Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

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.

This sums up my stay at the Emirates Palace and Abu Dhabi. I only left the hotel twice, once to visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and once to go to the Ferrari World theme park. While I was at the hotel, I often wondered, what am I doing here? And I even told myself that I would never return but as time was passing, I slowly grew fond of the place and now I'm considering perhaps going back one day. But it won't be during summer, when the temperatures are unbearable as they were. It would be to escape the freezing winter months in Luxembourg, when it is a bit cooler in the United Arab Emirates as well. 
Emirates Palace
West Corniche Road
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates



  1. Oh my god, this looks like one of the best hotel I have seen - even if actually I would find a bit strict the dress code... The room is just perfect.
    Is the same Hakkasan of London? I have been there when it was not yet mainstream, now in London you need weeks of advance in the reservation as it is the usual place for dining of Z-listers from reality shows and personally speaking also the quality worse a bit. Glad you have great food around!


    1. Yes, Hakkasan exists in London as well. I haven't tried it yet but I might if given the opportunity.

  2. Incredible place, everything looks perfect!

    The Cutielicious

  3. Impressive hotel and a very luxurious one too. Everything is absolute perfect!

  4. Wow, this is a super luxurious place. So many rules too. But that is their country, we have to respect their rules. The food looks fabulous.

  5. What a gorgeous hotel - so beautiful. The food looks amazing too.

    Jenn | Jennifer Jayne

  6. The hotel is so beautiful and the food looks great!


  7. What a stunning place to stay! the UAE is becoming such a popular destination, even one of my old coworkers had mentioned it and asked why I haven't visited yet. This makes me want to book the next plane ticket there. :)

  8. Wow! This place looks so amazing and lavish. Would've been interesting to stay there!

  9. What a stunning hotel and your meal in Hakkasan looks delicious. I would consider visiting though would bring plenty of clothes to cover up with as you did, so as to respect local custom

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  10. That's an impressive place, really amazing! Cleaning at 4 or 5 pm is strange, I grant, but because of the size of the hotel I suppose they had no choice. But the rest of the staying was fantastic, I can see! I like meze very much and everything looked delicious! I am sure you will go back there one day, since you liked it so much! Maybe November is a good month, cooler!

  11. This hotel looks amazing! The architecture is so luxurious! Beautiful photos!


  12. This place is a dream!! I've never been there :-(

  13. Everything looks perfect!!!


  14. looks so luxurious there!!!!
    my gosh and all that food looks so delish!! :D
    it's amazing how you were able to stay and go here.. I wanna go now too! :D

    Animated Confessions

  15. It sure looks so grand and luxurious there! I enjoyed reading your post to prepare myself if I ever go. It seems to be a conservative place as far as how one dresses. I feel like I would get a side eye for the clothes I wear. Definitely taking a mental note that summer wouldn't be an ideal time to visit.

  16. Well this place sounds a little daunting. I'd hate it if people kept asking for my room number. I understand why they might but damn it, it would irritate me to no end!


  17. Everything about this hotel is stunning, almost otherworldly... I think the rules felt a bit odd, but then it's a different country, so got to follow them. x

  18. I've really enjoyed your series and photos on your visit to the UAE. This place is just stunning!

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  19. It certainly looks like an exquisite place to stay -- the chandelier and the interiors in general are gorgeous! Yes, it's always good to research and remember about the customs of different countries. This destination seems to be growing more popularity lately. <3
    Elegant & Colourful Party Decor

  20. This Palace is a real dream ! So luxurious and this food looks delicious :)

  21. What an incredible hotel! i want to go to there

  22. Alright, this post is immediately getting bookmarked. If I ever find myself over there, I'll most definitely be booking to stay here - what a fabulous hotel! I've always favoured hotels with luxurious design schemes featuring earthy colours, for some reason it makes a stay much more relaxing that way :) A truly excellent post, thanks for sharing these photos!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

  23. Looks and sounds like an interesting experience, but I would also feel like in a golden cage. I usually prefer going out, exploring the city, but I've heard that this ain't that possible in Dubai. The hotel looks impressive, I'd feel like an ant there. The food looks great!

  24. Wow, you're so luckyyyy!!! What a luxurious place to stay and unwind. Great post!

    Have a nice day!


  25. Wow... all the gold and opulence! It looks like a place for royalty. It's no wonder they had a strict dress code. The middle eastern food all looks so yummy. Not many people are open to such cuisine but I do love them! I can imagine why you stayed at the hotel almost the whole time. It looks like there is just so much to bask in and lots of food choices.

    Jo's Jumbled Jardinière

  26. It looks so beautiful and luxurious in there! From your photos it looks quite empty though..

  27. Very luxurious. Maybe he gave your high heels the evil eye coz he wanted them on himself. Hahaha. Was just in Hakkasan Mayfair over the weekend for a birthday lunch. Sumptuous food. One of the waiters came running towards me to apologise when he saw that I had to refill me bowl of rice. I told him he needn't worry about it. I can imagine that there are high-maintenance customers who've complained before that their bowls weren't refilled. Try it next time. I love the stairs. There's a projection of water running through it :)


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