In this new World’s Best category, you’ll find both glittering skyscrapers in Dubai and historic hotels in Jerusalem.
So many new hotels have come to this dynamic part of the world, where cities have sprung from the middle of the desert — which is why we decided to create a new category this year. And our readers’ choices spanned multiple countries, from a glass-and-steel high-rise in Dubai to a Moroccan hotel modeled after a royal residence.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — 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.
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, located on the water in Abu Dhabi’s Ras Al Akhdar area (close to the business district), is beloved by readers for its on-point service and spacious, spotless rooms. “This place has it all,” said one T+L voter. “Outstanding and consistent restaurants and bars, shopping in the concourse, and first-rate nightlife venues with unbeatable views.”
Two hotels in Israel made the list, including the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, which is set in a meticulously restored 1920s building in the heart of the city. Tel Aviv’s sleek Norman Hotel, where travelers rave about the rooftop deck and infinity pool, also scored a top 10 slot.
Lebanon was represented thanks to the Four Seasons Hotel Beirut, a jumping-off point for the city’s fashionable nightlife and restaurant scene as well as mountain and Mediterranean excursions. (Beirut was the No. 3 City in Africa and the Middle East.) The Four Seasons brand also nabbed the No. 8 slot with their Nile Plaza property in Cairo, where sense-of-place experiences include spa treatments like the luxurious milk bath with honey and essential rose oil. Egypt also had another winner — the historic Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor, where many explorers stayed in the 19th century and Agatha Christie wrote her novel Death on the Nile in 1937.
For more on our winners in this category, scroll down.