The Best Boutique Hotels in Dubai, for Every Type of Traveler | Savoir Flair
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The Best Boutique Hotels in Dubai, for Every Type of Traveler
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by Savoir Flair 15-minute read November 14, 2023

Because the “where to stay in Dubai” dilemma is definitely real.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the “where to stay in Dubai” dilemma is definitely real. With over a thousand properties — that’s approximately 140,778 room options — the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming. If you’re seeking something unique, a more personalized level of service, or a creativity-focused environment, Dubai’s upscale boutique hotels might simplify the decision. We went on a journey through every nook and cranny of the city to find the best boutique hotels. From a Bedouin-themed property and a charming little B&B by Dubai Creek, we think we’ve found a boutique hotel that’s just perfect for you – regardless of what you’re into. 

Scroll down to discover the best boutique hotels in Dubai that offer a truly unique and customized experience.

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25hours Hotel

The 25hours Hotel, a favorite of the city’s cool and cultured crowd, defies the “boutique” norm with its over 400 rooms, yet remarkably maintains the intimate and personable vibe typical of smaller boutique hotels. It stands as a creative oasis amidst Dubai’s usual marble-tiled grandeur, blending Bedouin traditions with a modern, artistic touch in its eclectic range of rooms and suites – from the whimsically themed Bedouin and Glamping rooms to the spacious Artist Village and opulent Hakawati Suites. 

The hotel’s dining scene mirrors its quirky charm, boasting the casual Nomad Day Bar, the hearty Ernst Biergarten, Tandoor Tina with its Indo-British fusion, and the trendy Monkey Bar, offering Latin American cuisine against a backdrop of the stunning Museum of the Future. The rooftop pool promises unrivaled skyline views, while the gym and the Extra Hour spa cater to wellness enthusiasts. Further adding to its allure is a salon by celebrity hairdresser Wassim Steve, and a variety of creatively designed event spaces and a co-working area. Despite its size, 25hours Hotel exudes a cozy atmosphere, packed with personality and a unique flair that makes it a magnet for those seeking a stylish, yet intimate, experience in Dubai.

Address Montgomerie

At Address Montgomerie, luxury finds its expression not in towering structures but in sprawling, verdant golf courses, artfully managed by Troon Golf. This retreat, far from the urban hustle yet so close, offers an exclusive experience with just 21 rooms, ensuring a relaxing and personalized stay. The rooms, particularly the Deluxe Courtyard Room, boast a tasteful décor of neutral shades accented by vibrant reds, offering views that compete with the convenience of a Nespresso machine. Bathrooms mirror this elegance with spacious layouts, double sinks, and indulgent Lorenzo Villoresi toiletries, turning routine into luxury.

The resort’s heart is its Colin Montgomerie-designed golf course, a green haven for enthusiasts and professionals alike. Monty’s, adjacent to the 18th hole, is the social epicenter, where breakfasts turn into strategy sessions and families relax as golfers unwind. The Spa at Address Montgomerie, especially with its unique Golf Ball Massage, is a sanctuary for rejuvenation after a day on the links. For those less inclined towards golf, the resort still charms with its serene poolside experience, where lounging becomes an art form. 


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Al Seef Heritage Hotel

Stepping into Al Seef Heritage Hotel is like stepping back in time – so much so that even the SuitePad in your room will feel out of place. Then again, nothing at this local heritage-inspired property feels typical. Here, wooden chests hold everyday hotel amenities, dolly light switches and rotary-style phones add an element of yesteryear, stone floors and palm beams offer architectural authenticity, sadu fabrics enrobe the floor cushions of the majlis outside your room, and dinner at onsite restaurant Saba’a embodies the true essence of a home-cooked meal. And get this: even the exfoliating soap uses sands from each of the seven emirates.

Opened in 2018, the property has created yet another reason to (finally) explore Al Seef, a leisure destination located on the south bank of Dubai Creek. The vicinity is still very much a trade hub, with bustling souks and weathered dhows full of merchandise guaranteeing many opportunities for exploration. Jaded residents and first-time tourists alike will love boarding an abra (for a bargain AED1) to cross the creek, walking over to Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, photographing the barjeel wind towers that form the Al Seef skyline, and getting lost in the seemingly endless alleys of the area. Our hope is that you stumble upon Dukan Namlet to discover Namlet, an Emirati soda dating back to the 1920s, before returning to your beautiful bayt for the night.

