Dubai Just Got 3 New Luxe Hotels. Here’s a Look Inside.

From the moment you set foot in the light-filled lobby, there’s no mistaking where you are. There’s the Burj Khalifa in the distance. There’s the scores of immaculately clad staffers scurrying to welcome you, hands held to their hearts. You’re definitely at the One&Only One Za’abeel.

Stepping into your “Sanctuary Suite,” the curtains part automatically to reveal a tower looming over Dubai’s skyline. When you check in for a treatment at the 28th-floor Longevity Hub, there it is again, the Burj’s spire glinting in the midday sun as you sip on a pineapple, lime, and honey concoction from the detox bar. And if you happen to look up as you browse the dizzying range of stalls at the sprawling Turkish food hall Arrazuna: hello, again.

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The Link tower and home of  One&Only One Za’abeel
One&Only One Za’abeel occupies a portion of one of Dubai’s best new towers.

The January 1 unveiling of One&Only inside the daring new One Za’abeel tower marks the brand’s first-ever urban resort, which might seem like a peculiar proposition in a city where One&Only already has two more traditional beach resorts—one at the base of the Palm Jumeirah and the other presiding over the man-made island’s outermost frond. And yet, there’s perhaps no better place in the world to test out an ambitious new concept than in a city known for its gravity-defying, luxury-defining hotels.

One&Only’s latest iteration is about creating Zen against the cityscape of Dubai, and because this is Dubai, no ordinary skyscraper will do. The One&Only and the new SIRO (Dubai’s first wellness themed hotel) are both from the Kerzner International umbrella. They inhabit a pair of skyscrapers connected by the 750-foot-long “Link,” which resembles a precariously perched glass Lego block jutting out into the air. Inside the sleek horizontal cantilever (the world’s longest, of course) are restaurants and bars from a menagerie of global chefs including Tetsuya Wakuda, Anne-Sophie Pic, and Paco Morales. Rooms start at $835 per night.

A suite at One&Only One Za’abeel
Suites at the new One&Only are designed as sanctuaries.

It may seem like there’s a splashy hotel opening every week in Dubai, but most of those new properties tend to capitalize on beach real estate or on proximity to the Palm Jumeirah. But just outside of downtown, One&Only and SIRO are not alone in offering travelers a new angle from which to gaze out over Dubai’s credulity-defying skyline.

A few minutes south in the Business Bay district, the Lana (from roughly $925) is the first Middle Eastern member of the Dorchester Collection which debuted on February 1. It occupies a 30-story Foster + Partners–designed tower on the Dubai Canal. Sure, Dubai may have a bit of a reputation for assembling a pastiche of elements of global cities on the banks of the Arabian Gulf, but the Lana elegantly transports Europe to the UAE with a series of clever design choices. Here marble meets wood, bold floral patterns mingle with soft jewel-toned velvets, and every turn reveals a new mix of textures and textiles that blend together seamlessly.

In Spanish chef Martín Berasategui’s Basque restaurant Jara, a sexy pink bar swirls under orange light fixtures resembling embers hovering in the air. At the hidden-away cigar lounge Txakolina, metal curtains, purple velvets, and dark leathers come together to create a sexy speakeasy. And in the Dior Spa, neutral ecru spaces are enlivened with the label’s signature blue Toile de Jouy motif.

There are duplex suites with mirrored ceilings and tubs seemingly vast enough to fit the Burj (it certainly looks close enough to join you). The result is a surprisingly soft, alluringly sensual new addition to an area known more for its residential towers and business hotels.

A dining room at  One&Only One Za’abeel
Airy and architectural, the dining spaces at One&Only One Za’abeel offer incredible city views.

And given that neither of these properties sees itself as a business hotel, each is determined to carve out its own ways to establish itself as a leisure hub.

Sitting atop the Link that bridges One&Only One Za’abeel and SIRO, Tapasake, with the country’s longest infinity pool, is the city’s sexiest new spot for day drinking. Several floors down, there’s a One&Only kids’ club so charming and well appointed that parents might be compelled to jostle for space in the jungle gym with their children. SIRO’s fitness-focused mission will let aspiring athletes scrimmage with members of AC Milan and other pros.

Meanwhile, the Lana’s Promenade is forging a new marina-side food destination that promises to be a hit with guests and locals alike. Guests looking to add sand to their stay can head to a private beach on the Palm Jumeirah (zip over in the Lana’s Rolls-Royce or sail across by boat along the canal).

But what makes each of these new additions so exciting is the serenity they bring to new pockets of Dubai—in the heart of this fever dream of a city, tranquility is the most important amenity.

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