Thailand’s Anantara has opened the first glass-floored, overwater accommodations in the United Arab Emirates. Anantara Dubai The Palm debuted September 15 on the eastern side of Dubai’s most famous artificial island chain.
Why to Go: You can escape the chaos of Dubai and still experience the city’s attractions. Anantara joins dozens of hotels on the Palm Jumeirah, including beach resorts by Kempinski, Atlantis, and One&Only. The Thai-based hotel brand sets itself apart by offering the region’s first overwater villas (there are 18 among the resort’s 293 total rooms). Lagoon-style swimming pools run throughout the dense complex of Thai-style buildings, and guests staying on the ground floor can slip into the pools from their balconies; beach villas have pools of their own.
What to Expect: Water surrounds the resort, from the swimming pools to the gulf lapping the resort’s private beach. A fleet of watercraft accommodates wakeboarding, waterskiing, tub rides, and more. Anantara also has windsurfing equipment, kayaks, Pedalos boats, and stand-up paddleboards for hire; the concierge team can arrange fishing, scuba, and snorkeling excursions. A 10-treatment-room spa opens in January; treatments are currently available in-room.
How to Get There: From Anantara’s spot on the eastern side of the crescent-shaped island that surrounds the Palm Jumeirah’s 16 “fronds,” the drive to the airport is 45 minutes. Nearby attractions include the Aquaventure Water Park, the Mall of the Emirates, and Ski Dubai. (+971.4.567.8888, www.anantara.com)