The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi

Only 10 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi—but a world away in spirit from the city rush—St. Regis Saaydiyat Island looks like a Mediterranean palace but feels like pure Abu Dhabi. The impressive architecture blends luxe finishes like calacatta marble, chisel-edge stone, and petrified wood with a golden color palette that’s offset with views of the turquoise waves of the Arabian Gulf (look close enough and you might even catch a dolphin swimming in the distance). Indulge in a pampering session at the Iridium Spa, go for retail therapy in the property’s shops, or hit the greens at the Saadiyat Island Golf Club. If that sounds like too much exertion, you might prefer to simply lounge in a cabana near one of four pools while sipping an Arabian Snapper, a classic Bloody Mary made with zaatar spice.

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