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“Opulence and Decadence!”
Review of Palace Downtown

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Palace Downtown
Ranked #37 of 546 Hotels in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Opulence and Decadence!”
Reviewed 18 November 2011

Myself and my husband stayed at The Palace for a week in October. We knew we were in for something special as our taxi pulled up into the drive to the hotel! Absolutely stunning and it got better when we stepped into the hotel, such a beautiful lobby and the flowery smell when you enter is gorgeous. We booked a Diplomatic Suite and had requested views of the Burj but were told on arrival that the room we booked did not have views of the Burj but as it was our honeymoon they would move us to a room with views of it. After a little wait in reception while our room was made up, we were taken up by the lovely Dinesh to our room and we were in awe!! Absolutely stunning room (massive!) with unobstructed views of the Burj from the balconies and partial views of the dancing fountains as well! I could watch those fountains all day everyday, so amazing!

The Diplomatic Suite (room 555) had a large living room area with a little kitchen (sink, tea/coffee facilities and an empty fridge which was great as we would buy drinks from Spinneys in the Souk next door and keep them in the fridge) There was a small toilet just off the living area (I say small it was bigger than our bathroom at home!) The bedroom was very large as well with the biggest bed I'd ever seen! I can honestly say I had the best sleep ever that week! The bathroom is beautifully decorated with 2 sinks, walk in shower and large tub and another toilet.
We left the hotel to explore that evening and came back to the bedroom and bathroom adorned with rose petals and towel hearts and swans!! Also a complimentary bottle of sparkling date juice on ice and a delicious honeymoon cake...it just got better and better!

Breakfast at The Palace was probably one of the best hotel breakfast's we've had. We loved sitting outside in the cabanas and filled up on whatever we could fit on our plates from the endless array of breakfast dishes!

Do have drinks by the Pool in the evening, I had a drink made just for me by the staff one night as I wanted a non alcoholic cocktail and did they deliver!! Even went the next day and they were happy to make it again for me :)
We also had drinks at Fai which was great. One of the staff in Fai told us the fountains had started and let me and my husband go into Thiptara (Thai restaurant) so that we could have a brilliant view of the fountains!

The location of the hotel is perfect if you want to be 15 minutes from pretty much everywhere! The walk to the Dubai Mall was only 5/10mins and you could take a short cut through the Souk Al Bahar which was next to the hotel. There's also a smaller souk across the road in the Al Manzil district.
The staff at The Palace are one of a kind, they made sure our stay was perfect and it truly was. I wish I could remember everyone's names because you were all so great but a special thanks to Miki at the Concierge desk and Dinesh, William and Rosario for always going out of their way to say and hello and ask us about our stay and how we were.

We've agreed that when we do go back to Dubai, The Palace is the only place we will ever stay in.

Thank you all for making our trip so special. Mr & Mrs S

Room Tip: Choose rooms facing Burj/fountains
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank ShaliS83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spencer W, General Manager at Palace Downtown, responded to this review, 19 November 2011
Dear ShaliS83,

Thank you for choosing the Palace for your wonderful occasion and congratulations.

My name is Spencer Wadama, General Manager.

We are honored to have played a small part in creating a memory that will last a lifetime. Thank you for taking the time to post your comments and providing us with a wonderful responce. Thank you as well for recognizing my team individually, know I will recognize them for their efforts. I would agree, the Palace is a very special place and the team is who really brings the place to life.

We look forward to welcoming you back on your anniversary and wish you and you new family al the best in a wonderful healthy future.

Best,

Spencer
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Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
321 reviews
199 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2011

When you are paying AED2100 / USD 575 per night for a standard room you have the right to hold the property to a higher standard than you would a similar hotel at half the price. Unfortunately, despite charging huge fees over the Dubai airshow weekend, the management of The Palace seem intent on further gouging their customers the moment they have checked in. The whole ethos of the property seems to be to suck their customers dry. Service for anything comes at a price, usually a high one, and is delivered by immaculately dressed staff in unusual costumes, who seem to possess very little training or knowledge, however.

I wanted to post a single sheet of paper to the UK in an envelope and was told it cost AED15 (nearly five dollars!). I protested and said that there was no way a single letter could cost that much by regular mail. Two hours later the conceirge said he had made a mistake and it was really AED6. The receptionist, who was lacking in absolutely any initiative whatsoever, had earlier called me twice on my foreign mobile phone to ask me what I wanted to do with the letter, which I had handed to her saying "please post this and charge my room 118".