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The Canvas Hotel

Located in the quieter part of the city — within walking distance from Dubai Museum, Dubai Creek, the Heritage Centre, and the Gold Souk The Canvas Hotel Dubai is where modern chic meets Middle Eastern charm. Its lobby is a showstopper with a towering atrium and a chrome sculpture that steals the spotlight. The building’s sleek glass façade might make you wonder if you’ve stepped into a contemporary art piece. Rooms here are a masterclass in modern luxury, with wood floors, monochrome prints of mosque architecture, and bathrooms that make a simple shower feel like a spa day. Think rain showers, stone tiling, and tubs with city views – because why not?

Perched on the roof is a pool that offers not just a swim, but a panoramic view of the city, complete with chic glass-walled showers and loungers for days. The spa, a tranquil retreat lit by candles, invites you to unwind, while the small (but well-equipped) fitness center challenges you to keep up with your workout routine. Dining is an adventure here, from sashimi that’ll transport you to Tokyo to South Asian dishes that tantalize with spice. More than just a place to stay, this hotel is a slice of the city’s soul, offering a serene escape with a dash of local flavor.

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Dubai EDITION

In the city that never lacks for drama, Dubai EDITION sweeps in with its own brand of flair. Think of it as the embodiment of ‘sexy’ in the best possible way: sleek, minimalist, and the proud owner of the city’s chicest rooftop spots. This Schrager-Marriott brainchild doesn’t just toe the line between lavish and tasteful; it cartwheels over it. The triple-height, theatrical lobby with its spiral, fusilli-shaped staircase (and a chandelier that could rival a small sun) sets the stage. But it’s not all show – the rooms are a warm hug of visual restraint and inviting comfort.

At the core of this design-centric masterpiece, warm beige tones play with vast windows and arched ceilings to create an ambiance that's both chic and welcoming. And let’s talk about the Thia Skylounge – a second-floor retreat with lush foliage, prime Burj Khalifa views, and beverages that taste like they’ve been infused with stardust. But the real scene-stealer is Inti, the Peruvian rooftop restaurant where the retractable roof, stunning views, and a DJ ensure the night is always young. For a more low-key vibe, slip into Duomo in the lobby. Here, Italian cuisine takes center stage in a sunlit space, with breakfasts that could turn anyone into a morning person. 

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Form Hotel

Not only is Form Hotel the region’s first member of Design Hotels, but it’s also beautifully minimalist – just think of it as the hospitality equivalent of an all-black ensemble. The Art Deco-inspired rooms aren’t trying to be trendy because they don’t need to. Instead, timeless design elements and neutral color palettes are complemented by subtle splashes of color, courtesy of custom art photography. Taking center stage are the things we value in life and on holiday: a good night’s sleep, guilt-free indulgences, and technology that makes life easier. That translates to an absurdly comfortable bed, wholesome cuisine at Roots Kitchen, and a perpetual state of hyper-connectivity. Through digital concierge ‘ROB’, you can order room service, get instructions on using the pour-over coffee kit, and ask just about anything.

ROB also links to ‘weForm’, allowing guests to do everything from purchase designer pajamas to request a curated art tour, a private butler, a personalized yoga session, and more. Wellness dominates the hotel’s philosophy, which is why you’ll notice organic snacks in the minibar, Elemental Herbology bath products, and even a sanitized TV remote. This mindset takes the elevator up to the rooftop, where a gym, a pool, loungers, and light bites collide at Salūs Housetop. Back on ground level, take a closer look at the wooden beams that are collectively entitled The Deconstructed Dhow. Sleek and towering, this installation pays tribute to Al Jadaf’s boat-building heritage and represents the ribs of an Arabian dhow. The lobby is also where you’ll find Concept Boutique by Form, well worth a visit for its nostalgia-centric perfumes by Arcadia and cool souvenirs by Dubailove. Love.

