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Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai 

The Palm Jumeirah
United Arab Emirates
Tel: 971 4 426 2000
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
This $1.5 billion, 1,539-room re-creation of the Atlantis in the Bahamas ramps up the amenities with a giant aquarium housing 65,000 sea creatures (including a rare captive whale shark), a water park, a designer-brand-only shopping mall, nightclubs, belly dancers, and four big-name-chef restaurants, including Ossiano and the first Middle Eastern branch of Nobu. The standard Deluxe rooms are surprisingly sedate, but the over-the-top three-story Neptune and Poseidon suites have butlers, floor-to-ceiling windows that look into the aquarium, and decor echoing the domed lobby's motifs: shell-shaped pillars, lamps made of giant clamshells, and textiles imprinted with coralline patterns. Although Atlantis's location is at the top of The Palm, the most privileged spot on the artificial island, be aware that its beachfront faces not open sea but Dubai's cityscape—and consequently feels more Miami than Caribbean.—2009 Hot List

When to go: Avoid the summer heat of June through September.

Which room to book: Lost Chamber Suites for views of the aquarium from both the bedroom and bathroom.

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