The Luxe List 2012, UAE: Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi

While it’s still a couple of years before the Abu Dhabi Louvre opens on Saadiyat Island, visitors can content themselves in the meantime with this opulent addition to the man-made shoreline. Set on nine kilometers of powdery beach lapped by the clear blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, the modish Park Hyatt offers all the expected comforts, with oak flooring and goosedown duvets in each of its 306 rooms and villas.

The surf-and-turf menu at the Park Bar & Grill delivers expertly charcoalgrilled Wagyu beef and Alaskan king crab cakes, while the two-level spa specializes in Arabic aromatherapy. Four swimming pools and a series of reflecting ponds help cool the breeze that caresses the palm-studded grounds, but a more thoughtful touch is the boardwalk that takes guests over the beachfront to the water’s edge: it’s there to keep you from treading on the nesting grounds of hawksbill turtles

971-2/407-1234;; doubles from US$354.

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