Yes, Dubai has plenty of beach clubs. Yes, Dubai has plenty of beach hotels. But now, Dubai has Nikki Beach, something that feels altogether different. Nikki Beach describe themselves as ‘innovative boutique and glamorous beach and urban hotels with unprecedented allure for the luxury traveller and jet-set global elite’, and it’s at once so Dubai, yet so global…and so us.
Admittedly, it’s located in a rather strange location – The Pearl. It’s an islet off the coast of Jumeriah sporadically dotted with large, under-construction villas that don’t at all seem to fit the surroundings (that’s the melting pot of Arabian architecture for you), alongside a humongous dry dock for ship maintenance (who knew that was there). It doesn’t exactly set the scene on arrival, I’ll admit, but all that disappears when you step into Nikki Beach proper in its position on the furthest tip of The Pearl, the location affording some seriously seductive sea views that make you feel like you’re a world away from the Dubai city skyline. (OK, the Burj Khalifa is still prominently visible if you look back towards land, but thats never a bad thing). Endless emerald seas stretch out beyond swathes of pristine white coastline, colors that are echoed throughout Nikki Beach Hotel’s calming turquoise, white and sand aesthetic that just screams holiday vibes.
Our gorgeous ‘Ocean Luux Suite’ clocks in at a roomy 100sqm overlooking the Arabian Sea, offering a beautiful balcony that takes full advantage of those million dirham views. If you particularly like these views and have a few million hanging around, why not purchase a Nikki Beach residence next door – you’ll never have to leave (the dream)! The suite boasts a spacious lounge and dining area, kitted out with a well equipped MyBar, dining table for six, chaise lounge and two armchairs…you might just be tempted to invite your friends over to take full advantage of the plethora of seating options (and impress the heck out of them in the process). The bed is positioned perfectly to wake up to your seaside vista, but you’re going to have to open your curtains manually – they’re probably the only analog thing in the suite. There’s plenty of tech in this newly opened hotel, from well designed light switches that offer a multitude of ambience options from ‘movie’ to ‘intimate’ – even the bathroom lights can be scaled from ‘low’ to ‘actually bright enough to apply your makeup properly*’ (*not the actual description on the button, but perhaps it should be) which is often lacking in even the most modern of properties. The dual televisions swivel for maximum viewing angles, even offering YouTube and my fave – the entire Nikki Beach music catalog (the ‘Nikki Beach Luxury’ album was the perfect chilled out-Ibiza-beach vibe soundtrack for us) pumped out by a space-age looking Samsung speaker the likes of which we’ve not encountered before.
The master bathroom offers Malin and Goetz amenities, a walk in shower, full size bath and dressing room – plus there’s a guest toilet and additional closet space for those staying long term (who are you and can we be your friends?). A high spec Nespresso machine offers any kind of coffee one could dream of, and there’s even boutique loose leaf tea for those who prefer their mornings slightly less caffeinated.
Right outside the hotel there are seaside beach loungers, cabanas and a hotel pool for guests to laze around while they tan themselves to the perfect shade of Ibiza-brown (well, let’s be honest – lobster-red seems more the colour du jour for Dubai tourists), and of course, adjacent to the hotel is the quickly-becoming-famous-in-Dubai Nikki Beach Club. As we visited during Ramadan, the hotel pool was under maintenance, however, hotel guests could use the smaller, family-friendly Residences pool or the adults only, Euro styled beach club (our preference by far) with no minimum spend. The beach club usually does require a spend dependent on the space you choose to occupy (hotel guests included) – options range from from poolside loungers to beach cabanas and fully equipped private mini-villas with their own plunge pool. Ladies, if you’re wanting to visit the beach club there are amazing offers on selected days – check the Nikki Beach website for up to date details. The music is as chic as one would expect, the mojitos are tasty and the people watching is second to none. There’s a reason we’ve been back three times in a week.
Cuisine wise, we took Nikki Beach’s Key West for a spin – there’s a more relaxed Cafe Nikki available too, though both are pretty chilled out. Key West offers tasty Floridian, Carribean and Latin cuisine, with a focus on local seafood. Non-seafood eaters might be a tad restricted currently as the menu has been condensed for summer, so we’d say the best time to visit is when the full spread is back in action. The service is friendly and upbeat, a rarity in Dubai – ensure you head to the bar and ask super personable bartender Nikolai to try his hand at whipping you up something bespoke. The food won’t disappoint either, though as we mentioned, we’d love to see both chef and bartender flex their skills and widen the menu – it’s really too short as it currently stands, which could be an issue if you have fussy diners or dietary requirements in your group.
Be aware, however, that mini bar prices are sky high (42dhs for a pink lemonade anyone?) and they apparently charge corkage if you bring your own alcohol in to the hotel (350dhs)! We’ll admit, this policy doesn’t sit well with us, and it’s one we’ve never encountered anywhere else in the globe – we’d seriously like to see this revised. (Also advising it on the booking confirmation is far too late in the process to disclose this – we scoured their website and couldn’t find it mentioned anywhere).
We loved our staycay and we have to say it felt longer than it was – proper rejuvenation! Why not grab a group of friends and relax Nikki Beach-style together? Nikki Beach is a fun, ultra-chic destination for any visitor to Dubai – but for UAE and GCC resisdents who want to feel like they are being truly transported, look no further. Have you visited a Nikki Beach destination?
*Photos supplied by Nikki Beach Hotel