We stayed at the Emirates Palace at the end of our honeymoon trip. Check in was unexpectedly pleasurable. We stayed in a variety of grades of accommodation around the world on our trip, but none quite managed to match the level of service here. Some places clearly train their staff to engage in conversation with guests and it can feel quite forced - here they all do a great job and seem very sincere.
As others have said, you get escorted to your room where you meet your butler who introduces you to all of the facilities available including your room remote control (which is great once you get used to it) and talks you through pretty much everything else. We stayed in a diamond room - as far as I remember, the main difference between this and the other rooms are that you get a good view of the private beach from the diamond rooms. The cleanliness throughout the entire hotel and rooms is outstanding. The bathroom is large and well equipped. Although we both laughed about it, the only (minute and exceedingly picky) criticism either of us had of any part of the Emirates Palace was that the toilet roll was relatively thin.
We ate at a few of the restaurants in the hotel (Le Vendome, Cascades, BBQ Al Qasr and Le Cafe). Breakfast was excellent at the buffet and in the cafe with plenty of variety and excellent quality food. I actually preferred the less formal service in the cafe, but this is just personal preference and I have no complaints about Le Vendome. Our butler made reservations for us and escorted us to restaurants, which felt quite strange at first, but he made the long walk interesting by giving us lots of info about the hotel and some of its regular guests. All of the staff members were extremely friendly and helpful without being intrusive. Portion size at the restaurants and for room service is huge. Bordering on Man vs Food. Don't fill up on bread before the main event. Food quality is excellent.
We spent time at each of the two pools. Although we were on honeymoon, I preferred the West pool which is designed for families. The staff were great - really helpful and brought us lots of free little extras such as bubblegum flavored sorbets and sachets containing wipes for your sunglasses. Things I never even considered that I needed until I stayed here. The staff prepare your beds for you and generally do a fantastic job keeping you comfortable. We walked the entire length of the private beach and saw one other guest. This was a relatively common theme during our stay. Our butler advised us that the hotel was at approx 50-60% occupancy during our stay, but you would never have known as the scale of the place makes it seem relatively deserted. Other reviews have said that this leaves a feeling that the hotel has no soul, but I would disagree. It allows a greater degree of privacy which is lovely if you are spending time with your partner and the service from the staff is the tangible soul of this hotel. We spent a little time with the Bedouin chap who tends to his camels on the beach. We all had dates and Arabic tea before a trip along the beach on the camels. This is complimentary and I really recommend it to anyone staying in the hotel.
Your butler can arrange trips out of the hotel for you. On our last day, we transferred to the 5 star Yas Viceroy hotel that straddles the formula 1 circuit. This further reinforced our amazement at the level of customer service at the Emirates Palace - sadly the 5 star treatment at Yas Island felt like checking into a travelodge when compared to our stay in the Emirates Palace. I would recommend the Viceroy's owners pay for their staff to spend a night at the Emirates Palace to find out what customer service is really about. Public taxis are not allowed to wait outside the Emirates palace so you have to wait for someone else to get dropped off - although the staff at the Palace will arrange this for you and pack all of your bags and put them into the car for you. It's worthwhile leaving the hotel to see the Sheikh Zayed mosque. We went at sunset and managed to get some fantastic photos. Keep an eye on your taxi driver and their route to any tourist attraction as they seem to like to take you the long way round to bump the fare up a bit in our experience.
I think it says a lot about a place when the only thing that I would recommend they change is the toilet roll - a quilted roll as standard would be nice fellas. I am sure your butler would replace your rolls if asked, but we really didn't feel even slightly aggrieved by it and I guess I am only really including it here as a stab at some comedy and to highlight just how great the hotel really is.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Emirates Palace
- Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi
- Emirates Palace Hotel Abu Dhabi