Park Hyatt Dubai
Compared to Dubai's flashy skyscraper hotels, the waterfront Park Hyatt Dubai is subtle and diminutive—which is exactly the point. While close to the city center, the 225-room, bright-white compound sits on a quiet stretch of Dubai Creek, sequestered from the streets by acres of gardens, with a stunning (and noiseless) view of Dubai's skyline. A Mediterranean-influenced design subdues the city's harried energy, using low archways and an intimate, candlelit lobby that's more sanctuary than waiting area. The serenity extends to the rooms—outfitted with clean-lined, angular wood furniture, silky fabrics in tones of cream and gold, sculptural objets, freestanding baths, and either balconies or lavish terraces with views over the creek. At the Amara spa, each of the eight treatment rooms has its own private garden; of the five on-site dining options, we like the modern European Traiteur restaurant for its enormous, impressively stocked wine cellar.