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Review of Emirates Palace Hotel

Set within 100 hectares of landscaped gardens and lawns, the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi is a palatial beachfront hotel located in a sweeping natural bay on the Arabian Gulf. With a 1.3 kilometre pristine beach with luxurious beach cabanas, the resort offers 394 luxurious rooms and suites featuring tranquil views of either the verdant gardens or the sea with either a private terrace or balcony. The property’s Marina features 167 berths ranging from 12 metres (39 feet) to 140 metres (460 feet) with dedicated large yacht facilities. Unrestricted tidal access provides large yacht visitor and residential berthing in the Emirates.

Facilities are plentiful with nine restaurants, lounges and bars and a 1,500-square metre spa with private and luxurious treatment rooms, a traditional Moroccan Hammam, two Jacuzzis, two steam rooms, heated marble, an ice cave and a traditional barber. There are also two fitness centres with state-of-the-art Techno Gym equipment, two resort pools, a water sports centre, a cricket pitch, four tennis and one Padel courts. With over six kilometres of jogging paths within the grounds, the property also offers complimentary cycle hire, football fields and a beach volleyball court. Other facilities along the beach and pool areas include a pool table, lawn tennis, table tennis, foosball, a children’s outdoor playground and a children’s club with daily activity schedules. The Beach Club offers a whole host of complimentary non-motorised water sports such as sailing, sea kayaking, paddle boarding and wind surfing. There is also wakeboarding and waterskiing.

Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi is managed by Mandarin Oriental.

8 / 10

Centrally situated in the heart of Abu Dhabi at the western end of the city’s Corniche next to the Royal Palace, the Emirates Palace is close to major visitor attractions and the main business areas of the city. The Marina Mall and other shopping attractions are within walking distance of the hotel with popular tourist sites such as the Grand Mosque and the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre just 20 minutes away.

The property is also within easy reach of attractions such as Qasr Al Hosn, The Louvre Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, and Formula 1 Yas Marina Circuit. There are also theme parks, traditional souks, a Heritage Village and sand dunes close by.

Abu Dhabi International Airport is about a 40-minute drive from the hotel whilst Dubai Airport is around a 90-minute drive.

9 / 10

Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi offers 394 rooms and suites, luxuriously styled and as elaborate as you might expect from this palatial property. Even the entry level Coral rooms with their views out over of the gardens from a private balcony or terrace, are spacious and beautifully if traditionally styled with wooden, marble and gold accents. The Pearl Rooms have that partial sea view whilst the Diamond Rooms enjoy wonderful views of the bay. All have flat-screen televisions, a pillow menu, entertainment centres, connecting rooms if required and iPad control stations.

There are six categories of glamorous suites with an Arabic touch starting with the Khaleej Suite – complete with a separate living room and bedroom, mesmerising sea views, custom furnishings and private, dedicated butler service. The Khaleej Deluxe Suite has unrivalled views of the bay and its glistening waters and features a spaciously opulent bathroom. The Royal Khaleej Suite offers beautiful architectural highlights, gold adornments, delicate silks and glittering Swarovski crystal chandeliers with views out over the sea. 

With acres of stunningly decorated living space, The Pearl Palace Suite meanwhile offers a truly presidential bathroom with an oversized bathtub and Jacuzzi. With abundant gold highlights, custom drapes, chandeliers and marble, the two-bedroom Palace Suite with extensive terrace is even larger with every luxury you can think off and can be interconnected with neighbouring rooms. The crème de la crème suite however is the three-bedroom Palace Suite with an enormous 680 square metres (7,319 square feet) of luxury accommodation with a spacious Majlis living area, three regal bedrooms, an extensive private terrace and an elegant dining room with full pantry facilities.

10 / 10
Service & Facilities

With a 1.3 kilometre stretch of golden sand, the resort’s private beach looks out over the Arabian Gulf. For those who like some shade, the property offers wooden hand-crafted beach cabanas situated on the shoreline, close to the East Wing swimming pool. 

There are two luxurious, temperature-controlled swimming pools at the property with the first, Cascades Adventure Pool, perfect for families. Located in the West Wing Beach Club, water activities include a tranquil Lazy River run, cascading waterfalls, two water flumes and a pool activities area. Children will enjoy playing in “Sarab Land” where specially trained staff will guide them through age-appropriate activities and games. An outdoor play zone is also available.

Las Brisas Leisure Pool located in a quieter and more peaceful setting. Located in the East Wing Beach Club, the Las Brisas features a large Jacuzzi under a charming gazebo, three smaller bubble pools attached to the main swimming pool and a swim-up pool bar for adults. A free form deck leisure pool surrounds the area circled with palm trees and comfortable seating. 

Other facilities along the beach and pool areas include a pool table, lawn tennis, table tennis, foosball, a children’s outdoor playground and a children’s club with daily activity schedules.

Located in the West Beach area near the Emirates Palace Marina, the Emirates Palace offers a wide range of water sports including sailing, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, wind surfing, wakeboarding and waterskiing.  Nearby there is also a beach volleyball court.

