Best suite spots in the GCC 2019

We all deserve a little luxury on occasion and a night or two in a swanky hotel usually fits the bill. But, just like an unexpected airline upgrade to business or first, once you set foot inside the hotel room equivalent, nothing will ever be the same again.

A-lister artworks, a private screening room and gold leaf galore on your wish list? Infinity pool, beachfront vistas without another person in sight and an on-call chef the only way to travel?  

From remote mountaintop hideaways and architecturally iconic penthouses, to duplex residences complete with a retinue of live-in staff and acres of polished marble, we’ve rounded up the Gulf’s very best ways to rest up. Follow us as we take a sneak peek inside…

WHAT
Royal Penthouse

WHERE
The Abu Dhabi EDITION, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
Ian Schrager’s eco-conscious approach to luxury puts a different and welcoming spin on a stay in this parquet floored, warm wood-panelled cream, grey and subtly bronze-brushed sixth floor sanctuary. The private VIP lift means you arrive in style to a choice of three bedrooms and bathrooms stocked with heavenly Le Labo amenities featuring a signature EDITION scent. Save your sighs for the spectacular terrace overlooking Al Bateen Marina and prepare to be impressed by the hotel’s sustainability commitment, with your luxe lifestyle powered by solar water heating and not a single plastic bottle or straw in sight.

The Abu Dhabi EDITION - Royal Penthouse
The Abu Dhabi EDITION – Royal Penthouse

WHAT
Royal Suite

WHERE
Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
If you like a side of serious exclusivity mixed in with your Dubai itinerary, this sea-facing retreat doesn’t disappoint, with 600 square metres of VIP living space and a private elevator to transport you to an airy penthouse floor landscape of towering columns and twinkling chandeliers. Movie buffs can hunker down in the media room, while aspiring chefs will feel perfectly at home in the swanky all mod cons kitchen. A full-width terrace is the grand final flourish.

WHAT
Beit Musandam, The Private Reserve

WHERE
Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman

WHY WE RATE IT
It’s a stretch to top the arrival experience, especially if you choose to paraglide into the private bay (luggage sent separately), but there’s nothing reserved about this 3,000-square-metre corner of Omani inspired paradise. There’s way too much fun to be had with an oversized infinity pool, private beach, bottle cellar, spa suite, yoga studio and huge majlis. One night definitely isn’t long enough to try it all, but the complimentary private sunset dhow cruise, and barbecue prepped by your private chef are a must.

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Beit Musandam, The Private Reserve
WHAT
Presidential Suite

WHERE
Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, Bahrain

WHY WE RATE IT
As you would expect from this architecturally arresting hotel constructed on a private island, its Presidential Suite makes an equally bold statement. The 228-square-metre pied-à-terre pays homage to interior design decadence, with a cream colour palette offset by Murano glass chandeliers, eclectic artwork and popping peacock blue accents. Yet 180-degree city views steal the show.

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Presidential Suite – Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay

WHAT
Sir Winston Churchill Suite

WHERE
Habtoor Palace, LXR Hotels & Resorts, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
The brainchild of hotel owner Khalaf Al Habtoor, who is a fan of the British wartime leader, this staggeringly huge three-bedroom museum-suite is home to a collection of 15 (reproduction) paintings, art pieces and photographs from the official Churchill archives. Educational leanings aside, it’s packed with cool things, from the enclosed rooftop plunge pool and terribly British marble fireplace, to a dramatic spiral staircase and gigantic his ‘n’ hers double vanity bathroom stocked with Acqua di Parma goodies.

Sir Winston Churchill Suite - Spacious Living room
Sir Winston Churchill Suite – Spacious Living room

WHAT
Three Bedroom Royal Mountain Villa

WHERE
Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, Oman

WHY WE RATE IT
Not everyone can say they stayed at the highest five-star resort in the Middle East or (voluntarily) spent the night on the edge of a cliff. Bucket list stuff with a hint of James Bond fantasy, the 700-square-metre villa features a private infinity pool, panoramic canyon views and al fresco Jacuzzi. A majlis-style living area, separate nanny quarters and dedicated Villa Host add the finishing touches to this one-of-a-kind abode.

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Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, Oman

WHAT
Presidential Suite

WHERE
Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
The only of its kind at the hotel, this stylish suite

Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai - Presidential Bedroom 1
Presidential Suite – Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai

is the stuff city dwelling dreams are made of, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering uninterrupted views of Dubai Water Canal and the skyline. Locally inspired artistic touches, such as the Gold Souk-inspired sculptures and Picasso’s camel sketch, which has been re-interpreted into a 3D iron rod sculpture above the bed, enrich the sense of place. Separate living and dining areas and a pool table keep the space social.

