ARMANI HOTEL, DUBAI

Joining the world’s constellation of over-the-top hotels, Giorgio Armani’s first namesake property soberly anchors the first eight floors plus levels 38 and 39 of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, its 160 rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the starchitect-studded skyline. Rather than artwork, curved walls show off flourishes of padded bronze silks and brown, gray, and taupe textiles from the Armani collection. In case the style wasn’t definitive enough, nearly every object is branded, down to pencil sharpeners, erasers, and sugar cubes. A counterpoint to the usual gold-leaf Orientalist style of luxe Dubai hotels, the rooms inject minimalism with mystery: Sliding panels reveal closets as well as a refreshment station with an espresso machine, a minibar (soft drinks are on the house), and other complimentary extras like Armani/Dolci chocolates. The hotel staff are the best-looking and best-dressed in town, including the personal “lifestyle managers,” available at the touch of a phone button or a computer click. Eight eateries comprise Dubai’s fanciest food court and display flashes of culinary brilliance. At the dinner-only Ristorante, try the baverese with vanilla cream, cassis and violette crème brûlée presented within an impossibly thin-walled pearlescent globe of “glassblown” sugar.

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