Middle Eastern & African Luxury Hotels Tips

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Jumeirah Defines Luxury in Dubai

Dubai, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, is quickly becoming one of the leading and most exciting international travel destinations. Located on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai blends tropical beach and warm desert ambiance. Boasting the “Best of East and West, it is a city typically described by superlatives including: wealthiest, tallest, most beautiful, most welcoming, most progressive, best world-class resorts and a veritable shopping paradise.

Jumeirah, the most popular suburb of Dubai, is home to the finest beaches and most luxurious resorts. Discerning travelers recognize that luxury is in the details including accommodations, amenities and impeccable service. The Jumeirah Hotels Group, the leading five-star luxury hotel brand in the UAE, exceeds expectations on every level. Rooms and suites at Jumeirah hotels are decorated in vibrant colors complemented by lavish textures and features. Expect an array of luxury amenities like bath and pillow menus, fresh flowers, gourmet snacks, champagne and the latest technology with an in-room laptop computer and large-screen plasma television. Dining at Jumeirah is a sensory experience, a feast for the senses. Jumeirah Spas are havens of serenity offering a wide range of the latest treatments and services. And, personal butlers/concierges ensure that no wish is left unfilled.

Each Jumeirah hotels is a unique travel destination in itself. Burj Al Arab is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. Shaped like a gigantic billowing sail, it dominates the Jumeirah skyline. Described as “simply spectacular,” Burj Al Arab is ranked as one of the best hotels the world on the Condé Nast Gold List. Jumeirah Emirates Towers also enjoys a spot on the Gold List and is ranked as the Best Business Hotel in the Middle East by Business Traveller UK Awards and World Travel Awards 2007. Other leading Jumeirah Hotels in the UAE include: Jumeirah Beach Hotel (home of Wild Wadi Water Park), Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Club Resort & Spa and Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

What is a great luxury hotel in Cape Town?

Cape Town, Africa Luxury Hotel: The Bay Hotel

The Bay Hotel in Camps Bay, Cape Town, is right at the foot of Table Mountain between the Twelve Apostles range and the white sands of Camps Bay beach. It is just 10 minutes from Cape Town. The hotel made the 2007 Travel + Leisure 500 list.

The Tides Restaurant dinner menu is based on the prix-fix concept, offering guests the choice of a two or three course meal at a set price. Tides Restaurant in Camps Bay has a menu that boasts interesting and innovative cuisine. The wine list is large and diners can select their wine from a temperature-controlled walk-in cellar. Imported cigars and a vast selection of cognacs are also on offer.

You'll have to take the free shuttle over to Bay Hotel's sister Camps Bay Retreat for spa treatments. The resort is on four acres of private land with waterfalls, mountain streams and pools. Treatments include comprehensive facials, manicures and pedicures, waxing, tinting, body massage, aromatherapy and reflexology.

Deluxe Touch
Stay in the luxury Penthouse suite and you'll have a spacious bedroom, private dining room and lounge, large bathroom and balcony overlooking Camps Bay Beach. It also has an exclusive staircase, entrance lobby and guest bathroom. Plasma television sets and a home theater system allow you to set the mood.

69 Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town
Tel: +27 (0)21 438 4444

What is a great African luxury hotel?

African Luxury Hotel: Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

The Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge is right on the edge of a crater and offers endless views of the crater below. The boulder-built buildings are linked by rope-lashed timber walkways that skirt the roots of ancient, liana-hung trees. You can visit a selection of authentic Maasai villages, all of which belong to the national Cultural Tourism Program, as well as Maasai homesteads, traditional cattle markets and women's handicraft groups. The lodge made the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List 2007.

The Maasai-inspired, split-level dining and bar area features a two-tier wall of windows looking down on to the crater, a traditional circular fireside meeting area, and a motif of massive 'prehistoric' cave paintings, stone-studded walls, Maasai spears and blazing jewel-hued wall lamps. The menu includes traditional Maasai fare, long-time safari favorites and international dishes.

Beauty treatments, massage and hairdressing are all available.

Deluxe Touch
Serena Safaris operate a fleet of safari-adapted Land Cruisers. Each tour is led by an experienced guide. Picnics, mineral water, cool boxes and bush libraries are also provided.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Tel: 255 272 537050

What is a great luxury hotel in Turkey?

