Sleep like a Sheikh at Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi

Decked out in marble and gold leaf — more than 86,000 feet of the shiny stuff adorns the property — the seven-star Emirates Palace reserves its top floor for Emirati royalty.

Getting There: Fly Etihad Airways direct from Washington, DC to Abu Dhabi.

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Celeb worthy steps

The resort's front entrance is so grand that you might find yourself looking around for famous folks. Royalty has their own private entrance, though, so celebrity spotting is unlikely.
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Sweet suites

It may not be one of the suites reserved for royalty, but every room at Emirates Palace has 24-hour butler service, so you'll feel like a king or queen during your stay.Lori Barbely
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Stop and stare

Decorated in sunset hues and the obligatory gold leaf, this jaw-dropping atrium is the centerpiece of the resort and is said to be the largest dome in the world.Lori Barbely
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Souvenir Shopping

You can buy gold from an ATM. Yes, for real. Choose from a selection of gold charms with the Emirates Palace logo and be prepared to pay a pretty penny. Pieces are priced at gold-market values, and the least expensive charm available on my trip in September was 1,200 AED, about $325 US.Lori Barbely
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Decadent dining

What's more decadent that buying gold from an ATM? Eating it. The Palace Cake (shown here) and several other desserts at the resort's restaurants are dusted with edible gold leaf. What does it taste like? Sweet indulgence.Lori Barbely