A night at the palace
I must say, the Emirates Palace stood true to its name and reputation and was very much an experience which had me saying “big” every step.
Entering the giant gates, the palace was oddly devoid of guards to welcome or unwelcome guests to the hotel. But once inside, right from the word go, the amusement meets no match!
Surrounded by 100 hectares of landscaped gardens, this enormous, multi-winged, red stone palace has one of the largest domes in the world. The Grand Atrium dome is 42m wide and 60m high with a surface finish of silver and gold coloured glass mosaic tiles. A truly spectacular sight!
On entering the hotel, one is instantly transported to a magical Arabian Palace. The exterior and the interiors of the hotel reflects the different shades of the Arabian desert sands like pink, gold, yellow, the walls and ceiling adorned with geometric patterns, towering palm trees and acres of polished Italian marble and gold leaf on every surface. The hotel houses a total of 300 fountains, 114 domes and 1,002 Swarovski crystal chandeliers including the largest chandelier in the world located in the auditorium.
The lobby is a warm and guests are warmly welcomed with Turkish coffee and dates where you can wait if your room’s not ready. You are then taken on a long guided walk to your room and shown around, lead all the way to your room and shown you how to use the facilities which includes a touchpad screen, phone and other technological delights. Once you know your way around the room, you can sit back and enjoy some sparkling wine or chilled juice – and take a breather!
The palace boasts 302 luxury rooms, 40 suites, 16 palace suites and four presidential suites. The standard rooms, are smaller than one might expect for the rates charged, however, the luxury is impeccable when your rooms are done up in silk upholstery and marble flooring, has rose petals strewn around the room and bathroom, not to forget the 50-inch plasma screens available in all rooms. The rooms offer stunning views of either the exotic gardens, swimming pools or the beautiful white sandy beaches.
Dining is a formal occasion at the hotel with their 10 restaurants which offer a variety of cuisines ranging from Arabic to Italian. Tose who would like privacy can ask for the Palace Ceremony, which is your own private restaurant, complete with chef and staff. Also on site is a marina, spa, tennis and squash court. spectacular outdoor venues for gala dinners and creative events.
The palace is also known for its majestic Conference Centre with facilities for over 1000 people. The centre is billed the most luxurious as well as technologically advanced meeting facility in the region and its grand auditorium has a seating for 1200 guests, and the ballroom can accommodate up to 2800 persons.
Fit for a king, truly, only I wonder if a king would take the long walks you have to between supper and the wonderfully soft bed. Ah well, at least it’d digest his food.