Sleek island sophistication at Bulgari Resort Dubai

Quiet chic and the standout Romito restaurant bring the dolce vita to the desert

The largest villa at Bulgari Resort Dubai has a 500sq m garden, an oval pool, indoor cinema and hammam
The largest villa at Bulgari Resort Dubai has a 500sq m garden, an oval pool, indoor cinema and hammam

Dubai. Love it, hate it, or pretty much indifferent (I’d put myself mostly in the third category), the sprawling emirate is sometimes a necessary stopover. But in a place where the overall hospitality strategy can seem predicated on the indiscriminate deployment of gilt and pink marble, the new Bulgari Resort Dubai (bulgarihotels.com; from £590) – a low-rise and, with respect to its compset, low-key redoubt, on its own little horseshoe-shaped island off Jumeirah Beach – stands out.

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House architect Antonio Citterio sets a quietly sleek tone with light hardwoods and raw and polished marbles, underscored with plush beni ourain rugs and low contemporary furnishings throughout. I loved my leather-clad minibar, styled like a vintage travel trunk. I loved the Workshop Gymnasium’s dizzying array of kit and the Italian stone and wood panelling in the resolutely un-girly Bulgari Spa. And I really loved Il Ristorante di Niko Romito, Bulgari’s exclusive venture with the much-fêted Abruzzese chef, which brings a meticulously crafted measure of the dolce vita to this desert.

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