A trip to Abu Dhabi wouldn't be complete without a visit to one of the most expensive hotels ever built! The Emirates Palace is the capital's iconic structure, Abu Dhabi's answer to Dubai's Burj Al Arab. The luxurious hotel is worth more than 3 billion USD! It has a classic Arabian architecture with extravagant amenities and services that goes beyond 5-star.
The Emirates Palace is considered to be a 7-star hotel by most people, though the 7-star classification doesn't officially exist. But because the hotel resembles a grand palace and guests are treated like royalties, Emirates Palace deserves to be classified higher than the highest official 5-star rating!
Unlike Burj Al Arab, Emirates Palace is open to walk-in visitors without any fees. Well, not really all the time. As I have shared on my previous post, we were halted at the gates since my husband was wearing shorts. The guards asked him to change and when he did, we were gladly welcomed inside. They also don't allow visitors inside the hotel grounds when there are VIP hotel guests and exclusive events. During those special events, walk-in visitors with restaurant reservations are still welcomed. However, a minimum spend fee of 100 AED per person is required.
Non-hotel guests are prohibited to go beyond the lobby. The main hotel and leisure facilities can only be accessed by hotel guests. Though we couldn't explore the whole area, we still considered ourselves lucky when we saw the Emirates Palace's glamorous golden atrium with a dome of gold and silver glass mosaics!
The Emirates Palace showcases the beauty and warmth of the Arabian culture. It is elegantly furnished and traditionally decorated in gold and marble. Everything is shiny, shimmery and splendid! We were there only for a short visit but we did felt the ultra-luxurious ambiance and superior comfort that the hotel boasts.
A short walk from the main atrium is an exhibit area for artworks and ancient pieces. Inside the gold cupboard are sculptures from circa 300 AD to 1000 AD. The pieces came from China, Egypt, the Near East, Africa, Pre-Columbia, ancient Greece and Rome! The antiquities are also for sale at The Barakat Gallery located inside Emirates Palace.
There are also several restaurants inside the palace that offers the finest global cuisine. I heard, they also serve a rich cup of coffee with 24-karat gold flakes! I wonder how it tastes, but I found it too fabulous and too impractical as of the moment. Maybe someday, I'll have the right reasons to have a cup of luxurious coffee. For now, I'll just enjoy the freebies and the cheap thrills that this lavish country can offer.
The Emirates Palace
West Corniche Road
Abu Dhabi, UAE
*Taxi fare from Abu Dhabi's main bus terminal: 20-25 AED