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Review of Emirates Palace

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Emirates Palace
Ranked #5 of 128 Hotels in Abu Dhabi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 July 2010

It was a typically hot Middle Eastern Summer and I went to meet some friends in Abu Dhabi, the idea was to enjoy as much as we could so we had heard there was only one place to be, the Emirates Palace. Well, I must say, it was all I expected, and much more…

ARRIVAL: the hotel speaks for itself, the arrival, well, you feel like royalty, the staff won’t think twice to make any request possible, the check in area is huge, no queues, no misunderstandings, it’s just getting the key and going upstairs… floors offer personal butlers, security is tight, the basics for a 7 stars hotel.

ROOM: large, comfy, beautiful. It is made classic and kept sober at the same time, a room for any purpose, be it a business trip, a romantic getaway or a family vacation, plus the toilet is huge, in fat all is amazing, and views… ah the views, I believe most rooms have awesome views, at least the ones I’ve seen, plus it offers great cost and benefit for the opulent luxury offered, specially on low season, watch out for discount bookings.

STAFF/SERVICE: that’s what I find amazing, from the security to the restaurant staff you get the best of the best, all is carefully planned to make sure the guest or even hotel visitor for the day feels like heaven, honestly, it’s impressive the welcoming feeling considering it is such a big hotel, in hotels of such size or even smaller ones I have previously felt out of place or underserved.

HOTEL/CONCIERGE: like the name itself says, it is a palace, worthy of every compliment one can think of. The gardens are flawless, you get to ride bikes or club cars around the main buildings (since it’s quite enormous) and the facilities are very well taken care of. The concierge service is one of a kind, they are above every expectation, some time ago I had met Mr. Hussein Khalil, to whom I owe compliments as well, who is part of the managing staff of the concierge, responsible for what I’d call a flawless service.

OVERVIEW: it’s surely a seven stars hotel, you feel it in every detail. From the carefully prepared meals to the towel sculptures in toilets, honestly, it’s a destination in itself, whenever in Abu Dhabi do try it, even if just for one night it is totally worth, a luxurious hotel offering sybaritic service and grand care, my favorite.

Thank rodolfo3200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,084 - 2,090 of 3,574 reviews

Reviewed 25 May 2010

Whilst in abu dhabi we were treated to a night in this wonderful hotel for my husbands 60th birthday.
The staff were wonderful and showed us around ( including a tour of the suites - just beautiful) and then brought my husband a card and some wine and a cake for his birthday.( and even took complimentary photos) I sampled the a massage which was expensive but worth every minute and the lazy river ride and pools were so relaxing. We had a barbeque meal in a gazebo on the beach, which was really romantic even though our daughter was with us . I am not used to staying in hotels but we really felt special for a day - the beautiful room was no more expensive than any London hotel - i think less than £200 though i didn't pay ( we didn't have breakfast as we were still full up from the night before and had complimentary fruit in our room) and the meal again no more than you would expect to pay for a special occasion . The staff were really fantastic and I personally cannot praise them enough - they made this a really memorable occasion and I would definately go again and this time spend a bit more time, as unfortunately though we were told we could use the facilites after we were checked out ( up until 8pm) had to go somewhere else. They also have a video tour on their website which I have looked at since, so if you are thinking of staying there check it out first.

Thank karenjoUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2010

If you want to avoid the usual luxury chain hotel experience, where rooms, service and facilities are pretty common everywhere, then the Emirates Palaces is the perfect bet. We booked a Khaleej Suite at an attractive early booker rate and found this was a great value, having airport transportation and breakfast included. Staying a few nights at this property really makes up for a memorable experience, from the moment you are escorted through the reception to the smooth check-out procedure. This is really like staying in a Palace, not in a hotel. The hallways are huge, impeccably clean, and most of the times you walk there alone, no guests to be seen. The grandeur of the place and the decoration of the rooms/suites might not be what I would pick for my own house, but nevertheless it is all consistently done, and it further lives up to the Palace experience. Room amenities, small presents, personalised butler service, it all completed the story. Although the place is indeed massive, we didn't feel lost, due to the smart lay-out with rooms located at the end of both wings, close to the pool facilities. Pool gardens are the best I have ever seen, with lots of privacy for sun bathing, nice green spots to lay down, attentive service. We had buffet dinner at the Vendome restaurant, which was of good quality and reasonably priced.,
Two minor issues we didn't like about the room: 1) the complex lighting system - it took us almost 15 minutes on the first night to have it adjusted the way we wanted; 2) the lack of coffee making faciliies - I do understand that this is not the place to have a plastic water cooker installed, but a Nespresso machine or so would make sense, especially since it needs a 10 - 15 minutes walk each morning to reach one of the breakfast places. It would have been lovely to have a fresh morning coffee on the nice little suite garden.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank gaspargonzalez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sonia_parmar, Manager at Emirates Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2010

Thank you for your complimentary review on trip advisor dated 15 May 2010 regarding your recent stay at Emirates Palace.

