World Travel Awards 2016 best beach and spa resorts: Where to stay in Dubai, Bora Bora and more


As the whirlwind that goes under the name of 2016 is closing, it’s time look back on the best luxury resorts that the year has had to offer. From a Polynesian paradise, to a Sicilian getaway, or maybe an Aladdin-inspired escape, the folks at the World Travel Awards (the Academy Awards equivalent of tourism) has selected the World’s Leading Beach and Spa Resort, with some notable nominations. Here, we visit some of the shortlisted resorts’ and their most luxurious rooms.

WINNER: Apartment Suite at Le Royal Meridien, Dubai (Price upon request)

Le Royal Meridien of Dubai was crowned the title of World’s Leading Beach and Spa Resort. It’s also located within walking distance to the JBR Walk – for that luxury shopping fix, obviously. The beachfront resort’s dining options aren’t too shabby either, with choices such as Richard Sandoval’s Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen + Lounge and Pan Asian-serving Zengo.

Le Royal Meridien – Apartment Suite – Living Room

The resort’s Apartment Suite is 233 sqm space offering a panoramic view of the Arabian Gulf and the resort’s garden. It has two bedrooms and comes with a fully-equipped pantry, marble floorings, flat screen TV, and spa/fitness. Spacious and sophisticated, the suite can very well be your cozy home during the holidays.

Le Royal Meridien Apartment Suite - Bedroom
Le Royal Meridien – Apartment Suite – Bedroom

NOMINEE: End of Pontoon Overwater Bungalows at Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa (Price upon request)

Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort - Aerial View
Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort – Aerial View

Situated at Motu Tevairoa, one of the islets of Polynesia, Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa offers a splendid view of Mount Otemanu and the turquoise lagoon. This is your go-to for an escape to a secluded island paradise, with the To’A Nui coral nursery in its vicinity and the Manea Spa surrounded with a pond of lily pads within the property. It’s also located not very far from the airport.

Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort - Overwater Bungalow
Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort – Overwater Bungalow

The rooms comes in form of bungalows that float on top of turquoise water. The best bungalow the resort has to offer is the End of Pontoon Overwater Bungalows. It has their standard bungalow amenities: 53 sqm, king-size bed, spacious bathroom, outdoor terrace, sun deck – elevated with a private panoramic view of the iconic Polynesian lagoon. And trust us when we say that the scenery is worth it. The experience also comes with a personalized check-in, snorkeling equipments, a bottle of 75cl Chassenay d’Arce and flower bouquets to welcome you to paradise.

NOMINEE: Presidential Suite of Il Castello at Forte Village, Italy (Price upon request)

Hotel Castello Presedential Suite
Hotel Castello Forte Village – Presedential Suite – Living Room

The Sardinian resort of Forte Village is a complex of top-quality hotels, with 5 five-starred hotels, 3 four-starred hotels and 8 luxury villas encompassing the 47 hectare property. Sitting on the stretch of white sands, the resort is also surrounded by gorgeous gardens. The unique climate of the location gives a literal 300 days of summer from March to November. It also offers a wide range of facilities for every member of the family, such as an relaxing moment in the Acquaforte Thalasso Spa or children activities areas. Fun fact: Forte Village is also the world’s leading green resort.

Hotel Castello Presedential Suite
Hotel Castello Forte Village – Presedential Suite – Bedroom and Terrace

The top suite of Forte Village’s five-starred hotel Il Castello would be the Presidential Suite. It’s a 110 sqm open-space plan room that comes with another 150 sqm terrace that comes with a private jacuzzi pool and a tremendous view. Your stay will also include a British-style butler to lessen those holiday hassles. The overall experience is intimate, cozy, and luxurious.

NOMINEE: King Premium Panoramic Overwater Bungalow at Hilton Moorea Resort and Spa, Polynesia (Price upon request)


Immerse in the Polynesian culture at the Hilton Moorea Resort and Spa. Positioned at the heart-shaped ‘Island of Love’ 7 minutes away from Tahiti by plane, the resort offers a truly idyllic island experience. You can swim among the friendly sharks and rays at the reef, go on a safari excursion, have a treat under the stars at Toatea Creperie and Bar, or simply unwind at the Moorea Lagoon Spa.

Overwater Bungalow

From the row of its world-class bungalow suites, the King Premium Panoramic Overwater Bungalow comes on top, thanks to the majestic unobstructed view of the lagoon. It comes with a marble bathroom with a claw-footed tub, a king-sized bed, private sun deck, and a 37-inch TV. The 62 sqm suite also has a glass-floor viewing panel where you can see the fishes swimming under your feet.

NOMINEE: Grand Imperial Suite at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Dubai (Price upon request)

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray -Grand Imperial Suite - Bedroom
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray -Grand Imperial Suite – Bedroom

Inspired by royal residences of the Ottoman era, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is an oppulent 5-starred property located at the west crescent of Palm Jumeirah. Which means, it’s situated in one of Dubai’s most prime locations, with views of the Arabian Gulf and the city’s spectacular skyline. The accommodation comes with a private beach, 8 dining experiences to choose from, 8,000 sqm Talise Ottoman Spa, and services fit for a royal.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray - Grand Imperial Suite - Bathroom
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray – Grand Imperial Suite – Bathroom

The grandeur of the Grand Imperial, the resort’s most luxurious room, is something to be taken seriously. The 310 sqm space features a master bedroom with a walk-in closet, designer furniture, exterior ceramics from the ancient town of Iznik of Western Anatolia, a private terrace, fully-equipped kitchen and 42-inch television at the living room. However, our favorite part of the room is the lavish bathroom we would love to spend hours in. The centerpiece of the bathroom is a Turkish marble tub, surrounded by Ottoman-style interiors, gold pillars, and topped of with a breathtaking view from the side window. To add on the luxury points, the bathroom also has a separate rain shower, a private sauna, and comes with Lorenzo Villoresi amenities.

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