The Middle East's High-End Luxury Hotels and Resorts
"The great advantage of a hotel is that it's a great refuge from home life" - George Bernard Shaw.
A BOUTIQUE HOTEL is a small hotel which typically has between 10 and 100 rooms in unique settings with upscale accommodations.
A GRAND HOTEL is a large and luxurious hotel, especially one built in a traditional architectural style.
A HOTEL is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning or climate control. Additional common features found in hotel rooms are a telephone, an alarm clock, a television, a safe, a mini-bar with snack foods and drinks, and facilities for making tea and coffee. Luxury features include bathrobes and slippers, a pillow menu, twin-sink vanities, and jacuzzi bathtubs. Larger hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a restaurant, swimming pool, fitness center, business center, childcare, conference facilities and social function services.
Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
THE HOTEL STAR CLASSIFICATION & RATING SYSTEM EXPLAINED:
******* Seven Star (Burj Al Arab, Dubai. The world's most luxurious and only 7-star hotel).
***** Five Star - (Deluxe)
These are hotels that offer only the highest level of accommodations and services. The properties offer a high degree of personal service. Although most five star hotels are large properties, sometimes the small independent (non-chain) property offers an elegant intimacy that can not be achieved in the larger setting. The hotel locations can vary from the very exclusive locations of a suburban area, to the heart of downtown. The hotel lobbies are sumptuous, the rooms complete with stylish furnishing and quality linens. The amenities often include: VCR's, CD stereos, garden tubs or Jacuzzis, in-room video library, heated pools and more. The hotels feature up to three restaurants all with exquisite menus. Room service is usually available 24 hours a day. Fitness Centers and valet and/or garage parking are typically available. A concierge is also available to assist you.
**** Four Star - (Superior)
Mostly large, formal hotels with smart reception areas, front desk service and bellhop service. The hotels are most often located near other hotels of the same caliber and are usually found near shopping, dining and other major attractions. The level of service is well above average and the rooms are well lit and well furnished. Restaurant dining is usually available and may include more than one choice. Some properties will offer continental breakfast and/or happy hour delicacies. Room service is usually available during most hours. Valet parking and/or garage service is also usually available. Concierge services, fitness centers and one or more pools are often provided.
*** Three Star - (First Class)
Typically these hotels offer more spacious accommodations that include well appointed rooms and decorated lobbies. Bellhop service is usually not available. They are often located near major expressways or business areas, convenient to shopping and moderate to high priced attractions. The hotels usually feature medium-sized restaurants that typically offer service breakfast through dinner. Room service availability may vary. Valet parking, fitness centers and pools are often provided.
** Two Star - (Moderate)
Typically smaller hotels managed by the proprietor. The hotel is often 2 - 4 stories high and usually has a more personal atmosphere. It's usually located near affordable attractions, major intersections and convenient to public transportation. Furnishings and facilities are clean but basic. Most will not have a restaurant on site but are usually within walking distance to some good low-priced dining. Public access, past certain hours, may be restricted.
* One Star - (Moderate)
Usually denotes independent and name brand hotel chains with a reputation for offering consistent quality amenities. The hotel is usually small to medium-sized and conveniently located to moderately priced attractions. The facilities typically include telephones and TV's in the bedroom. Some hotels offer limited restaurant service; however, room service and bellhop service is usually not provided.
Hotels included on Condé Nast Traveller's Gold List of the world's best hotels have been marked with CNT. It spans six continents and 49 countries.
5-star International Star Diamond Award Recipients selected by The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences have been marked with SDA.
Established in France in 1954, Relais & Châteaux's mission is "to spread its unique art de vivre across the globe by selecting outstanding properties with a truly unique character." Prospective and current members are evaluated by the group's traditional "five C" motto: Character, Courtesy, Calm, Charm and Cuisine. The members of Relais & Châteaux exclusive collection of 580 of the finest hotels and gourmet restaurants in 60 countries on 5 continents have been marked with R&C.
The members the Small Luxury Hotels of the World organization (a collection of over 500 luxury boutique hotels and resorts in more than 80 countries) have been marked with SLH.
Comprised of more than 400 hotels in over 80 countries, The Leading Hotels of the World is one of the largest luxury hotel collections in the world. The members have been indicated with LHW.
Palace Distinction – since 2009. One step higher than five stars - by the French Agency for Tourism Development. Marked with P.
What hotel star ratings actually mean today - "There isn't a single answer to the question of what star ratings actually mean, since there are so many systems shaped by so many factors. Some tourism marketers now even give exceptional luxury properties an unofficial six-star designation. (Think stunning over-water villas in the Maldives with private butlers). And bear in mind not all of a brand's properties are created equal when making assumptions about a chain's star category - newer hotels are usually more modern and deserving of a higher rating."
