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Sky-high tennis courts and deep-water restaurants: Seven star hotels around the world

17 JANUARY 2013

Tailored to perfection, seven-star hotels provide an experience that epitomises ultimate luxury. And from the brigade of white-gloved butlers to Rolls Royce fleet, designer interiors to idyllic island vistas, these hotels – whether Dubai’s Burj Al Arab or Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace – are quite simply unparalleled, in their sights and in their service.

The standard star system officially allows up to five stars for any hotel, but these architectural masterpieces and luxury havens exceed any other resort, earning them the crowned title for the world's best hotels...

Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
With its stark contrast combining glittering skyscrapers and rolling desert dunes, a trip to Abu Dhabi is an experience beyond comparison. But even more exciting is its seven star hotel, the Emirates Palace. A stay here involves everything from palace lounges and limousine services to luxury spas. Wander the 1.3km of pristine beach or test your tennis skills on one of the four floodlit courts.

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Burj Al Arab, Dubai
Coined as the world's most luxurious hotel, Burj Al Arab is the fourth largest in the world. With a height of 1,053 feet, the hotel has become a symbolic landmark in Dubai, decorating the vibrant city's skyline. The architectural wonder was modelled after the sail of a famous Arabian ship and stands on an artificial island.

Since its construction in 1994, Burj Al Arab has fast become the hottest place to stay thanks to the Majlis Al Bahar exclusive private beach. Other factors that have helped its worldwide fame are the waterparks, helicopter transfers and tennis court that sits on the very top of the building. The Al Muntaha restaurant is also found high in the sky, with amazing views of the Persian Golf and the Palm Islands, while the Al Mahara ensures every table has a full view of exotic fish in the surrounding water aquarium.

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SevenStars Galleria, Milan 
Milan is not just the fashion capital of the world, but the host to Europe's only seven-star hotel. Sevenstars Galleria offers unparalleled views inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and personal Butler services. Authentic Italian cuisine is also served at ''La Sinfonia'' by first rate chefs.

The hotel is located at the end of a courtyard in Via Silvio Pellico and is known as the ''seventh heaven'. Defined as "a light over the city" by the former mayor Letizia Moratti, take the crystal elevator to the SevenStars Galleria where you can shop to your heart's content with the help of a trusty butler.

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Pangu Seven-star hotel, Beijing
Designed by world famous architect C.Y.Lee, Pangu seven-star Hotel is Beijing's latest masterpiece. Situated just moments from Beijing’s Olympic Park theatre and Sky Courtyards, the complex resembles the form of the most powerful animal in the Chinese zodiac, the dragon. Inside, the interiors combine Chinese classical tradition and contemporary European glitz and glamour showcasing rare Italian marble and hand-embroidered silk wallpapers.

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