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Hyde Hotel

Which hotel has the best views in Dubai? That is probably the most Googled question. Currently, there are numerous properties that offer some sort of view, but none are as fun and playful as the newly opened Hyde Hotel in Business Bay. Proudly sitting between Downtown Dubai and the glittering waterfront of Dubai Canal, this five-star property is perfect for those searching for a relaxed but stunning hideaway. Chic and intuitively designed, all guest rooms here have access to private balconies and are equipped with luxurious amenities like smart TVs, Malin+Goetz bath products, and a premium Nespresso coffee machine. But, really, you’re here for the view. The floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious balcony show off the Dubai skyline in its best angle, overlooking the Burj Khalifa and other iconic city landmarks against the gleaming Dubai Canal and beyond. Although Hyde Hotel is an ideal spot to party and live the high life, one can still easily retreat into a tranquil space at Cinq Mondes Spa. Nothing feels better than treating yourself to any of its holistic treatments for that much-needed deep regeneration of the mind and body. For a more idyllic experience, a dip in the infinity pool will do wonders for calming your soul.

Hyde Hotel is also a culinary destination in its own right. From the dynamic Levantine menu of Cleo and Katsuya’s contemporary take on Japanese flavors to the lively, New York-style speakeasy Hudson Tavern and the quaintly elegant The Perq cafe, the hotel fulfills every craving and caters to every type of taste. At daytime, the atmosphere is laid-back, enhanced by a worldly charm. Come sunset, the place comes alive with whimsical and vibrant energy, live music, and sundowners. Don’t worry if you can’t decide on just one vibe — there’s always next time.

Mazmi Casa

Yes, parking in the area is a nightmare and, yes, you’ll almost certainly have to ask someone for directions after walking around in what feels like a maze, but that’s what makes Mazmi Casa the definitive hidden gem on this list. Located in Bur Dubai, this intimate (read: three rooms) B&B serves up a truly honest snapshot of the city, what with Textile Souk, Shiva Temple, and Grand Mosque in the vicinity – you’ll find the scurry of tourists, shoppers, and worshippers downright exhilarating. The backstory here is as charming as the people behind it; Mazmi is owned by an Italian woman named Ilaria and her Emirati husband Mohamed Al Mazmi, so adding further diversity to the property is their collective backgrounds.

Ilaria’s aesthetic sense is reflected in all three rooms, but ‘Samaa’ (with its bathtub located inside an original wind tower) is the one to beat. But regardless of where you end up, you’ll love the Afghan fabrics, black-and-white photographs depicting fishing scenes, and coffee table books that share your space. The pièce de résistance is the eponymous restaurant that sits right at the edge of Dubai Creek, translating to killer views and the ultimate sunset spot. Mohamed’s heritage is palpable in the menu that promises regional favorites with a twist – and delivers. Mazmi Hummus is infused with basil and sun-dried tomatoes, Shawarma Our Way is done with paratha instead of pita, and ‘Umm Ali’ comes with a side of ice cream. And speaking of: checking out without giving the homemade saffron ice cream a try would be sacrilege.

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ME Dubai by Meliá

Stroll into ME Dubai by Meliá, and it’s like Zaha Hadid decided to throw a curveball into the city’s hotel scene. Set in The Opus, Hadid’s architectural swan song in Business Bay, the hotel wraps itself in an enigma with twin towers and a void that screams “Hadid was here.” With a mere 93 rooms, ME Dubai feels like an exclusive club where space-age meets luxury. The lobby? A scene from a 60s sci-fi flick, complete with psychedelic light shows and staff rocking cropped suits and trainers like they’re about to board a retro space shuttle. The rooms are a playground of oak floors, metallic layers, and Hadid’s whimsical designs — think head boards with dune-shaped gold arcs and rugs cut to match futuristic bed frames. You’re living in a world where even the doorbell gets techy, revealing your visitor on a 65-inch LED TV.

