Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab


Courtesy of Burj Al Arab

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Jumeirah Beach Rd.,

United Arab Emirates,

This iconic, sail-shaped hotel—which soars 1,053 feet over the Persian Gulf, on an artificial island off Jumeirah Beach—literally epitomizes Dubai’s over-the-topness. And though the property, which was completed in 1999, is ancient by local standards, guests still stop to gawk at the all-suite deluxe hotel’s nearly 600-foot-high atrium when they first enter (many do so after arriving via helicopter or chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph limo). The 202 massive suites (which start at 560 square feet and go all the way to 2,560) are all bilevel, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows; dedicated butler service on every floor; fully equipped private bars; offices with automated everything; and bed linens, furniture, and window treatments upholstered in opulent velvets and satins. The sprawling baths are stocked with full-size Hermès toiletries (other little gifts, like Themae amenities arrive in guests’ suites each night). The property’s common areas are equally excessive; of the six restaurants, Al Mahara, serving high-end seafood, is designed to look as if it were underwater, with a huge central aquarium in the dining room.