HOTELS, RESORTS & SPAS BY REGION:
- Fairmont Nile City Hotel - "On the banks of the famed river Nile, the city of Cairo is the center of Egyptian culture and commerce. A melting pot of history, culture and diversity, the city is ideal for both business and leisure."
- FOUR SEASONS HOTEL CAIRO AT THE FIRST RESIDENCE CNT - "Classical grandeur in the heart of Cairo."
- FOUR SEASONS HOTEL CAIRO AT NILE PLAZA CNT - "The Heartbeat of the Nile."
- Kempinski Nile Hotel Garden City LHW - "Located in the heart of Cairo, five-star Kempinski Nile Hotel offers guests an outstanding boutique experience on the banks of the Nile River."
- Shepheard's Hotel - was the leading hotel in Cairo and one of the most celebrated hotels in the world from the middle of the 19th century until it was burned down in 1952. A modern hotel called the Shepheard Hotel was built nearby in 1957.
- SOFITEL CAIRO EL GEZIRAH SDA - "Escape to an urban oasis in the center of Cairo. This luxury 5-star hotel on Gezirah Island is right on the riverside. Delight in spectacular Nile views from every room."
- Marriott Mena House - since 1890. 6 Pyramids Road. "Leave the ordinary to live the 'unique' by the Pyramids." The tranquility and fresh, sweet breezes have attracted royalty, the rich and famous to this magical location for 150 years, offering an irresistible escape from the bustling city of Cairo just 45 minutes away. The Marriott Mena House, Cairo merges the exceptional heritage of the Pyramids standing gloriously as a witness of over 7000 years of civilization and Marriott International's 21st Century tradition of innovation. The Marriott Mena House, Cairo comprises 331 luxury rooms and suites, many boasting views of the Pyramids, the lavish gardens or the swimming pool, four restaurants and lounges, expansive indoor and outdoor meetings and banquet facilities, a heated swimming pool and a health club.
- Sofitel Winter Palace - built in 1886 on the Nile banks in a tropical garden is a magical experience of history luxury that hosted royalties and celebrities throughout the years.
- GRAND HILLS HOTEL & SPA - "The most prestigious resort in Lebanon!" Featuring the Royal Residence measuring an impressive 4,131 sqm, and recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest hotel suite in the world.
- Hilton Salwa: The gigantic luxury hotel in the middle of nowhere - "Nothing much lies on Qatar's border with Saudi Arabia. A few sunbaked outposts and miles and miles of vast, empty desert in all directions. Then, earlier this year, something very different appeared in the middle of this nowhere: A huge, gleaming luxury hotel complex, complete with its own theme park. The Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas is clearly no ordinary hotel."
- The hotel shaped like two gigantic swords - "In Qatar, a country where the subway has a business class compartment and Friday brunch is a competitive sport, opulence is a mere baseline. This new addition to the Doha skyline is called Katara Towers and is divided between two hotel brands, the Fairmont and the Raffles. Each occupies one half of the 300,000 square meter building, which is designed to resemble a pair of Qatari crossed scimitars."
- SAUDI ARABIA
- Abraj Kudai - the world's largest hotel is currently under construction and expected to open in 2017. When completed, it will be the largest hotel in the world consisting of a ring of 12 towers 45 storeys high, with 10,000 bedrooms, 70 restaurants, and five rooftop helipads. There will also be five floors for the sole use of the Saudi royal family. According to Arabian Business, 10 of the towers will provide four-star accommodations, while the other two towers will be reserved for special clientele offering five-star amenities. Designed by architectural firm Dar Al-Handasah, the US$3.5 billion site is currently under construction and will stretch across 1.4 million square meters.
- Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower - since 2010. Located adjacent to the Masjid Al Haram, Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower, boasts a prime location as the closest hotel to Kaaba and yet the best for Umrah and Hajj. Standing as one of the world’s tallest buildings with 76 floors. In addition to the ultimate comfort and casual elegance of the 1542 guest rooms suites and Residences, the five-star hotel provides 56 elevators that allow easy access to and from Al Masjid Al Haram.
United Arab Emirates
- UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
- Burj Al Arab: Legendary hotel opens to non-guests for first time - "Showers embellished with 24-carat gold tiles. Duvets filled with eiderdown harvested from abandoned duck nests in Iceland. Pillow menus. Thirty different types of marble. A ceiling made of 21,000 Swarovski crystals representing the Milky Way. These are just some of the luxuries that await at Dubai's Burj Al Arab, one of the world's most exclusive hotels."
- Emirates Palace spends about $130,000 a year replacing gold ceiling - "With a $3 billion price tag, the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi was said to be the most expensive hotel to have been built when it opened in 2005."
