- The Burj Al Arab is consistently ranked as the most luxurious hotel in the world.
- Since its opening in 1999, the $1 billion Dubai hotel has continued to unveil extravagant amenities.
- While it’s no secret the hotel is one of the world’s best, some facts – such as the helipad transforming into a tennis court – may come as a surprise.
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The Burj Al Arab is frequently recognized as the world’s most luxurious hotel.
Built in 1999 for $1 billion on a man-made island that has private beaches on three sides, the Burj consistently ranks among the most elite hotels in the world. Guests have to pass through a guarded bridge before entering the hotel property.
While it’s no secret the hotel is one of the best, it may be surprising that its helipad was temporarily used as a tennis court and that a fleet of Rolls-Royce cars remain ready to chauffeur guests at all times.
Business Insider’s Harrison Jacobs previously visited the hotel and noted that the most luxurious amenity is the 24-hour personal butler service.
Keep reading for a look at some of the most surprising facts about the world’s most luxurious hotel.
1. The hotel has a 6:1 staff-to-guest ratio.
With private, 24-hour butler service to every suite, simple room-service requests are easily fulfilled.
Business Insider’s Harrison Jacobs reported that the hotel staff outnumbers guests with a 6:1 ratio. With more staff than guests, the hotel is able to cater to every need without shortage.
2. A stay at the Burj Al Arab includes Rolls-Royce chauffeur service.
Guests have the option to receive airport-pickup upon landing in Dubai. While many luxury hotels offer this amenity, few have a fleet of Rolls-Royce cars at their disposal. Prices begin at AED 1,000, or $272, per ride.
3. The hotel has a private helipad that can be transformed into a golf green — and was temporarily turned into a racetrack in 2013.
- Mike Hewitt for Dubai Duty Free via Getty Images
Over the years, the surface has been transformed into a golf green twice; Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have both hit golf balls on the helipad. Tennis stars Andre Agassi and Roger Federer also played an exhibition tennis match in 2005.
In 2013, the helipad temporarily became a racetrack, where a Red Bull Formula 1 race car performed donuts 696 feet above sea level. China’s top table-tennis players have also used the helipad and, most recently, the surface was a starting point for an extreme kiteboarding stunt.
In addition, weddings have been held on the open-air platform.
4. The hotel is covered in 20,000 square feet of gold leaf.
Gold-covered items include 24-karat elevator doors and massive pillars in the lounges. In addition to gold, a ceiling in one of the hotel restaurants holds the record for the largest Swarovski crystal ceiling.
5. The hotel is home to the tallest atrium in the world.
When Business Insider’s Harrison Jacobs visited the Burj Al Arab, he reported that the colorful atrium is the tallest in the world. The atrium is 590 feet tall.
6. There is no such thing as a single room in the hotel: They’re all deluxe suites.
- KARIM SAHIB/AFP/GettyImages
Due to the hotel’s triangular shape – which mimics a ship’s sail – every room is a deluxe suite.
Every booking is a duplex suite or larger, full of amenities.
7. The mattresses in the suites can cost up to $15,000 and the bedding is stuffed with duck feathers.
- Annie Zheng/Business Insider
The mattresses found in Burj Al Arab suites are DUX mattresses, made by luxury Swedish brand DUXIANA.
According to Business Insider’s Harrison Jacobs, “The bedding is made of Eiderdown feathers harvested from the abandoned nests mother Eider ducks use to keep their eggs warm.”
8. There are also pillow menus.
Guests can choose from 17 types of pillows, which vary in size and firmness.
9. Guests receive a complimentary set of Hermès toiletries.
- Annie Zheng/Business Insider
The 14-piece Hermès sets include his-and-hers perfume, shampoo, and soap.
10. Guests receive a 14-karat gold iPad to use during their stay.
11. The hotel’s flagship restaurant is led by a Michelin-starred chef and features a $266 bass on the menu.
The main hotel restaurant – a fine dining seafood venue called Al Mahara – is headed by Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw. Menu items include a $266 salt-baked sea bass and a $114 chili king crab meal.
The hotel also features gold-encased wine racks. A tasting menu with a wine pairing begins at $475 per person.