Arrival/Check-In: Following a 15-hour journey from New York City to Dubai by way of Amman, Jordan, I arrived at The Palace Hotel Downtown Dubai at about 2 a.m. The trip to the hotel from the airport takes about 30 minutes, although traffic at that hour is nominal compared to rush hour.
The Palace Downtown Dubai remains a gem among several noteworthy Emaar properties in Dubai, including The Address and Vida hotels. It’s nestled within the downtown mall area, standing guard at the foot of the Burj Khalifa. The wow factor kicked in as we drove up the 100-yard driveway, the hotel’s entrance strategically hidden from view of the main road with its array of retail shops and eclectic restaurants.
Several valets greeted me with smiles. The staff embraced their roles with genuine warmth and care.
The lobby was darkened somewhat as I was escorted to the main desk, where I promptly checked in. I was then escorted to my room, followed a few minutes later by my luggage. The gentleman walked me through every aspect of the hotel and guestroom, detailing all services and amenities.
Guest Quarters: I was somewhat disappointed to learn my room was on the first floor, technically two floors down from the main lobby. But my impression immediately changed as I entered. The room, adorned in dark tones, offered everything I expected: an exceptionally comfortable king-sized bed, a spacious desk, a large closet and a two-vanity bathroom with a separate tub and rainforest shower (body wash and loofah included). The room also featured a flat-screen TV with excellent international programming, an elaborate coffee machine and an iPad with 24-hour room service assistance (my favorite) that was incredibly easy to use. But the best was yet to come. I also had access to a private ground-level patio surrounded by beautiful plants overlooking the manmade waterway running through downtown Dubai — an incredible vantage point for viewing the elaborate nightly fountain shows choreographed to music by the likes of Michael Jackson and other classics.
Services/Amenities: Although I did not experience the pool or spa, both looked impressive, and according to another guest, there was “no reason to leave the property.” Each morning, I enjoyed the international breakfast buffet at Ewaan, which opens to a spacious rectangular pool deck and happened to be on the same floor as my room. The breakfast buffet was terrific, including made-to-order omelets and my favorite, an array of fruits and freshly squeezed juices.
Additional restaurants include Thiptara, a one-of-a-kind experience featuring Thai cuisine, and Asado, specializing in Argentinean food. The slow-cooked baby goat coupled with an outstanding wine selection blew me away as we sat outside in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa, listened to live music, enjoyed conversation and recognized this hotel as a unique, ageless jewel.
The Experience: This incident sums up my experience: I did not have smaller bills of local currency, and my morning taxi driver could not make change. Although I politely resisted, my valet, Abdullah, insisted on taking the correct fare out of his own pocket. If you’re going to travel to Dubai, an Emaar property is the way to go; The Palace Downtown Dubai blends functional sophistication with a modest amount of luxury and just the right personal touches that remind you of being welcomed into someone’s palatial home.
[item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item check=yes]Separate tub and shower[/item]
[item check=yes]Large vanity[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality towels[/item]
[item check=yes]Powerful, unattached hair dryer[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality bed linens[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, flat-screen television[/item]
[item check=yes]Large desk with convenient outlets[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, complimentary laptop safe[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary in-room WiFi[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary bottled water[/item]
[item check=yes]Stocked minibar[/item]
[item check=yes]Ample lighting[/item]
[item check=yes]In-room coffeemaker[/item]
[item check=yes]Iron and ironing board[/item]
[item check=yes]On-site restaurant[/item]
[item check=yes]24-hour room service[/item]
[item check=yes]24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center[/item]
[item check=yes]Turn-down service[/item]
The Palace Downtown Dubai
The Old Town Island
Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard
United Arab Emirates
tel 971 4 428 7888
From 24-Hour Butler Service to a Sky Pool: Boutique Luxury Awaits at Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences in Los Cabos
Set on a seaside bluff overlooking Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences is a Baja paradise specializing in serene vistas and impeccable hospitality, offering a Pacific coast lifestyle with authentic Mexican touches. Guests can now earn a fourth night free at the stunning resort, plus a $100 resort credit, when booking through March 20, for travel through June 15.
This past May, the location of Dunfermline in Fife, Scotland, was granted status as a city of its own during Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Not too shabby for a town that’s actually been around for a while, boasting structures dating to the 11th century.
Marriott Bonvoy and American Express recently debuted changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card. The card, aimed at helping small business owners turn business expenses into travel rewards, now provides new and existing card members with a 7 percent Room Rate Discount on eligible bookings at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; four times Marriott Bonvoy points at restaurants worldwide; and complimentary Gold Elite status. These changes are in addition to the card’s other existing benefits.
THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED
PHOTO: © BOGDAN LAZAR | DREAMSTIME.COM,
National Rum Day is right around the corner on Aug.16, meaning it’s time to start planning your celebration. Sandals Resorts, the all-inclusive Caribbean resort company, shares recipes from mixologists, allowing rum fans to celebrate as if they are staying on property.
Whether you prefer a villa on the beach or an ultra-luxe suite downtown, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Los Cabos.
Until Aug. 21, catch the museum premier of Bonnie Lautenberg: Art Meets Hollywood at Boca Raton Museum of Art. After learning one of the large-scale red paintings created by artist Lucio Fontana was the result of his viewing of the 1964 film Red Desert (directed by Michelangelo Antonioni), Lautenberg set out to discover other instances where filmmakers and artists knowingly — or perhaps unknowingly — had an effect on one another’s work.