Kempinski Mall of the Emirates
In many parts of the world, a hotel located within a shopping mall wouldn’t feel like the best choice. But this is Dubai, where rules are different and luxury comes in the most surprising places. The year-old Kempinski Mall of the Emirates hotel isn’t beachfront, but it does overlook the slopes of Ski Dubai. It’s a unique, five-star hotel where guests can enjoy exceptional shopping, skiing, tennis, swimming, spa and a state-of-the-art fitness center within steps of their plush, modern, sleek accommodations. For the most distinctive experience of all, request one of the hotel’s three-story Ski Chalets, whose floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of both the indoor ski slopes and the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool.
Located on two miles of beach alongside the Burj Al Arab is Madinat Jumeirah, a resort complex that includes boutique hotels Mina A’Salam and Al Qasr and a group of courtyard homes, rooms and suites, called Dar Al Masyaf. For better or worse, the grounds’ almost-too-perfect, sprawling gardens, Bedouin-style buildings and shimmering faux canals (replete with water taxis—“abras”—that take guests from one end of the resort to another) look straight out of an Arabian-themed pavilion at Epcot Center. Bring the whole family for fun on the beach, in the spa and gift-shopping at the on-site Souk Madinat.
One & Only Royal Mirage
You’ll feel like you’re staying at a bona fide Arabic palace at the One & Only Royal Mirage, a stylish beach resort comprised of varying categories of plush rooms between areas called the Palace, the Arabian Court and the Residences. Splurge for a suite at the spacious, gorgeously appointed Residences, discreetly located in a quieter part of the hotel adjacent to the spa: You’ll have access to the beach and sumptuous amenities such as landscaped gardens, multiple pools, a lavish spa, rooftop bar with sweeping views of the Gulf and eight different, delicious restaurants (including renowned Nina), but the resort’s horizontal layout makes it feel much more intimate than many of Jumeirah’s vertically built hotels.
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