Burj Al Arab
Sky High Marvel
What it is
Among the tallest hotels in the world. Within its legendary sail-shaped tower: nine restaurants by Michelin-starred chefs, butler-attended pools, a glimmering spa and private beach with pristine sand hauled in from Saudi Arabia.
What it isn't
Scrimping. This is arguably the most luxurious hotel on earth (your duvet will be filled with Icelandic eiderdown; some 19,000 square feet of 24-carat gold leaf adorns the resort’s interiors), so much so that it’s earned its “seven star” accolades.
What we think
There are bucket list adventures, and then there are bucket list hotel stays. This is unequivocally the latter. And there’s never been a better time to stay; the resort recently opened a new 2.5-acre “terrace”—built in Finland and ferried here on the ocean, with a salt water infinity pool and air-conditioned cabanas (with devoted butlers, natch). No surprise that the suites—and all rooms are suites—are jaw-droppers, and as pampering as a palace. You’ll find Hermès amenities, a pillow menu with 9 options, and two bathrooms (the main bathroom is more of a spa, honestly—with its five-head rain shower and Jacuzzi). But what we love even more is the service, from the luggage packing and unpacking; signature welcome drinks; and a butler at-the-ready. Did we mention you’ll have limitless entries to Wild Wadi Waterpark (Roller coasters! Wave pools!) and Summersalt Beach Club?
You're here because
You feel like Bond, James Bond, so the idea of the resort’s private helipad appeals to you.
No seafood restaurant will ever compare to Al Mahara, where your table faces an actual seawater aquarium that spans the entire dining room. The fact that the head chef is three Michelin-starred Kim Joinie-Maurin, who churns out dishes like langoustine lasagna with lemon coconut nage, is just a bonus.
Restaurants & Bars
Al Iwan - Arabic buffet
Al Mahara - Seafood in a dining room with a massive aqarium
Al Muntaha - Modern European
Bab Al Yam - International buffet and a la carte, poolside and seaside
Junsui Pure Asia - Far East Asian buffet
Sahn Eddar - Afternoon tea with an international flair
A man-made island just off Dubai’s shoreline, just a few minutes drive from Palm Jumeirah and the Mall of the Emirates, where you can ski—yes, ski—indoor slopes.