REVIEWER RAWAN HADID
There was a moment in my early twenties when I realized that there would never be a hotel on earth that could impress me with opulence—having spent enough time in the gulf, where delusions of grandeur are afternoon fodder, I had encountered a level of grandiose that no hotelier around the world could possibly live up to.
hotel name & website: The Palace Downtown Dubai
who: Me & myself
when: February 2015
stay: Overall this hotel lives up to its promise - modern ornamental design that is refined and not overly ostentatious. A few notes - the in-room lighting is ambient and not useful for any kind of work or productivity. There is a shortage of electric outlets, which is a recurring hotel room problem but not acceptable for a five star hotel. And, a uniquely Dubai problem - they wouldn't let my guest up to my room without scanning her passport or local ID card. She didn't have them, and even though she was coming up to work, no amount of cajoling or admonishing would change their minds into bending the rule which has roots either in security or in the preservation of morality - we never did figure it out. We had to sit in the loud lobby instead, because she wasn't allowed up. I suppose they have that Burj to protect.
location: On this visit to Dubai I was at odds as to where I should stay. It had been several years: on my last visit, the business bay was still a construction site and downtown Dubai did not exist - so, that location seemed obvious - but The Address runs several different hotels in this area, at different price points and with different characters. I decided that traditional Arabesque design and Syrian furniture accents were what I craved the most and went ahead with The Palace Downtown. Modern setting but classic designs seemed to combine the best of both worlds - a promise Dubai is premised upon anyway.
rooms: 242 guest rooms, including 81 lavish suites.
pool/gym/beach status: No beach, a fitness center, a nice pool and a delightful spa that you should definitely visit.
food situation (mini bar, restaurant, breakfast): yes, yes, and the breakfast buffet offers outdoor seating and varied selection of stations.
bar: You can sit by the pool and enjoy a hookah or stroll over to a jetty where asian-inspired Fai serves cocktails, and Thiptara offers Bankgok style seafood next door with views of the fountain.
data (wifi?): of course but my is it slow.
vibes: Modern Damascene tranquility - serene color palette, plenty of space to roam.
kiddie agreeable: Plenty of space for them here.
specialty: Dubai style service; Mix of easy location and resort-like splendor.
price scale: Not the cheapest Address Hotel in town, but reasonable for the rooms & service.