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“Wonderful old world charm in modern world, but with a caveat over dining communications”
Review of Palace Downtown

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Palace Downtown
Ranked #38 of 549 Hotels in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
Surrey, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
58 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Wonderful old world charm in modern world, but with a caveat over dining communications”
Reviewed February 1, 2013

Super hotel, very relaxing, very sumptuous. We chose this hotel because it seemed to have some old world charm in a glitzy, shiny, sterile city. We were right on this much, it was a wonderful oasis amidst the 'my tower's bigger than yours' environment of Dubai.
We arrived early in the morning and the accommodating staff were happy to prepare our room within half an hour. We were over the the left, ground floor, terrace opening out to an inlet of the lake. Not much of a view, but not a building site either. We'd asked for a lake or burgh view, and we got a little of the lake, so that was fine.
Before we left, I had been in communication with the hotel as we wanted to entertain/dine a business client on our first night, and I wanted to know which dining set-up would be best. Note that Virgin had sold the hotel on its website as having three fabulous restaurants, so with our half board upgrade that we chose, we expected to be able to dine at any of the three. I was told by the hotel that this could not be so. Half board is only in the buffet restaurant, Ewaan, apparently. I asked if we might upgrade, pay a supplement etc, I was told no, this was not possible.
After checking in etc, we met our Virgin Rep who tried to get them to allow us to upgrade; we were told that this was not possible.
Finally, the next day, after much email correspondence, some emails involving me thanking them for the beautiful job they made of turndown (rose petals, towel swans, a bath run and covered with petals, etc), I was informed that we could, as a special measure, pay to upgrade if we wished to.
Armed with this information, we'd already by then eaten at the buffet and been really impressed with the variety of choice available, so although we considered the upgrade, my husband wasn't keen enough on Thai food to try Tipthara and the Steakhouse we thought we coudl get elsewhere, ie, in the mall where we had visited the Cheescake factory at lunch and paid less for that than we would have to pay for upgrades at the hotel. We decided if we wished to have a different kind of meal, we would have lunch in Ewaan and eat out at night.
One thing I had read about was the Wednesday night Ewaan meal where there was entertainment on offer, traditional dancing etc. At no point were we told that this would be an extra cost - and remember, we were told we were meant to eat at Ewaan ... - but on checking out, there was a supplement to pay for this meal as it was a 'special'. It wasn't a vast amount, but we did feel that there was a bit of a principle to be held here - also, given that they rate lunch as cheaper than evening buffet anyway, and we'd taken lunch instead one day, they weren't prepared to offset this against the extra cost of the Wednesday experience! This, at checkout, left a somewhat sour taste in our mouths at 7am in the morning after a truly wonderful stay otherwise ... for this reason, I toyed with taking my rating down to 4*, but thought that wouldn't be fair on the whole experience
So what else to add;
Staff were generally really great - the spa ladies were lovely, the chaps who did our turndowns were fab; housekeeping was very efficient, and two of the chaps on concierge went above and beyond my expectations.
We had taken a cab out to the Spice souk as I wanted some saffron and vanilla (annoyingly, I got ripped off, not understanding the rules of bartering ... go in at half apparently, and be prepared to go up to about 2/3, but it was an experience, somewhat challenging being blonde and blue-eyed, glad I wasn't without my 6'1" dark husband at that moment). On the way from the taxi dropping us at the hotel and getting to our bedroom, I managed to lose it.
I didn't realise this until the next morning (I know, blonde in more ways than one!) so asked lovely Kenneth at Concierge if a bag of spices had been handed in. He called security who asked if there was a taxi receipt. There was, luckily my husband keep track of these things while we are on hols! So I dropped that in and thought no more of it. When we got back to the hotel after a day of work appointments, we learned that the spices had been tracked down ... hurrah! I was so grateful as this saved me another trip to the souk for spice shopping ... I would have had to have gone without my husband so wouldn't have felt very safe anyway!
These staff members couldn't do enough for you.
The surroundings were lovely in the hotel, much more suited to an arabian experience than many of the other modern looking hotels - we visited crowne plaza for a meal and Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel for a conference - and much more welcoming for that. The pool was good enough - the setting looking out to the Burj Khaliffa was stunning and the attendants there were great - one even lending me his own goggles as I forgot to pack mine! There are lots of Indian/Keralan/Phillippinno staff who were so kind to us and very smiley when we chatted with them - they really make the place. The reception desk ladies were a little more officious as you can see from our dining quibbles at check in and out ...
Overall though, we would definitely choose to stay here again. Perhaps not with young kids, as it's a serene haven of calm, which would be spoiled for others ... but as ours are getting older, they'd certainly enjoy the amazing buffets at Ewaan (really, outstanding choice of foodstuff, we never tired over 4 breakfasts and three evening meals, great choices of meats, salads, one offs etc). I'd take teens, but not under 10s.
And oh, yes, the scent they use there is wonderful - you can buy a reed diffuser, with the special sandalwood scent which they pump out in the hotel areas, from the spa ... it would certainly take you back to a calm and happy place!

