The World's Top Six and Seven Star Hotels

No,1# Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

 Emirates Palace Hotel - It's unclear who first called the Emirates Palace "the seven-starred jewel in Abu Dhabi's crown" but the description certainly seems to have caught on among fans of hotel purple prose. With reason: the hotel measures an entire kilometre from wing to wing, with 302 rooms, 60 suites, 128 kitchens, 102 lifts and a private floor reserved solely for leaders of the Gulf states. But that's just the big picture. The detail includes the marble from 13 countries with which the interior is clad, the 5kg of edible gold used to decorate hotel food every year and the hotel vending machine that - forget stingy chocolate bars and stale packets of crisps - dispenses pure bars of the precious metal to passing billionaire guests. 

No,2# Palazzo Versace, Australia

Palazzo Versace - Although officially five star, Australian Traveller magazine insisted the Palazzo Versace deserved another. This Gold Coast hotel has attracted stars not only to its letterhead but as guests: U2 and the Rolling Stones have stayed here, as have the slightly less celestial contestants on I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, who retire to the sleek hotel after their stints in the jungle. Even with its 200 luxury rooms stuffed with Versace furniture and fittings and its own 90-berth marina, the Gold Coast property has sadly recently been eclipsed by a second Palazzo Versace, in Dubai. The owners of the latter have infuriated environmentalists by announcing plans to install a network of coolant-filled pipes beneath the beach to prevent the sand getting too hot. Why not just flog Versace flip-flops?

No,3# Al Husn, Oman

Shangri La hotels and resorts - The self-proclaimed six-starred Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa has won numerous awards for its luxurious touch, but for guests who are seriously hard to please, the resort came up with Al Husn (meaning castle) - an even more deluxe enclave within the resort. Designed to resemble an Omani fort, this hotel-within-a-hotel is made up of 180 sea-facing guest rooms, each of which comes with a personal butler. The attentive service doesn't stop there - guests opting to spend the day by the pool are provided with a personal mini-cooling unit containing a selection of drinks, lip balm and a water spray. 

No,4# Amanjiwo, Indonesia

Aman resorts - The Indonesian resort of Amanjiwo owes confirmation of its six-star status to the luxury hotel guide Drake and Cavendish. Eight of the 36 suites here have private swimming pools; the Dalem Jiwo suite has an infinity pool and live-in butler. There's also a library, a top notch spa and an art gallery - along with boxes of watercolour paints in each room for budding Picassos. (With rates starting at around US$700 [£470], a complimentary pen probably wouldn't cut it.). The super-swish retreat sits in the shadow of four volcanoes, which may or may not be a selling point for potential British guests given recent seismic goings-on in Iceland. 

No,5#The Capella, Singapore

Capella, Singapore - The fact that the Capella is named after the sixth brightest star in the galaxy says a lot about how this hotel rates itself. The rooms are the largest in Singapore, a city in which space commands some of the highest premiums in the world. Forget twins or doubles here: guests choose from premier rooms, suites, villas or one of two Colonial Manors, which come with private swimming pools and outdoor showers. Guests pick from a team of personal assistants and have a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce at their disposal. There's a 1,000 sq metre spa whose treatments are meant to reflect the varying energies of the lunar cycle - the New Moon Spa Ritual treatment was voted Most Opulent Body Treatment by Harper's Bazaar. 

No,6# Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Jumeirah hotels and resorts - Guests at the Burj Al Arab, the Dubai outfit that started the whole five-stars-are-barely-a-twinkle trend, get to choose whether they want to arrive by Rolls Royce, BMW or helicopter. Expect to pay around £900 a night for even one of the most basic suites and the more expensive rooms feature rotating beds, private lifts and gold staircases. Sprucing up for the evening? Book a £200 caviar facial at the Assawan spa. Then dine at Al Mahara restaurant, where you can admire tropical fish through a floor-to-ceiling aquarium as you feast on their distant relatives. If money's no object, and your sense of taste is, shall we say, plastic, the Burj really is the place to stay.

