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.
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.
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.
- 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