Emirates Palace (Kempinski) Hotel - Abu Dhabi, UAE: Owned by the United Arabs Government and managed by Kempinski Hotels, is the glorious, luxurious and easily stated, bombastic hotel and resort, Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Built at a cost of over $3 billion USD, Emirates Palace is a site to be seen and a hotel that everyone should experience at least once. I am typically not a fan of super-sized, luxury hotels or resorts; I find their service suffers when they get too large. However, Emirates Palace Hotel proved that a luxury hotel or resort can be both huge and still provide excellent service.
We were headed to China and had booked our flight on Etihad Airlines so took advantage of our layover in Abu Dhabi and planned a short stay so we could experience and write a luxury hotel review about Emirates Palace Hotel (sometimes called Kempinski Hotel Abu Dhabi).
First Impression/Lobby: We had arranged for a car transfer to the hotel. We were greeted immediately off the plane and they escorted through immigration, to the baggage area and then through customs. Had the bags from our Etihad flight been delivered with all the other bags, (for some reason ours was delayed almost 20 minutes) we could have been out of the airport and in the car within 15 minutes. This is top-notch, five-star service!
We hopped into the BMW 740 (stocked with cool bottles of water for our refreshment) and were on our way for the 30 minute drive to the Emirates Palace Hotel.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted at the car by a young lady that walked us into the expansive marble lobby. Describing it as luxurious would be an understatement; the hotel entrance and lobby was everything a palace should be, impressive, serene and elegant.
Reception: As we waited for the next front desk agent to become available, we were offered a seat and then a man dressed in traditional Arab clothing came by with a cold cloth to refresh ourselves. Minutes later another young man, equally as stunningly dressed, came and offered us some Arabic coffee.
A few minutes later a front desk agent was available and we were quickly checked-in and then we were shown to our suite, which was located at the far end of the hotel. Emirates Palace Hotel is so massive that I think it would have been impossible to find our suite on our own.
The Suite: Located on the 5th floor, our Khjeel suite, an Executive Suite, was, as you would expect, an over-sized suite with a dining area, with four chairs and a table, living room area complete with couch, chair, huge 48” flat screen plasma TV, writing desk and a master bedroom separated from the living room by sliding pocket doors. The bedroom, again over-sized had the king bed, upholstered side-chair, 48” screen plasma TV and direct access to a large walk-in closet and luxurious bathroom (a guest bathroom was available near the entrance of the suite). The master bath had a huge, deep soaking Jacuzzi tub, a standalone shower, a not so private toilet and bidet stall, one basin sink and of course, tons of perfectly polished marble.
The suite was decorated with light green upholstery for the couch and chair, lots of gold accent, but not over done and a stylish, beige patterned carpet. A huge light fixture in the living room crowned the suite in sophistication and class.
The balcony was accessible from both the living room and bedroom, which meant the view of sea was equally astounding from either room. The balcony had a small table and two chairs and one lounge chair. The room and balcony are located with a direct view of the beach and sea.
And, since you are in a palace, the suite comes with its very own butler - available 24 hour a day!
Room Service:Emirates Palace Hotel’s Room Service menu was well rounded with an excellent array of Arabic, Western and Indian dishes. Anyone, regardless of where they are from or what their tastes are, could find a dish or two to order.
With that said, we found a few dishes that sounded good to us, Penne Arbiata and Murgh Makhani. Placing our orders was simple, it was evident they had adequately trained their employees. Our ordered was delivered within the 30 minutes they stated. The young man from Room Service set our order up on the dining room table and when he was done it looked like we were in fine dining restaurant.
The food was fresh and prepared as only a first-rate kitchen could do. From start to end, our lunch was perfection!
Housekeeping: Thorough! They did a splendid job in every aspect and they were invisible in their service, never calling to see when they could service the room, but somehow magically knowing when the suite was available to be serviced. Perfection as it should be in a five-star, luxury hotel like Emirates Palace.
Concierge: We only used the Concierge service to make our dinner reservation (in-house at Etoiles) and to confirm our airline reservations, but in both instances they followed up exactly as they stated. It may seem like a small thing, but we have experienced many concierges that do not follow up as promised and leave us hanging, wondering what if anything has been done. Luckily at Emirates Palace, we didn’t have that experience.
Restaurant: Emirates Palace Hotel has such a large number and variety of restaurants it would be almost impossible to try each one during a single stay at the hotel. With cuisines for every taste (Seafood, Mediterranean and Italian, Chinese, Lebanese, Persian, International and Emirati, the first in the UAE), and atmospheres from pool-side relaxed and casual dining, to chic and trendy, fine dining you could try some place new for each meal and never get bored.
Pool/Spa/Activities:Emirates Palace Hotel has two pools, one on the east side of the hotel and one on the west side. The west side is geared towards families’ with waterslides and shallow pools. The east side is the quiet pool. Both pools are huge and offer tons of seating. There are also two beach areas, one on either side, as well. Service at the east side pool was remarkable, it was like the staff there could read our minds and were at our service at just the right times.
The hotel also offers a full spa and fitness center.
Overall ImpressionEmirates Palace Hotel is not an inexpensive luxury hotel, but none the less, it is an amazing property and one that I would suggest everyone that goes to Abu Dhabi visits at least once.
Service at every turn was fantastic and every inch of the décor throughout the hotel was perfectly planned. Glorious public areas, trendy restaurants, chic lounges, casual cafes, relaxing pools and of course, stunning suites net the property our highest scores in our décor and atmosphere categories.
Our rating for Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi is Bombastic!