David Hedengren
Last updated: 5 November, 2012

The Middle East’s hottest hotels in 2012

When Condé Nast Traveller (CNT) lists the best new hotels, the world listens. Nine properties in the Middle East and North Africa made it to the magazine’s hot list this year.

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract
Aswan, Egypt
• Just underwent a three-year makeover.
• Built on a granite cliff facing Elephanitine Island in 1899.
• Views of the Nile and a ”sumptuous new spa.”
• 3/3 on CNT’s hotness scale.

Beresheet Hotel

Negev Desert, Israel
• Newly built on the rim of the Ramon Crater, which most rooms face.
• “An infinity pool seems to flow into the crater itself.”
• Hosts a “cosmopolitan crowd dominated by deep-pocketed Israelis weekending from Tel Aviv.”
• 3/3 on CNT’s hotness scale.

Four Seasons Hotel Marrakech

Marrakech, Morocco
• Convenient location ten minutes from the airport and five minutes by taxi from Djemaa el Fna Square.
• You won’t find Marrakesh’ color and romance here, but it’s a good place to get a break from the city.
• Family friendly with a children’s center and family pool.
• 1/3 on CNT’s hotness scale.

Riad Joya

Marrakech, Morocco
• An elegantly designed riad in the hearts of the souks.
• “Milan meets Marrakesh.”
• “Guests are deluged with fleets of treats: pastries, fresh fruit, dried fruit, water, and a lavender-sachet eye pillow.”
• Diverse and chic crowd.
• 2/3 on CNT’s hotness scale.


Bodrum, Turkey
• Secluded 50-acre resort with spectacular views of the Aegean coast.
• The Bodrum Peninsula is known for its high-style clubs.
• “15 minutes from the hip enclave of Göltürkbükü.”
• Four great restaurants and a library stocked with Turkish literature in English.
• 3/3 on CNT’s hotness scale.

House Hotel Bosphorus

Istanbul, Turkey
• Prime waterfront location on the Bosphorus in the Ortaköy district.
• Palatial nineteenth-century residence.
• “A less-expensive design-conscious alternative to such luxe neighbors as the Four Seasons, the Çiraan Kempinski, and Les Ottomans.”
• 1/3 on CNT’s hotness scale.

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers

Abu Dhabi, UAE
• “A 66-floor Xanadu” with floor-to-ceiling windows and vistas of the Persian Gulf.
• Quest, the sixty-third-floor Asian fusion degustation restaurant is the hottest new table in town.
• Although urban in its feel, the hotel has a small beach.
• 2/3 on CNT’s hotness scale.

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas

Abu Dhabi, UAE
• Resort on a five-mile-long white sand beach on Saadiyat Island.
• Modern Arabian style with references to classical Islamic art.
• Popular weekend oasis for locals, particularly chic expat parents with toddlers.
• The Louvre Abu Dhabi will open on the Island in 2013, but until then the Manarat Al Saadiyat visitors center features world-class art exhibitions minutes away.
• 2/3 on CNT’s hotness scale.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
• Richly decorated, opulent beach hotel on a man-made palm tree–shaped island.
• Paintings of sheet-draped harem girls adorn the walls of the men’s Turkish bath.
• Huge bathrooms with rectangular marble tubs large enough for a Sultan and some more.
• The view from the beach encompasses construction sites.
• 2/3 on CNT’s hotness scale.

All information above is taken from Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot List.