Despite the boutique status of the hotel there is rarely more than one receptionist on duty, so I had to wait to check in. When I asked about tennis courts I was told simply "talk to the concierge".

The hotel has beautiful furniture and fittings in the style of an Arabic palace.The scent of incense wafts through the corridor, and the room was large and comfortable with a very soft bed and rain style shower. However, charging AED 48 to press a two piece suit is just greedy. If you want a protein shake in the gym, you find the gym mini fridge locked before 9am, despite the fact that the management have installed a camera especially pointing at it to see anyone who does try to sample one of their AED35 tetrapacks. Either install the camera, or lock the fridge, but to do both is plain silly.


The lighting in the room is dim. The turndown service offers only rosepetals, not chocolates, and that sums up the ethos of this elegant but ultimately fake establishment. If you want to play tennis, bad luck, as the hotel has no court despite its alleged five star status, but you can pay AED160 for an hour at the Al Murooj Rotana nearby, plus a taxi fare there. The conceirge did an excellent job of arranging that and I thank him. That hotel has 3 good courts with floodlights, but they are available only after 9am - despite the fact that early morning is the coolest and most pleasant time to play.

The Palace Hotel has many restaurants, and the food offering was good in terms of quality, especially breakfast, which has a huge selection. Meals were expensive (breakfast for one is AED115), as you'd expect, and the service at the Thai was decidedly flakey with a lack of English language skills among some of the staff. AED 90+ for a small portion of green chicken curry with no rice is indicative of the pricing there. The Thai is surrounded by bowls of flames in a melodramatic manner.

If money is no object and you you can happily blow a thousand dollars a night on a room and dinner available in other regional hotels of almost identical design and standard, then by all means stay at The Palace. But if you are looking for anything resembling value, look elsewhere.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank George H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spencer W, General Manager at Palace Downtown, responded to this review, 15 November 2011
Dear TheHorseys,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us during the Air Show in Dubai.

My name is Spencer Wadama, General Manager.

I am very disappointed by your review and take all your comments very seriously. Please know that we have no intention of gouging our guests as you state, but I also understand where your perception comes from. Our staff works tirelessly to ensure the best in service for our guests, yet it seems we failed in your case, my apology. I only wish you could have asked for me during your stay so I could address the situation immediately.

Please know that I will reach out to you directly as well with a point of contact so I can apologize personally. I will share with my team and address your points individually.

Please know that we are very focused on guest service and providing value for our guests. I will ensure we stay true to that.

I hope that we can welcome you again in the future and wish you the best.

Spencer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2011

The hotel is a charming gem situated near a small lake with birds around. It has a lovely pool area, a great buffet in the morning. You can even go for a little walk to what I think is the largest
shopping mall in the world. The Bistro Margaux round the corner is recommendable.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the tallest building in the world and with a balcony.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Birte S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spencer W, General Manager at Palace Downtown, responded to this review, 15 November 2011
Dear Birte S,

Thank you for choosing the Palace and for sharing your comments.

My name is Spencer Wadama, General Manager.

I am happy to read you enjoyed the property and its central location. We are very proud of the hotel and work hard daily to to provide the best in service and experience.

Thank you for noticing.

We look forward to your return in the near future.

Best,

Spencer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
riverside california
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2011

I stayed here for seven nights late October/early November 2011. I was attending a conference and was traveling with two partners. I agree with the prior reviews -- this is an exceptional hotel. I went to receptions at some of the other big name hotels during the week and the Palace was by far the nicest - the Arabian theme was elegant not cheesy and made the hotel stand out. The room was large although had a lake view rather than the fountain view that was requested, altho on the plus side the room was very very quiet. The bed and bedding were fantastic, the bathroom huge and spotless. The service was fantastic, from the cheerful men who cleaned the room several times a day to the desk staff. Whenever I needed anything it came immediately. As I was there on business, it was important that the room had a business set up, which it did. I appreciate very much the free wireless internet and very accommodating business center. (only complaint - why was the hairdryer in the desk rather than the bathroom where it belongs? I had to move my work set up each day so I could get to the hair dryer which is no big deal, just strange for a hotel that is so attentive to detail in all other regards)? Loved the fresh cold juice at the gym in the morning. I never did meet the general manager as the other reviewers did but assume he was around if he was needed. Breakfast was not included in our room rate and at around 35 USD was expensive but worth it if you were hungry - the selection was staggering altho sometimes it took quite a long time to get coffee. Location next to Dubai Mall was great and I especially liked the Souk because it had some real middle eastern products. Ate twice at Thiptera and once at Asado. Thiptera had the best Thai food I have ever had. One of my partners had just been in Thailand and agreed, especially the green curry. The location in the "lake"was lovely and since I did not have a fountain view from my room, gave us the opportunity to see the fountain show. Asado was ok, good meat but very expensive. The service at both restaurants was perfect. I highly recommend this hotel and would not stay anywhere else in Dubai.

