When it comes to hotels, luxury is in the eye of the beholder. One traveler might think a clean room with a double bed and a free breakfast buffet is the height of posh lodging, while another might require a two-story suite with a private reflecting pool and a five-star restaurant.
Although picking the most luxurious hotel in the world is an arbitrary process, the Luxury Columnist blog recently took a shot. It ranked the 18 most luxurious worldwide and settled on the Burj Al Arab in pricey Dubai as No. 1.
As the blog noted, the Burj Al Arab — owned by the Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts chain — lays claim to being the seventh tallest hotel in the world, at a little more than 1,050 feet. Among its features are an infinity pool terrace, man-made beach, 180-meter-high atrium, helipad and the world’s largest Swarovski crystal ceiling. The interior has been decorated with about 1,800 square meters of 24-carat gold leaf.
Booking.com goes into even more detail on the Burj Al Arab, noting that the hotel is located on its own island, with nine signature restaurants and a Sky View Bar suspended 657 feet above sea level. Suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf and all include a reactor speaker, complimentary Wi-Fi and widescreen interactive HD TV. Guests have access to chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce vehicles and a 17-pillow menu if luxe pillows are your thing.
If you’re thinking about going, be prepared to fork over some serious money for all that luxury. GOBankingRates looked at average daily rates for a Deluxe Marina Suite at the Burj Al Arab in early October. According to the Jumeirah website, rates for this suite start at 6,000 UAE Dirham per day, or the equivalent of $1,633.
That’s close to starting prices cited by Booking.com and TripAdvisor, which showed a recent range of about $1,390 to about $1,610 per day.
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For Americans looking for luxury hotels closer to home, the Luxury Columnist list also includes four U.S. hotels: The Boulders Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona (it ranked No. 7); the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in San Diego (No. 11); the Plaza New York in New York City (No. 14); and the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas (No. 16).
If your idea of luxury is based solely on price, then you’ll want to mortgage the house and head to the Lover’s Deep Luxury Submarine Hotel in St. Lucia. It ranks as the most expensive hotel in the world, with a nightly rate of $175,000 (yes, you read that right), according to the Man of Many website. As the name suggests, this hotel is underwater in a real submarine.
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