The GCC region is renowned for being a luxurious travel destination; comfort and elegance are a common factor in most hotels in the region. But what are the most luxurious hotels in the GCC? What are the most elegant hotels in a world where elegance is the name of the game?
We have made a list of the crème de la crème; the most luxurious hotels in the GCC region are as follows.
Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Regularly touted as the world’s most luxurious hotel, Burj Al Arab definitely delivers!
The hotel is set on its own man-made island 280 meters offshore and connected to the mainland by a gently curving causeway.
The building, which has become a landmark, is simply stunning. It was designed in the shape of a billowing sail as a nod to the nation’s seafaring heritage.
The hotel’s interiors on the other hand, radiate opulence with golden columns, vibrant colors and more than 30 different types of marble.
The outdoor terrace stretches more than 300ft out into the sea; it features two pools, including a saltwater infinity pool that seems to melt into the horizon.
This is definitely one of the most luxurious hotels in the GCC, and maybe even across the whole world!
One&Only The Palm, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
One of the most luxurious hotels in the GCC region, and also one of the most secluded beachside resorts.
Provided you want peace and quiet, the location on the westernmost tip of the The Palm’s crescent is hard to top. The resort offers spectacular views of Dubai Marina and the Jumeirah Beach Residence waterfront.
There is a free water taxi ride to its sister property, One&Only Royal Mirage, and it only takes around seven minutes.
The hotel offers three restaurants by Michelin-starred French chef Yannick Alléno, indulgent spa treatments from the UAE’s only Guerlain Spa, and a spectacular pool.
Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman
Set between the craggy Hajar Mountains and a mile-long sandy beach in Musandam, this hotel is utterly idyllic and blissfully secluded.
This Omani exclave is luxury at its best. 82 stone villas, each with a private plunge pool, are set among more than 1,500 date palm trees and sandy paths dotted with fig and pomegranate trees.
Accessible by four-wheel drive only, the 75-mile journey from Dubai airport takes around two hours. Guests can take a tandem paraglide flight into the resort, or arrive by speedboat from a nearby port.
Moreover, there are two large pools in the hotel, one of which is saltwater, with hammocks slung between palm trees.
Guests are encouraged to go barefoot in the facility and there are bikes with padded pedals for each villa, while mobile phones are gently discouraged.
Alila Jabal Akhdar, Jabal Akhdar, Oman
Set at 2000 meters above sea level, and spectacularly perched on the edge of a rift, this hotel is worth visiting both for its unique design and for the marvelous views.
At this high altitude, you can enjoy a beautiful Mediterranean climate where orchards and fields thrive magnificently.
The hotel itself, which is constructed from local stone and wood, is simply elegant. But nature is the real star here. You can enjoy tremendous views across the ancient, rugged mountains, with a 600 meter-deep ravine below from anywhere in the hotel.
If you go there, you must take advantage of the activities and the Alila Experiences which are led by informative Omani guides. The experiences include an excellent sunrise walk, which gives you the chance to look back and appreciate the hotel’s extraordinary location, as well as visits to local villages. In April and May, when the roses are in bloom, you can even learn how rosewater is made.
There is a brilliant infinity pool framed in rocks in the hotel, as well as an indoor pool. In addition to that, there is a spa and a fitness center.
Zaya Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Nurai Island is a small, previously uninhabited natural island close to Saadiyat Island on Abu Dhabi’s coast. Works have taken place to shore up the development and enlarge the island, but it still looks stunningly natural.
To reach the island, visitors arrive at a small welcome center on Saadiyat Island. From there it is a 10-minute speedboat ride and departures are every hour. But guests can also make arrangements to arrive by private boat and there is a helipad as well.
The accommodation consists of 32 one-bedroom beach villas that are each 110 square meters in size. Each beach villa boasts its own private garden with a pool.
There are also larger private villas, some are for rent and some are for sale.
The island has been developed as both an upscale resort and an exclusive real estate development. Nonetheless, there are no walls or gates dividing the different areas.
There are no cars in the island, sandy pathways can be reached by golf buggy or on foot, and it takes about an hour to walk around the whole island.
Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, Manama, Bahrain
From the outside, the design of the hotel captures the eye. Most of the rooms are suspended in the central portion of the building with a bridge joining the upper sections.
From the inside, the interior design resembles an Art Deco ocean liner; high ceilings, acres of black marble, wood-paneling, opulent lighting, fresh flowers and hundreds of paintings.
The massive lobby features eight real mature olive trees and a live piano and violin duet every afternoon. The gardens and pool area drip with exclusivity and class.
Moreover, not one but two Wolfgang Puck restaurants lead the hotel’s culinary offering so that guests can enjoy a luxurious dinner in one one of the most luxurious hotels in Bahrain.
Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa, Bahrain
The hotel, which sits between the village of Zallaq and some royal palaces on the central-west coast, is one of the most luxurious hotels across the GCC, and holds one of the most luxurious spas. It is Arabic in style but with some French colonial touches in the furniture and lighting.
Comfortably luxurious, this hotel manages to be both grand and homely, with amazingly well-lit interior and marvelous gardens.
The Thalassa Sea & Spa features two hydrotherapy pools and two floors of treatment rooms with state-of-the art thalassotherapy machines.