We appreciate your time taken to advise us and the positive feedback, suggestions and specific gratitude for Emirates Palace you have given.

It is most encouraging for us to receive such praise and we look forward to welcoming you on a return visit to Emirates Palace.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2010

Having enjoyed a business trip some years ago staying at the One and Only Royal Mirage in Dubai, I wanted to take my wife and adult sons there this year. However Dubai was unavailable for the dates we needed and so we decided to take a chance on the Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi.
What a fantastic result!
We flew on a night flight from Heathrow with Etihad in economy class seats. (The BA strike was on, and flights were at a premium). I had seen some mixed reports of Etihad on another forum but everything was great. The seating was more roomy than most airlines I've used (I've only ever flown "economy"), and the "seat back" screens had a massive choice of films, TV and radio shows, news, flight info, seat to seat telephones, and air to ground pay phones etc etc. The food was very good and drinks were complimentary. Cabin crew were smart, friendly and attentive. Maybe a little less attentive on our return "middle of the night" flight.
Online check in is available 24hrs before departure and offers the ability to choose seats. On the outward flight we didn't attempt to change our allocated seats because they were what we wanted. For the return flight I used the hotel internet to check in and would have preferred to change the allocated seats. Although it was still 18 hours before departure the system showed no other seats available. It looked to me as if you can only change to seats that have not yet been sold. Otherwise you would displace families and groups that Etihad have allocated together. This thought was supported by the fact that the aircraft was 99% full when we boarded and people seemed to be together in groups of friends and families.
I had wound myself up on reports of people being arrested for carrying paracetamol etc into the country, so before we travelled I got a letter from my GP to show that my blood pressure tablets are properly prescribed. I didn't need to show it but I felt better for having it. During the holiday we needed something for a headache and found that there are plenty of pharmacies (including 24hr) selling most of the normal remedies we see in the UK. We got some Panadol at the Co-op Chemist.
We had booked two Coral (standard) Rooms on a B&B basis with complimentary Half Board included as a special offer. I think complimentary H/B is a regular feature at certain times of year in UAE hotels.
We arrived at the Emirates Palace at 9-00 am after our night flight. Check in is 3-00pm but the Receptionist found 2 rooms that could be ready in about an hour. In the meantime we were served complimentary coffee and given chilled towels, and a waiter presented my wife with a posy of flowers. Almost exactly on the hour we were told the rooms were ready and introduced to our Butler. He gave us a mini tour of the hotel and showed us to our rooms. The Butler stayed available to us for anything we needed for the whole stay.
The rooms were absolutely fantastic in every way. (Standard rooms remember). 52 inch TV, DVD, silent air-con, complimentary fresh fruit and soft drinks/ bottled water every day, internet access, luxury bathroom; slippers and rose petals laid out each evening with a gold sprinkled chocolate left at the bedside. I think all the rooms had balconies and are very similar in size and opulence. Standard rooms have pool or parkland views whilst deluxe rooms have sea views. All the views are good as best I could see.
Our H/B arrangement gave us breakfast and dinner at the buffet restaurant or 100 Dirhams discount at any of the a-la-carte restaurants. We didn't eat at any of the a-la- carte places but I believe it's upwards of £50 per head for dinner.
The breakfast buffet was unbeatable.
Suffice to say whatever you want to eat for breakfast they've got it. Open untill 11-00am or available in a satellite area until mid-day. Eat inside or on the balcony. It was so restful we found we were sitting there for 2 hours each morning just chilling.
The buffet dinner was equally good. I'm quite finicky but I had no problems with the variety offerred. There was always a large choice of salads, hot and cold meats, fish, curries, vegetables and made to order "chef's specials". Sweets were sensational although always very sweet. If you couldn't take the sweetness there was a wide ranging fruit counter. I took both. And came back for the chocolate tree!
Wine and drinks are extra and very costly by UK standards. Wine starts at about £30 a bottle and beers/ soft drinks are about £9 per glass.

