Destination Guide


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Courtesy of Burj Al Arab Hotel

Once a tiny fishing village at the edge of an empty desert, Dubai has skyrocketed into a bastion of mega malls, five-star hotels and wildly elaborate real estate projects. It is a cosmopolitan city with an international vibe, great dining and shopping, and a gorgeous coastline. Despite its much-discussed Westernization, this Middle Eastern metropolis has a strong undercurrent of Arabian tradition that imbues its modern landscape with cultural nuance.


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Signature Suite at Armani Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Armani Hotel

The Armani Dubai made quite a splash when it opened in 2010, as it offered a very different take on luxury and elegance in Dubai. Sleek and minimalist, the hotel features 160 rooms and suites in the Burj Khalifa, and it quickly became the chicest address in town. The neutral color palette, dimly lit halls and clean lines of the hotel are in sharp contrast to the ornate (and often garish) details to be found in plenty of Dubai hotels.

Rooms have sophisticated and subdued elegance and, owing to the hotel’s location within the world’s tallest skyscraper, offer generous views of the city. Its location beside the Dubai Mall provides easy access for travelers looking to shop in the world’s biggest mall, and certain suites in the hotel have front-row views of the Fountain Show (every half-hour between 6:30pm and 11:30pm.)

The hotel’s understated vibe is better suited for couples and business travelers than families with young children. Guests at the Armani have no access to a beach and the hotel only has a small outdoor pool. There is a florist near the lobby that provides fresh flowers for the hotel at all times, and there is a shop filled Armani accessories only available to in-house guests. Other facilities include seven bars and restaurants, as well as a spa and fitness center, all designed in Armani’s signature minimalist style.

Lounge at One & Only The Palm, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

One & Only The Palm

One & Only The Palm is the newer and neighboring sister to the One & Only Royal Mirage, right across the water on the Dubai Marina and accessible by complimentary ferry shuttle. Removed 20-30 minutes from the hub of the city, the hotel is located right on the water and offers a tranquil and private setting for its guests. The next nearest property, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, is located a mile up the beach.

The property’s Moorish architecture and calming earth tones are markedly different from many of the more splashy interiors found in Dubai’s luxury hotels. Plus, the hotel feels intimate with only 64 rooms, 26 suites and four beachfront villas. Families will appreciate the cozy, homey feel of the rooms, especially the villas and inter-connecting options in the Mansions, located on the beach. Don’t miss the beautiful ESPA with a wide variety of therapies and treatments, and STAY, the exquisite French restaurant helmed by a Michelin-starred chef.

Suite at Four Seasons Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Courtesy Paul Thuysbaert,

Four Seasons Dubai at Jumeirah Beach

A five-story, sprawling beachfront resort property, the Four Seasons Jumeirah offers a delightful combination of relaxation and luxury, employing elegance rather than extravagance to treat guests to an experience unlike any other in Dubai.

Its 237 rooms, including 49 suites, all have terraces—some large enough to fit a daybed and dining table—that offer views of the Arabian Gulf, the property’s pools, the beach and gardens or the downtown skyline. The interiors are open and airy and blend soft backgrounds with bright tones. Rooms are spacious with high ceilings and indoor/outdoor space, making them some of the largest among Dubai’s accommodations. The glamorous bathrooms feature a free-standing tub, mosaic-tile walls, silver-leaf ceilings and a TV hidden in the vanity mirror.

Guests can enjoy five on-property restaurants and lounges, from the quick and casual market-styleSuq and the beachfront seafood restaurant, Sea Fu, to the sophisticated, masculine Hendricks bar to the cool and lively Mercury Lounge, which offers incredible views of both the sea and the Dubai skyline. The lavish Pearl Spa offers indulgent experiences for individuals, couples and even kids and teens. There are three swimming pools (which tend to be most popular among families with young children), two tennis courts and a state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness center, and water sports are available on the bay.

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