The Top 10 North Africa and Middle East City Hotels
This year's World's Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three-year period. We hope that this year's honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world.
Historic architecture reflecting centuries of influence. Cutting-edge cultural institutions and global cuisine. Centers of trade and religion, yes, but also of fashion and nightlife. While the 20-plus countries that make up the Middle East and North Africa are home to some of the most striking landscapes on earth, no one should visit without spending time in their dynamic cities. Luckily, it's clear from this year's list of the best hotels in the region that travelers have no shortage of outstanding places to stay.
Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L invites its readers to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.
Travel to Egypt has been on the upswing in recent (pre-pandemic) years, and the capital has no lack of stunning accommodations for travelers to use as a base for exploring ancient ruins, river towns, and desert oases. Three Cairo properties made this year's list, including No. 4 Mena House, a storied hotel that has been managed by Marriott since 2017. History is a big draw there, but so are the unmatched views. "Stunning location," said one respondent. "You're practically next door to the Pyramids."
Another traveler favorite in this part of the world is Marrakesh, also with three hotels on this year's list. The city's Four Seasons Resort, situated on 40 acres of Moorish gardens just outside the old medina, comes in at No. 7. Readers universally praised its enchanting grounds and spacious rooms — but, of course, it's the interpersonal experiences that make all the difference. Staying there is simply "a pleasure," wrote one survey respondent, with everyone on property offering "warmth and a smile."
But it's not all about North Africa, of course. Two Jerusalem hotels make the list this year, as does the Four Seasons Hotel in Amman, Jordan, which one reader described as the "playbook for hospitality" (not to mention having "one of the most comfortable beds ever"). In fact, this year's No. 1 property is the only representative from its home country on the Gulf — but those familiar with it know it's nothing if not singular. Read on for the full list.
1. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai
In a city that is known internationally for laying claim to a superlative number of superlatives, the Burj is something of a standard bearer. It's unmissable on the Dubai skyline — cutting a silhouette that is truly one of the most recognizable on the planet. This hotel is also one of the world's tallest, with one of the world's most expensive suites and, at various times, the world's most expensive cocktail and the world's largest tin of caviar. (The list goes on.) But there is plenty of opportunity for more understated luxury, too, from the Talise Spa, nearly 500 feet above the city, to Sal, the property's new seaside restaurant, which looks out over the Arabian Gulf. No wonder one respondent described this hotel as the "best place" in the world. Now the Burj Al Arab can add one more superlative to the list.
2. Royal Mansour Marrakech, Marrakesh, Morocco
3. La Mamounia, Marrakesh, Morocco
4. Marriott Mena House, Cairo
5. Four Seasons Hotel Amman, Amman, Jordan
6. Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza
7. Four Seasons Resort Marrakech, Marrakesh, Morocco
8. David Citadel, Jerusalem
9. King David, Jerusalem
10. Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino
See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2021.