Food here is no afterthought. Chef James Knight-Pacheco’s Thermidog at Gin Bar is a culinary grenade, while Deseo dishes out South American flair with a side of bohemian vibes. Craving a Spanish breakfast twist? Tapas bar Central is your go-to. And don’t miss Roka, where wholesome ingredients steal the limelight with dishes like yuzu-infused mashed potato. Fitness fanatics, the 650-square-meter gym with Technogym Biocircuit is your playground, and the opulent pool deck with live DJ sets screams luxury. Partied too hard? The spa's Natura Bissé facials are your remedy. 

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Nikki Beach

Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, located on Pearl Jumeirah island, is like a slice of beachfront paradise that’s somehow both in and out of Dubai. This isn’t your average raucous beach club; think more chilled vibes, kids building sandcastles, and villas that scream ‘party’ but also whisper ‘relaxation.’ With its secluded, palm-lined beaches, you’d think you’re on a deserted island — not a stone’s throw from Downtown Dubai. The resort’s design is like someone took ‘modern’ to a beach holiday — think brilliant white structures, rooms and villas with floor-to-ceiling windows offering either ocean views or a distant city skyline. Rooms are decked out in earthy tones, while the suites up the ante with comfy sofas, dining tables, and enough coffee-table books to start your own library. The mood lighting in the rooms is pure futurism, setting the scene for a night with Nikki Beach’s global playlists. And the bathrooms are a marble dream with rain showers and luxe Malin+Goetz goodies.

Food-wise, Nikki Beach isn’t playing; it’s winning. The Soul Lounge and Cafe Nikki dish out Mediterranean delights that are as tasty as they are sustainable, and the new Bungalo34 adds a dash of slick beachfront dining. And the spa? It's like they bottled relaxation — huge treatment rooms with terraces, a thermal suite with all the trimmings, and a gym that makes you want to work out. Meanwhile, the staff is friendly, chatty, and refreshingly real. Nikki Beach might be the hidden gem of Dubai’s beachfront resorts, but it punches way above its weight, offering an escape within the city that’s perfect for both staycations and city explorations.

Queen Elizabeth 2

All aboard the QE2, Dubai’s very own slice of British maritime history in the form of a floating hotel. Parked at Mina Rashid port, this grand dame of the seas is a mere hop, skip, and a jump from Dubai’s glittering attractions. Strolling onto this ship is like stepping into a time machine, with every inch oozing nostalgia – from the period furniture to the original paintings. And for those who fancy a bit of tech with their teak, there’s a handy app for cabin control. Now, the QE2 isn’t just about vintage aesthetics; it's got a story or two to tell. The staff, dressed in marine-themed uniforms, make you feel like royalty as they usher you up the red-carpeted gangway. Sure, some bits are still under wraps, but with eight restaurants, a theater, and a spa, you're not exactly short on entertainment. The rooms are a cozy nod to the ship’s glory days, with porthole windows and wood paneling. Splurge on a Captain’s Club Room for the full maritime maven experience, complete with slippers, robes, and maybe even a private balcony.

Dining here is like a culinary cruise in itself. From Lido’s globe-trotting breakfast spread to The Chart Room’s historic backdrop, there’s something for every palate. And for a taste of the high seas, the Queen’s Grill serves an afternoon tea that’s a modern twist on the ship’s 1969 maiden voyage menu. 

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The Retreat Palm

Checking into The Retreat Palm Dubai is like hitting the reset button on life, only with more style and less existential dread. Tucked away on Palm Jumeirah’s East Crescent, this wellness retreat feels like a world away, yet it’s right in our backyard. With 255 rooms, you’d expect a bustling hotel vibe, but surprise – it’s more like staying with your ultra-zen, incredibly hospitable relatives. The rooms? Think contemporary chic meets earthy Zen garden vibes. And if you’re feeling fancy, the penthouse suite with its sun-drenched terrace and personal Jacuzzi is where it’s at.

Let’s talk about wellness treatments — they’re the main focus of this sanctuary. From detox and cleanse packages to mindfulness and yoga retreats, the expert hands here are all about pampering your mind, body, and soul. Meanwhile, the food at The Retreat is like a love letter to healthy eating. Vibe’s live cooking stations and themed nights will have you questioning your need for cheat days, while Ripples Juice Bar is your go-to for that essential kale fix. And for those sweltering Dubai days, the resort’s air-conditioned cabanas are a stroke of genius – private beachside pods where you can enjoy the Dubai skyline in cool comfort.

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Vida Downtown

Vida Downtown is like the boutique hotel equivalent of that friend who’s effortlessly cool without even trying. Located in the heart of Dubai, it’s a refreshing escape from the city’s mega-hotels, offering a vibe that’s more small-town chic than urban jungle. The lobby is a light-filled, personality-packed space with iMacs for the digitally inclined and seating that invites lingering. 

The rooms are a haven of soothing neutrals and trendy furnishings, offering views of either the serene garden or the pool – because who doesn’t love a good pool view? And when it comes to sleep, Vida Downtown doesn’t skimp. Think soft bedding, ultra-quiet rooms, and a turndown service that feels like a bedtime fairy godmother. While the open-plan bathrooms might raise an eyebrow for the privacy-conscious, the high-quality, fragrant toiletries are a sweet-smelling consolation. Other perks include a robust room service menu (hello, TV ordering), free lobby coffee and croissants for the early birds, and bike rentals for the adventurous. And location? You’re smack dab in the middle of Downtown Dubai, minutes from the Burj Khalifa and all the urban excitement. With its blend of calm, comfort, and cool, Vida Downtown is like finding an oasis right in the city’s heartbeat – perfect for those who want their Dubai stay both chic and chill.

XVA Art Hotel

Putting art hotels worldwide to shame is XVA Art Hotel, which hosts XVA Gallery and regular talks led by leading art historian Rose Balston alongside 15 unique rooms themed around cultural motifs. One is inspired by the ancient Hand of Fatima talisman, another boasts an original wind tower and curtains made with upcycled burlap from abra boats, yet another is inspired by the traditional attire worn by local men. The hotel is situated deep in the aforementioned Al Fahidi neighborhood, so even if you get lost, you’ll encounter public art, authentic souvenir shops, and scenic alleys along the way. And because the area is a proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll find yourself immersed in architecture dating back to the mid 19th century.

But back to the riad-like property and its breathtaking public spaces. There are three tree-shaded courtyards that exude tranquility, one of which houses XVA Café, where the dishes are primarily vegetarian and the mint lemonade has achieved cult status. We also loved the rather romantic rooftop and contemporary artworks displayed throughout — all of which are for sale. More practical purchases (think: scented candles and statement rings) await at the concept store that is discreetly tucked away, but totally worth discovering. Other recommended experiences in the area? A stop at Dubai’s oldest art space The Majlis Gallery, a meal at Arabian Tea House, and a walking tour with Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.

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Zabeel House The Greens

The vibe at Zabeel House The Greens is reminiscent of an ongoing party – and everyone’s invited. From the youthful neighborhood it calls home to the communal tables at aptly named eatery Social Company, from fitness-studio-meets-spa Native Club that welcomes both guests and residents to its countless #instaworthy nooks and crannies, this is the definitive pick for the social butterfly. Equal parts trendy and easygoing, the hotel houses New York loft-style rooms, but for the ultimate splurge, book ‘The Apartment’ suite for plenty of space, plenty of art, a luxe bathtub, a slick Smeg fridge, and frosted glass rife with inspirational lines.

Even the hotel lobby is sensory overload, but in a good way. Between the large-scale murals, quirky sculptures, and works by locals artists for sale awaits the Give & Take installation that encourages guests to share advice on places and experiences with their fellow travelers. Another must-see is the pop-up store that stocks local lifestyle brand Georges of Dubai alongside the likes of Leif and Tobago. However, our pick of the property’s many highlights has to be the always buzzing Lah Lah, which serves Pan-Asian favorites cooked to perfection – and devoid of culinary gimmicks, thankfully – alongside vegan options aplenty. Foodies will find continued joy in specialty food stores 1004 Gourmet (Asian) and Pure South (Australian), both of which are located at the hotel’s doorstep in Onyx Tower 1.

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