Review: The Bulgari Resort & Residences Dubai: Where understated ultra-luxury meets bespoke hospitality

I must admit that for a while now, I have been intrigued and entranced by the term ‘ultra luxury.’ It suggested and promised so much. It was, at once, an allure as it was a sort of a mystery that sparked my curiosity. But what are the standards that set an ultra-luxury hotel above the rest? Could it be defined? Little did I know that my stay at Bulgari Hotel Dubai would actually offer a glimpse into the same!

In my 8 years of practically living off my suitcase, witnessing spectacles of various destinations and hotels, I thought that I had seen it all from healing holidays that emanated a glow within me to unforgettable stay experiences and destinations that intrigued me. That was until I checked in at the Bulgari resort in Dubai.

Located on its own island, Jumeirah Bay, it has a private marina lined with superyachts. The Bulgari doesn’t do things by halves, and that is evident as I enter my room accessorized with cashmere blankets and in my dessert amenity that arrives with the Bulgari logo ensconced in gold-leaf.

My 55 sqm Deluxe beach view rooms
affords glorious vistas of the resort’s sandy beach. With the beach right on the doorstep, these rooms, each with a private balcony, are the perfect spot for me to marvel at the resort surroundings. I’m told that all rooms and suites have private balconies with upscale alfresco furnishings to nest in with a good book, and all villas have private pools, terraces, and butler service, plus added extras, such as state-of-the-art wireless Phantom speakers.

I’m blown away by the attention to detail and the aesthetics as I enter my swish room in understated yet standout caramel hues, accentuated with fabric-clad walls, handcrafted Italian furniture, vintage trunk-style minibars, and cuddly cashmere throws, every detail oozes opulence. The marble bath-tub and the majestic bath area that is stocked with Bulgari toiletries too match the splendor of the overall space.

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I sink into my marshmallow-soft bed, with bedding of feathers, glaring in amazement at the pillow menu that offers me a choice from the plethora of pillow fragrances available at my disposal, from soothing lavender to rejuvenating lemongrass. For anything I may need, my butler can be summoned through the click of an iPad.

The hotel gift shop is a Bulgari jewelry boutique.
The Bulgari Spa has seven treatment rooms, a couple’s suite, a hammam, a 25-meter indoor pool, and a vitality pool inspired by the ancient Caracalla Roman baths. At the Bulgari Spa, I savored soaking in the spa pool tiled with gold and a hands-on Bulgari Bespoke Massage, one of the best ones that I’ve tried till date. The captivating spa music, coupled with the slow, rhythmic movements of my nimble-fingered therapist kneading my muscles into mush, transports me to a cosmic consciousness.

The pristine gym overlooks the glittering Arabian Sea and Bulgari’s Beach Club, home to a restaurant, 14 private cabanas, and two pools, perfect for a beachy blast. The Yacht Club also houses a pool and restaurant, as well as a 46-boat harbor.

Luxury begins from the first meal of the day—I tuck into the incredibly sinful à la carte Bulgari breakfast, loaded with scrumptious pastries and cookies taking in the swoon-worthy views by the marina at Il Café, an experience which displays Bulgari’s culinary pedigree in full form. Bearing in mind the regional (Middle East) audience, the breakfast spread also comprises tantalizingly grilled halloumi with aubergine, ful medames fava beans, fruit and eggs with Arabic bread.

Of the 11 restaurants in Dubai given Michelin stars, two can be found at the Bulgari Resort.
I had the pleasure of putting to test the Il Ristorante – Niko Romito, an Italian fine dining gem that bagged the two Michelin stars.
I started off with the amuse bouche, a refreshing and tangy liquid extraction of Piccadilly tomatoes infused with herbs, black pepper and olive oil, which is served alongside a loaf of house-baked bread that truly sets the stage for an eclectic meal ahead. Next up the Milanese risotto is creamy perfection while the tiramisu with cream that was fresh, sponge which was soaked in just the adequate amount of cocoa powder, and the balance of the dish, all made the experience truly otherworldly. Another meal I tried was at the Yacht Club Restaurant which overlooks a 46-boat harbor, recreating the charm of a Mediterranean atmosphere which was equally incredible. As I noshed on the homemade ravioli pasta with ricotta cheese, spinach, truffle, and butter, the fact that a meal at Bulgari is a true masterclass in gastronomy was reinforced.

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Another well-known dining spot is Hoseki: with just nine seats and exceptional dégustation menus by sushi master chef Masahiro Sugiyama which gets booked up months in advance. Moreover the Bulgari Bar Dubai made the runners-up list of the World’s 50 Best Bars, landing at number 58.

A hedonistic escape
Overall, I find the service at the Bulgari Dubai to be as indulgent as it can get, with the staff always eager to please. Waitstaff greet me by my name despite my lack of reservation. The turndown is one of the best I’ve seen, where the gracious staff spritz an incredibly calming lavender pillow mist by my bed and offer little surprises like a piece of handcrafted Bulgari chocolates left by my bed or a personalized Bulgari beach bag to take home. No wonder a sort of beauty overdose floods through me, it’s impossible to stop smiling, given the spirit of the force that is Bulgari.

Note: The critic was hosted by the hotel, but all opinions are her own.
Standard rooms start from $2179 USD per night
Where: Jumeirah Bay Island – Dubai
Phone: 04 777 5555

The luxe factor is:

9 Interiors
9 Room
9 Hospitality
9 Food
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