This is my final post about my stay in the United Arab Emirates. As you know, I travelled to Abu Dhabi after a couple of days in Dubai. I stayed at the Emirates Palace, a huge hotel with about four hundred rooms and suites. It came with a private beach of 1.3 km, we had a butler who would take care of things for us, and so on and so forth.
At first I felt like being in a golden cage. Several times a day someone would ask you for your room number, to check whether you were a resident or just a visitor from outside. There was also a dress code that the staff took very seriously. When wandering around 'public' areas, such as the lobby and restaurants, guests and visitors were requested to cover up. My friend was reminded on several occasions that flip flops should not be worn in the lobby. When he explained that he was staying at the hotel, it was fine, well 'fineish'. He was also given a pashmina to cover his legs when we were having a coffee at the lobby cafe, as shorts were not appropriate. He ended up buying trousers at one of the hotel shops. Funnily, I never received any feedback for my outfits but I hadn't been pushing it either. Only once, a man gave my high heel sandals the evil eye.
Now to the room: we stayed in a Diamond Luxury Room. It was very comfortable as everything was provided: fruits, creams, toiletries, bathrobes, water, etc. The only thing that annoyed me a bit, was that they would only clean the room at around four or five in the afternoon, when we would come back from the beach or pool area and wanted to get ready for the evening. Other than that, there is nothing to complain about as the staff were super friendly.
The food: breakfast was included in the reservation. There was a massive brunch buffet at the Le Vendome, where I ate every morning. And they had Eggs Benedict! :)
For dinner, I never left the hotel as there were nine restaurants to choose from. The first evening I had dinner at Diwan L'Auberge, a Lebanese restaurant. The food was good, my friend and I chose meze and it turned out to be a good decision, as everything tasted great.
The second evening, we tried Mezlai Emirati Restaurant, where the food was even better. My friend had prawn biryani and I had king prawns (not pictured) which were excellent.
The highlight, however, was Hakkasan, a Chinese restaurant, where we had our final dinner. There is no superlative to describe the food. I had tried Hakkasan New York two years ago, where the food had been equally amazing. It had definitely been a good idea to save the best restaurant for last.
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