The second Ritz-Carlton to have thrown open its doors in the city, this recent addition only debuted late last year but has already become a byword for an elegant, opulent stay within Dubai. Bold without being brash, the hotel has retained plenty of European-style charm and despite being at the heart of the busy Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), it still has a sense of quiet retreat about it once you step through the doors. This five-star hotel also fields some impressive restaurants in the shape of Thai, Blue Rain and steakhouse Center Cut, but we love the cosy whisky bar No.5 Lounge & Bar, which is the place to snuggle down for a post meal night cap. In terms of shopping, Dubai Mall, with the only Bloomingdale's outside of New York and the largest Gucci store in the world, is right on your doorstep, along with ‘Fashion Avenue’ – home to just about every high-end designer you can think of.
The essentials • The spa has 11 treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms and you can even bring your own music to relax to.
• High-end boutiques like Villa Moda, art galleries such as the Empty Quarter, and auction houses like Christie’s are on your doorstep in DIFC.
• Time Out’s Restaurant Awards’ Newcomer of the Year, Le Petit Maison is minutes away. A sister to the Mayfair eatery, this relaxed but chic restaurant has won a lot of local hearts (and stomachs).
• Try the cocktails at Caramel, a seriously cool bar in DIFC, popular with the financiers who work in the area.
• Head up the tallest building in the world, just around the corner. The Burj Khalifa – you can’t miss it!
The Ritz-Carlton DIFC