The Luxe List 2010, United Arab Emirates: Armani Hotel, Dubai

Joining the glittering ranks of Dubai’s ultra-luxury offerings is fashion designer Giorgio Armani’s first hotel. Tucked inside the lower floors of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, the Armani Hotel may miss out on the dazzling views afforded to visitors from the building’s 124th-floor observation deck, but it makes up for that with style to spare. Clad in subdued earth tones, the hotel is a study in elegance, with almost everything from furniture and slippers to silky, tigereye bars of soap inspired by a pebble found on a Sicilian beach—painstakingly crafted by Mr. Armani himself. The 160 guest rooms are spacious and tech-savvy, with appliances operated through a remote-control system that even connects to a camera outside your door, so you can see who is knocking. The lobby is deliberately understated, paving the way for dining options like Ristorante, which serves classic Italian fare, and Amal, where Dubai’s current ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, is regularly spotted with his entourage tucking into innovative Indian cuisine.

Burj Khalifa; 971-4/888-3999;; doubles from US$653

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