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“An Oasis of Calm in Dubai”
Review of Palace Downtown

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Palace Downtown
Ranked #38 of 549 Hotels in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
Cambria, CA
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“An Oasis of Calm in Dubai”
Reviewed January 9, 2011

Dubai sprawls for miles along the Gulf coast so where you want to stay will largely depend on why you're in Dubai. We chose the"The Palace-The Old Town" because, as first time visitors and not beach fanatics, we wanted to be in the middle of Dubai, with access to the old and new parts of the city.
Semantics first. Despite it's web site "The Palace" is not an old building. Neither is "The Old Town",well, old. The Old Town is part of the brand new Downtown Dubai development which contains (among other things) the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa.
The Palace is an attempt to return to a more logical style of architecture than the ubiquitous (and totally climate unfriendly) glass and steel that comprises most of modern Dubai.
A low rise 4 and 5 storey building with thick walls, deeply inset windows and large courtyards... a sort of modernist Moorish design that IMHO works very well. The hotel is surrounded on 3 sides by the large artificial lake that hold the Dubai Fountain, and is further softened by lush tropical gardens. The roar of the relentless Dubai traffic is nowhere to be heard, just the chatter of mynha birds around the pool. Only 280 or so rooms makes for an intimate feel and the friendly staff quickly know your name.
PROs:
The rooms are spacious, immaculate and beautifully furnished. Very quiet.
The beds are large and very comfortable, with high end linens, duvets and lots of pillows
The bathrooms are large, marbled with twin vanities, separate tub and waterfall shower, with a toilet/bidet area.
Plenty of bottled water, more on request.
Many rooms overlook the spectacular Dubai Fountain.
All have large balconies, something of a wonder in modern Dubai hotels, and great for relaxing on a cool Dubai winter day.
Plenty of dining choices
Friendly, helpful staff...but still with the occasional hiccup.
A small but beautifully designed pool with a spectacular view of the stunning Burj Khalifa.

CONs:
For a non-smoker its the smokers. As everywhere in Dubai there appear to be no outdoor spaces or restaurant that is off limits to smokers, so it's a largely a matter of luck. The hotel does have non smoking rooms, but that lovely balcony that you were enjoying becomes uninhabitable when the person on the balcony below lights up.
Not very child friendly ( not a concern for us) and perhaps a PRO for some.
Because of the horizontal (rather than vertical) layout some of the rooms are quite a walk from the main ares. Ask for one nearby if walking is a problem
The distance to some of the rooms also turns the free "High Speed" Wi-Fi into a bit of a hassle. Again, if you'll be spending hours on line check out the signal strength before settling in.
Flies were a bother at the outdoor eating spots and around the pool.

Note that despite earlier reviews one of the big benefits of a club (Palace) room...the lounge with snacks and evening drinks...no longer exists. That makes whether the extra charge for a Palace room is a good deal a bit more debatable, but if you're a big breakfast eater or are arriving outside normal check in times it probably is worth the cost. And the airport transfers by hotel car are quite a luxury.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank docred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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yorkshire
Level 6 Contributor
284 reviews
161 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2011

The old Palace hotel is a modern hotel on the site of an old palace but does not retain an old palace feel but is well situated for the Dubai shopping mall which can be reached on foot from the hotel. Access to the Burj Khalifa, tallest building in the world is from the shopping mall, a tour to the top costs £20 if booked in advance or £80 for immediate access. For a booking you will need to book 3 days in advance on line. The hotel is of a high standard my basic room was spacious with large bathroom and private patio. Food was ok but expensive,not outstanding. Alcohol was very expensive with a mimi bar in room. The pool area was attractive but not very big and if you want to sit in the sun this was limited in view of the palm trees. The hotel overlooks a man made lake.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank dunera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2011

Very good hotel ideally located opposite Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, and just a couple of minutes away from The Dubai Mall.

I stayed in a fountain view room. The room was quite spacious (great comfortable bed!) and has a very well appointed bathroom (shower and bath). Excellent complimentary toiletries (Penhaligon's). A warning though, don't expect to see the entire fountain, you only see part of it.

Swimming pool area is very nice (great heated pool) but it can be difficult to find a sun bed which has full day's (or even half day's) sun.

Excellent breakfast buffet.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FergieBrussels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, UK
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2010

Really puzzled (and deceived!) by the positive reviews that swayed me to book, I'm clearly missing something.
This is a boring cliche hotel with a shiny varnish that has no class or depth of quality whatsoever beneath the surface - it's designed to be practically part of yet another shiny shopping mall and that's clearly something many reviewers perceive as a positive, I found it hell.
All that is, of course, personal taste and many/most people will clearly differ, but the quality of the room and service are not so debatable. To arrive at a hotel that is clearly nowhere near full and the room is still not available after 4pm is appalling, especially for a traveller with a small child. The 'deluxe' room was significantly smaller, with less facilities and duller decor than almost any I've stayed in in Dubai - the Meridien hotel I stayed in earlier this year was cheaper and far, far superior in every way.
First, we had been placed in the most far-flung corner of the seemingly half-empty hotel. The room decor was 'brown' in tone and mood. Bizarrely, the bathroom was great, one of the best designed bathrooms I've seen in any hotel, any price - pity that designer didn't do the bedroom.
The bed was amazingly comfortable, my son loved rolling around on it - but we couldn't sleep because the linens and mattress got so hot and the air conditioning was not adjustable - which I still struggle to believe could happen in a Dubai hotel. The aircon was fixed at almost 25C, making for an appalling, restless night and, by 2am, i had to risk leaving the balcony doors wide open, too terrified to sleep in case my son wandered out! (sleep deprivation gives you weird thoughts).

Some friendly staff around the pool - a fabulous guy saved us a lovely table by the lake - but food service was then very slow indeed, so slow we had to opt for cold food to get my son to bed on time - great Club sandwich.

Check in/out was basic, slow, charmless and totally impersonal. On departure, no one asked what I thought of my stay - and that, for me, is always the key indicator of the standards of any hotel.
Obviously, the Palace wasn't for me - even if the room, the service, the aircon etc had worked. If you think Dubai's shopping is wonderful then you may well love the convenience of this hotel. If you want to see a bit more depth to this great city then I think you should look to stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank JonAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
amman
Level 6 Contributor
132 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2010

After somehow dissappointed night management of this hotel rebounded by offering us their best room upgraded us and made our stay worthwhile

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dureid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riyadh, KSA
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2010

The room was quite cozy. The bathroom was so spacious. The best of all was "The Spa" . The entire experience was fabulous. Everything is in proximity.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ummaayah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuwait City, Kuwait
1 review
Reviewed October 17, 2010

Great hotel but when we arrived there were hundreds of people going in and out and reception was too busy to attend to us immediately. There were also a lot of hookers which I was surprised to see at this hotel. Everything else was great.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelHopper85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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