3 New 'Larger than Life' Places to Live (Temporarily) in Dubai

Scented floors, over-water villas and breathtaking skyline views are offered in Dubai's hotels

This story first appeared in the Dec. 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.


First opened in 2007, Raffles recently unveiled its "Dubai Floor," an ultraluxe, 21,500-square-foot residential sanctuary that offers three guestrooms, three suites, a spa, private chef, private elevator, dedicated chauffeur with limo and private screening room (seat up to nine people). You can even, if you so wish, choose the floor's scent. And all for merely $23,100 a night for the floor.

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Luxury Thai chain Anantara clearly was looking for something more watery when it opened its latest five-star addition in September. The 293-room Anantara Dubai The Palm offers the country's first glass-floored, over-water villas grouped in private clusters along a series of lagoons. Guests can travel by boat to four pools, four restaurants and two bars. Over-water villas start at $1,454.

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Open for less than a month, The Oberoi features floor-to-ceiling windows in each of its 252 rooms and suites with breathtaking views of the skyline. Deeper inside the hotel, you'll find Dubai's only spa open round the clock and the Japanese restaurant Umai, whose Takeyui Nakagawa reportedly is the lone chef in the city licensed to prepare the potentially lethal fugu (blowfish). Rooms from $327.