The hotel stands on its own private beach and has 2 first class ornamental pools.We never had a problem finding sunbeds in the shade, and towels are provided. Pool water temperature was 27C and 38C in the jacuzzi pool. Air temp was 35C rising to 41C on one day. That was hot!
One of the pools has slides and chutes with a pumped river flowing around its boundary.

Free golf buggies travel the grounds for guests and are easy to hail. If you're more athletic there's bicycles standing around to just get on and go.

Whilst we were there the 2010 Red Bull Air Race took place in the bay and the Abu Dhabi Cricket Festival was going on in the hotel grounds with the Lashings World X1 celebrities. (Some of them are showing signs of too many visits to McDonalds now).

My sons went on a dune bashing safari in jeeps one afternoon (about £60 per head). The trip ends up in a "genuine" Bedouin camp with a BBQ and the sun setting over the dunes. They enjoyed it and marvelled at the "genuine" Bedouin belly dancer with the oasis Peavey sound system and electric light show.
It was easy and cheap to get taxis into the city or to the Corniche (a 5 or 6 mile "strip"). Metered taxis are about 15 Dirhams for those journeys and unmetered limosines are about 35 Dirhams, I think Abu Dhabi airport was about 35 Dirhams in a metered taxi.
Ask for a "silver taxi" if its the metered taxi you want. All the rest are limos.

On a couple of occasions we had a snack lunch with a beer at the pool restaurant. Very, very good but £90 for four of us!

I have rated the hotel as excellent value because it is! The standards in every respect are superb. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff ,and facilities and golden halls are endlessly impressive. But in-house food and drink is horrendously expensive.

I will go again!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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9  Thank Dajapi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2010

Really enjoyed our stay. We all needed a break and for four days it was great. The food is so overpriced it was truly astounding. They tax you at least twice on food if not three times.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Tubbs11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2010

Reputedly one of the greatest hotels in the world. The building and the decoration is indeed
splendid. NO expense has been spared and the staff have been taught all of the "touches" that could lead one to believe the hype. The problem is that the management has not taught the staff the basics and so the OTT touches leave one feeling as though one is being taken as a bit of a fool for paying the money and playing along with the game.
For example: we check in at 2 am given that flights are generally really late through this part of the world. The hotel have sent us forward emails requesting our preferences for EVERYTHING, down to what type of 6 pillows we would request. Problem when we arrive having booked a Kind size bed, they have us in a two twin room so we have to wait for staff to make up all of our preferences in our newly allocated KIng room. Not only that the desk staff are telling their collegues that we have "now requested a King room!
Roses, personal butler fresh squeezed juice as you check in, aside, they start calling you to get out 1 hour before check out time. Breakfast is also a problem, if you go the massive distances top the breakfast room (which is not included in the 350 dollar room rate) you cannot get a continental breakfast, even if that's all you want. Rather a full breakfast (the only option) at 55 dollars a head. Now if you go back yo your room you can get a continental breakfast at 20 dollars a head delivered - go figure!
The security is like being backstage at a rock concert. I'm all for keeping out the hustlers, but keeping on hassling the guests is another matter. It seems that the management have chased the detail and missed the big point ie Guest Satisfaction.
We shan't be staying here again, it makes us feel like we are too stupid or too rich or both.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Coogee11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2010

I stayed in this hotel in the summer of 2008. I got a very good price for the room because it is a typically "low season" in the summer for hotels in the UAE.
The hotel is HUGE. The lobby and interior of the hotel gives it a royal feel. Ive never seen anything like it!
In a nutshell, the room's interior didnt live up to the hype of the hotel, or its grand entrance.
Service in general was very slow. This might be because of the size of the hotel and the recent opening of the place at that time.
The toilet was luxurious.
The food was alright.
The location is very good.
I would recommend this hotel to others only if the prices were decent. Furthermore, Abu Dhabi is still building up their hotel portfolio and there were not alot of choices at the time of my stay. This is the best of the rest in Abu Dhabi.
You want ultimate luxury? Stay in Burj al Arab in Dubai. Definitely lives up to the hype!

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AlGanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Emirates Palace

Address: West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Phone Number:
Region: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Abu Dhabi > Abu Dhabi
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:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#3 Romantic Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#4 Spa Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#5 Luxury Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#10 Business Hotel in Abu Dhabi
#12 Family Hotel in Abu Dhabi
Price Range: £290 - £629 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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