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REVIEWED: THE EMIRATES PALACE ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

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Some hotels are exceptional in every sense, and the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi undoubtedly falls into that category. Beyond its mere name as a “palace,” it epitomizes the true essence of luxury. We had the opportunity to experience its grandeur during a weekend visit.

The setting

Counted among the world’s most opulent hotels, the Emirates Palace is a favored retreat for celebrities, dignitaries passing through the capital, and even visiting heads of state in Abu Dhabi. Owned by the Abu Dhabi government and managed by the prestigious Kempinski chain, this establishment has amassed a collection of international accolades and honors within the hospitality and tourism industry. The display of trophies and awards at the entrance reception serves as a testament to the extraordinary caliber of this establishment.

emirates palace abu dhabi

Access to the palace is tightly regulated, requiring prior inclusion on the guest list. Unlike previous years when casual visits were possible, the present rules are significantly more stringent. Entry is now predominantly reserved for individuals with reservations at the palace’s restaurants or accommodations. Entrance during weekends, holidays, or periods when notable personalities or members of the royal family are present necessitates even greater consideration. The entrance security ensures the tranquility and privacy of the hotel’s occupants.

Once through the entrance gates, the palace unveils its magnificence. Enormous fountains grace the central roundabout, guiding visitors toward the majestic doors that grant access. Upon crossing the threshold, a realm of luxury and utmost refinement awaits.

EMIRATES PALACE ABU DHABI

The hotel’s lobby immediately captivates with its awe-inspiring architecture and interior design. Designed in the style of an Arabic palace, the Emirates Palace comprises a main building and two wings: the West Wing and the East Wing, which house rooms, surrounded by sprawling gardens and a private beach.

The primary building houses the reception, various hotel restaurants, a selection of luxurious boutiques (featuring jewelry, watches, perfumes), and souvenir shops. Additionally, the Emirates Palace auditorium and numerous event venues are hosted here, setting the stage for concerts, conventions, and significant gatherings.

"If you want to get a glimpse of what it means to lead a royal life, create an unforgettable moment for your loved ones, or even celebrate an event in an unforgettable setting, then look no further.”

emirates-palace-abudhabi

THE ROOMS

The palace offers three room categories spanning 55 square meters, each affording views of the gardens, pool, or sea. In addition, six suite categories range from 110 to 680 square meters, with the largest being the three-bedroom suite. Elegantly adorned with gilded chandeliers and intricately carved wooden furniture, the rooms exude luxury.

Every room is equipped with an iPad enabling guests to manage room functions and access hotel information, including menus from various restaurants or room service. The bathrooms in each room and suite boast both a shower and bathtub, while the provided amenities are from the prestigious Amouaj brand.

EMIRATES PALACE ABU DHABI

Each room features a balcony overlooking the gardens, pool, or sea, contingent on the chosen category. Further enhancing the experience, every room enjoys access to a private concierge service, available around the clock to cater to guests’ needs.

Leisure & Well-being

The hotel boasts two expansive pools that resemble aquatic centers due to their vast size and comprehensive amenities. Each wing of the hotel boasts its own pool. One of these pools features water slides and even a meandering river for lounging on inflatable rafts. Additionally, both pools include dedicated children’s areas and separate jacuzzi zones. The temperature of the Emirates Palace pools is meticulously regulated, maintaining a cooler ambiance in summer and heating in the cooler months.

Central bars within each pool allow guests to enjoy refreshments and snacks while remaining in the water, thanks to submerged seating. Comfortable loungers with cushions are positioned by the pools, and hammocks adorn the surrounding lawns. The gardens between the pools and the beach also feature outdoor leisure zones with billiards and ping-pong tables.

The hotel’s pools provide direct access to the extensive white sandy beach, offering views of the marina where yachts and sailboats dock. Notably, the yet-to-be-completed presidential palace, crafted from pristine white marble, can also be seen from the beach. To explore the waterfront, the Emirates Palace provides bicycles for guests, enabling them to traverse from the private beach to the marina.

Each wing houses its own 24/7 gym facility. Spacious and fully equipped with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment, these gyms offer a comprehensive fitness experience. Cardio enthusiasts can avail themselves of treadmills, stationary bikes, and rowing machines, while a section with approximately twenty machines, a free weight area, and weightlifting section cater to those pursuing strength training. Other athletic amenities encompass professional-standard tennis courts and football fields, often hosting high-profile teams and athletes for training sessions.

 

CULINARY EXPERIENCES

Within the Emirates Palace, an array of gourmet restaurants awaits, spanning Lebanese, Italian, and brasserie cuisines. Numerous bars, including the Havana Club for cigar enthusiasts, are also featured.

During our stay, we dined at the Lebanese restaurant, Mezlai, situated at the heart of the palace and offering a view of the central fountain. The service and culinary offerings matched the establishment’s reputation. The attentive and amiable restaurant staff provided valuable guidance in selecting dishes.

Dishes stood out for their exceptional quality and presentation. We opted for a shared mezzeh followed by a mixed grill. The hommous and tabbouleh were exquisite, while the mixed grill’s meat was succulent and flavorsome. The dessert selection was equally diverse and delectable, with a special commendation for the pistachio ice cream—an absolute must-try.

FINAL VERDICT

If you want to get a glimpse of what it means to lead a royal life, create an unforgettable moment for your loved ones, or even celebrate an event in an unforgettable setting, then look no further.

The Emirates Palace is the place for you. Absolutely nothing is left to chance during your stay, from your arrival to the moment you leave the hotel; everything is meticulously overseen by the palace’s team.

With an impressive and high-quality selection of restaurants, you’ll also find something to satisfy every taste.

Even over a full weekend, we didn’t have enough time to explore everything the Emirates Palace has to offer. For the rest, we’ll let you explore and discover the palace’s secrets yourself.

The Emirates Palace offers a special rate for residents as well as preferential rates during the summer period.

 
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