By Christine McCabe www.theaustralian.com.au
Located in Dubai’s re-created “Old Town”, where an Arabian Nights mood prevails, the 242-room Palace provides a serene and refreshingly un-flashy accommodation option for Aussies enjoying a shop-over en route to Europe.
One of five hotels operated in Dubai by The Address group, the sand-coloured Palace perches on the edge of a surreal blue lake (boasting more dancing fountains than Las Vegas’s Bellagio) with views of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, and easy access to the Dubai Mall, claimed to be the world’s largest shopping centre.
Moorish arches, Moroccan lanterns and palm tree-lined pools provide an oasis of cool, calm respite from the shiny, mirrored, urban landscape of this improbable desert city.
The Palace’s handsome guestrooms, featuring dark timber detailing and rich textiles, are well appointed with comfortable beds, free wifi, coffee maker and large, luxurious bathrooms equipped with Penhaligon’s toiletries. Each room has a balcony overlooking the Burj Khalifa, the lake or the Old Town island.
The hotel’s day spa continues the Arabian Nights theme with an Oriental Bath House, hammam slab, monsoon showers and steam rooms while the fitness centre is staffed with expert personal trainers.
The Palace is linked to the Souk Al Bahar, a modern-day bazaar cuffed by a host of lakefront eateries, and is a five-minute walk from the 1200 shops of the Dubai Mall.
Where to eat
In-house at Ewaan for excellent Arabic food. At the generous breakfast buffet make a beeline for the mezzeh table for delicious potato kibbehs and cheese sambouseks. Or check out the hotel’s Argentine Grill, Asado, where goat on the spit is recommended.
The just-opened At.mosphere, the world’s highest restaurant, located on the 122nd floor (at 442m) of the vertiginous Burj Khalifa. A New Zealand chef, Aussie steaks and a view that seems to stretch forever make this the hottest new dining ticket in town.
The temperature-controlled swimming pool bordered with date palms and classic Arabian tents (for a spot of lounging, I Dream of Jeannie style) is typical of the hotel’s immaculate landscaping vision.
For a drink with a staggering view, pop over to The Palace’s sister property The Address Downtown where the 63rd-floor Neos does a mean margarita.
Book a Spa Package before July and save 10 per cent on best available room rate while enjoying a complimentary express facial. More: + 971 4 428 7888; www.theaddress.com.