Room Tip: Our room was nice and quiet. Rooms away from the fireworks side are quieter, which is where we were...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PedantiqueWretch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael_Sorgenfrey, General Manager at Palace Downtown, responded to this review, February 3, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your detailed feedback. I am delighted to know you enjoyed your recent stay with us. It is always very motivating and encouraging for us to receive such feedback from our guests.

At the same time I regret to read about the confusion with the meal package and also the lost bag with spices which was well taken care of by our Associates including Kenneth and after all it has been found.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to share your comments and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind regards,
Michael Sorgenfrey
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Tehran, Iran
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2013

My wife and I arrived dead tired around 10 am after flying overnight. Even though check in was supposed to be 3 pm they were kind enough to check us in around 11 am, after having an amazing breakfast which was well worth the price. The room had an excellent view of the fountains which were very nice as we visited during the festival and the fountains would shoot water tens of meters high several times a day and also during the night with dazzling lights and rhythmic motions...quite awesome..
We left the terrace sliding doors open during an afternoon nap and a bird just came flying in, a rare sight for a desert country like Dubai!
The strange but delightful tasting Arabic coffee was also nice to enjoy every time you walk by the lobby. The staff were very friendly, housekeeping was such that we wished we could bring some of them overseas home with us to "housekeep" our own place!
All in all as this was our second time to this hotel, we thought it was immaculate, and as it is adjacent to the best mall in Dubai, no taxi fares!!
Only one drawback: almost everybody smokes outdoors, whether the hookah or shisha or cigarettes; therefore if you are a nonsmoker or have asthma, you're gonna need a mask. If you plan on walking around the adjacent Bahar mall or plan on eating in an outdoor cafe or restaurant, there's not much fresh air to enjoy in the high season when the climate is just right and everyone likes to relax outside, because all those people who can't smoke indoors make up for it whenever they are outdoors!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank alireza k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael_Sorgenfrey, General Manager at Palace Downtown, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your extensive and very positive feedback on Tripadvisor following your stay with us. I am truly delighted to read your comments in particular about the bird entering your room which as you said is rare in such a country. I am also pleased to know that you enjoyed the special fountain show, breakfast and service upon your arrival.

Thank you again for your kind words and we all look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Sorgenfrey
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2013 via mobile

It made me feel like a real tourist, although I'm a resident of Dubai, spending a night there for my birthday.
It had the ambience of a rich sultan king in those ancient times.
Couldn't find anything to complain about. If I was rich enough I would stay there as a resident.
But, found one small issue , probably it's from me only, but anyways would share the story to see if others experienced the same.
The mini bar price catalogue price for beer and other alcohol was unbelievably cheap, ( AED 25 for a beer ) ( AED 30 for mini red label) etc. However, at the checkout time the bills came to be double, when asked for the reason, the reception stated that was the real price. Being shocked , I requested to see the catalogue again, and the prices where different than the one I saw at the room. I wanted to go back to the room and check the catalogue again to prove to myself that this can't be happening. But my wife said its ok, maybe you were drunk.
So from now on, any hotel I visit I make it a habit to snapshot the price catalogue to avoid this situations again lol.
But overall this is a place that will make u feel really really royal, we had taken the diplomat suite. Mark my words it was worth it !

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tumberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael_Sorgenfrey, General Manager at Palace Downtown, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your comments with everyone on TripAdvisor.

We are delighted to learn that you enjoyed your stay with us and how royal you felt for your birthday while enjoying the suite. At the same time I apologize for the incident during the check out in regards to the minibar pricing. Your comments have been addressed to the concerning department to be looked into to ensure that all the menus in the rooms as well as at the reception are the same.

Thank you again for sharing your experience and we look forward to welcoming you in the near future.

