Hotels in Dubai: The Palace – The Old Town
By Kristie Hal
Right in the middle of exactly what developers Emaar would certainly have you think is the ‘world’s most prominent square kilometre’, the Royal residence is an attractive anomaly. It rests best beside the big, bold and exceptionally noisy Dubai Water fountain and the glass-and-steel Burj Khalifa yet is itself an incredibly low-key, low-rise destination, decked out in modern Arabian style. The driveway takes you past a huge gleaming blue swimming pool and under Moorish arches, right into a cosy entrance hall with a rose-filled fountain and cushion-strewn lounge bar. Areas are even more of the very same – lots of pretty latticework displays and tasteful cream-and-brown home furnishings. The collections have original Arabian vintages and artwork and feature a selection of fruit of which Carmen Miranda would be honored. All areas keep an eye out over water, whether it’s the Dubai Fountain (which could sound a bit like a succession of water cannons, although it gets turned off at midnight) or the even more placid Burj Lake. The well-appointed gym looks out over the lake, while the huge exterior swimming pool forgets the water fountain.
Eating alternatives include Ewaan, the Arabic-International restaurant that has actually cosy increased seats for big teams in recesses around the beyond the soaring room and a delicious Iftar buffet throughout Ramadan. Asado, the Argentinian steakhouse, is continually packed and is specifically nice during summer, as there is a huge outside seats area. The Thai restaurant, Thiptara, is perched passionately out over the water and is bordered by large fire lanterns. At night, the Majlis outdoors tents around the pool are a wonderful place to smoke shisha secretive. During the day, you have the Dubai Mall on your doorstep, and the hotel is directly linked to Souk Al Bahar, with its tens of bars and dining establishments.
Absolutely tailored in the direction of business visitors, this is not a hotel to publication if you remain in Dubai for sunlight and sand, or if you have a family in tow. Yet it lies right at the top of the Sheikh Zayed Road, opposite the Dubai World Trade Centre, 5 mins from the DIFC and 15 mins from the airport. The restaurant choices are pricey and developed – hipster hangout Okku offers premium alcoholic drinks and gives modern sushi in its dark, attractive interior, and American chain Ruth’s Chris runs a steakhouse simply next door. Both are dazzling, yet neither comes cheap. Steer clear of the distressing basement club Gold though – regardless of billing men a trendy AED 1,000 for entrance, it resembles a regional branch of The Gizmo Store.
Although the slightly claustrophobic design of the medical spa leaves a whole lot to be desired, the treatments – especially the Mandara massage therapy, executed by 2 therapists – are superb. Some happily over-the-top suites get on offer – the duplex Majesty suite, on the 32nd and 33rd floorings, has its very own fitness center, flick theatre, sauna and pool on the balcony. The standard rooms are fairly well assigned too, with huge leather workdesks, lounge locations and cutting edge songs systems. The ones higher have pretty awesome views of the Sheikh Zayed Road’s neon strip as well. There is a small fourth-floor swimming pool with couple of sun loungers and a ladies-only health club, along with a blended health club.
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