Firstly we are still at the Emirates Palace on our 2nd to last day enjoying the sun, cool sea breeze and undivided attention of the pool staff, Who pamper you as if you were their own family.This hotel is nothing short of a work of art, the whole hotel oozes a lavishly styled environment . So much so that it can become a little overpowering at times. The vast majority of staff are incredibly polite with a professional approach to everything they do. Security guards are at every corner and are extremely pleasant as well as displaying an air of authority. With the amount of gold and antique artifax on disply within this huge hotel it's not hard to see why all the security.
Check in was swift and professional with a personal escort from the front desk to the individual rooms we had requested.
We had 2 rooms a Coral room for the boys, which I believe is the standard and a Diamond room which is by all accounts the upper end of the room scaling. Whilst the Diamond room is fine there is not a great deal of difference between that and the supposedly lower Coral rooms. In fact it would take the unique skills of Mr. Sherlock Holmes himself to differentiate the two. To this end you may feel that the extra costs involved does not warrant or justify the step up.
Both rooms do come with a communal butler service which we didn't use more out of principle than necessity as just about everything possible has already been done for you - lets face it if you cannot be bothered to pick up the phone or your own belongings, it's not a hotel you need but a retirement home.
We arrived on the last day of Ramadam which was planned at the time of booking as we have been caught out in the past!!! The hotel had erected a temporary building on the beach front to celebrate the festival. When I say a temporary building it was more like a medium sized hotel. The design and trappings that went into this building was astonishing and would put many European 5 star hotels to shame. The project was so grand that they are still taking it down 2 weeks later. But unless you went looking you would never know work was in progress. Again another example of the amazing attention to detail that this hotel provides.
I could spend the next two weeks portraying the grandure of this hotel and still not do it justice. To give you a small snippet of what can be found at the hotel the renowned Palace coffee actually comes with edible Gold leaf shavings and the Emirates Palace emblem crafted into the coffee. In the lobby area there is a ATM that delivers gold bars instead of cash - I kid you not........
In spite of all this grandure and opulence there was a rather disappointing issue for families such as ours..
As previously stated we have 2 Boys aged 16 and 19 who would not necessarily agree to all I have written so far so to balance things a little.
Yes this is wonderful hotel within idilic grounds, two large pools with lazy river and slides plus a superb beach, but when the sun goes down then life as a teenager or anyone under the age of 21 ceases to exist. No one under the age of 21 is allowed into any bars and in some cases restaurants irrespective if they just wish to consume non alcoholic drinks, while their parents do indulge, which creates somewhat of A problem for families like ours. So after dinner these unfortunate individuals either wander around this vast hotel looking at the intricate trappings or go to bed..... Not cool. And as we all know if they kids don't have a good time then the parents don't either!!
However we know from previous vists to Dubai that this is the law and not the fault of the hotels but never the less it does put a dampener on the evening. In fairness Dubai hotels did cater somewhat for this alien age group. To be honest the bars in Abu Dhabi are just glorified smoking dens. As smoking has been banned within bars etc in the UK for sometime now, its remarkable just how quickly one notices the smoke filled atmosphere with second hand fumes and especially as some of these cigarettes have a distinctive sickening aroma. So unless your a 20 a minute person you too may find the bars less than appealing.
The food at the palace as with everything else is top notch with the Hakkasan Chinese restaurant being one of the best we have ever eaten in. Strict dress codes are enforced which I applaud. So no shorts, vest, football kits or any other pool side attire is permitted. As I found out to my cost as I wore flip flops on the second night and was kindly asked to wear shoes with no open toe design. I did try to argue they were a type of sandle but to no avail - well done Danny although I did give you a hard time that night - put it down to jet lagg....."".
So to sum it up:-
Excellent for Couples, Romantics, Single ladies who want some peace and quite from us men Ohh and of course those people who wish to Bragg about having a butler.
Not so good for people over the age of 12 and under 21. People who are lucky enough to be below the age of 12 tend to be so tired at the end of the day that they are asleep before 09:00.
Just one final note if you do visit the Emirates Palace Hotel and find its not for you then don't be despondent as you are in very good company
.....As rumours go, Allegedly this Palace was built for the Sheiks daughter but she didn't like it.......
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Emirates Palace
- Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi
- Emirates Palace Hotel Abu Dhabi