UAE. Doesn’t. Know. How. To. Do. Simple!
With the strict smart casual dress code, and yeah being a popular place for royalties, dignitaries and celebrities, I gotta admit that this prestigious hotel was intimidating at first. Not that I belittle myself, but to actually stay in this “classy” place even for just a night was totally unplanned and unexpected. Ok, at least not this soon.
Emirates Palace opened its doors in 2005. Initially planned to be the “guest house” only to dignitaries and royalties visiting the emirate of Abu Dhabi, they transformed the place to welcome everyone who wish to stay in the “palace for the kings”. Owned and built by the Abu Dhabi government and being managed by the luxury hotelier Kempinski, this place is indeed the crowning glory of the United Arab Emirates capital. With the cost of AED11.02 Billion, Emirates Palace is the second most expensive hotel ever built in the world, only surpassed by Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. It also has higher construction cost compared to the 7-star hotel Burj Al Arab in Dubai.
Except for the delay caused by the bestie for forgetting her ID (of course as SOP, all in-house guests need to provide identification copy), checking in was a breeze, from confirming our room reservation at the security gate till Anna, a kabayan staff assisted us to our room. The oh-so friendly and accommodating staff are highly commendable, all smiles from the moment we stepped in the building. First impressions last, right? Aside from the yummy dates and arabic tea as welcome treats, ladies got a bouquet of white roses. Suweeet! As for me, I got this from one of the staff: Your shirt is very nice, sir! What’s the brand? (yes, he asked the brand 🙂 ). I said Thank you! and gave him a smile. I know, I know! It’s their job to give compliments to the guests but still, I liked it. Haha! Emirates Palace employs 2000 staff members from at least 50 nationalities. Kudos!
Although considered a 7-star hotel, the Emirates Palace falls officially under 5-star hotel category. Ok, let’s settle this once and for all. It is a 5-star hotel with 7-star hotel facilities. Deal? The hotel has 394 luxurious rooms and suites, with a penthouse floor consisting of 6 Ruler’s Suites reserved exclusively for dignitaries and royalties. The simplest suite called The Palace Suite consisting of 3 rooms and features a 61″ plasma TV costs AED13,500 a night. Wheeeew!
With 114 domes, 200 fountains, 1,002 chandeliers, this luxury hotel also features traditional decors mostly in gold, silver, marble and glass mosaics, 85 hectares of manicured lawns and gardens, a spa, a fitness center, a kid’s club, 2 expansive swimming pools (looooooove the pool!), 1.3km stretch of pristine beach and a private marina.
The Coral Room
Although I was the one who really insisted on booking a room in this hotel (which means I took care of the billing part), the bestie made the reservation online. You see, I really wanted to treat myself plus it’s sort of my belated birthday gift to the bestie. Yep, hitting two birds with one stone. Haha! Now the funny part: Since SHE made the booking, of course the welcome note was addressed to HER. And yes, it was! The only problem was the use of the honorific “Mr.”. Thank you very much! I LOLed so hard inside. #epicfail
The rooms are spread over 2 wings. Our room (with a preference of “smoking room” because the bestie is considerate like that) is located in the East Wing. This room features authentic Arabian furnishings with superb multimedia system. It also has a private terrace with the view of the manicured garden and a partial view of the Persian Gulf. Aside from the usual hotel room features, the room also comes with a working desk, a safe, 24-hour butler service and an in-house iPad for integrated room controls (iPad as TV remote? Cool, eh?). And oh, they will provide your pillows as per your preference. True taste of palace living indeed! 🙂
The bathroom though not that big was equally elegant. It comes with international luxury fragrance brand toiletries. Of course! I specifically liked the shower. Rain shower type shower was aaaaahhhhhhh! 🙂 One thing though, there was no oral kit.
Before checking out the beach and taking a dip in the pool (yaaaas!), we headed to the public area. The facade (not that glamorous in my opinion) is obviously the most pictured area of the hotel. So, like everybody else, we posed and took some souvenir cliché photos. Haha! Opposite to the hotel stands the stunning Etihad Towers.
Emirates Palace is also open to non-in-house guests. Just give the hotel a call in advance for schedule, dress properly and you’re in. There are also scheduled guided tours inside the palace. You can access the royal suites even without checking-in for a fee of AED100 per person.
Las Brisas Pool
The hotel has 2 expansive swimming pools, the Las Brisas Pool located in the East Wing and the other pool (with slides, so I assume for the kids?) in the West Wing. The East Wing’s landscaped pool has a jacuzzi, bubble pools and yes, a bar attached to it. Looooove!
The bestie and I also liked the common changing room. In contrast, it is not your “common” common changing room. Get it, Get It? Scroll down and see for yourself. 🙂
The Havana Club
We capped off the night in one of the hotel’s sought-after bars. Havana Club, located at the lobby level, boasts the word’s finest liquors and rare cigars. Obviously on the pricey side, but splurging on some good wine and rare cigars every once in a while is not a crime, right? 🙂 Too bad though, we missed the musician playing the piano.
In our opinion, if you’re planning for a stay you need at least 2 nights to fully appreciate and maximize the use of all the hotel facilities. We basically just stayed in the East Wing. The hotel is massive that we didn’t even get a glimpse of the other pool and the must Bedouin tent.
Fun Fact: The bestie got lost coming back to our room, less than an hour before our check out. She was on the wrong floor and knocked somebody else’s door. When she phoned in, I told her Good luck! I’ll see you in Dubai? Haha!
Anyway, below are what sums up the 11th hour of our palace stay.
It is totally OK to splurge on something every once in a while. If you can, why not, right? As the saying goes (and what I truly believe in): It’s not about the amount that you’ll pay, it’s about the memory you’ll get and cherish for the rest of your life. Another one for the books. Hashtag: #collectmemoriesnotthings 🙂
West Corniche Road
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: 02 690 9000
* This is not a sponsored post.