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PALATIAL

LIFESTYLE

Dubai, April 15th, 2020


We’re still dreaming of days walking through Downtown Dubai, and a beautiful stay at the luxurious Palace Downtown had us admiring the Burj Khalifa as though for the very first time. FACT checked in for a sophisticated staycation of royal standards.


When the Burj Khalifa is standing right outside your window, so close that you could almost touch it, that’s when you feel the real spirit of Dubai and its dedication to going bigger and better come alive. Living in the city, we almost forget to take a moment to stop and admire our surroundings, especially passing the world’s tallest building every day. So, we took the opportunity to slow down and live in the now with a staycation at the utterly majestic Palace Downtown. The very stylish hotel mixes minimalism with touches of regal Arabesque decor.

Our check in is swift and calm with the lovely front desk staff, especially James, who inform us of all dining options and recreational facilities available at the hotel. The 242-room and 81-suite hotel is the epitome of Middle Eastern charm. Rich in colour and regional textures with Arabian motifs and authentic detail to the interiors and intricate design. Expect exquisite furnishings with elegant finishes that evoke the comforts of a true Arabian home.

There are seven design styles to choose from, with every room boasting a private balcony that overlooks The Dubai Fountain, The Old Town or Burj Lake. And if it’s a view of the iconic Burj Khalifa that you want, choose a Diplomatic Suite for your stay. With a leisurely walk through the warm and wide corridors, we step into the suite which is as big as most apartments in the city – space is the name of the game here and we’re in awe. The exclusive Diplomatic Suites are a pure expression of Arabian opulence. Every suite has a huge separate living room, a large bedroom and one main and one guest bathroom, and is complemented with rich drapery, flamboyant accessories and a spacious private balcony.

It’s like being in a very tasteful version of the palaces of old with grandeur in every corner – we could get used to this. In-room facilities are of the highest standards – great complimentary Wi-Fi, a multi-purpose workstation where you can snuggle to check some emails, then there’s a fully-stocked mini-bar, coffee and tea making facilities, a Nespresso machine and all the comfort you could ask for. Most of all, we loved the automated in-room iPad service and the two interactive flatscreen TVs – an elegant and efficient suite, perfect!

In fact, Address Hotels + Resorts across all of its properties has introduced a superior guest service with the launch of iGENIE. Assuring the full breadth of guest services at the tap of a finger, the automated service will significantly enhance your experience providing you unbeatable convenience and value. From booking leisure and recreation appointments from the comfort of your rooms to ordering for any of the hotel services across concierge, housekeeping, engineering, to name a few, as well as exploring the internet for infotainment and entertainment, iGENIE is truly barrier-breaking for the region’s hospitality sector facilitated through in-room iPads provided to the guests. A feature that will most definitely come in handy for when you’re practicing social distancing!

Staying in a suite means you get complimentary buffet breakfast too, which is an added bonus when you’re looking for a weekend of pure escape. The best, however, was yet to come. We opened up the doors to the balcony and stepped out onto our own personal viewing platform of the famous Dubai Fountain. What. A. Spectacle. A front row seat to the coolest show in town as well as incredible views of the Burj Khalifa and the bustling heart of Downtown? Yes, please. You’ll find it hard not to capture it all on your phone.

But when you do put your devices down and just want to C.H.I.L.L – Palace Downtown has got you sorted. By day, the palm-fringed swimming pool is a stunning oasis. Surrounded by a beautiful landscape, this is the ideal place to soak up the sun in a plush chaise lounge or take refuge in the traditional Arabian tents of the Buhayra Lounge, where you can recline in comfort and dine on a large selection of mezze and more. We opted for a cool mocktail and a cheesy pizza – the ideal afternoon accompaniments. The service is to be commended here, the poolside staff were taking great care of the guests both young and old. There’s a dedicated children’s pool for little ones to splash in too.

The Spa at Palace Downtown is one of the most breath-taking we’ve ever seen. Describing itself as an imperial sanctuary, some relaxation time here should be at the top of the list. An oasis of tranquillity, The Spa at Palace Downtown is an indulgent retreat that transcends expectations with its airy design and serene ambience.

The expertise of the therapists combined with the finest ingredients and treatment methods, both modern and traditional, ensure that rest and rejuvenation are experienced and enjoyed during each ritual across dedicated floors for ladies and gentlemen. There are nine lush treatment rooms including two spa suites alongside an Oriental bath house with a hammam slab, Jacuzzis, monsoon showers, steam rooms, consultation spaces and a relaxation lounge. For the ultimate indulgence, opt for the Wellbeing Massage which is tailored to suit your needs. Simply select your preferred aromatic oil blend and let the expert therapist work their magic, applying pressure in all the right places with a head to toe massage to rejuvenate body, mind and soul. We fall into as sweet slumber and as muscle tension is eased and balance is restored.

Dining is of the highest standard at Palace Downtown. There’s everything from modern to casual, extravagant to laid back and we were hungry for it all. Asado is the biggest surprise of all for us.

The highlight of the culinary offering is the ‘Parrilla’, the open grill over which age-old traditional dishes are prepared.

We would highly recommend the fresh and citrusy tastes of the Sea Bass Ceviche, the classic Empanadas including beef, chicken and cheese and onion, and the wildly rich and soulful Beef Tenderloin Steak with a side of creamy mashed potato and grilled asparagus. It’s the unique Mushroom Quinoa Risotto followed by a selection of sweet treats that sends us into epicurean heaven. This was our first time at Asado and will definitely not be the last.

Another dining experience worth shouting about was the Afternoon Tea at Al Bayt. When you take a seat for this palatial feast, get comfortable because it’s about to get real tasty. Few of life’s luxuries can match a leisurely afternoon tea in such luxurious surroundings and at Palace Downtown you will feel like royalty. Artfully blending Arabian customs with royal English traditions, expect to be transported back in time to the easy-going pace of living, where every moment was meant to be savoured.

The Traditional Afternoon Tea stays true to custom, with classic favourites like delectable finger sandwiches, clotted cream, pastries and more, served of course with your choice of tea or coffee. Highlights for us included the creative concoctions like coronation chicken in a charcoal bun and simple delights like warm, fluffy chocolate chip scones – the entire set up exudes inventiveness and culinary genius. Two drinks – both worthy of an Instagram post – would be the super refreshing Royal Iced Tea and the comforting Palace Cappuccino sprinkled with 22 carat gold dust. What is more royal than that?

Palace Downtown is the type of place where you will feel enriched with culture and tons of rest and recuperation. The hotel and its staff carry a sincere hospitality spirit in the midst of a cosmopolitan city – something we can really appreciate. For that reason, and so much more, we will be back here sooner rather than later. ✤


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