Of course, I am certain most of us in the world have heard of the famous, lavish and ever stylish fashion designer, Giorgio Armani. So to know this, you would immediately not expect anything less from a hotel that has been designed and created by same said couturier himself!
Armani Hotel Dubai is Giorgio Armani’s inauguration into the world of hotels, and as a hotelier Giorgio does not fail to deliver an establishment that perfectly mirrors the global signature of his luxury Armani brand.
Located right in the heart of Downtown Dubai, the hotel is in a key locality for all the amazing touristic attractions that Dubai has to offer. Known as “The Centre of Now”, The Armani Hotel Dubai is just a mere walking distance from the world’s largest shopping center: The Dubai Mall, which includes The Dubai Fountain. Illuminated by 6,600 lights, the fountain shoots water 500 feet high to a soundtrack of world music; as the world’s tallest performing fountain, The Dubai Fountain is one of Dubai’s most compelling tourist attractions.
With all these record breaking attractions, it only right to follow suit and mention that The Armani Hotel Dubai itself is spectacularly situated in Dubai’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
Every aspect of the hotel’s design evokes the feeling of elegance, minimalism and contemporary styling; from the bespoke furnishing to the restaurants and exclusive retail outlets and a spa. It is so contemporary and minimalist that at times you could find it a puzzle to find the doors and entrances!
The hotel itself is based off a muted color of masculine shades of black, grey, chocolate brown, musky crème and with accents of red within strong clean lines. Occupying 10 floors in the Burj Khalifa, Armani Hotel Dubai offers 160 guest rooms, seven restaurants and a top class 12,000-square-foot spa.
To be fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to try out the joys of the Armani/SPA as well as dine at the impressive Indian restaurant Armani/Amal. If ever there was a feeling of sheer exclusivity and ultra-luxury, then stepping through the main entrance of the hotel is certainly a trigger point for this. I for one naturally felt like I had to pull my shoulders back, head high and walk with a slight “catwalk-style” strut. The elegant lifestyle of Armani Hotel Dubai calls for it.
Armani Hotel Dubai features seven restaurants offering an exciting collection of world cuisine, from Japanese and Indian to flavors of the Mediterranean and authentic Italian. The impressive culinary options reflect the cosmopolitan nature of the city and stunning restaurant interiors are complemented by exciting al fresco terrace and balcony dining opportunities.
Out of the seven restaurants, that evening I dined Indian style at Armani/Amal. If you do choose to visit this incredible restaurant, then there are two things that are a required must. Firstly you must reserve an outdoor seating on the restaurant’s terrace – of course only if the scorching desert heat permits – as the views you will enjoy alongside the scrumptious cuisine magically goes hand-in-hand. Secondly, opt for one of the set menus, it will give you a chance to try everything, and that for sure is what you want to do!
The menu is practically a roll-call of what can be considered as ‘true taste of India’. Fresh and innovative regional Indian cuisine such as everything from a selection of seafood which are prepared in various forms and coated in the most incredibly tasting sauces, to the grilled meats such as mini lamb chops and chicken madras – the flavors that are delivered to you sends you on a culinary tour around India!
What was refreshing was that the waiting staff asked beforehand how spicy I could handle my meal, which they ensure that all dishes that come out are then tailored to your individual tolerance levels. Great attention to customer needs.
For the set menu, the portion sizes I would say are just right, as you have a vigorous amount of starters, mains to get through all before you attack the mouthwatering desserts.
It would not be an Indian restaurant if there was no curry on the menu! And Amani/Amal’s range of curries can be smelt before they are seen; the aroma that wafts over to you, I believe becomes the prep for your taste buds. Accompanying the curry was the fragrant Saffron rice, I also could not resist but to continually dip the many versions of warm Naan breads into the exotic curry.
The overall food quality was the highest you’ll find anywhere. The menu is well put together, with a great deal of variation, so if something is not to your liking, don’t worry as there are plenty more dishes to feast on! With the fantastic third floor views from up high, thankfully, the food also lives up to its high expectations, and desserts are also a thing to behold – artistic, impressive and wonderfully tasty.
Not only are you paying for outstanding food and service but the whole entire experience as well as the fantastic views. That in a whole is a package deal worth every dirham.
The next day after the wonderful Indian feast, I was booked in at Armani/SPA for a signature Thai massage, a really great way to kick start my weekend!
Again, the décor of the spa echoes the rest of the hotels design aesthetics. The minimalist grey effect here at the Spa’s reception does initially make it feel clinical and even on the verge of being cold, rather than the warm, cozy atmosphere you would immediately associate with a sanctuary for relaxation.
Introduced to my therapist – who was from Indonesia, that warm feeling I mentioned was lacking from the spa’s reception was immediately atoned for with the therapists smile, approach and charismatic nature. Just from her smile alone, I knew I was in good hands.
As chic as the Armani hotel is itself, the essence of the spa truly is that of haute pampering. The Thai massage I was explained by my therapist is a dry massage, meaning no oils would be used, and if I was comfortable with that? It did make me a little weary to hear this as I have never had a dry massage, as I associate the use of oils as a tool for relaxing.
I decided to stick with this signature massage, as one should always try something new, right? So be it – we headed off to my therapy room.
The interior design, again, was immaculate. Understated with its charcoal-mosaic walls, granite footbath and crisp, white Armani-embossed towels on the bed, indeed it felt worlds apart from what was outside on the busy streets of Downtown Dubai.
The Thai massage itself, was everything and more that my body needed! I think I had far too long been used to having just the regular relaxation massages. Whereas this massage was made up of yoga style movements where I was stretched, pulled, twisted and bent in numerous positions.
It proved to be completely transformative. My therapist could feel every knot and bump that needed to be teased out of my body and with encouraging breaths, she sought out to banish them. With every cracking sound I heard come out of body, I knew that I was one more step closer to being less tense, and that is when I was totally won over to ‘dry massages’.
As the 60 minutes came gradually to an end, the therapist placed a warm, herbal cotton pillow around my neck and proceeded to give me a dry head and neck massage. In contrast to so many spa treatments that are geared towards relaxation and leaving you in a tranquilizing state post-treatment, Armani/SPA’s finely tuned Thai therapy will see you raring to go and fully re-energized!
By applying pressure along the meridians, this oil-free treatment unblocks trapped energy, stretches joints and balances all the major muscle groups of the body. It’s a stress-busting, muscle-relieving exercise that I cannot recommend highly enough.
With all that newly released energy post-treatment, it is worthwhile to take a few laps in the stunning pool just outside of the spa. It is a much welcomed refresher from Dubai’s intense weather and with the attentive pool staff on hand to offer you cold face towels and water, you will feel that the whole experience is nicely rounded off.
Even if you are not a guest staying at this beautiful establishment, it is a must to book yourself in for either a meal at one of the restaurants or have a treatment at the spa. It is one of those ‘Dubai must-do’s’, and there is no better time than the pending Eid holidays coming up. Treat yourself and your loved one to the most romantic dinner setting ever at Armani/Amal, or bring the entire family for a spa and pool day. Anything you choose to do at the Armani Hotel Dubai, you will most certainly be exposed to the grandeur and spectacular setting of a luxurious and prestige lifestyle, synonymous with the Italian brand itself.
Location: Armani Hotel; Burj Khalifa; Downtown
Armani/Amal: Third Floor; Dinner 7.00pm – 11.00pm
Armani/SPA: Sunday – Saturday; 9.00am – 9.00pm; Pool 6.00am – 8.00pm
Phone: +971 4 888 3888