- BEACH ROTANA HOTEL & TOWERS LHW
- Desert Islands Resort & Spa SLH CNT
- EMIRATES PALACE SDA. Seven star luxury hotel. Built at a cost of about US$6 billion as a landmark showcasing Arabian culture, Emirates Palace, has created a niche in luxury hospitality. Situated on 1.3 km of private beach and surrounded by 85 hectares of gardens and lawns, with 114 domes that are 80 meters high, Emirates Palace comprises 394 rooms and suites carefully designed and furnished to offer guests superior comfort and luxury. The second most expensive hotel ever built, only surpassed by Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
- Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort - "A Luxury Oasis In Abu Dhabi."
- TAMEER TOWERS
- Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi - hovers over land and water and spans the Yas Marina Circuit.
- Dubai could get an enormous moon hotel - "Whether it's a blast into suborbital space or a hotel stay among the stars, space tourism entrepreneurs believe one day we'll all be opting for out-of-this-world vacations. The team behind Moon World Resorts reckon so too - sort of. They want to build a series of gigantic dome-like hotels resembling the moon, sitting here on planet Earth. More precisely, in Dubai."
- Pilot makes first-ever plane landing on Burj Al Arab helipad - "Polish pilot Lukasz Czepiela made aviation history on Tuesday, becoming the first person to land a plane on the helipad of the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel in Dubai. Czepiela was able to bring his specially adapted light aircraft to a stop in just 21 meters (68 feet), landing on a platform only 27 meters (89 feet) wide, 212 meters (696 feet) above the ground on top of the 56-story building."
- AL BUSTAN ROTANA HOTEL LHW
- AL QASR
- ARMANI HOTEL DUBAI - 160 guest rooms and suites of minimalist elegance.
- ATLANTIS - The Palm.
- BURJ AL ARAB ******* - since 1999. "A global icon of Arabian luxury." The world's most luxurious and only 7-star hotel! CNT
- DESERT PALM SLH
- EMIRATES AL MAHA DESERT RESORT & SPA
- Jumeirah Al Naseem - "Reassuringly Familiar, Refreshingly Different." 387 rooms & 43 suites: Jumeirah Al Naseem offers more than ten restaurants and bars, its own beach club and the eclectic offerings from Madinat Jumeirah and sister Jumeirah hotels are only a stroll away.
- JUMEIRAH BEACH HOTEL
- JUMEIRAH EMIRATES TOWERS HOTEL - also known as Emirates Tower Two, is a 56-storey hotel. Connected with 54-floor Emirates Office Tower by a retail boulevard, the two towers form the Emirates Towers complex. It is the world's third-tallest all-hotel building: 309 m (1,014 ft).
- JW Marriott Marquis Dubai - 72-storey, 376 m (1,234 ft) twin-tower skyscraper complex. The tallest hotel in Dubai, surpassing the Rose Rayhaan by Rotana, and it was the WORLD'S TALLEST HOTEL when it opened on 11th November 2012.
- MADINAT JUMEIRAH CNT
- MAISON D'HÔTES
- One&Only The Palm LHW. West Crescent | Palm Jumeirah. Presents spaces of modern arabesque design. This beachfront resort welcomes you with stunning garden and ocean views.
- PALAZZO VERSACE
- PALM TREE COURT & SPA
- RESIDENCE & SPA AT ONE&ONLY ROYAL MIRAGE
- Rose Rayhaan | ROSE TOWER - soaring 333 metres, 72 storeys and certified as the world's tallest hotel by Guinness Records 2009-2012 - now surpassed by the 376 m (1,234 ft) JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, opened on 11th November 2012.
- ROYAL MIRAGE LHW
- THE ADDRESS DOWNTOWN DUBAI - 63-storey, 302.2 m (991 ft) supertall hotel and residential skyscraper in the Burj Dubai Development Area.
- THE ADDRESS DUBAI MALL
- THE ADDRESS DUBAI MARINA
- The Meydan Hotel - Meydan Racecourse Al Meydan Road. "5-Star luxury, The Meydan Hotel is designed in the shape of a wave in motion with a luminous green glass facade, boasts spectacular views, substantial spaces and an abundance of natural light. Enjoying a majestic position overlooking the Dubai racecourse, yet within easy striking distance of Downtown Dubai, the Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai International Airport."
- THE MONACH DUBAI LHW
- THE PALACE - THE OLD TOWN
- THE PALM LHW
- THE RITZ-CARLTON CNT
- The St. Regis Dubai - Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, U.A.E. "Where indulgent spa treatments, sumptuous cuisines, and memorable meetings await you." Sir Winston Churchill Suite - "Located on the highest floors, and featuring delightful landscaped garden views, the three-bedroom Sir Winston Churchill Suite offers 9828 sq ft / 913 sq m sumptuous luxury.