Kong.
Hotel President Wilson (Geneva)
- Rooms: Elegant and generously sized rooms with views of Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc.
- Amenities: Michelin star dining, indoor pool with hydro-massage, huge spa, private limo service.
- Service: Professional Swiss service. Multilingual staff.
- Price: Ranges from $1,000 – $25,000+ per night.
- Prestige: Contemporary luxury in an ideal lakeside location.
While comparable in levels of service, no hotel rivals the over-the-top opulence and architecture offered by the Burj Al Arab. It has become an aspiration destination in itself, giving it an edge over all competitors when it comes to prestige and bucket list allure.
What does the future hold for the Burj Al Arab?
Since opening in 1999, the Burj Al Arab has consistently maintained its status as one of the top luxury hotels in the world. Given its reputation and prestige, it is likely to continue to attract elite guests for decades to come.
There are several strategies and improvements the Burj Al Arab can implement to remain competitive in the future:
- Periodic room renovations – To keep suites fresh as tastes and technologies change.
- Expansion into new markets – Attract first-time visitors from emerging countries like China and India.
- Rewards program – Loyalty programs tailored to ultra high-end travelers.
- Exciting on-property events – New dining concepts, shows, exhibitions, and more.
- Sustainability initiatives – Adopt more eco-friendly practices to appeal to values of younger luxury travelers.
Given its top-tier reputation and strategy of continuous innovation, it’s highly likely the services and amenities at the Burj Al Arab will continue to raise the bar for hoteliers around the world for many years to come. This iconic Dubai hotel has cemented its status as one of the most luxurious getaways globally.
The Burj Al Arab in Dubai has earned a reputation as “the world’s most luxurious hotel” for good reason – its lavish suites, exemplary dining, and top-tier service offer an unrivaled hotel experience. Designed to mimic a billowing sail, the architecture itself has become an icon. Inside, no expense has been spared to cater to guests’ every whim with touches like a fleet of Rolls Royce cars, helicopter airport transfers, and your own personal butler.
While room rates can exceed $20,000 a night, those who can afford to stay will find it well worth the price for the once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Burj Al Arab tops rankings of the best hotels on the planet year after year and remains the gold standard in sheer opulence. This Dubai landmark has redefined extraordinary hotel service and firmly established itself as a bucket list destination for luxury travelers from around the world.