No,7#The Seven Stars Galleria, Milan

JP-Briozzo - The Seven Stars Galleria claims to be the first officially certified seven star hotel, after receiving the accolade from the hotel inspection firm SGS. Prior to arrival, guests are sent a two page questionnaire about their preferences. We're not just talking about newspapers; guests can specify their desired room temperature, pillow requirements and favourite music - all before stepping into their fresco-bedecked rooms. But with rates ranging from around £500 a night to well north of £3000, you might expect such attention to detail. So, whether Money, Money, Money or the Threepenny Opera is your check-in preference, get out that rare-metal credit card now. 

No, 8# Pangu Seven Star Hotel, Beijing

Pangu - You needn't look far to discover how this Chinese hotel rates itself; sneak another peek at the name. Stretching the length of seven football fields, the Pangu Seven Star has been designed to resemble a dragon - its five towers linked by a 411-metre-long corridor and the fifth shaped like a dragon's head. The hotel's Sky Courtyard is its pièce de résistance - located on the 23rd floor and featuring a retractable roof and two-storey courtyards, it's among the closest places you'll come to fresh air in smoggy Beijing. In the rooms, guests can expect Bose sound systems, along with 600-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets; the hotel is also the only place in China with permission to reproduce priceless artworks from the Forbidden City. 

No,9# The Kulm Hotel, St Moritz, Switzerland

Kulm Hotel - Lounging on the shores of Lake Moritz, the 173-room Kulm Hotel says its sixth star is merited by its Whatever You Want service, which meets guests' more unusual desires. Previous clients have requested everything from one-on-one golf lessons with the French Open winner Jakob Hlasek to private instruction from the world's top snowboarders. The service claims to include wishes that can't be bought with money - not that a little cash in hand won't help when some of the suites cost £1,000 a night. 

No,10#Altira Macau, Macau

Altira Macau - Described by its founders as a "six star experience", the Altira Macau is one of the few hotels to have been awarded five stars by Forbes magazine for both its rooms and its spa. Forbes described the hotel's 16th-floor infinity pool - with its floor-to-ceiling windows and underwater music - as one of the best in the world. Fans of Japanese food can dine at Kira, where authentic ingredients are flown in several times a week, and guests slumber under bed sheets made from the finest Egyptian cotton and sip complimentary bottled water imported from Norway. (Presumably the carbon footprint isn't included as part of the overall cost.). And the crowning touch? Guests enjoying the Gold treatment at the spa are dusted with the precious metal. 

No,11# The Park Hyatt, Seoul

Park Hyatt Seoul - Guests at the Park Hyatt Seoul, another recipient of Drake and Cavendish's sought-after sixth star, check in at the Sky Lobby on the 24th floor, where they can gaze through a floor-to-ceiling glass wall at guests frolicking in the 17 metre swimming pool. The hotel, the offspring of the oddly named Japanese design firm Super Potato, also proclaims a 570 sq metre spa and whole-room windows in the 185 deluxe rooms. Best of all, rates start at under £200. Bargain! 

No,12# The St Regis Shanghai, China

The St Regis Shanghai, China Interior
St Regis Shanghai - The St Regis Shanghai claims to provide its guests with a level of personal care unmatched by any other hotel. The level of detail at the minimum $485 (£322)-a-night hotel can be somewhat unnerving. Staff butlers pride themselves on remembering every detail about previous guests, from what kind of pillow they like, to their favourite fruit and which side of the bed they prefer to sleep on. There's even a women-only floor, spilling over with Bulgari toiletries and "feminine scented" flowers and presided over by a team of female butlers. Ironically, the St Regis website states that Tiger Woods recently enjoyed the services of the hotel's butlers, which conjures up images that perhaps weren't intended. 

No,13# Apeiron, Dubai

Sybarite - What next for plus-five-star hotels? The answer might lie in this creation - the Apeiron, in (yet again) Dubai. Although work on the self-proclaimed six-star hotel hasn't actually started yet, the British architecture firm Sybarite has already proclaimed it a top candidate for the hotel of the future. The plans include an artificial jungle, complete with butterflies, on the top two floors plus, less exceptionally these days, an underwater restaurant and an art gallery. Taking exclusivity to a new level, the hotel, with a rumoured $500 million budget, will only be accessible by helicopter and boat. 
Source ---MSN UK Travel


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