Kind regards,
Michael Sorgenfrey
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maleny
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2013

After arriving at 4am, it was very pleasing to be greeted with a fresh juice and a warm smile. Check in was without hassles and we were shown to our rooms quickly. Wow what great rooms. We had the Diplomatic Suites and we felt like kings. Our room attendant understood our need for sleep and gave a brief overview of the facilities before leaving us to enjoy our very comfortable beds. The buffet, decor, viewing platform of the Burj Khalifa are first rate. Fresh flowers in the bathroom. The rooms are extremely quiet which is a plus. There is always a taxi ready when you need one. The turn down service is the best ever with beautiful dates, baclava and other exotic Arabian treats. I have stayed at other first class hotels in Dubai and this beats them for location, ambience and service. You wont be disappointed.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank malenymike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael_Sorgenfrey, General Manager at Palace Downtown, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your positive feedback on Trip Advisor following your stay with us. We are very pleased to read such comments about how much you enjoyed and appreciated our service during the check in, rooms, location and the overall ambience which we hope you will be able to experience again soon.

Kind regards,
Michael Sorgenfrey
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norway
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2013

Was there on business, got upgraded to a suite which was nice.
Check in was annoyingly slow, took over half an hour. Otherwise the place was amazing. Great location, very nice suite, good service (apart from check in).
Overall, expensive but amazing.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tony_Norway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael_Sorgenfrey, General Manager at Palace Downtown, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Dear Guest

Thank you for sharing your review following your stay with us. We appreciate your kind comments about the upgrade as well as the location and at the same time I apologize for the inconveniences during the check in. We are certainly considering your feedback to enhance our guests’ experience.

We hope to be able to welcome you back in the very near future.

Kind regards,
Michael Sorgenfrey
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Level 6 Contributor
193 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2013

Hotel is in great location in Downtown Dubai adjacent to Souk Albahar, a few minutes walk to Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa.
If your not staying long or in a big group its a great place since lots of good restaurants and shopping is within walking distance and you don't have to worry about transportation.
Book a place room as that will include airport transfers and breakfast. Other rooms are similarly priced but when you add up its works out much more.
Spa in the hotel is great they have a ladies spa and mens spa on separate floors. No indoor pool though only out door and no sauna just a steam room. Try the Hammam treatment with a 50min massage.
They have an amazing pool side seating in the evening till 1am but they don't take reservations its first come first serve, they should allow hotel guests to book.
Sleep quality can be poor if you want to sleep early, there is no double glazing on the glass so every 30min till around 11pm there is a water shower and the music is so loud.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Susu_SA1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael_Sorgenfrey, General Manager at Palace Downtown, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Dear Guest,

I would like to thank you for taking your time out to give us your feedback. It is always encouraging to receive comments from our guests. We are delighted to see that overall you enjoyed your stay with us and at the same time I regret to know about the noise disturbance for which I sincerely apologize.

We look forward to welcoming you back at the Palace Downtown Dubai and please do let us know when you are planning to and we will allocate a quiet room for you.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Sorgenfrey
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2013

If you are staying just a few nights in Dubai, that’s the place to be. Direct by the “Burj Khalifa”, the shopping malls and so on – very good location.
The hotel is nice decorated (Arabian style) with a nice pool area. The rooms are quite big and the furnishing is very nice – nothing is missing. The only negative thing is, if you have a Lakeview room, that you hear the sound of the shows at the lake (guess last show is at 11:00pm) – then it’s quiet.
The staff is really friendly – we could check in at 9:00 am instead of 3:00 pm (thank you).
The Food at the Restaurant as well as food from the room service is really nice.
So if we are again in Dubai for a few nights – we will again stay there.

Room Tip: lakeview rooms are nice but a bit noisy untill 11 pm
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Beat F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael_Sorgenfrey, General Manager at Palace Downtown, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Dear Guest,

We are glad to know that you enjoyed your stay with us and appreciated so much the location while being so close to the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, the service from our associates and our restaurants. Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your stay experience with everyone.

We look forward to welcoming you back at the Palace Downtown Dubai.

Kind regards,
Michael Sorgenfrey
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palace Downtown

Property: Palace Downtown
Address: Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, 29 | Downtown Dubai, Dubai 9770, United Arab Emirates
Phone Number:
Location: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Dubai > Dubai > Downtown Dubai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Dubai
#11 Business Hotel in Dubai
#31 Family Hotel in Dubai
#35 Luxury Hotel in Dubai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Palace Downtown 5*
Number of rooms: 242
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

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