We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Beautiful property, very disappointing service”
Review of Palace Downtown

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 10 more sites!
Palace Downtown
Ranked #36 of 545 Hotels in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Beautiful property, very disappointing service”
Reviewed February 8, 2013 via mobile

After the reviews and accolades we had high expectations. The property delivered but the service was so such a let down that our lasting impression was disappointment.

Starting from the awkward check in where we were asked to sit in the foyer then seemingly forgotten about for quite some time. Staff seemed flummoxed when we didn't have a print out of our reservation even though we had the booking reference number. Our room wasn't ready yet so they told us to come back in a few hours then left us sitting there with no introduction to the hotel facilities nor recommendations for how we could spend the time. Not major dramas, but when you're paying a premium for the special experience we felt let down. This polite but disinterested service was consistent throughout our stay.

Breakfast was good and the location was great, but if you're looking for a treat I think you could get a better experience elsewhere. (Our experience at Grosvenor House was superb.) A shame because a little bit of staff training and it would be perfect.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Gabrielle W
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 experience with everyone on TripAdvisor.

Please accept my most sincere apologies for the issues you highlighted where you faced a shortfall in service standards during your check in process and also during your stay. High service quality is one of the most important things that make the difference and I regret to know that you did not experience it. Rest assured the points you have highlighted will be addressed.

At the same time it is nice to note that you liked our location as well as the breakfast. We hope you will honor us with an opportunity to welcome you back 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.
Write a Review

2,578 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    2,026
    355
    98
    59
    40
See reviews for
522
1,141
135
399
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (464)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Serbian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2013

We were so impressed with this hotel, it is located 5 mins walk from the Dubai Mall and we can watch the music fountain show right outside our room, infront of the canal. Excellent services, lovely design. Will stay again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Yi S
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,

It is our absolute pleasure to learn that you enjoyed your stay with us and we hope that we would be able to welcome 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.
Adelaide, South Australia
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2013

As we had been "apartment sitting" nearby, we visited the hotel to make our reservation. From that first moment we were made to feel important and welcome. Throughout our stay we were guests in a gracious and luxurious Middle Eastern home. A spontaneous upgrade to a beautifully furnished suite including a regal bathroom with Penhaligon toiletries was a lovely surprise. When we asked a concierge (Mukhtar) for driving directions to a gallery, so that we could use the directions to help a cab driver, we soon found ourselves being driven to the gallery in a hotel limo! How good is this? The pool area is, especially at night, exquisite. Location,comfort, food, service; everything was perfect.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank billandlyn
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 6, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind review on Trip Advisor.

We are truly delighted to know that you had enjoyed your stay with us even starting with the welcoming experience and upgrade as well as our pool area and location. It is also nice to know that you were pleased with our Associates’ service including Mukhtar’s.

Thank you again for your kind words and we all look forward to welcoming 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.
Surrey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
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.
Tehran, Iran
Level Contributor
144 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 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 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 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.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Dubai hotels
Downtown Dubai
Manzil Downtown
Manzil Downtown
#26 of 545 in Dubai
2,116 reviews
Downtown Dubai
The Address Downtown Dubai
Downtown Dubai
Vida Downtown
Vida Downtown
#60 of 545 in Dubai
2,057 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Taj Dubai
#12 of 545 in Dubai
1,348 reviews
Downtown Dubai
Ramada Downtown Dubai
Ramada Downtown Dubai
#74 of 545 in Dubai
1,943 reviews
Downtown Dubai
Armani Hotel Dubai
Armani Hotel Dubai
#32 of 545 in Dubai
1,712 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Palace Downtown? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
#34 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Ctrip TA, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Cancelon, Priceline, getaroom.com, HotelQuickly and HRS so you can book your Palace Downtown reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
The Palace The Old Town Hotel Dubai
The Palace Old Town
Palace The Old Town Dubai
Sofitel Dubai

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing