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Top of the Class: Hotels in the Middle East with the Highest Grades

- Joy Pecknold, Passport blog editor

Schools dole out final grades and, like the Harvard of hotels, so do we. We continue calling out Kiwi Collection’s top properties by region, traveling next to an area that encompasses both Jerusalem and Dubai. Herewith, the five hotels and resorts in the Middle East with the highest HQ (hospitality quotient).

Armani Hotel Dubai
A master of the finer things, in both the realms of fashion and hospitality, Armani does luxury to the max in the most luxurious city (just ask Kiwi Expert Federica Antonioli, she put the hotel on her top five list). Set inside Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, means this one is also a record breaker.
Percentage grade: 95
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Service, Rooms, Food & Beverage, Attention to Detail, Wow/Hip Factor, Architecture & Design and Location
Aptitudes: Views of the Dubai Fountain, luxury shopping, high-design, spa treatments and dining variety.

Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
A student of conservation, this hotel has led and looked after the rehabilitation of the Dubai deserts’ flora and fauna. It also strikes a perfect balance between fancy and unfussy, with its Bedouin-style tent accommodations. Kiwi Expert Daniel Szelényi recommends it.
Percentage grade: 93
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Rooms, Generosity & Value, Wow/Hip Factor, Location and Fit to Promise
Aptitudes: Private pools, spectacular views, camel treks, wildlife drives and all-inclusive.

Burj Al Arab
A bit of a mariner, this sail-shaped tower hovers right over the Arabian Gulf, and stakes claim to the second tallest hotel in the world. But it takes opulence to even higher levels. Spacious, tricked out two-floor suites are only the start.
Percentage grade: 93
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Rooms, Food & Beverage, Wow/Hip Factor, Architecture & Design, Location and Fit to Promise
Aptitudes: Butlers on-call, private shoppers, Rolls Royce fleet, helipad, reception desks on every floor and under-sea dining.

Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi
Giving Dubai a run for its money, Abu Dhabi also knows over the top opulence. And this palatial property is no exception. Case in point, it boasts its own 167-berth marina and ballroom for 2,800 of your closest friends, among other finer things.
Percentage grade: 92
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Food & Beverage, Wow/Hip Factor and Architecture & Design
Aptitudes: 10 restaurants to choose from, personal butler service, Anantara Spa, kids club, private beach and tennis courts.

Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara
Another hospitality overachiever in Abu Dhabi, this hotel resides on what was formerly an invitation-only royal island, Sir Bani Yas. Also a nature preserve home to some 160 species of wildlife, safaris and nature walks are offered here. For those who like their animals a little more tame, head to the private stables.
Percentage grade: 90
Best subjects: Perfect 10 in Attention to Detail.
Aptitudes: Own souk bazaar, 24-hour butler service, Anantara Spa, kids club and custom dining experiences.

Honorable Mentions:
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi
Percentage grade: 89
Best subjects: 9s across 9 of 10 categories
Aptitudes: Health club, Iridium Spa and proximity to museums.

Six Senses Zighy Bay
Percentage grade: 88
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Rooms and Location
Aptitudes: Paraglide arrival, Omani-style, private pools, snorkeling and sunset cruises.

One&Only Royal Mirage
Percentage grade: 87
Best subjects: Perfect 10s in Location and Fit to Promise
Aptitudes: Orient-inspired architecture, three properties in one, beach restaurant, private beach and water sports.

The Chedi Muscat
Percentage grade: 87
Best subjects: 9s in most categories
Aptitudes: Moorish-inspired architecture, calming Zen atmosphere, spa and separate adult and kid pools.

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi
Percentage grade: 87
Best subjects: 9s in most categories
Aptitudes: 18-hole beachfront golf course, desert safaris, holistic spa and family-friendly.

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