Arrival/Check-In: I pulled up to the security gate at 9 a.m., hoping the hotel would hold my bags for the day so I could attend meetings and return later to check in. I was approved to pass through, and at the entrance multiple members of the Burj Al Arab staff greeted me by name and showed me directly to my room. My two-level suite was on the 13th floor, where my butler, Christine, offered fresh orange juice and a tour of the room. To my delight, my bags were already sitting in the dressing area. The check-in process was completed right there in my room at the grand desk, which was equipped with a computer and printer.
Guest Quarters: The first thing I saw as I entered the room was a large chandelier and the grand marble staircase leading to the bedroom. Passing a powder room and work space on my left, I couldn’t help but be drawn in by the stunning views ahead. Floor-to-ceiling windows looked out on the water and Dubai coastline. The living space featured two large sofas and a dining table and chairs. Hidden cabinets revealed treasures including a minibar, fine glassware and a selection of coffee and tea. The color scheme was a nautical blue and gold, reminding me I was living in the great “sail” of Dubai.
On the second floor, expansive windows also lined the large bedroom. A flat-screen TV rose from the entertainment center but could retract so as to not block the view. Between the bedroom and the bathroom, a large dressing area held multiple closets and a makeup vanity. Impressive in its own right, the bathroom featured his-and-her sinks and full-size Hermès bath products and fragrances. A huge, separate bathtub and shower with multiple faucets and temperature controls offered the ultimate luxurious bathing experiences.
Services/Amenities: Touted as the most luxurious hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab offers not only outstanding service but also some of the best amenities in Dubai. Guests with leisure interests may access Jumeirah Beach and visit the Wild Wadi Waterpark as part of their stay. Private golf carts transport guests to these attractions as well as the must-see Madinat Jumeirah. On site, guests can treat themselves to a day at the Burj’s luxurious Talise Spa or dine at any of its five restaurants and several lounges. (As a side note, Wild Wadi Waterpark will close Jan. 11–Feb. 11, 2015, for its annual maintenance program.)
The Experience: The self-proclaimed “world’s most luxurious hotel” lived up to this title and then some. The staff makes you feel like royalty from the moment you cross the bridge to this opulent haven on the sea. I can say with confidence the Burj Al Arab offers an experience like no other in the world.
[item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item check=yes]Separate tub and shower[/item]
[item check=yes]Large vanity[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality towels[/item]
[item check=yes]Powerful, unattached hair dryer[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality bed linens[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, flat-screen television[/item]
[item check=yes]Large desk with convenient outlets[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, complimentary laptop safe[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary in-room WiFi[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary bottled water[/item]
[item check=yes]Stocked minibar[/item]
[item check=yes]Ample lighting[/item]
[item check=yes]In-room coffeemaker[/item]
[item check=yes]Iron and ironing board[/item]
[item check=yes]On-site restaurant[/item]
[item check=yes]24-hour room service[/item]
[item check=yes]24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center[/item]
[item check=yes]Turn-down service[/item]
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
United Arab Emirates
tel 971 4 301 7777
Even if you are not familiar with Chicago, you may already know the Wicker Park neighborhood is one of the city’s “eat like a local” destinations, especially among young professionals whose idea of local is actually quite global. After a decade of high-concept comfort food and gastro-pubs, the Tan family took over a homey space on North Avenue to mix things up with the opening of Cebu. Cebu is not just a Filipino restaurant, but one focused on Cebuano regional cooking along with its Chinese and Spanish underpinnings.
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Miami’s South Beach is set to welcome a new luxury hotel.
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