Room Tip: lake view rooms are quieter but really don't have a view. request a fountain view if you want a...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank attytrav.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spencer W, General Manager at Palace Downtown, responded to this review, 14 November 2011
Dear attytrav.

Thank you for choosing the Palace as your home in Dubai.

My name is Spencer Wadama, General Manager.

I apologize we did not have an opportunity to meet, but I am very happy to read that you enjoyed your stay and the property. I appreciate your feedback on the hairdryer and delay in coffee delivery. Know I will share with my team.

I hope the IBA was a successfulf event for you and I hope to welcoming you back to Dubai in the near future.

Best to you,

Spencer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2011

Trip date late October 2011.
I wanted a special hotel to celebrate our wedding anniversary and at the same time enjoy some winter sun.
This hotel is fantastic and the weather was unbelievable.

You reach the hotel by driving through an archway and along a palm tree lined driveway with ornamental pool. As soon as you arrive at the hotel you enter a Palace. The staff provide a friendly and superior service, nothing is too much trouble.

The fragrance of frangipane runs throughout the hotel and the grand reception and lobby includes an ornamental fountain with floating petals surrounded by candles in the evening.
The lounge is really classy and a balcony overlooks the picturesque gardens and lovely large swimming pool (separate children’s pool). The balcony looks out over the impressive man made creek and you can see the tallest building in the world shimmering back at you. From 6pm till 11pm you will be entertained by the brilliant dancing fountains /music show that happen on a daily basis.

I stayed in a fountain room, which was beautifully appointed. Our balcony overlooked the creek, dancing fountain and Burj Khalifa. The bed and linen was so comfortable, and the pillows were like cotton wool.

The Dubai Mail and smaller Souk shopping area is just a 5-minute walk from the hotel and provides a host of treats including shops, ice skating, cinema, restaurants and aquarium, all very impressive. The area was very safe, and provided a good walk around the attractive creek. It was just a lovely atmosphere and all very convenient to the hotel.

Our stay was half board. The Essaan restaurant is beautifully decorated with the option for indoor / outdoor dining. The breakfasts were incredible and included every food you would imagine. The dinner buffet was brilliant and included the option of freshly prepared Pasta, Risotto, Kebabs and Curry’s, not to mention the numerous selection of salads, soups, cold meats, sushi, dips, breads, fresh fish and smoked salmon. The sweets and cheese once again were beautifully presented with so many alternatives it was difficult to make a decision.

The gym is extensive with good quality equipment and the separate male / female spas are beautiful.

The attention to detail made all the difference to our stay; the rose petals each night on our bed with a bedtime story, the chilled flannels and frozen melon at the pool each day, our decorated bedroom on arrival with cake and sparkling date juice to celebrate our anniversary, the attentive care of the chefs preparing food just for us and the personal card from the hotel staff the day before we left.

This hotel is a truly magical place, it is a Palace in a really interesting and impressive part of Dubai, and the staff made our stay so very special. Thank you.

For information I also had a look at some of the hotels by the beach. In my opinion they were over rated and I was very happy to return to “The Palace” and their exceptional service.
Also check that your chosen hotel by the beach is not surrounded by construction work.

Room Tip: Check that your chosen hotel by the beach is not surrounded by construction work. Fountain rooms ar...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Belperman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spencer W, General Manager at Palace Downtown, responded to this review, 12 November 2011
Dear Belperman,

Thank you for choosing the Palace to celebrate your occasion in Dubai.

My name is Spencer Wadama, General Manager.

I truly appreciate your amazing review. You did paint a picture of what we are workig to accomplish every day with every guest. I am so happy to know we did well for you and your wife.

We believe in creating special memories for our guests and we understand what this experience can mean to a special occasion.

Thank you and we wish you the best. We hope to welcome you back very soon.

