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“Underwhelmed”
Review of Emirates Palace

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Emirates Palace
Ranked #6 of 127 Hotels in Abu Dhabi
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Underwhelmed”
Reviewed 17 April 2012

I have just returned from 10 days at the Emirates Palace (April 2012) with my husband and 10 year old daughter.
We had looked forward to the trip for 7 months but I have to say that we were underwhelmed by the hotel and service. We are regular travellers and have been fortunate to stay in some of the best hotels all over the world. This had been recommended to us so we were really excited.
Arrival was great and the room was what we expected, however as the trip went on, we were seriously underwhelmed by the service and stunned at the costs. (BTW - we are not skinflints and have no problem paying any amount for good service and quality).
The first day, we ordered 2 cokes and a small bottle of water on our sunbeds and the cost was approx £30!
As the days went on, we were stunned that we were paying £100 for breakfast for the 3 of us (£45 per adult) and over £200 for supper in any of the restaurants (one glass of wine each) - including the beach bar. The quality at each of the restaurants was edible but not special. Certainly not Michelin star, which is what we would expect for these prices in London.
The cheapest bottle of wine on room service was £75 per bottle. The cheapest at the beach bar was £45.
One morning at the hotel breakfast buffet my husband was aked what eggs he wanted. He asked for sunny-side up and after 20 minutes nothing had arrived. He asked where they were and they had forgotten. They then brought over-easy a further 10 minutes later. In all of that time, not one cup of coffee. he walked out and told then it was the worst service he had ever received in an international hotel ( this was true). He refused to pay. I am sorry to say this was not a one off.
The hotel is huge and grand but has no atmosphere in the central areas. Large empty spaces. No bar outside to enjoy the weather or view. Just one in the airconditioned dark lobby. It seems a great waste.
Outside there are loads of wasted terraces and spaces that are crying out for some sitting areas.
The Butler service is not what it claims to be - there is a call centre that can be called and they send someone to you. The Cell centre is useless. We called and asked if shorts could be worn at the beach restaurant and the next thing we know, a Butler has arrived to collect our Laundry!!!
On Day 1 they took 6 hours to make a restuarant reservation for us.
The West Wing is best for Kids but be aware that the depth of the pool and lazy river are waist height (I amd 5 foot 2 inches), so if parents want to swim or kids dive for coins etc, this is a no-go. In the East Wing, the pools are more grown up and has a swim up bar, but again, I do not believe any area is deep.
The beach is nice and private and water-skiing is good value, but be aware that it is a secluded harbour, so if you want waves for body-surfing or normal surfing, you wont find any. This was a bit of a killer for my Aussie husband as he loves a wave.
Overall, the people were nice, the prices were double most other hotels around the world and we did not get value for money. We spent over £3k for 2 meals a day for 10 days (with little alcohol) for 2 adults and 1 child (Again I stress, we are happy to pay this for good service and quality). Don't bother going here unless you have are happy to waste money or unless you get a half-board deal.
Pillows are dreadful too. Very soft and you have to have 3 to be the same thickness as a normal one pillow in UK.
Would I go back - NO!
I will go back to JW Marriot in Phuket or the Madinat or Juneirah Beach in Dubai, or Grand Hyatt in Bali.

Only pluses - nice Kids club and there is a Mall nearby so you can get your water for £1 a bottle rather than £8 per bottle. (You do get 2 small free bottles per room per day and a few soft drinks).

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lorna B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (444)
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bristol
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2012

We are all amazed at the reviews about the staff... we arrived, had the hassle by the security guard as before, and were not even greeted as the door was opened for us!!! we had the expensive high tea which was totally without atmosphere and really wished we had not stayed here. Shangri La was excellent and much preferred hotel - staff greeted you by name when you returned and food excellent esp. the Chinese!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank jude t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2012

The hotel is well named , it's size and architecture makes it feel more like a palace than a hotel .It is incredibly ornate from bottom to top . We were staying with relatives in Abu Dhabi and treated ourselves to a night in a Diamond Room which had a lovely balcony with fantastic views over the grounds and the hotels pivate beach .
The facilities are amazing with a wide choice of Restaurants , a word of warning , the night we stayed the hotel was fully booked as were most of the restaurants ! , we ate at the buffet which was excellent , ask for an outside table , with a sea view , however if you want the restraurant of your choce make sure and book it in advance of your stay . The buffet breakfast was amazing althougt at approx £43 per head , not cheap .
The numerous staff are very friendly and helpfull , with the exception of the gate security gaurd who we had a battle with to get past and into the hotel to check in , he kept insisting on a room number which we repeated several times we did not have as we were not checked in yet !
I had read that the hotel has a steam room which I had assumed would be located by the pool available to any guests to use FOC however it is part of the separate spa facility and only available if having a spa treatment .

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank pmc007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Parkland, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
376 reviews
103 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2012

Two day visit! The hotel is absolutely palacial. Ck in was sloppy & took 15-20 minutes, which was unappreciated, after a grueling long business day. They had me mixed up with another guest from the UK with the same last name. First evening meal in the Italian restaurant was very good--great salad & veal cutlet. Service dropped off after 30 minutes when a big $ party arrived. They made me wait 30 minutes for a reservation & when I arrived @ 8:30 pm, there were at least 10 vacant tables. Meals went down hill from there on out. Breakfast at Vendome--a lovely view; BUT the worst $50 breakfast I ever had. Lousy coffee-- I tried it 3 ways: normal, pressed & espresso. No luck. Tired fruits, not fresh juice, stale tastless pastries & an omelet which would bounce on concrete. The only good thing was the toast I made myself. Complained to management whose response was HO HUM. Great day at fabulous East pool & glorious beach. Long but pleasant hike from my room in West wing. Dinner at Etoiles very disappointing: staff confused & poorly trained/supervised. My halibut/scallop main course was awful. Scallops were "old" & inedible. Again, no response to poor quality. Super hotel to visit ONCE--probably the most lavish possible; but they have eons to go to offer superior food.