Istanbul, Turkey Luxury Hotel: Swiss˘tel Bosphorus

Swissôtel's Bosphorus, Istanbul property is located in the center of Istanbul on the European banks of the Bosphorus. The hotel's spacious gardens were previously the gardens of the Dolmabahce Palace, the last residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Situated on a wooded hilltop, the hotel has panoramic views of the Bosphorus, the Asian coast and the old city of Istanbul. It's also close to many of Istanbul attractions and shopping.

There are 16 restaurants, bars and lounges at the hotel. Try international delights at Café Suisse, Swiss cuisine at Swiss Chalet, Pacific Rim and Mediterranean cuisine at the hotel's Roof Garden and authentic Japanese food at Miyako. Gaja Restaurant offers fine dining, as well.

The Amrita Spa and Wellness Centre has an outdoor pool with separate children's section, a heated indoor pool, Jacuzzi, fully equipped gym, sauna, solarium, plus traditional Turkish bath and massage services.

Deluxe Touch
Stay in the Japanese suite or one of two Presidential suites. Each suite features marble bathrooms with a separate shower, special bathroom amenities and jacuzzis.

Bayildim Caddesi, 2 Macka - Besiktas,
Istanbul 34357, Turkey
Tel: +90 212 326 1100

What is a recommended Middle Eastern luxury hotel?

Jerusalem Luxury Hotel: King David Jerusalem Hotel

The King David Jerusalem Hotel is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and was President Bill Clinton's base during presidential trips to Israel. The lobby is characterized by cornices with Middle Eastern motifs and lush indigo couches. It was listed for Best for Design and Location on the Conde Nast Gold List 2007. It is the flagship of the Dan Hotels. There are a dozen Dan Hotels in the country.

The La Regence Grill Room's menu is highlighted by local ingredients and Middle Eastern spices and herbs. Don't miss the lamb cutlets served with either fries or homemade potato and chive puree.

There's a swimming pool, a fitness center, a tennis court and massages can be arranged.

Deluxe Touch
The Dan VIP Lounges at Ben Gurion Airport are owned and managed by the Dan Hotel Chain and QAS. The VIP Lounges offer a private and secluded area, refreshments and free Internet access.

The King David - Jerusalem Hotel
: 972-3-5202552

What is a recommended Middle Eastern luxury hotel?

Dubai Luxury Hotel: The Burj Al Arab

The Burj Al Arab was designed to resemble a billowing sail and looks like a mirage in the desert. This all-suite hotel is luxury redefined, to say the least. The interior, with 30 kinds of marble and 22-karat gold leaf throughout, is so over the top that it's difficult to imagine.

Perks include a chauffeur (driving a Rolls Royce), in-suite check-in, private reception desks on every floor and a butler to provide around-the-clock attention. Burj Al Arab does not have standard hotel rooms; it has 202 suites, each one arranged over two floors with floor-to-ceiling glass windows so you can see the glistening Arabian Gulf.

Each suite comes standard with a wide array of full-size bathroom amenities by Hermes, music and oils and an alternative menu with 13 differing pillows to choose from.

After a 3-minute simulated submarine voyage to the restaurant Al Marhara, you'll find a ceiling seawater aquarium in the center of the room. Obviously seafood is on the menu!

The Assawan Spa offers decadent massages and facials and the treatments are designed with La Prairie, ESPA and Aromatherapy Associates products.

Burj Al Arab
Tel: +971 4 3017777

How are Middle Eastern & African Luxury Hotels Rated?

Middle Eastern & African Luxury Hotels Ratings

Without a doubt, Middle Eastern hotels are some of the most prestigious and luxurious in the world. One need only look at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai to see how luxury can be redefined. Don't be surprised to hear of six-star or even seven-star hotels, though these are more self-proclaimed accolades rather than measured by an independent body. No matter -- those hotels are almost always on everyone's top lists, such as the Travel + Leisure 500 or rated by the Mobil or AAA guides as five stars, for lack of a higher rating.

Here are some fun facts to take with you:

  • In Dubai, it is illegal to sunbathe topless!
  • In Jerusalem, the currency is the New Israel Shekel (NIS) or shekel for short (pluralized as shkalim in Hebrew or shekels in English).
  • Turkey has 5,000 miles of coastline, making it a beach paradise. It is surrounded by sea on three sides, the Black Sea in the north, the Mediterranean in the south and the Aegean Sea in the west.
  • The world's first heart transplant was done in South Africa in 1967 by South African Dr. Chris Barnard.

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Guru Spotlight
Carma Spence-Pothitt