Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
Pulling up to the front entrance, we are greeted by a grandly robed team of doormen offering an attentive and warm welcome before we are guided through to the main reception area for check-in where the seamless personable service commences. Whilst enjoying light refreshments of juice and fresh dates, I am offered a small bouquet of flowers and our daughter, an Emirates Palace toy camel at which she beams with delight! Our check-in is fast and efficient and our private butler is soon leading us to our luxurious accommodation.
Having stayed in Emirates Palace before for a special occasion, we are familiar with the level of luxury one can expect from their rooms, but this time, we are unexpectedly treated to a whole new world – a Khaleej Deluxe Suite. ‘Luxury’ is an understatement, in fact, our new temporary accommodation is so impactful that we are rendered speechless by its lavish opulence. The long and spacious private hallway complete with entrance bathroom leads to a dining area, which is interconnected with a luxuriously furnished living room boasting a wall-to-wall television screen and desk. Beautifully ornate sliding glass doors lead through to a vast bedroom and dressing area where a king-sized bed overlooks another 61-inch television screen and onto the panoramic expansive balcony with 180 degree scenic sea views! “But there’s more,” the Butler informs me, smiling as he gestures through the ‘His and Hers’ walk-in cupboards to the spa bathroom beyond. As I try to take it all in, the Butler kindly runs through our special requirements for the room during our stay such as: what time we would like the room to be serviced; how many bottles of water would be required each day; what fruit would we like; when would be most convenient for turn down service to be done; and lastly, what reservations could he make for us and when. Our entire weekend is conveniently taken care of within ten minutes leaving us to sit back relax and savour every minute of our memorable time at Emirates Palace and so the weekend commences.
Emirates Palace offers: 302 Grand Rooms at 55 sqm ranging from Coral (standard) through to Pearl and Diamond – the latter two categories offer a living room and suite amenities; 20 Khaleej Suites at 110 sqm; 20 Khaleej Deluxe Suites at 165 sqm; 4 Royal Suites at 275 sqm; and 48 Palace Suites at 680 sqm boasting 3 bedrooms and which can be divided into 3. All rooms and suites are exquisitely designed with elegant veneer wood paneling, rich sumptuous silk embroidered fabrics, a luxurious marble bathroom and private balcony. Additionally, every room is serviced by a 24-hour butler service to see to all your needs at the touch of a button.
Dining at Emirates Palace is a gastronome’s dream. With fifteen world-class restaurants and bars to choose from and each of them offering a unique and authentic experience true to the cuisine they specialise in, the biggest dilemma that you will be faced with is how to choose! Cuisines on offer include: International, Italian, Seafood, Emirati, Lebanese and Modern Chinese.
Le Vendôme Brasserie
We started our day with a feast fit for a King at Le Vendôme Brasserie’s international buffet complete with live cooking stations and juice bar. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Le Vendôme Brasserie awakens the senses with its extensive and spoiling buffet where exotic flavours meet international favourites. The outdoor terrace offers breathtaking views of the expansive private beach and immaculately manicured private gardens below, which make for a relaxed and idyllic setting any time of the day.
As a lover of seafood, this has to be one of my favourite restaurants in Emirates Palace. Sayad (Arabic for fisherman) never fails to disappoint in serving up a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Each dish boasts presentation that is as chic and contemporary as the ambient decor and as impactful in flavour as only the freshest seafood should be. The interior’s soft warm hues of blue and gold backlighting give off a warm and inviting ambience reminiscent of a tropical marine setting whilst the al fresco terrace is the perfect place to relax and soak up the views of the white sandy beach and marina beyond. Live saxophone music is played in the evenings under a moonlit sky adding romance to an already blissful setting. Must-have dishes include: Burj Al Sayad Seafood Platter (to share); Monk Fish served with saffron sauce, mussels & Fennel; and Lobster Thermidor cooked in a creamy sauce with mushrooms, shallots, garlic & herbs.
Open for dinner only 6.30pm to 11.30pm.
This award-winning restaurant offers a truly authentic Italian experience dramatically enhanced by the richly furnished dining space where soft comfortable seating, thick linen tablecloths and Venetian murals and motifs combine to exude comfort and grandeur. Alternatively, the al fresco terrace offers a more relaxed setting day or night with the magnificent Palace surroundings as a backdrop. Whet your appetite with a classic Antipasto Misto to share, which combines the best of the antipasto together on one platter including: Burrata Cheese, King Crab and Avocado, Seared Scallops with Tomato Marmalade Alici and Capsicum, Bresaola, Cured Olives and Prime Beef Carpaccio. If you still have room for a main, the fresh handcrafted pasta – such as Paccheri with Lobster and Langoustines with a Mild Spicy Sauce – is highly recommended and they offer gluten free Fusilli, Spaghetti and Penne Pastas to be prepared in any style required. Allow the expert Sommelier to select for you the perfect grape accompaniment to each dish.