WHAT
Garden House

WHERE
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
This two-bedroom Garden House is, as its name suggests, set in its own little landscaped garden and wrapped in a profusion of hot pink bougainvillea. Guests get to play house, from DIY barbecue fun on the expansive stretch of private terrace, to pottering around the modern kitchenette. The décor is naturally the luxe variety you would expect from Ritz-Carlton, and 400-thread count linen is the norm – as are Asprey-branded toiletries.

WHAT
Royal Suite

WHERE
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
Come here to take over an entire floor and follow in the complimentary slippered foosteps of a host of celebs, who have undoubtedly been wowed by the perfectly framed views of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque the room bestows. A personal butler, private dining area, stunning living spaces and bucketloads of contemporary chicness don’t hurt, plus guests also get Fairmont Gold lounge access.

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Royal Suite – Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, UAE

WHAT
Abu Dhabi Suite

WHERE
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
You know you’ve got it made when your living room is actually a sky bridge connecting two 200-metre tall towers, but that’s just for starters in this rather extraordinary duplex residence. The trompe l’oeil circular design of the master suite bed is a nice touch and if you like your hotel rooms gilded, the Midas effect is evident throughout. If 360-degree city views aren’t cinematic enough, you have your own screening room plus library, two-storey majlis and private spa for in-suite stress relief. 

Abu Dhabi Suite (3)
Abu Dhabi Suite – The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, UAE

WHAT
Royal Suite

WHERE
Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, Kuwait

WHY WE RATE IT
Wellbeing is the raison d’être at this beachfront resort, and you’ll easily find your zen ensconced in 360 square metres of regal luxury overlooking the blue ocean, tranquil pool and lush green hotel gardens. Beachfront yoga session and signature spa treatments done, gather the family for dinner around the stunning inlaid marquetry table (left) before diving under the light-as-a feather quilt of your super comfy king-sized bed for what will be one of the best night’s sleep you’ll ever have.

Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel _ Spa - Royal Suite
Royal Suite – Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, Kuwait

WHAT
Grand Royal Suite

WHERE
Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower, KSA 

WHY WE RATE IT
Location, location, location. It doesn’t get better than the two-bedroom Grand Royal Suite with direct views over the Kaaba. Royally grand on every level, tally up the two dressing rooms, spa treatment room, personal office, kitchen and butler’s room, plus access to a separate sitting area and dining room for up to 40 guests. It’s a guaranteed delight for the well-travelled pilgrim or business guest.

WHAT
Two Bedroom Penthouse Suite

WHERE
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
The gleaming double height floor-to-ceiling windows are a canvas for views  of the meandering Dubai Water Canal below – yours to drink in as you stroll through the successive rooms that make up the Penthouse Suite. The slick modern interior relies on mood lighting for ambience, while the enormous voile-draped four-poster in the master bedroom begs your best Instagram bed dive shot.

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Two Bedroom Penthouse Suite – JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, UAE

WHAT
Three Bedroom Presidential Suite with Private Pool

WHERE
Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
Every inch of this desert retreat is a repository of handcrafted Arabian furnishings and artefacts that offer a peek into the past whilst delivering on 21st century luxury. Thoughtful touches include wildlife spotting binoculars and artist materials to capture the experience. Fair warning though, prince or president, you may end up being spied on in your private pool – the conservation reserve location is home to free-roaming gazelles and Arabian oryx.

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Three Bedroom Presidential Suite – Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, UAE

WHAT
Imperial Suite

WHERE
Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
Tinkle the ivories à la Elton John on your very own baby grand while a private chef whips up a gastronomic marvel, before rollerblading your way to bed across vast expanses of marble floored decadence in this two-floor home away from home. A snapshot of Art Deco-influenced New York grandeur mixed with Arabesque influences, the vertigo-inducing views from the glass-fronted balcony will make you swoon just as much as the gorgeous mother-of-pearl master bedroom headboard.

Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah Imperial Suite Living Room
Imperial Suite – Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

WHAT
Penthouse Suite

WHERE
Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
With wow views of the city, Burj Khalifa included, this sophisticated suite is ideal for hot shots in town on business, with a dedicated office, large living and dining areas for entertaining, full marble bathroom and even a barber’s chair for executive pampering.

