This hotel is refined and picturesque. The interior decor is a very sophisticated combination of contemporary and arabic. It is a dreamy and serene property both inside and out. The hotel has wonderful views, i.e. it overlooks a large manmade lake which features a world famous water fountain show that performs after 6:00 PM on the half hour. We expected a kitschy Las Vegas feel, but this water show was much larger than that of the Bellagio, and also much, much prettier. Best of all, the hotel also overlooks the iconic building, Burg al Khalifa which is beautiful when lit up at night.
The Palace Old Town enjoys a good location, and taxis in Dubai are very inexpensive and readily available. The hotel is adjacent to the Mall of Dubai, the second largest in the world.That mall contains a very, very large indoor acquarium and a large waterfall. The anchor stores are Galleries Lafayette (boring) and Bloomingdales. The merchandise mix at the latter is much better than in New York. There are also hundreds of other chain stores at all price points. The couturier and jewelery stores are on the ground floor while electronics tend to be on the top. There are lots of restaurants; however, as would be expected the better restaurants are all located within hotels.
The Palace Old Town has a sunny, quiet palm ringed pool that is encircled by moroccan style cabanas with floor cushions and low tables, plus chaise lounges. There are three restaurants in the hotel. Two seem to have incongruous themes, i.e. Argentinian and Thai, which is pretty typical disconnect throughout the middle east. The third is informal and somewhat arabic. The latter overlooks the pool and has a lovely breakfast buffet. We reserved on Priceline and the buffet (about $30 US per person) was included in the discounted rate.
There was one negative about this hotel. The staff was unfailing polite and refined; however, the service was very disorganized. We had to make multiple requests on subsequent days for the same things, i.e. coffee at breakfast, meal service at the pool, rational concierge service, etc. I strongly suspect that there is a weak middle management at this hotel. Plus multiple nationalities are attempting to work in a common language, i.e. english, that is a second or third language for all of them.
The best time to stay is on New Years Eve. The hotel has a panoramic view of one of the largest fireworks displays in the world emanating from the Burg al Khalif and surrounding buildings. The watershow is in synch. Within the hotel the atmosphere is serene, outside there are enormous crowds and traffic jams. Make your NYE hotel restaurant reservations very early as the hotel cannot accommodate everyone. I suggest that Thai restaurant as having a softer prix fix price point and better views on that date.
In short, I would highly recommend this hotel for it's beauty, serenity, and location even though the service was mixed.
P.S. Two quick travel tips... Look into a book of great coupons called "The Entertainer, Dubai." It contains hundreds of 2 for 1 coupons for popular attractions and restaurants. It can be purchased at the Duty Free Store in the Dubai airport for about $20 US or 60 dirhams. Otherwise, the books are broken up and individual coupons are often sold on Ebay for small sums. Beware, there is a blackout period from late December through January 1st.
Second tip...buy some alcohol in the Duty Free Shop at the airport for consumption in your room. Cocktails in Dubai are expensive and not readily available.
- 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