Dubai: 5 Places to Stay

One&Only Royal Mirage

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A kind of über-Arabian fantasia built in the style of an ancient palace and fortress, the Royal Mirage occupies prime Dubai real estate. The compound of buildings — all vaulted sandstone arches, gleaming columns, and intricate tilework, topped by a gloriously painted dome and mirrored by a palm-lined reflecting pool — sits right on Jumeirah Beach, and is surrounded by 65 acres of gardens. The property includes two main parts: The Palace, with 246 units, and the Arabian Court, with 172 units; both sections have rooms and suites that are plush if rather European in style, with private balconies or terraces overlooking the sea and lushly landscaped gardens. There's also the more exclusive 50-room resort-within-a-resort, the Residence & Spa, which has its own reception, private dining room, and bar, and the hotel's most spacious and exotically decorated rooms and suites (lots of carved and inlaid wood, elaborate tilework, silky embroidered fabrics). The eight on-site restaurants range from Moroccan to Asian, and Mediterranean to casual beachside seafood; but wherever you eat, be sure to hit The Rooftop lounge (at the Arabian Court) for pre- or post-prandial cocktails overlooking Palm Island Bay.

Insider Tip: Book "The Royal Treatment" at the Oriental Hammam — during which you'll lie on a heated marble table for your honey facial, body scrub, and massage.

Room to Book: The four Rooftop Prestige rooms in the Residence look over fragrant gardens and have private, cushion-strewn terraces for dining and sunbathing.

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