The property’s FIFA floodlit standard football pitch is home to international teams during winter training and can be split into two pitches for 7-a-side. Alongside there is a Club House with professional level facilities including changing rooms, leisure space and a spa with Jacuzzi, sauna, steam and massage rooms.

The cricket pitch is located in the East Wing within manicured gardens. Located in the East Lawns, professional groundsmen ensure that the cricket wicket as well as the four grass pitches are well maintained and prepared for every game throughout the year.

Emirates Palace Tennis Academy by PSS Emirates offers an extensive tennis programme, delivered by a professional Resident Tennis Coach. There are four floodlit hard-court tennis courts located on the West Parklands next to the football Club House. There is one floodlit Padel tennis court available. Private lessons, group clinics and bespoke lesson programmes for all ages can be arranged.

For yoga aficionados, there is 75-minute Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga classes for both beginners and intermediate level yoga lovers. Full moon yoga is conducted monthly on the beach or within the gardens.  Jog or cycle through the gardens along a 6.5 kilometre path of discovery – a winding trail encircling the cricket pitch before venturing towards the end of the Emirates Palace Marina. Bicycles are available for rent from the East Wing and West Wing Beach Club.

For those who like to keep active, there are two fitness centres with a full range of Techno Gym machines, Body Composition Analysis, the revolutionary “VibroGym” and free weights.  Qualified fitness instructors are available and there are also fitness classes including yoga, Zumba, Pilates, core stability and TRX.

The Emirates Palace Marina is the first of its kind in the country and boasts 167 berths with dedicated large yacht facilities and unrestricted tidal access. The Marina was designed as a stage for the region’s most luxurious yachts, high profile events and an exclusive welcoming harbour for visiting yachts.

The luxuriously designed 1,500-square metre Emirate Palace Spa offers a haven of tranquillity and serenity. With a stunning traditional Moroccan Hammam with two Jacuzzis, two steam rooms, heated marble and an ice cave, the Moroccan-styled Spa offers seven opulent spa suites and a second, more private and intimate Hammam. There is a wide range of spa treatments available including a couple’s and children’s spa menu. They offer everything from deep sleep therapies to deep pressure massages, bespoke facials to Hammam Rituals and detox, slimming and sculpting treatments.

The Spa has also teamed up with world-leading The Elixir Clinic to offer guests and spa members tailor-made IV Vitadrip infusions designed to replenish, reinvigorate and restore wellbeing from the inside out.

For golfers, there are four championship golf courses within 45 kilometres of the hotel – in Abu Dhabi - with transfers easily arranged via the concierge.  The Abu Dhabi City Golf Club has nine holes and is just ten kilometres from the Emirates Palace. Saadiyat Golf Club with 18 holes is the first ocean golf course designed by Gary Player. It is a short 18 kilometres from the Emirates Palace. The Abu Dhabi Golf Club has 27 holes and is the largest course in Abu Dhabi and is home to the PGA European Tour. It is around 45 minutes’ drive from the Emirates Palace. With 18 holes, Yas Links is the first Middle Eastern links course and is located at a distance of 42.1 kilometres from the hotel.

9 / 10

Said to be the most expensive hotel ever built in modern terms, to be larger than Buckingham Palace and to feature the largest dome in the world, the stunning Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi is a showcase for the Emirates in many ways.

It is hard to think of another property off hand which has the wide range of facilities offered to hotel guests and local residents. The addition of the 167 berth Marina designed to lure the most luxurious yachts in the world to its safe haven, takes it to another level. When you factor in the amount of gold used in the opulent interior design – more than 6,000 square metres of 22-karat gold leaf – and the renowned service standards offered by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group with their Eastern influences and style, you have a hotel marriage made in heaven.

If you want to take some of that luxury home with you, try out the uber-indulgent 24-carat Gold Radiance Facial which uses micronised 24-carat gold sheets which are then massaged into the skin under an ultra-sonic Nano mist. Don’t forget to sip that 23-carat gold-flaked Palace Cappuccino from the elegant Le Café either.

9 / 10
Restaurants & Bars

There are nine restaurants, lounges and bars at the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, offering a world of cuisine to suit every and any palate.

Martabaan is a “contemporary classic” Indian dining experience by celebrated master chef, Hemant Oberoi. Deeply embedded in cultural traditions, his innovative recipes have revolutionised the Indian culinary world. With an opulent décor of Moorish arches and gold leafed walls, the restaurant looks out over the Arabian Gulf’s crystal blue waters. The “Tikka Le” Bar, which is a focal point of the restaurant, offers a range of signature cocktails to complement the dishes. Long forgotten recipes are brought back to life and given a contemporary touch by Chef Oberoi with offerings as varied as Varqui Crab and Masala Chai Crème Brulée. Mondays – Fridays, the restaurant offers The Royal Tiffin Business Lunch. For an al fresco meal, head to BBQ Al Qasr and their elegant beachfront gazebos. Offering the romance of an Arabian fable, expect food grilled to perfection by the sea using the freshest and best of ingredients within a comfortable, curtained beachside oasis. 

