Palace Downtown Dubai is perfectly positioned opposite the tallest building in the world, The Burj Khalifa. It has a gorgeous outlook towards the lake with display of the world’s biggest fountain and is also easily accessible to Dubai Mall (the world’s biggest shopping mall). And even amongst all these huge landmarks, Palace Downtown Dubai stands majestically, unintimidated, greeting guests from all over the world with a genuine warmth and kindness, characteristic of Middle Eastern hospitality.
As it’s name implies, the hotel is indeed built like a palace. With resplendent horseshoe arches, ornate mosaic tiles, sensuous textiles and carpets that transport you back to Scheherazade’s world of Arabian nights. The historic interior is perfectly married with all the modern comforts needed in a five star hotel like super fast free wi-fi and on-call concierge.
The richness of Middle Eastern architecture is showcased in the foyer, grounds and surrounding restaurants. Soaring ceilings, ample circulation space, gorgeous natural light and expansive windows are set with delicate craftsmanship in the beautiful traditional materials of stone, marble, onyx and granite. Pillars, arches and stepped up levels create balance, symmetry and partition spaces between dining, lounging and greeting thereby adding depth and perspective. The floors and ceilings have elaborate medallions and florid embellishments and the central welcoming fountain is filled with delicate rose petals perfectly complementing the dark timber ottoman lounges luring you to comfort. Embroidered, woven, silk-brocade cushions, wall hangings and curtains are deep red and golden hues adding finesse to the breathtaking space. All of this public interior looks out onto perfectly framed vistas of Burj Khalifa, the Burj Lake, fountain display and Palace Downtown swimming pools.
The 63 storey building has 242 rooms and suites including (forty five Palace Suites and one 500m2 Imperial Suite). The rooms are tastefully furnished with intricately carved timber lounges, beds, and shutters that give a feeling of grand homeliness. Textiles include silk scatter cushions and damask drapes that are decadent yet demure. Fluffy towels, a super deep bath tub, perfect shower water pressure and every complimentary toiletry you could think of, make for a great bathroom. Add to this crisp cotton sheets and a bed that overlooks the joyous water fountain display, you would be forgiven for never using the state of the art interactive LED TV or smart sound system. All rooms are equipped with wi-fi and tablet (travel buddy) that can be used throughout the hotel to make calls, research and assist with travel arrangements.
POOL AND SURROUNDS
A glorious rectangular pool stands between the hotel and the Burj Lake. Designed to lead towards the fountain display and flanked either side by luxurious deck chairs and cabanas, the walk from the hotel to the lake lets you soak in Dubai in all its wonder. The Burj towers above, watch guests experimenting with apple tobacco in shisha pipes and the smell of roasted pistachios from nearby kitchens taunt you into thinking about an early dinner.
The pool itself is deep blue with tiny perfect tiles, shimmering below a warm Persian sun. Lush palms offer shade as do nearby daybeds. By night, fairy lights wrapped around the palm trees are switched on to create a magical setting made for romance and laughter. Press a button on your deckchair to have waitstaff attend to your every cocktail need or browse through the selection of International magazines on hand.
Apart from Asado, other dining options include the Oriental cuisine at Ewaan which is an all day dining restaurant offering live cooking demonstrations and show kitchen and a famous Friday brunch. Special evenings also offer banquets filled with wonderful delights from high-end caviar to smooth caramel salted desserts. Thai restaurant Thiptara (which means magic at the water) showcases delicious Bangkok-style seafood while soaking up Burj Lake.
World renowned Argentinian restaurant Asado has a wall full of international accolades, and you can soon understand why. Service is impeccable with wait staff answering every question and attending to every culinary need quickly and effficiently. In the middle of the restaurant, patrons can watch Chef de Cuisine, Josefinna Vallve work her magic on cuts ranging from salmon to the world’s finest wagyu.
The outdoor area is perfectly positioned to usher in the evening sunset and watch several sessions of the water fountain display or just quietly take in the ambience of the tranquil lake. Candles and cushions are strategically placed to create comfort so you can relax and enjoy the excitement of the world class display.
The food is in a league of its own, with most diners walking away feeling as though they have had the best steak in their entire life (until they come back again!). Cuts are cooked tenderly, with a moistness inside embracing the natural flavour and crisp on the outer to accent and perfectly capture the texture. Every option on the menu is worth trying. Add to this a superb selection of fine wine from all over the world, aged malts and whiskeys, refreshing signature cocktails and hearty Arabic coffee or Moroccan tea and the evening meal could not be better.
THE PALACE HIGH TEA
Each afternoon The Lobby Lounge, Al Bayt is transformed for an afternoon of pure indulgence as the High Tea is immaculately installed into the unique setting. Each month there is a new theme such as chocolate or Arabic flavours (so lots of pistachio). The dessert section is mesmerizing, with it myriad of colour and flavour. The presentation of each individual piece has been manicured to perfection. Try the freshly made scones (the cornerstone of any high tea) with rich potted cream, raspberry coulis or fresh sumptuous jam and signature Red Arabia Tea.
This is a truly majestic hotel. Enjoy.
Room start from $350 AUD per night.
For more info go to www.theaddress.com
By Sonia Komaravalli