Spencer
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Phialdelphia
1 review
Reviewed 8 November 2011

The Palace provided an all encompassing fabulous stay for our vacation! The outstanding service was sincere and impeccable... always delivered with a smile... and careful attention to detail was much appreciated...the complimentary refreshing facecloth poolside seemed to come right on time, as did the frozen watermelon! The hotel itself is classic, timeless, elegnatly done! Our balcony was front and center for the impressive water show that people crowded around the water's edge to view... and we woke up every morning to a breathtaking view of The Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world). Although we ventured off the property for food... my best meals were at The Palce at the steak house and the thai restaurant... Relaxing by the pool in the traditional cabanas was a favorite way to end the day... with an option for a traditional shisha poolside. The Palace is conveniently located in walking distance to the Dubai mall (largest mall in the world) and other cultural landmarks. The general manager was outstanding, always taking the time to come around to make sure his guests were having the best possible experience! The spa was first class all the way! I have had many massages but this one was one of the best!!! The relaxation room was tranquil, soothing and sipping tea (which I purchased to enjoy at home) after my service just made me feel like I was off the world! After visiting the only two seven star hotels in the world... which happen to be in Dubai...I will still stay at the Palace Old Town, rated with five stars, when I return!

Room Tip: We had a lakeview suite... which as I stated had a great view of the water show and of the tallest b...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Therese M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spencer W, General Manager at Palace Downtown, responded to this review, 9 November 2011
Dear Therese M,

Thank you for choosing the Palace for your recent stay in Dubai.

My name is Spencer Wadama, General Manager.

Thank you for the comments and for sharing your experience. The team works quite hard to ensure the best expereince for our guests from all over the world. I am happy to read we were successful with yours. I will gladly share your comments with my team.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Dubai and wish you all the best until then.

Spencer
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2011

I stayed at the Palace Old Town Hotel in the last days of October 2011. I found the hotel a great place to stay in Dubai. It provides an excellent combination for business and travel. My room was large and clean, with a nice view (called "lake view" in the hotel room descriptions). The staff was nice, helpful and efficient. During my Dubai stay I had the occassion of visiting several other hotels, and I must say that the Palace Old Town lacked the tacky and exaggerated gilded lavishness of other places in Dubai. It is elegant, nicely furnished, conveniently located (there are several other hotels, the Dubai Mall and other places you can easily reach on foot). The breakfast fare is, perhaps, the widest I have ever seen in any hotel in the world. It is impossible to try everything. The pool area and the gym facilities were exceptional. The pool is surrounded by cabanas and confortable seating areas where you can spend the whole day if you so wish.The hotel is quiet, with a large and quiet lobby you can use as a place to meet with friends or acquaintances. The concierge was useful and helpful, and provided sound advice. I never had the feeling (common in other places) that the staff was trying to get some advantage or trying to sell additional services. Perhaps the only drawbacks are that the pool is not quite deep (but what it lacks in depth it has in extension) and that the check out process was somewhat slow. But these two comments should not deprive the Palace Old Town from its well deserved prestige. It was an excellent choice. One caveat: the "Old Town" reference in the name should not confuse unalerted travellers, as the hotel is not located in the ancient central areas of the city, but rather in a most modern setting. "Old Town" is just a name bearing no relationship with the historical area it is located.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Juan Javier N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spencer W, General Manager at Palace Downtown, responded to this review, 7 November 2011
Dear Jnegri,

Thank you for choosing the Palce for your visit to Dubai.

My name is Spencer Wadama, General Manager.

I am delighted to read your detailed comments and will gladly share with my team. We are very proud of our Oasis in the city and through our service and decor, we work to provide a true arabian experience for our guests. My team loves what they do, so they genuinely care about personalized service vs. the hard sell. Our goal is to ensure you go home with your expectations fulfilled and sometimes even exceeded about Dubai.

Thank you again and we hope to welcome you back to the Palace in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Palace Downtown

Property: Palace Downtown
Address: Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, 29 | Downtown Dubai, Dubai 9770, United Arab Emirates
Phone Number:
Region: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Dubai > Dubai > Downtown Dubai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Dubai
#11 Business Hotel in Dubai
#31 Family Hotel in Dubai
#34 Luxury Hotel in Dubai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Palace Downtown 5*
Number of rooms: 242
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Palace, built on the edge of a lake, is a harmonious blend of the past and present of Dubai with 242 guest rooms and suites boasting a captivating Middle Eastern theme. The luxury hotel hosts an array of international restaurants featuring fine cuisine, a breathtaking luxury spa, recreational facilities, a large pool and a comprehensive business center. It is ideally located near the Dubai World Trade Center, several major business institutions, shopping malls and tourist attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Palace The Old Town Hotel Dubai
The Palace Old Town
Palace The Old Town Dubai
Sofitel Dubai

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