Open for lunch and dinner from 9am to 11pm.
For casual poolside dining, visit Cascades and Las Brisas where freshly prepared salads and grills and fresh juices and cocktails can be enjoyed at your leisure from 6am to 2am.
Enter a hidden world of relaxation at Anantara Spa at Emirates Palace where a serene and restful ambience greets you. An exotic blend of Moroccan-inspired interiors, domes and graceful archways is interlaced with delicate Thai-style furnishings and spa fittings synonymous with Anantara’s world-class Spas. The Spa offers impressive facilities including: a Vichy Shower Room with heated marble for all water based treatments; and a traditional Moroccan Hammam, which forms the heart of the Anantara spa that includes two Jacuzzis, two steam rooms, heated marble, ice cave and two private changing rooms. Treatments range from a vast selection of international massage therapies, facials and skincare treatments to indulgent half-day spa Signature Journeys such as ‘Gateway to Arabia’ and ‘Route to Ayudhaya’.
We opted for the Stress Release Massage (90 Minutes) as it promised to be the perfect tonic for a busy and stressed out body using a combination of strokes and acupressure techniques, and the specially blended signature oil of your choice. After a warm welcome and some ginger tea and cold towel, we were led by our two therapists to one of the double treatment rooms. The treatment started with a relaxing floral foot ritual before we both lay face down on the beds ready to have our tensions soothed away. Having asked if we had any problem areas of tension, the therapist concentrated the gentle, but firm acupressure massage on my upper back and shoulders to loosen the knots before using some relaxing stretching techniques to further loosen up these areas. The treatment culminated in a gentle head and face massage leaving my entire body in an elevated state of relaxation.
Leisure and Activities
Laze by the pool at the children-friendly West Wing where the water slides and lazy river will keep the whole family amused for hours. Alternatively, if it’s peace and quiet you require, relax and unwind beside the large East Wing pool, with its swim-up pool bar and adults-only water hammocks.
Emirates Palace have an array of fun sports and activities on offer including: Wakeboarding; Water Skiing; Snorkeling; canoeing; Tennis and Padel; outdoor fitness classes (excluding Summer); and personal training in the state-of-the-art fitness suites, which are Techno Gym equipped.
Having spent a lot of my early Summers playing tennis and participating in tournaments, it has since fallen by the wayside overshadowed by other activities, so after nearly a decade, I decided it was definitely time to pick up my racket and avail myself of the expert guidance and coaching of Emirates Palace’s resident Tennis professional, Pjer Dulava. Feeling apprehensive as to how this was going to go, I was delighted to find that Pjer’s kind and gentle guidance soon had me back in the driving seat and thoroughly enjoying myself around the court. Pjer made the lesson fun, constructive and left me with a renewed enthusiasm for Tennis, which I am looking forward to building on going forward. If you love tennis, or even if you’re a beginner, a lesson with Pjer is highly recommended.
A Personal Touch
Lady In Red The Kempinski brand boasts a unique guest relations concept: The Lady in Red. This is a Kempinski Ambassador role that is active across the entire Kempinski portfolio and was created to compliment the work of the hotel concierge. The Lady in Red leads the guest relations team and ensures that she is approachable to take care of any guest relations concerns or requirements where necessary with that added personal touch. Fluent in several languages and adept at guest relation management, Bouchra Souizi has proved herself to be indispensible in her role as the Lady in Red at Emirates Palace – a position she has held since the concept began two years ago.
VIB: Very Important Babies
The Kempinski Kids Program treats your little Princes and Princesses with a VIB approach. Each child receives a gift upon arrival and a booklet welcoming them and informing them of all the fun activities they can enjoy during their stay. A Kempinski Kids Ambassador is on hand to make your children’s stay as fun and memorable as yours. Activities include: time in Sarab Land, the Emirates Palace Kids Club which is open from 10am to 6pm; land and water sports; beauty salon for 7 years and above; Kids Spa (with or without Mummy!); Magical Journey’ Palace Tour; and Babysitting Services, which are bookable at extra charge.
With amazing rates starting from AED 990* per night, Emirates Palace promises to be your ideal unwinding getaway.
*Rates are subject to 10% service charge and 6% tourism fee. Above mentioned rates are applicable for one night bookings between the 17th May until the 31st August 2014. Offer valid for all the GCC nationals and residents only.For more information or reservations, please call: +971 (0) 2 690 8888 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org[/su_note]