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“Amazing experience!”
Review of Palace Downtown

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Palace Downtown
Ranked #38 of 550 Hotels in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Amazing experience!”
Reviewed February 14, 2013

We were thoroughly impressed with this hotel! We stayed here for 6 nights over the Christmas period in December 2012.

The positives:
- Our room was beautiful, we were given a complimentary upgrade to a suite which faced the lake. The room was very well appointed - a blend of modern and Arabic design, with all of the little luxuries.
- The hotel's entrance and lobby is gorgeous - from the moment you step in you are greeted by the scent of sandalwood. They were serving guests with complementary Arabic coffee and dates - such a nice little touch :)
- The service was impeccable. Nothing was too much to ask for at all! The concierge in particular was great, we were looking for a table for 6 on Christmas Eve at any of the restaurants overlooking the Burj Khalifa fountains - a pretty tough ask - and the lovely concierge rang every single restaurant in the area to find us a table with a view. He did the same when we asked him to arrange a desert safari! Very helpful indeed.
- The breakfast was the best I have ever had at any hotel, and I have travelled a LOT! There was seriously enough of a choice for me to have had 10 full different types of meal each day if I wanted to (but I didn't, I got addicted to the Lebanese cheese spreads on the first day and couldn't go past them since...!).
- The pool area was beautiful
- Great location! Right next to the Dubai Mall and Souk Al Bahar, across from the Burj Khalifa (with amazing views of the Burj and the fountains), and not too far from Bur Dubai or Jumeirah either for that matter!

The only thing I could fault this hotel on is their policy to charge visitors 150AED for use of the pool area, even if they are not swimming. On Christmas day, we had a lazy lunch with family in one of the pavilions by the pool, relaxing with delicious Arabic food and sheesha, and invited over 3 family members who were not staying at the hotel. The hotel insisted on charging us 450AED (USD125) because they were using the pool area, even though none of them actually went for a swim - and despite the fact that we spent over 1000AED on food at lunch! The pool attendant came over swiftly after our guests arrived to ask whether they were guests of the hotel, then immediately brought over a bill for 450AED. We didn't want to embarrass our guests or ruin our moods and therefore we signed off on the bill. We were a bit irritated by this, but to our very pleasant surprise when we checked out and expressed that we were unhappy about this charge, management waived it - an example of great customer service (albeit stemming from a ridiculous policy)!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nooree
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 26, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your wonderful review on Trip Advisor.

We are truly delighted to know that you had enjoyed your stay while describing in details the ambiance, location and service from our associates. Your extensive comments are much appreciated and have been shared with the entire team. It is a great motivation for them to continue and keep up the good work. At the same time I regret to read about the charges at the pool which afterwards were well taken care of by our Front Office team.

It was indeed our pleasure to have you as our guest and we are looking forward to welcoming you back in a not too distant 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.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (482)
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English first
Sunderland, UK
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2013

I stayed here from 01 - 08 February 2013 to celebrate my 21st birthday with family.

I had the most fantastic time, the staff were fantastic and always wanted to help. Staff always smiling and acknowledging you wherever you were. The bar service around the pool was great - very efficient and caring staff members. The hotel bar itself is open from 6pm and was very relaxing.

Chocolates were delivered to my room from staff as a birthday treat which was lovely - i enjoyed these very much!!

Views from the balcony of the Burj Khalifa were fantastic and out of this world. The hotels location itself was great - watching the fountain show from balcony was wonderful.

The hotel made my birthday celebrations so special. I would like to thank all staff for their caring and extremely professional manner throughout my stay.

Room Tip: Lakeside View room was fantastic!
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Grace 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, February 26, 2013
Dear Guest,

We are happy to know that you had a great stay with us here at The Palace while celebrating your birthday for which we congratulate you. Thank you for your kind words about the location, views and our main asset which is our associates. We are committed to provide our guest with our best services and I am glad to know that our team members delivered that to you.

Thank you again for sharing your experience and we look forward to welcoming you in the 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.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
Reviewed February 12, 2013

the hotel is beautiful! the staff were very sweet & always had smiles arriving & departing the hotel. we happened to be staying during the Ramadan period, the staff were very helpful & informative to what we can & could not do. when they showed us to our room the staff member was ever so sweet to described & open the curtains to view the fountain & inform us times of the fountain shows. the view was spectacular. the restaurants & pool were amazing with views of the burj!!!!! food, room service everything was fantastic. everything you could expect from a 5 star hotel.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mikey1989dior
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 26, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you sharing your experience folowing your stay with us. I am glad to know that our associates were so helpful while providing you with all the necessary information at all times to let you enjoy your stay during Ramadan.

The entire team is looking 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.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
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.
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Level 3 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 4 Contributor
42 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 6 Contributor
58 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 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.
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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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