Bathroom (5)
Penthouse Suite – Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre, UAE

WHAT
Presidential Suite

WHERE
InterContinental Fujairah Resort, UAE 

WHY WE RATE IT
An understated take on presidential luxury, whether on a romantic escape or with the whole clan in tow, this expanse of style ticks all the boxes. In addition to a large sea-facing terrace, the dressing room and walk-in closet is a bonus slice of glamour. 

WHAT
Three Bedroom Palace Suite

WHERE
Emirates Palace, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
Triple the luxury on a truly grand scale, this palatial residence is made up of not one but three connected Coral, Pearl and Diamond monikered suites. The sweet dreams choice of kings, presidents and celebs, we’re talking ultra-high ceilinged, silk-walled opulence all the way. Should you get lost finding your way to bed, a full retinue of helpful butlers will point you in the right direction.

WHAT
Premium Two Bedroom Villa with Private Pool

WHERE
The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah, Ajman, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
It’s a case of eyes front for serious desert island castaway vibes the second you step out onto your huge private deck where, beyond the 12-metre-long pool, the vista is decidedly tropical. No bearded Tom Hanks drama here though, with luxury in abundance from stunning interiors by minimalist architect Piero Lissoni (there’s even a working fireplace), craft-blended Oberoi toiletries and slinky silk bathrobes.

WHAT
The Royal Suite

WHERE
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
The sail-shaped hotel that was synonymous with Dubai way before Burj Khalifa broke ground, Burj Al Arab celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Bed down in the fantastical 780-square-metre Royal Suite where animal prints roar amidst a lush landscape of vibrant pinks and bedazzling gold. We particularly love the dramatic Scarlett O’Hara grand staircase and rotating pedestal bed that the Sun King himself would adore.

WHAT
Royal Suite

WHERE
One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
It’s no surprise that in a hotel as architecturally iconic as this seashore legend, that its best suite is just as photogenic. If you’re a fan of hot pink, cool teal and gold galore, interspersed with Arabian flourishes and rich embroidered fabrics, this will definitely hit the spot. Highlights include a Princess and the Pea-like canopied bed and balcony with Palm Jumeirah views.

WHAT
Deluxe Suite

WHERE
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
No mirage but a five-star oasis in the Dubai desert hinterland, rustic luxury is the name of the game at this Arabian fort-styled location. Navigate your way through the maze of narrow lanes and shaded courtyards and you’ll be rewarded with a hideaway residence laden with tranquilty. Style wise it’s big on UAE heritage, with thick stone walls, majlis seating, and hand-woven rugs. Drink in dune views from a private terrace or patio, and be sure to take a dunk in the fabulous sunken bath at the end of the day. 

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Deluxe Suite – Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, UAE

WHAT
Anantara Two Bedroom Beach Pool Villa

WHERE
Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, UAE 

WHY WE RATE IT
The resort’s popular overwater villas are unique to Dubai but the beach pool villa option transports you from the shores of the Arabian Gulf to exotic Asian lands with barefoot luxury in spades. Bifold patio doors open up the villa frontage onto a private terrace and infinity pool with its own chic dining sala, bordered by a lush green lawn and the beach mere steps beyond. 

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Anantara Two Bedroom Beach Pool Villa

WHAT
Two Bedroom Suite with Terrace

WHERE
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, UAE

WHY WE RATE IT
The newest kid on the Jumeirah strip, top-drawer suites are the order of the day but with the sea a sniff away it’s this rooftop terrace gem that takes the prize. Downstairs, chic living spaces include a six-person dining room and chilled lounge, but climb the wooden stairs for the best views in the house. 

WHAT
Royal Suite

WHERE
Rosewood Jeddah, KSA 

WHY WE RATE IT
The perfect pick for a private celebration and sleepover, this lavish European-styled 487-square-metre duplex pad comes with its own cinema room and 12-seater dining table for a fun night in with family or friends. After you wave them off, soak in the double aspect Red Sea views from the sunken Jacuzzi bath, and then retire in ultra-high thread count king-sized luxury. 

WHAT
Al Husn Specialty Suite

WHERE
Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa, Muscat, Oman 

WHY WE RATE IT
A surfeit of luxury awaits within the arched walls of this reinterpreted Arabian palace. Gaze out from your private terrace-based Jacuzzi over azure waters where a mythical Sinbad once sailed, and enjoy the sense of delightful self-imposed isolation. In fact, whether of the sea or beautiful stretch of sand, fabulous vistas come as standard here. 

Main image: Royal Suite, One&Only Royal Mirage