Dubai is the fastest growing city in the world and home to some unrivaled luxury hotels. The Atlantis Palm Resort sits on the tip of a man-made, palm-shaped island off Dubai's coast along the Persian Gulf. It's a mega-complex with a hotel, waterpark and aquarium stretching 113 acres. The resort was inspired by the mythical Lost City of Atlantis, and the underwater theme is evident as soon as step into the resort. The massive lobby features sea murals and an intricate glass-blown sculpture and marble fountain. The Atlantis Palm has more than 1500 rooms and suites with aquatic details everywhere, from the pillows to the furniture designed to mimic the motion of waves. The suites' balconies give you a view of the Persian Gulf for miles. The bridge suite in the arch between the two towers may be the most spectacular suite in all of Dubai. Oprah, Michael Jordan, Celine Dion, and Bill Gates have all made this their go-to room while visiting Dubai. The 17 bars and restaurants are all color-coded and offer a wide variety from a traditional Arabian coffee house to a Japanese sushi bar to a submerged dining room surrounded by the main aquarium. The activities at the Atlantis Palm resort center around water. The 2-million gallon aquarium holds more than 250 species of fish and, the resort's dolphin bay allows you to watch or swim with dolphins. The Atlantis Palm is a top-shelf destination resort across the board.
On the north side of Dubai is the Raffles Dubai Hotel. The Raffles resort is right in the middle of a shopping district with more than 300 stores, kind of like the Rodeo drive of the Middle East. Raffles is an Egyptian pyramid with an Asian twist making it a totally unique experience. The lobby is hints of the time of the Pharaohs with big columns and sloping walls. The glass elevator lets you check out all of Dubai on your way up to your room. The presidential suites at Raffles are more than 2000 square feet, and are themed around the elements of earth, wind, fire and water. The swimming pool has an aquatic clock keeping track of the hours and minutes of the day with water jets. A 13,000 square-foot garden surrounds the pool, and also holds the hotel's spa. Raffles is a standout even in a city with over-the-top luxury.
Just outside the Dubai city center, is 150-acres of lush green polo fields with a resort called the Desert Palm Hotel. The four champion fields host friendly exhibition and high-level tournament polo matches. You can choose to watch or you get take some riding lessons. The Desert Palm lobby is different from the other luxury Dubai hotels