Readers’ Awards: See the hotels and destinations voted by you as the best in the Middle East

WT Writer
Mar 7, 2021

When we asked our readers to vote for their favourite hotels and destinations across the Middle East, they responded in their thousands. The votes are now in, and the winners are….

Whether you’re travelling on business, seeking a luxury vacation within the beautiful Gulf or are in search of a family-friendly resort that’s a drive away, the Middle East has so much to offer. The beauty of the region lies within its variation – beach vacations are in abundance, adventure trips are like no other, and fine dining extravaganzas are all around.

Meaning voting for the best of the best is a task we didn’t envy our readers for. But, having done their admirable duty, the votes are now in. The ultimate desert hotel has been named and the gong for the best business hotel given. So (if-and-when travel restrictions allow) these are the destinations to add to your list – as voted by you.

Also read: Readers’ Awards: See the hotels and destinations voted by you as the world’s best.

Best Hotel Kids Club:
Anantara The Palm, Dubai

Anantara The Pal Kids Club
Anantara The Palm, Dubai

It can often be the case that when your tweenage kids have outgrown the hotel kids’ club – “you actually want me to colour in a picture of Cinderella when I could be Tik Toking?” – you spend half your holiday trying to coax them from their incredible sulk. Not so at Anantara The Palm, Dubai, where kids too cool for the Tuk Tuk Kids’ Club can graduate to the Chill Teens Club and Tik Tok to their heart’s content while you kick back in the spa.

See the runners up here.

Best Beach Hotel
Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, UAE

Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, UAE
Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, UAE

In another category where you’re spoiled for choice, the glory goes to the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Dubai. We’re not at all surprised. Brand expectations are high from the get-go, but once you enter this magnificent resort and see the heart-stirring framed view of the cloudless sky meeting the endless sea, the deal is sealed. 

See the runners up here.

Best Spa Hotel:
The Emirates Palace Spa Abu Dhabi, UAE

Emirates Palace Spa Reception
The Emirates Palace Spa Abu Dhabi, UAE

Promising to transport you to a realm of absolute relaxation, The Emirates Palace Spa in Abu Dhabi is your stand-out winner. With over 1,500 sqm devoted to tranquillity (including a Moroccan Hammam, heated marble room and ice cave), it’s really no surprise.

See the runners up here.

Best Hotel For Dining:
Jumeirah Al Naseem

Jumeirah Al Naseem

Jumeirah Al Naseem is a dining destination in every sense. In addition to its enclave of excellent restaurants (headed by Il Boro) which horseshoe ponds of rehabilitating turtles, there’s the hotel’s own dynamic duo of Rockfish and Burj-facing Kayto – little wonder it topped your eat list.

See the runners up here.

Best Hotel Restaurant:
Akira Back Dubai, W Dubai – The Palm, UAE

Akira Back Dubai, W Dubai – The Palm, UAE

This is a category in which you were quite literally spoiled for choice, with so many different restaurants voted for. Taking its seat at the top of the table, however, is Akira Back Dubai, where the head chef’s inventiveness (particularly when it comes to moreish vegan dishes) ensures the restaurant always stays one step ahead.

See the runners up here.

Best Hotel For Sustainability:
Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman

Six Senses Zighy Bay
Six Senses Zighy Bay

No surprises here as you champion the ongoing environmental efforts of Six Senses Zighy Bay. From bottling its own water and engaging guests and the wider community in tree planting, to recycling or upcycling 80% of the resort’s accumulated waste, this is the region’s standard bearer for sustainability.

See the runners up here.

Best Hotel For Service:
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, UAE

Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai

No matter where you find yourself in the world, that you’ll be treated to superior service levels at a Mandarin Oriental hotel is as sure a thing as a long hot summer in the Gulf. You’re clearly of the same opinion, voting the brand’s Dubai outpost as your favourite place to feel like royalty.

See the runners up here

Best Business Hotel:
JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, UAE

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel

They say you should never mix business with pleasure, but anyone who’s ever stayed at (and everyone who voted for) JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai would rightly argue otherwise. With over 30 event rooms (plus three al-fresco venues which bestow inspirational views of Burj Khalifa), some 15 restaurants and bars and one of the best spas in town, this is the perfect mix. Hats off to anyone who has successfully expensed a stay in the palatial Penthouse Suite.

See the runners up here.

Best Family Hotel:
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, UAE

Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, UAE

Everyone knows it – it’s already an icon. But the proof is in the pudding when our readers formally recognise Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai as THE family hotel in the Middle East. Not only does it look like a Disney-worthy palace from the outside, but everything inside is the stuff of childhood dreams, too – right down to the aquarium window in the kids’ club.

See the runners up here.

Best City Hotel:
JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, UAE

Dubai restaurant at night
JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, UAE

In a region where city hotels are as palatial as they are plentiful, it came as little surprise to see your votes widely split in this most competitive of categories. But with two towers standing proud to comprise the world’s tallest 5-star hotel, it’s JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, that you’ve crowned. It wears it well.

See the runners up here.

Best Desert Hotel:
Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, UAE

Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, UAE

If you’re an ex-pat, this is probably how you imagined life after relocation; spending the weekends soaking up scenes of the sandy landscape in an opulent setting. Although the business of life often gets in the way, Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, delivers on just that. All that you dreamed awaits guests here, with added awe-inducers such as gazelles roaming freely aside your private pool and spectacular stargazing nightly.

See the runners up here.

Best Romantic Hotel:
Park Hyatt Dubai

Park Hyatt Dubai
Park Hyatt Dubai

Marrying Mediterranean and Arabian influences, the institution that is the Park Hyatt Dubai stole your heart when it comes to enjoying a romantic escape. That’s likely due to its Creek-side setting, which offers up spectacular sunset views; atmospheric al-fresco restaurants fit for a candle-lit dinner pour deux, and the signature Couples’ Journey package offered at the splendid Amara Spa.

See the runners up here.

Best Hotel Suite:
The St. Regis, 3 Bedroom Penthouse Suite Abu Dhabi, UAE

The St. Regis, 3 Bedroom Penthouse Suite Abu Dhabi, UAE

If one were to anthropomorphise the Abu Dhabi Suite at The St. Regis, it would certainly be someone of regal stature, so it’s really no wonder you crowned it your favourite hotel suite. Complete with its own spa and private butler, a stay here is nothing short of pure decadence.

See the runners up here.

Best New Hotel:
Address Beach Resort, Dubai, UAE

Address Beach Resort, Dubai, UAE
Address Beach Resort, Dubai, UAE

It’s true that first impressions count, and out of the new hotels that (rather bravely) threw open their doors recently, it was the Address Beach Resort that you wanted to see more of. An architectural feat, the twin towers are connected by a sky bridge and home one of the world’s tallest infinity pools which overlooks Ain Dubai.

See the runners up here.

See more from our World Traveller Awards 2021 here.