Room Tip: Decide which end you want (according to the pools) & reserve accordingly. West w/ children; East...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank jmurrayolympic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guernsey, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2012

My family and I have just returned from the most amazing stay at the Emirates Palace Hotel. We travelled there with our 11 year old son and stayed for 7 nights in a Diamond Class Room which was situated on the 5th floor of the West Wing with views over the Marina and sea.

On arrival we were greeted warmly by the staff of the hotel who were eager to ensure that we were comfortable and relaxed from the moment we stepped in the door. Our son was also given a gift, as were all the children who were arriving while we were there from what I could make out, which was a really nice gesture and was very much appreciated.

The hotel itself is extremely grand, tastefully decorated to reflect the natural colours of the desert, very spacious and despite its collosal size did not ever seem overrun with vast numbers of guests filling all the public areas.

The room was spacious, the bathroom was huge and everything therein was very comfortable and impeccably clean. There was a vast aray of complimentary products for our use in the bathroom which were replaced as soon as they were used, along with the usual items of stationery and a complimentary fruit bowl which was replenished daily.

We ate in many of the restaurants, Le Vendome Restaurant, Vendome Bis, Mezzaluna Restaurant (Italian), Mezlai Restaurant (Arabic), Hakkasan (Chinese) and the poolside restaurant situated by the West Wing swimming pool. We booked The Hakkasan Restaurant prior to arrival as this was very booked up, but the other restaurants were booked upon arrival. The Mezzaluna is very popular and should be booked upon arrival (if not before) if you want it for several meals. All the food was absolutely faultless, tasty and very impressive. We had chosen a half board dining arrangement (Hakkasan was not included on this) and there was plenty of choice in each of the restaurants with the exception of the Mezlai whose 'half board menu' was limited but still extremely pleasant. Children are well catered for (and welcomed) in the restaurants, although children under 10 are not allowed to dine in the Hakkasan Restaurant in the evenings which I guess is fair enough.

I think the thing that really stood out for us at the Emirates Palace Hotel was the quality and absolute professionalism of every single member of staff at the Hotel. From Reception to Consierge, Pool Staff to Restaurant Staff, cleaners, doormen and security staff each and every single one of them contributed to making our holiday so special. The level of courtesy and assistance they afforded their guests is really second to none. All the staff are so friendly, helpful, polite and most of all very happy to be of assistance in any way they can.

All in all this was a wonderful place to stay and it is without doubt the hotel that we would return to if we came back to Abu Dhabi. There is nothing negative that we can add to this review, and hope that anybody who also stays there has the same fabulous experience as we have. This is far from being our first visit to high quality hotels, especially in the MIddle East, but the Emirates Palace Hotel and the wonderful staff definitely ticked all the boxes for us.

Room Tip: West Wing if you have children - East Wing if you would prefer a more adult environment. Diamond gr...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Libby_T88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moers
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2012

Accodomation: we had two Diamond Pearl rooms, spacious, clean, everything working fine
Position: very well at a pricate beach, incredibly long
Food: various restaurants, all on very good to high level
Service: very very good, it would help though if the butlers would have reasonable knowledge of the English language - though this is not a problem for all of them ... but nevertheless excellent service
Fitness etc: very good programme for small kids - some friends of us had their little daughter of 4 years with them, pools are very big, several attractions for kids
General impression: although fully booked one never had the impression that the hotel is full, that is of course also bcz it is extremely spacious ... a little bit dark as everything is kept in brown colours, very elegant but not over the top, all in all a very pleasant atmosphere

Negative:
- checkout took me 20 minutes without waiting time ... and I had to pay for the transport from the airport to the hotel (400 AED) although it was included in my package as they couldn't find the docs from the travel agency ... was fed up then (the 400 AED didn't matter considering the overall amount you pay for such a vacation, just the feeling of being ripped off :( ) and had to leave for the airport ... bad luck that was the tip for the staff who had really deserved it
- after midnight you are not allowed to leave the hotel for a walk on the promenade any longer ... well I am a couple of years older than 18 and I don't like to be treated like a child

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HajdiMoers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2012

We stayed at the Emirates Palace hotel for a week and feel that it was not enough to fully experience this wonderful place or get tired of it. It was simply perfect in every possible way, be it the beach, swimming pools, the territory, the building, our room, service or food. It is one of the best places we have ever visited. We did have some very minor hick-ups, which are not worth mentioning here at all, as it could happen anywhere. A great place for families and children. It is a bit expensive but you get what you pay for. It is well worth it, and it is not expensive if you enjoy something! There are also a lot of nice little hidden things that you get for free - small refreshments in the pool and beach, boating club facilities, as well as free camel rides. Excellent service above all!

Some warm words about the butler service. It could not be better or more professional, as they do make you feel welcome and special. Marieta Camilosa, our butler, deserves a special mentioning. A true professional. Simply thanks!

As to the restaurants, we thought that the Arabic restaurant was the best. It has a wonderful authentic atmosphere, very nice people serving you, and nice local food as well. The second best on our list was the barbeque.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank James R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Emirates Palace

Property: Emirates Palace
Address: West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Phone Number:
Region: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Abu Dhabi > Abu Dhabi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#3 Romantic Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#5 Spa Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#6 Luxury Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#10 Business Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#15 Family Hotel in Abu Dhabi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Emirates Palace 5*
Number of rooms: 394
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Emirates Palace
Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi
Emirates Palace Hotel Abu Dhabi

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