The poolside Greek-inspired Cascades is an altogether more casual dining space, named for the cascading waterfalls and sea grottos within the adjacent water park and particularly family friendly. Enjoy anything from tacos to mezze, Truffle Fries to King Crab Niçoise.

Comprising of a restaurant, bar, lounge, terrace and four private dining rooms, Hakkasan Abu Dhabi offers 1,4886 square metres of space, separated by carved wooden screens and latticing echoing the interiors of the London restaurant. The main dining room is crafted into a wooden cage surrounded by backlit blue glass with embroidered furnishings. The new 108 seat terrace has a stylish bar area complete with bespoke cocktails and laid back cabanas overlooking the city skyline. Expect a music backdrop from the best of local and international DJ talent whilst feasting on signature dishes like Peking Duck with Caviar and Crispy Duck Salad alongside a range of new dishes created especially for an Emirati clientele.

The all-day dining restaurant, Le Vendôme, offers a range of dishes from the Middle East and global favourites in an elegant dining space. Linger over breakfast, lunch or dinner, grazing on healthy salads, soups and sandwiches or hearty curries and beef fillets. There is also an outdoor terrace, overlooking the beach and Marina. 

For those wishing to experience the best of Arabian cuisine, Mezlai has been designed to recall an airy Bedouin tent, offering an array of Middle Eastern favourites and stunning views over the Palace grounds. Mezlai creates dishes from ingredients that evoke the region with ingredients such as za’atar, camel and dates and flavours such as saffron, rosewater and hand-picked wild oregano. 

For a Mediterranean menu, using the freshest produce and home-ground vegetables, head to Sayad. The interiors have been styled with wood, glass and tiles inspired by the coastal tones of Southern Europe with a focus point of panoramic sea views. 

The deeply glamorous Le Café has been shortlisted as the “Best Café in Abu Dhabi”. With a vast menu featuring exquisitely crafted delicacies and artisanal pastries and cakes, the Café has become known for its 23-carat gold-flaked Palace Cappuccino and Camel Burger. There are also three Afternoon Tea options to enjoy either al fresco, overlooking the lush greenery of the Palace and Abu Dhabi skyline or by the cascading fountain, at the base of the Emirates Palace’s grand staircase. 

Alternatively, head to the Breeze lounge for small bites, wonderful views and great entertainment whilst enjoying the cooling and refreshing sea breezes.


The guiding principle at Mandarin Oriental is “Acting with Responsibility” where they strive to achieve through their Naturally Better Plan. As well as embracing and putting into practice the brand’s global sustainability initiatives such as eliminating all single use plastic, the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi has set its own local initiatives to make sure they play their part in making guest stays more sustainable and comfortable. 

Emirates Palace has replaced all plastic water bottles with glass bottles in the Palace Suites and has continued with reusable replacements implemented for take-away packaging, cafeteria cups and in room slipper packaging. Biodegradable alternatives for products like straws, garbage bags and vacuum packs are in place across the hotel.

There are 8,000 trees in the hotel’s landscaped gardens that are spaced out. Besides looking beautiful when in flower, these trees also provide shade and help to improve the climate which in turn paves the way for bird migration. The property also hosts a turtle rehabilitation centre where a dedicated team of professionals provide medical aid for sick and injured turtles that are washed up on the property’s shores.

The UAE has abundant Date palms – they are cultivated for their sweet, edible fruit. Dates have a long shelf life and may be eaten fresh or dried. The Emirates Palace has approximately 500 date palms of six varieties within the gardens, producing close to 20 tons of fruit per year and making organic date jam at the hotel.

Clean Energy is an emerging industry in the UAE focused on creating a sustainable source of energy with zero or very low carbon emissions. The hotel contributes to this focus via energy-efficient control systems including manual occupancy linked controls, time scheduling and daylight responsive controls and sensors which limit the consumption of electricity. They also have a desalinisation plant which converts sea water into potable water used for gardening. An average of 2,500 cubic metres of water is produced per day which accounts for 912,500 cubic metres of water saving per year. The installation of the new energy saving pumps installed in the East & West swimming pools saves 900 MW of energy per year. 

Emirates Palace has joined the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group and contributes to the Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 “Estidama” drive to green the city. Staff are committed to working with communities and charitable organisations to make a difference and includes taking part in blood donation drives and visits to Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and People of Determination.

As part of their commitment to reducing waste, Emirates Palace gives gently used soaps to Aid Agencies and used cooking oil is converted to Biodiesel. Another initiative they undertake is to request suppliers reduce the usage of plastics in their packaging and encouraging them to use products that are easily bio-degradable along with reusable containers.

What We Love

  • Emirates Palace is just that – a palace! It’s also the size of a small city. However, you never feel lost and there is always a member of staff on hand to advise, help, book or guide.
  • The rooms & suites. They are pretty substantial – even the entry level ones. No expense has been spared and helps ensure that Emirates Palace is the premier hotel address in Abu Dhabi.
  • The facilities and amenities are endless. One can never get bored at this property. There is always something to do, see, eat or drink! From a huge meal at an award-winning restaurant to just sitting on the beach with a coffee in the morning, an Emirates Palace experience is always memorable.


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