Burj Al Arab (Dubai, UAE)
Credit: Chris Cypert / Jumeirah

Possibly the most architecturally distinct building in the world, Dubai's flagship hotel, built in 1999, is a symphony of exclusivity (it is often called the world's only seven-star hotel). It occupies a man-made island just off Jumeirah beach, accessible only by a gracefully curved bridge, all of its lushly appointed 202 rooms are house-sized duplex suites (the smallest is more than 1,800 square feet), and airport pickup comes via Rolls Royce or helicopter to the signature heliport on the roof – now a go-to spot for global publicity stunts (see: Agassi-Federer tennis match or F1 stud David Coulthard doing donuts). [From $1,836/night; jumeirah.com]