One&Only The Palm, Dubai, United Arab Emirates $$$$
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:This resort compound of modern, sea-facing mansions (each holding six to nine guest rooms), private villas, and a restaurant wing (called the Manor, with additional accommodations) backed by a beautiful pool garden occupies the best position on the man-made Palm Jumeirah island. The 103 rooms come with calming beige and dark-wood decor, freestanding tubs, excellent South African wine in the minibar, and thoughtful, not just token, high-tech fixtures such as bedside headphone jacks so insomniacs can watch TV without disturbing a partner. At the tip of the outer breakwater, the beach feels authentic, with starfish and swaying palms, yet also with arresting scenes of Dubai's coastal skyscrapers. The resort is a long taxi ride from town, but a water shuttle offers a shortcut, ferrying guests to the much larger One&Only Royal Mirage resort on the mainland. The clientele ranges from fashionable young Japanese couples to older sun-seeking Germans, few of whom feel the urge to leave the premises thanks to a full-service spa and three restaurants under the direction of three-star Michelin chef Yannick Alléno. The sea-terrace beer garden has divans for night and day alfresco chilling, while Stay restaurant's ménu dégustation offers delicious taste combinations such as Jerusalem artichoke foam with hazelnuts, and ravioli with prawns, cabbage, and black truffles. 2011 Hot List
Which room to book: The nine sea-facing mansions have vast rooms off a central courtyard; rooms in mansion No. 9 offer both beach and city views.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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