24 Hours at the Emirates Palace
The Emirates Palace. Famous, Glamorous, Royal, Vast. These are the words to describe the world's most famous hotel (together with the Burj Al Arab in Dubai). Everyone knows this hotel AND everyone wants to see or stay at this hotel one day. Me too. So we did not hesitate when Kempinski asked us to test their upscale flagship property. We were excited like a child when we told the taxi driver where to go. A drive along The Corniche - Abu Dhabi's grand road - and soon after a while there was it: A big Gate, as huge as a palace in Europe, not even recognized the true Emirates Palace in the back. We turned to the right and entered the main gate (which is the entrance for all non-royals) and were asked for the names. The gate opened and the taxi continued to the guest entrance. Our experience started with opening our doors by ourselves.
Many staff members were running and rushing around handling with super-luxe cars of rich arabians. We just got a tag for the luggage and could look for the front desk by ourselves as well - not as easy as at other hotels. A smart Asian front desk employee took care of our passports and we had a seat. Nobody was offering us a welcome drink. Five minutes later someone arrived with cold towels - at least one sign of being welcome. While seating in the lobby I could watch a female guest complaining about waiting for one hour to go to the room. That was when I called the PR Manager, who arrived soon and welcomed us in a friendly way and who also took care that our check-in only last for 15 minutes.
A kind german speaking lady from the front desk was accompanying us to our Pearl Room. The door opened and a spacious standard room in light brown wood was visible. She also explained everything inside the room and showed us the bathroom. At first I was a bit shoked that the toilet was not seperated. Well, it did not last long until our toilet was overfloating and it was time to call the housekeeping. I appreciated the big bath tub, the toiletries by Amouage, the heavenly beds, the huge TV as well as the iPad to control everything. And of course I am a fan of seperated walk-in showers.
Well, it is the Emirates Palace and we are here to relax and enjoy the hotel. So we went to the East Wing Pool which is reserved for the adults, while the West Wing Pools are more attracting families with children due to the water slides and lazy river. What I really liked were the possibilities to do activities like Camel riding or water sports just in front of the hotel on the beach. There are also two beach clubs (which ware complimentary to use) along the 3km private beach and there is always a golf cart service between the East and West Wing - unless you aren't the last guests at the pool like we were. So I was able to walk inside the whole building - nearly 1 km - and I really enjoyed to see all the vast spaces and all details of the hotel. There is even a private auditorium inside the hotel together with real palms!
On the next morning we enjoyed breakfast in the Le Vendome Restaurant. Interestingly there were no families with children which we also enjoyed a lot, although we love children. The complete buffet was of high quality and the selection was vast! All kinds of bread, pancakes, crepes, wonderful egg dishes, lots of sweets, fresh salmon (the best during our whole trip), and lots more. Due to the management of Kempinski there are lots of German guests, which was kind of surprising me. At 1.30 pm the concierge called us to inform us that the driver of the Ritz Carlton Dubai arrived. We checked-out - this time the front desk staff was efficient - and we had kind of mixed feelings. Let's say I won't miss the Emirates Palace because of its service.
We were guests of Kempinski Hotels and Emirates Palace Hotel. All our above written expresses our own opinion and has not been influenced.